Sharing strategies at Global Youth Advocacy Workshop in Korea

The Global Youth Advocacy Workshop on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) was held in Busan, Republic of Korea, recently.

It was co-organised by the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (UNESCO MGIEP) and sponsored by Educate A Child and Geumjeong District of Busan Metropolitan City.

The participants at the workshop were 48 active young leaders from various regions such as Africa, Arab, Asia, North America, Europe and the Caribbean who have made changes in their communities.

For four days, we had a dynamic programme that combined inspiring presentations, lively discussions, group work, simulation exercises, intercultural events, local visits, networking and creative icebreakers.

It was a youth-led workshop by the Youth Advocacy Group (YAG) team aimed at a common understanding of GCED and its key priority areas by building on the dialogue initiated at the Paris GCED Forum earlier in the year.

Day 1 began with an opening ceremony then focused on identifying the most important problems related to the implementation of GCED, elements of advocacy strategies and highlighting the power of social media in advocacy campaign and policies.

We were introduced to the Advocacy Toolkit on Day 2 with interactive exercises. We formed regional groups during the afternoon session to reflect and elaborate on the advocacy tools and strategies suitable for our various regions.

The final proposed advocacy plan presentations were made on Day 4 by each region and a youth statement was drafted by the drafting committee with inputs from all participants.

The most interesting aspect of the workshop was understanding the deeper concept of GCED themes as they relate to human rights, peace, global/local justice, cultural diversity and intercultural understanding, and sustainable development.

It also presented me with opportunities to engage with peers from around the world to explore ways through which we can learn and work more effectively together to achieve shared goals. 

Guess What? One of my highpoints happened on Day 3, It was my study visit to Indigo Sowon, a humanities bookstore for youth that empowers young people in GCED competences through public events, education movement and social activities.

There were similarities between Indigo and my organisation, Teenz Global. I could connect to it, I was inspired, re-energised and encouraged to continue my work when the chief-editor, Yong-June Park, shared the story of Indigo – Past, Present and Future.

During the afternoon session of Day 4, we explored the Gukje Market in small groups, Busan Cinema Centre (venue of Busan International Film Festival) and Nurimaru APEC House and the Haeundae Beach.  We were also hosted at a dinner by Won, Jeng-Hee, the Mayor of Busan City and it was my best meal in Busan.

By the end of the workshop, I gained increased knowledge on key advocacy strategies, formed a GCEDAFRICA network with 11 African advocates to advance GCED in the region and especially in my country, Nigeria. The Global Youth Advocacy Workshop on GCED is a catalyst for action on global citizenship and has given me unforgettable memories.