Every year, the One Young World Summit is the highlight of the youth calendar, where thousands of young people from all over the world meet to discuss all topics that are important to them. Participants from the Global South are often supported to be present and as a result, their presence is plentiful. The Netherlands is one of the largest supporters of young people at the conference and this support is highly appreciated. This contributes to the visibility of the Netherlands on the global youth stage as well as recognition for the Dutch Youth at Heart strategy.
The annual One Young World Summit took place this year in the city of Belfast, where 25 years ago the Good Friday Agreements were signed that put an end to 30 years of violent conflict (also known as The Troubles) in Northern Ireland. A rather fitting location for the OYW Summit, as this year’s summit focused on peace and reconciliation in response to increasing (international) conflict and climate change.
Netherlands Ambassador for Youth, Education and Employment Jurriaan Middelhoff gave a keynote speech on Tuesday October 3, in which he shared his speaking time with Enterprising Futures scholar Letícia Meque, a young social entrepreneur from Mozambique. Letícia is an environmental and climate advocate and co-founder of EkORERA Environment. She spends most of her time with rural women in Mozambique to deliver agro-environment and smart-climate agriculture practices.
The Enterprising Futures Scholarship is a scholarship programme specifically for young entrepreneurs from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs focus regions. The scholarship is financed by the Netherlands in line with the Youth at Heart Strategy, and implemented by Orange Corners. Every year, 40 young entrepreneurs are selected to participate in the One Young World Summit. Some of these scholars previously took part in one of the Orange Corners programmes.
One example is Nadia Osman, who participated in Orange Corners Sudan. Nadia, Mohammed Mashharawi (Palestinian Territories), Jurriaan Middelhoff and Ebelien Zweers (Orange Corners HQ) spoke on “Post-conflict resilience: let’s talk about you(th)”. The discussion revolved around the topic of entrepreneurship within fragile contexts and the specific challenges that businesses encounter in conflict-affected areas. The conversation placed particular emphasis on the two initiatives led by Mohammed and Nadia, shedding light on the remarkable work they are undertaking in these complex and demanding environments.
A number of Enterprising Futures scholars were invited to explain their social enterprise or initiative on the main stage. Elizabeth Njambi (Kenia) and Binnie Bintou Cisse (Côte d’Ivoire) joined a panel on reducing inequality through education. Juliet Namujju (Uganda) gave a key note on climate resilience using her fashion initiative: Kimuli Collections, which transforms waste into fashion. Eddy Balina (Uganda) and Walaa Ahmed (Kurdistan region of Iraq) shared their stories on conflict and reconciliation. Lastly, one of the scholars from last year was reinvited to share her story: senator Crystal Asige from Kenia. She took part in a panel and gave a key note on how we can get more disabled persons into leadership positions.
Missed One Young World? Watch the live sessions back on the One Young World website.