August 31, 2018

What we learned on the Global Youth Ambassadors Influencers programme

Global Youth Ambassadors (clockwise, from top left) Tauseef Rasheq Ahad, Sylvia Kakyo, Rohan Shinde and Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu

Members of our worldwide network of young activists tell what they gained from receiving special training over six months.

Theirworld believes young people should be recognised as key leaders in creating sustainable development and that they should be given the skills they need to do this. 

That is why we created a mini six-month training programme called Global Youth Ambassador Influencers for selected members of our Global Youth Ambassadors network - 900 young activists from over 80 countries. 

The training focused on upskilling them in campaigning and influencing through a variety of real-life tasks and problems, where their input has helped to shape our activities for the Global Youth Ambassador network. 

Our Global Youth Ambassadors also undertook dedicated training sessions, which included inviting experts to train them.

Here is what they had to say after completing the GYA Influencers training programme.

Tauseef Rasheq Ahad (Malaysia)

As a GYA Influencer, my work provided better tools and stronger partnerships for GYAs around the world – and this makes me extremely proud. 

The development sessions really helped us to rethink how we influence our stakeholders. My favourite part was The LEAPS Method – this is a golden rule for every young leader who’s striving to serve millions.

The best part about being a GYA Influencer was working closely with Theirworld to plan the future of the programme. We discussed about a lot of potential partnerships – and I strongly believe that these will work as catalysts for global education and early childhood development.

I think opportunities like these help young leaders create opportunities on their own, which allows them to partner with governments, corporate sectors and NGOs. Together, they strive to provide a better tomorrow.

Sylvia Kakyo (Uganda)

Having a strong and successful six months of learning as a GYA Influencer helped develop my personal brand something, which is something I am most proud of as an individual but also as an influencer who is ready to influence others. 

The development sessions presented a prime opportunity to improved performance, provided a strong supportive free space and allowed us access to training materials that I wouldn’t have otherwise sought out by myself.  

What stood out for me was The LEAPS method which I adopted - I feel this is a skill we need to teach ourselves and the people we work with for better results. 

Fellow GYAs, I believe it is very important for us as a network to have such kind of opportunities. When such opportunities avail, let’s take advantage, use the space to create what we don’t have. It starts with “us” - we may not change what happened yesterday but we can change what will happen tomorrow.

Rohan Shinde (India)

One of the proudest moments for me was being appointed as GYA Influencer from India and the opportunity to connect with wonderful Influencers across world.

Task 1 was very interesting since I got opportunity to do some research work on one of the G7 member countries, Japan, which helped the GYA Youth team in engaging more young people. 

Task 2 was group activity to influence GYA peers about upcoming events to increase engagement across a global network.

Our second development session was a highlight. Run by James Cox (Head of Digital Advocacy, Theirworld) and Alex Swallow (The Influence Expert), it was an eye-opener to understand advocacy and influencing. My favourite part during the second session was personal branding, the perfect day exercise along with The LEAPS model.

The best thing I learned was that Influence is Impact i.e the more influence you can get, the bigger impact you will have. I certainly appeal to GYAs to be part of the next programme since the key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.

Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu (Canada)

As a GYA Influencer, I am glad to have been part of the very first cohort that put together a user-friendly communication strategy to increase GYA engagement and grow the network. 

My best session was that on effective campaigning and advocacy during which I learnt the different ways to grown one’s influence and campaign both in public and behind the scenes. 

As an advocate for global education, this development session will help me sharpen my influencing skills while at the same time being more vulnerable to risk - which I think is a very important aspect of learning. 

We were five GYAs from different parts of the world, all very busy with our day-to-day activities. The thing I am proud of with being on this team of influencers was the respect, passion and commitment we all demonstrated among each other even when we disagreed on something. 

It was indeed a great experience and many thanks to the GYA team for their huge support throughout this period.

A special thanks

Thank you to Alex Swallow - an influence expert, social entrepreneur and digital nomad, for offering his time and expertise to help upskill our Global Youth Ambassadors. 

Alex is dedicated to finding the best ways to grow the influence of others and has consulted with many NGOs and charities before to achieve greater impact through influencing.

Alex said: "'It was inspiring to learn more about some of the amazing things the young people are involved with. I was struck by their passion for what they do and by their desire to learn and improve. 

"I can't wait to see what they achieve both at the grassroots and on the global stage.'

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