TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018
On January 15-17th 2018, fifteen students from the Mission Possible: India program and youth activists from New York City attended the Mission Possible International Agents of Change Conference at the United Nations. Participants from India represented 6 different Mission Possible projects that were implemented in Bangalore as part of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 program cycle. They were joined by members of IntegrateNYC, a youth-led organization with a mission to ensure equitable school system in NYC, and Cyphers for Justice, a group of young social researchers utilizing hip hop and spoken word to address social issues.
Participants attended sessions led by representatives from UNESCO, UNHCR, WFUNA, Global Citizen, Tiwale, Avenues School, and IntegrateNYC. With the Sustainable Development Goals being the underlying theme of discussions, topics such as educational equity, culturally relevant curriculum, forced migration, decolonization, and sexism were explored.
Day 1: Quality Education for All
Led by Lily Gray, UNESCO Liaison Officer, the conference opened with participants discussing the concept of global citizenship and its application in different contexts. The session highlighted the importance of educating young people to be active in their community while taking into account their cultural and social conditions. IntegrateNYC continued the discussion by emphasizing equality of opportunity as a crucial aspect in delivering quality education, learning from the history or racial segregation in the United States.
Day 2: Creating an Impact
Participants visited Avenues: The World School to take part in their Design 4 Impact (D4i) challenge. Mission Possible participants worked together with Avenues students to design education resource prototypes for The River Project. Participants worked around one of the major challenges faced by young change makers, which is lack of funding. Highlighting the same issue, Marissa Hatch and Victoria Fortune of Global Citizen led a session on creating a campaign based on action rather than money. Bringing youth impact to a higher level, Firas Kayal, Senior Policy Advisor of UNHCR, spoke about decision-making at the UN and its implications on solving the global refugee crisis.
Day 3: Moving forward
On the final day, participants presented their projects and received feedback from each other as well as the WFUNA team. Ellen Chilemba, founder of Tiwale, shared her story of starting her own initiative teaching entrepreneurship workshops and providing small loans to women in Malawi to start their own business. As a closing to the conference, Pablo Angulo, WFUNA’s Sustainable Development Officer, led a session on the different channels through which youth can participate at the United Nations.
Mission Possible was launched in India in 2015 with the support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF). Learn about Mission Possible here.