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

The Summer Global Youth Forum was put together by the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization. It kicked off from 2nd – 20th August 2021 with the theme YOUTH AT THE FOREFRONT OF ACHIEVING THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. This program takes place annually and is basically for undergraduates, graduate students and young professionals interested in pursuing an international career for the advancement of the SDGs.

The intensive training model was blended to include linkages between zoom sessions (facilitated by high-profile individuals who shared their knowledge and experiences with us), networking opportunities, breakout sessions and organized group projects hosted via the ITCILO e-Campus.

Initially, I was not aware of the program until gratefully, my friend, Goodness Odey sent me a message urging me to apply. When I received a nomination email from the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, I knew for sure that I had received the opportunity of a lifetime. The training cost 900 Pounds but we three nominated by the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network (Me, Blessing Ashi & Tracy Iyemene) were placed on scholarship by the ILO Office, Abuja. We also made a presentation on the work and impact of the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network during the course of the training in a session facilitated by Jonas Bausch (Youth Employment Officer, ILO).

Networking opportunities were a great platform to create long-lasting professional networks and life-long friendships. We had opportunities to network with our facilitators, the ITCILO Team who were very supportive, as well as during activities like the numerous break-out sessions, the group project, the closing ceremony and afterwards.

The sessions were a great opportunity to enhance our leadership skills as well as to gain knowledge and awareness of ourselves. It included topics such as Navigating the UN System Zoom meeting, Inclusive Leadership, Young People in the Age of Digitalization, Designing an SDG Impact Career, Building your Personal and Professional Brand, building Soft Skills, CV Writing, and lots more.

We were also required to pick 1 of 3 sustainability tracks which were like electives and included: EconomicSocial, or Environmental sustainability. I picked economic sustainability.

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

The group projects were carried out as weekly tasks. To aid our work, we were given the ILO How to Guide on South-South Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) design for Decent WorkFile. For the 1st week, my group – Group 8 (Team Simba) – filled out our SDG Selection and Synergies Map and in week 2, we completed our Problem Analysis Map. By week 3, we were expected to fill out our Group Project Template, make a short elevator-pitch video detailing the SDG challenge our Team aimed to solve and how (which I did), as well as make a presentation. At the end of the presentation, it was put to a vote and my team won. This was one of the major highlights of the training for me.

To wrap up the training, we had a closing ceremony and I left challenged to be an agent of change in my community. I was full of hope and optimism. I learned, networked and built cultural affinity.

My love and gratitude to the ILO Abuja Office, as well as Joshua Alade and Goodness Odey of the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network. It was three weeks of personal development and reaffirmation of the belief that together, everyone achieves more. With this knowledge at my disposal, I will make the world a better place.