The ILO Youth Global Summer Camp Improved My Communication and People Management Skills – Blessing Ashi

Like other individuals at the beginning of January 2021, I made a new year resolution to attend relevant training and take up some certifications. I highlighted some courses I would like to take and the cost of participating.


I highlighted five courses and noted institutions for the courses. One of my new year resolutions was to attend a summer fellowship that would bring young people across the globe, but I never knew how the dream would be achieved.


Earlier in July 2021, I received an email from the Nigeria Youth SDGs stating my selection to attend the 2021 Summer Global Youth Forum all funded.


I was amazed because attending a program worth N499,000 was something I couldn’t have paid for myself at the time of my application, but glad I got an all-expense paid opportunity through the ILO Abuja.


The program organized by ITICLO took place from the 2nd of August to the 21st of August 2021. The 2021 Summer Global Youth Forum is three weeks of experiential training that brought 145 young people across 39 countries working in different sectors to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030. Each participant had the option of selecting any track from Social, Environmental and Economic sustainability.

Based on my passion for human development in underserved communities, I selected the Social Track.


Within the three weeks of the program, we were introduced to a robust curriculum and seasoned instructors. Each day on the program excited me so much as


By the end of Week 1, we had attended five different webinars on the following topics:

– Navigating the UN System

-Inclusive leadership: The game-changer

– Youth Engagement through South-South and Triangular cooperation

– Young people in the age of digitalization

– Actioning the SDGs

The ITCILO Summer Global Youth Forum Challenged Me To Be An Agent of Change in My Community – Elizabeth Ita

Based on my most preferred elective, I attended the following sessions:

  • Unlocking the potentials: The business case of disability inclusion.
  • Breaking gender barriers for young professionals
  • South-South Triangular Cooperation.


All of the sessions were enlightening and worth every single time committed to it.


My joy knew no bounds when Mr Jonas Bausch, the Youth employment expert, the ILO’s Regional Officer for Africa, requested the three representatives from NG Youth SDGs to speak about the work done in Nigeria to ensure Youths in Nigeria are employable. Thanks to Elizabeth Ita and Tracy Iyemene, and myself for delivering the session so well.


In the second and third weeks, we were introduced to leadership and career labs to help participants learn how to design an SDG impact career professionally and personally.

Learning how to leverage soft skills in the workplace was a skill set participants also got to know.


The project objective was to help participants learn collaboration skills while working on a social impact project related to sustainable development goals. To achieve the desired objective, all participants were paired into groups of 10 individuals. I volunteered as the focal point for my team.

Working on a project with team members across four different continents was quite challenging, especially as the team lead. The team project sharpened my communication skill, improved my ability to work with people in different time zones. I also learnt dispute resolution skills and time management.

I have incorporated my learnings around teamwork/ building into all my current projects and have seen better results as a leader. The Summer program also gave me new leadership strategies and a better perspective about Youths in other continents. I’m happy about the work done by Youths across the globe, and I believe that things can only get better.

I’m thankful to ILO Abuja for the scholarship to participate in the summer program. Thanks to Nigeria Youth SDGS and my friend turned Sister – Goodness Odey for the recommendation.

This opportunity proved that people are indeed watching the work you do, and if you keep at it, your impact will be felt across the globe.