#YWC had an action-packed day ready for attendees at the Young Professionals Booth. There was a photo booth where youth could make a statement, speed-dating between youth and partners and donors, and a launch reception where participants signed the Declaration of Support.
Speed Dating – sparks were flying
The speed dating sessions matched four young professionals with four potential partner organisations/donors. After answering some questions about their projects, youth were asked to declare their business soulmate. “Couples” who matched then had an opportunity to exchange contact information. Love was in the air!
Launch reception – join the initiative!
At the launch reception, GWP’s Vice Chair Dionysia Avgerinopoulou illuminated the spirit behind the movement. “The guiding principle is for youth, by youth, with youth”, she explained.
She was followed by two young professionals who presented their projects:
Alexa Terrell from the Youth Community Central and Eastern Europe presented her project in Albania. In her words a success story showing that those who “empower, advocate and act” are sure to make an impact.
Meriam Ben Zakkour from Tunisia presented her project on jobs and migration in the region.
Andreas Steiner of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, one of the principal funders of the ISW, reiterated his organization’s support for the project. “The Youth for Water and Climate initiative is a perfect example [of how] our partners come together,” Steiner remarked. “We are very keen on following up on this important initiative”.
GWP’s Ankur Gupta finished the launch reception with a call to action, urging attendees to sign the Declaration of Support. As of September 1 over 100 have signed to support the movement.
The Youth for Water and Climate initiative (YWC)is rooted in the work done by youth from 20 countries in the lead up to COP 21. The outcome was the White Paper of Youth to address Water and Climate Challenges. This White Paper comprises more than 50 priorities addressing the main areas that youth want to engage with: health, food security, water sharing, and water-related risks.
Since then, dozens of youth have taken these priorities from talk to walk by implementing small and medium scale activities and projects, with limited resources but significant impacts. This enthusiasm led to a group of partners (GWP, World Youth Parliament for Water, International Secretariat for Water, Water Youth Network, Office Franco-Quebecois pour la Jeunesse, AgroParisTech University) to engage with a more ambitious challenge: to bring to youth the support they need to scale up their action on water and climate – and hence become agents of change.