Empowering youth to take action for the MDGs
Kumasi, Ghana: A team of eight online volunteers is supporting the communication and outreach activities of Young People We Care (YPWC), a youth-led NGO based in Ghana that empowers young people to take action for key development issues such as climate change, global migration and the MDGs. They issue newsletters, update the website and moderate online discussions on various development issues.
“YPWC, through the support of online volunteers, embraces the theme of the International Year of Youth, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, not just in principle but also in practice as we will continue to involve young online volunteers in initiatives like the 2010 Online Youth Consultation on Migration and Development, which provides youth an online platform to exchange views and ideas on global migration, enhancing youth participation in the migration discourse”, explains Michael Boampong, the founder of YPWC.
Gavaza Maluleke, 26, is from South Africa and currently working in the Republic of Korea as an English teacher. With two other online volunteers, Gavaza is writing the YPWC newsletter.
“I am currently working on my Master’s thesis for a Degree in International Development, and I have learnt a lot about where to find information about this field. YPWC is a great organization that has a lot of information on issues related to youth around the world,” he says.
Ausrine Pasakarnyte, 25, from Lithuania, is one of the online volunteers who are facilitating the online consultation. Having not yet reached the minimum age of 25 to become a UNV volunteer in the field, “I decided to start with an online experience and then move on. When I applied to YPWC, I had just finished my studies in political science at university and was knowledgeable about the topic”, Ausrine recalls.
She has moderated the annual discussion forum in two consecutive years, and is planning to continue her engagement this year. “I have learned that young people from all over the world are interested and have knowledge on migration. But most of all, that they are eager to make the situation in their country better, not just leave for ‘better pastures’”.
Ausrine finds her online volunteering experience powerful and motivating. “The sense of belonging to a group of people from all over the world makes me even more interested and motivated”.
Hamida Rehman, 35, U.K., started her involvement with YPWC proofreading and editing material before she embarked on the role of Web Content Manager. Besides regularly updating the site, Hamida has added a forum and other functionalities.
“I am a mother of four children and I have worked in the commercial sector, but I have always remained committed to contributing to YPWC, and will continue to do so as I take pride in being an online volunteer and a member of YPWC”.
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