The Ministry of Lands and Resources alongside the Forestry Commission launched the Green Ghana Project on 11th June 2021.
This is to be a national annual event called Green Ghana Day. The project campaigns for restoring Ghana’s depleting forest by planting 5 million trees a day nationwide. The total number of trees planted will increase annually.
Free seedlings were distributed by the Government and the project encouraged the engagement of all citizens. Move The World being the only registered NGO in the Medie township supported the Forestry Commission Service Division in Amasaman to plant 200 Teak and Cedrela seedlings in Dobro – the next town after Medie.
Inmates from the Nsawam Prison came to support the initiative and helped in the tree planting. The Green Ghana Team has a Monitoring and Evaluation team who are responsible of nursing and nurturing the seedlings into maturity.
This is an investment in the sustainability of our future and Move The World couldn’t miss an opportunity to engage in an initiative that reflected the diverse ways in which we educate students to be active global citizens through our Get Global Programme.
We look forward to continually be an active participant of the annual Green Ghana Day events.
Interview with Michou-Eymard Tchana-Hyman; Director of Global Citizenship – JUMP FOUNDATION
WHAT MICHOU DOES AT JUMP FOUNDATION I oversee the social work that Jump does (jump impact). Jump foundation is a social enterprise that works primarily with international schools. They hire us to come and run programs and workshops for them, those are either on-campus (jump schools), sometimes happens off-campus (jump- experiences) take them on trips, take them out into the world. They pay us and then with the extra revenue at the end of the day after paying our bills we put money towards jump impact, which is similar kinds of leadership programmes, but for youth who come from communities which have been traditionally marginalized. We run these leadership programmes we call the Jump Leadership Programs in about 9 active partner locations where we run it around the world. Some in Asia, some in Kenya, some in North and some in Latin America as well. So we use experiential education to try and empower leaders from both ends of the socio-economic spectrum, so we work with quite wealthy young people in the international schools and we also try and work with young people who don’t come from families or communities that are not as financially sound. Global citizenship plays a huge part in what we do in Jump Foundation. We work in a very international context; we work with a lot of people who don’t necessarily identify with location in terms of where they are from so this concept of global citizenship is really great for them. We have a diverse facilitator network, people facilitating from all over the world, every continent and it is kind of in our DNA. Global citizenship is incorporated into a lot of our programmes, we try to promote it as much as possible. At the moment we have two GC camps that are running, they are online (virtually) and it’s a week-long camp where students are learning about GC and talking with people all over. Right now some of the students are having a conversation with a young guy who is originally also from Cameroon but who grew up in New York and had an accident about 5 -6 years and ended up being paralyzed from the chest down in a wheelchair and has done a lot of modelling now. He has lived a very interesting life.
PERSONALLY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GLOBAL CITIZEN? This is something I do think about a lot, so recently while I was thinking about this I bore it down to three words that I really feel embodies global citizenship. The first one I really believe is CURIOSITY, for me a Global citizen is somebody who is really curious about the world around and wants to learn what is happening around them; wants to learn what’s happening in the environment, in different communities and different places around the world and different kinds of people, different cultures. There is an element of curiosity that really drives Global citizens to try and understand the world around them. The next quality that I really feel embodies Global citizen is RESPONSIBILITY and so I think Global citizens identify that there is a bit of responsibility they owe the world, whether that is an environmental responsibility in terms of making sure that they are trying to minimize their impact through their economic purchases, either waste management in trying to reduce plastic usage also responsibility to the community around them, their society, people in general. Whether that’s their local community or larger global community and that they have responsibility to support the people in their community, people around them, whether they know them or not. The last quality that I think embodies global citizenship is RESPECT. There is this element of curiosity and responsibility but it is all rooted in a lot of respect. So respect for others, respect for yourself, respect for the planet. It doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with everybody, doesn’t necessarily mean you think everybody is right and people can’t do wrong, but how you engage with people is rooted in the element of respect. So for me, I really feel those three things embody what it means to be a global citizen.
WHICH OF THE SDGS DO YOU RESONATE WITH SO MUCH? I have personally got a mixed relationship with the SDGs. So just coming from the world of Global citizenship education, SDGs are everywhere, everyone is always talking about the SDGs and I feel like it has gotten to the point where people feel like SDGs are synonymous to Global Citizenship and it is one and the same. But I actually feel very differently and that the SDGs are not necessarily what defines Global Citizenship, I think it is a great framework, it is a really easy and simplified framework that helps people to start thinking about social issues. I believe it is a little bit oversimplified, but I think there is pros to that, because the reality of social impact work is very complex, very intertwined and that can be very intimidating to engage with, especially when you are new to social impact and social issues, and seeing how complicated things are can be a distraction for people, so having a nice simple framework, I think is good it is a good start, but I don’t think it is everything, I don’t think the SDGs, the global goals are everything. Actually I try when I am designing Global Citizenship program touch on the SDGs a little, not have too much focus on them. If you were to press me to pick a favourite, I will say probably two. The first one is partnership for the goals (SDG 17). I think social issues are systemic and the only way to really tackle them is through partnership and through thinking systems and the way that systems work and operate. The second one is number 10 – reduced inequalities, I think that is a nice blanket one, covers a lot of issues. That again, not looking at the different sub-goals and targets of the goal, but looking at the concept of reducing inequalities.
WHAT GOT YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION? There are two things for me. The first thing which is going to be true for anyone who works for jump, if you ask them, is the people. It’s the community and the people that you get exposed to while working at jump, it really is incredible. There is the idea of workplace and friends, it gets very blended at jump and we become really close friends with everyone you work with. People take care of each other and they support each other and they look out for each other. Whether you have worked together for years or whether you have worked together for a little bit on a program, there is a really strong bond between everybody in the jump family. It is a beautiful thing and pretty rare, I haven’t quite seen that anywhere else. So that is a huge attraction for me in terms of working at Jump, it’s the people. The second is the work through jump impact, that was what really brought me back was the opportunity to step in and work with that. I believe that the model that we use for the Jump Leadership Program is a really powerful model that places emphasis on the communities that we work with, it is really much a backseat role that Jump plays in that model. So we work with these communities via a partner organization, we work with them we train them to run the model, we train youth in that community to run it. They put together conferences and workshops where they bringing together youth identified issues they see in their communities that they want to talk about, they have open communications, they come up with projects to address this issues. It is very youth focused and very youth driven programme, I just see a lot of value in that because I see it as very special. So that is what brought me back to Jump.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH DIFFERENT YOUTH FROM THE TWO ENDS OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SPECTRUMS? There is a huge difference in terms of working at the international school or working with the kids of the diplomats, very important [I don’t want to say important because everyone is important] but these are people who have very high expectation, everything is very controlled, everything is very sterile and everything needs to be at a certain level where the school believes is quality, not necessarily what I believe to be quality but it’s got to be to the school believes is quality. In that situation we are very much in a client relationship where we are servicing them and providing for their needs. The kids sometimes wanna be there, sometimes don’t want to be there, so it’s a little bit of a different attitude from the kids. Meanwhile, when we work with our jump impact partners, it is very much collaboration, it is very much a partnership where we create strong relationships with them to the point where we are friends, we create friendships with them. We co-create stuff together we build stuff together and it is very easy and relaxed, it feels mutually beneficial. All the youth we work with are so motivated, so creative they really want to be there, they wanna be there because they care about their community, they care about making their community a better place and it’s just incredibly inspiring. We also work with amazing partners who are doing great work in their communities and that is inspiring in itself. The jump impact work is so motivational for me and so inspiring.
ARE THERE THINGS WE CAN COLLABORATE WITH JUMP FOUNDATION GOING FORWARD? I imagine that at this moment, especially given the state of the world and this pandemic, travels are at a halt, it’s been a bit challenging for jump in terms of a lot of our business relied on in-person workshops and in-person trips and those are all effectively put on hold for the next year while this pandemic sorts itself out. So we had to make a bit of pivot and now we are doing a lot of virtual facilitation and we are running virtual programs with people all over the world joining in. There are some really cool benefits with running virtual programs though. I think that probably at the moment what would make most sense is some knowledge share. Looking at, okay what are some of the ways that MTW is developing global citizenship and what is the curriculum you are using and what can we steal from you and what can you steal from us. I would say some sort of knowledge share; some sort of curriculum share would make the most sense right now.
What does it mean to be a global citizen? Being a global citizen is a collective responsibility of all of us playing active roles in developing our communities through the provision of equal, fair and sustainable opportunities.
Which of the SDG’s are you passionate about? Goals 3&4 are my primary interest, I believe when these two are met working together in partnership as goal 17 states, we will meet the rest of the goals with ease.
How did you get involved with your organization? I serve as the head of volunteers, this puts me in the lead role to the planning, organizing and implementation of all project activities.
What makes you passionate about what you do with your organization? It puts me in the position to have a better understanding of issues, I get to learn more from the people I work with and I also get to share my knowledge and experience with others.
How do you see MTW and your organisation collaborating? Hope Restoration Network works in 3 areas ie. Education, Health and Livelihood development, I believe both organizations can collaborate in education and Livelihood development for sustainability.
Introduction Dana Vanderburgh the Executive Director of Movement Exchange also a long time friend of the DMC and Move The World World and am so happy to be interviewed.
Movement Exchange is 501c3 Non-Profit that is based out of the USA and we have university chapters all across US and we have Uran programme in Panama and our mission is to unite dance and service and to provide dance education to particularly youth but communities that don’t typically have access to dance education, so our mission is to both cultivate, civically engage dancers who are active in their communities but also to ensure that dance education is accessible to all, and so we do that through the universities chapters that gives dance classes for free for different organisations that are surrounding their university community so they partner with boys and girls clubs, domestic violence shelters, refugee agency sometimes kids whose parents are incarcerated, some works with adults and nursing homes.
What does it mean to be a Global Citizen?
For Movement Exchange to be a global citizen, it means to recognise that you have the ability within your own self, within your own body and particularly, when you are thinking of dance that you can connect with others, you can build relationships with others, you can make a difference in your community and that you don’t need to have the same background even the same language and that, we have that capacity already within ourselves to be that global citizen, that person who is connective with others, who is empathetic, who is able to build positive relationships and also to be their authentic self and that is the beauty of Movement Exchange. So we are asking people to come in, bring what they are passionate about which is dance and what they have skills in, you can be a global citizen and be a dancer, you can do both. Dancers already have the perfect tools to be come global citizens because they are able to connect and move with others.
In regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most
I think good health and wellbeing, in the sense that being able to dance is a big part of being able to be a healthy fulfilled individual. We both know that dance provide exercise but also that sense of wellbeing, that sense of being able to accomplish things with your body. I think also in many ways the idea of quality education is focused on academic education but I think it’s important to include dance education, I think we’ve seen it in lots of academic programmes, things like dance and other artistic activities get cut, so that’s important gab that needs to be addressed within education, we can’t just say that education is learning from books, it’s not. I think also peace and justice in terms of building institutions that focus on peace and justice, because for us we don’t say that dance is going to change the world and just get rid of all the conflict that exists, that would be wonderful! But we really do believe that engaging with others through dance and building those connection and being able to connect with others and realised that you are able to do that! Is a really important first step in generating those conversations that we need to address problems.
How did you get involved with your organization?
I was introduced to Movement Exchange as an undergraduate student when I was at Indiana university which am still there! So I got involved as a volunteer and then I started providing different types of admin services here and there, just stayed involved for a several years and they were looking for a new executive director and I felt like the right time! So Movement Exchange has been a part of my life now for 6 years going on 7 years.Now my favourite part about my job being in the admin side now, that I get to have those conversations with all these different people and I recognise my self, that young collage student or that dancer who is just starting to realise that dance is so much more than just a studio.
What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?
Am passionate about getting to watch people both explore their own abilities to engage in their communities through dance. I love getting to see how our students in our other programs are able to experience and become more creative, more expressive individuals through dance and see how dance changes their lives, that is what drives me everyday, being able to work with an organisation that really believe that dance can make a difference and that dance is important, and I feel more like a dancer now than I ever did when I was in the studio every single day! Because I understand what dance does and I understand why dance is important and why we need to keep advocating for it and that is why I love doing what I do!!!
How do you see MTW and your organization collaborating?
I think it’s really neat to see the way that you are teaching students to be global citizens, you have a lot of activities that emphasis on movement , I know that your founders have a background in dance and that is where they came from so it’s not surprising that so many of your activities involves creativity, involves art , involves movement, so there is a very similar philosophy that both of our organisation have in terms of what it means to be a global citizen and what are the different ways we can cultivate that with the youth? To me it’s really where I see our organisation overlapping, who knows what that will look like in the future!!!
Any advice for the youth My advice is to find what you are passionate about and use that to make a difference, if you like to dance think about how you can make a difference through dance, if you like to cook how can you make a difference through cooking, if you love creative art, if you love football, singing etc, think about what you are passionate about! You don’t need to become somebody different to make a difference. We all think that change happens when you have to be someone working for the UN or become a politician, maybe that isn’t what you want to do but also just do what you love and be passionate about it and share that with other people and I think you will find that you will be able to make a difference, because you are being true to yourself and you know there is something special about everything that we do!!!.
To be a global citizen means to understand what happens around you and outside your immediate environment to a much wider global context. It means understanding the issues that affect you and others in different areas as well as thinking of solutions that helps address challenges in your community and other communities
Which of the SDGs are you passionate about?
Goal 4(Quality Education) & 5(Gender Equality) impacts me the most and I am passionate about goal 3(Good Health & Wellbeing)
How did you get involved with your organisation?
I was curious to learn and understand how babies are formed and find solutions to the mysterious death of women and children at birth. That was the beginning of my entry career – working on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights, Maternal Health and other related issues.
What makes you passionate about what you do with your organisation?
The fact that I get to change the lives of people directly in different communities everyday.
How do you see MTW and your organisation collaborating?
We work with many young people through AfriYAN Ghana on different youth development issues, Move the World is a great partner to leverage youth voices and build capacities for great development outcomes in different areas across Ghana.
Being a global citizen means that a person is aware of things that are happening, not only within their locality, but also beyond. It is about understanding events and happenings across the globe. A global citizen, armed with this knowledge, advances towards creating linkages with other like-minded persons in the world and make strides towards achieving equality and fairness in the world.
2. in regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most? Which one are you passionate about?
I feel highly impacted on by SDGs 1,2,3,4,5,9,10,11 and 17. If I had to choose only one that I am passionate about, I would have to go with SDG 4 – ‘’Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’’. This is primarily because, I believe, with quality education availed to all persons across the globe, then the literate masses can sufficiently strategize and mobilize for achievement of other SDGs within their communities. A literate people can for instance achieve health literacy which would in turn advance SDGs 3, 6 & 7. A literate community would also through invention and innovation work towards achieving SDGs 1, 2, 8 & 9!
3. How did you get involved with your organization?
I first joined Miss Koch Kenya, an organization that focuses on empowerment of youths and young people living in urban informal settlements, as a general volunteer in 2016. I was engaged in implementation of several projects in the areas of Talent and Entrepreneurship, Education and mentorship and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. I took an interest in the Education and Mentorship program and was recruited as a mentor, tasked with supporting learners aged 9 – 12 years in literacy, numeracy and soft skills. This three-year intervention saw 98% of the learners in the informal settlement transition to secondary school. My personal input saw me quickly appointed Center Leader and thereafter absorbed into the organization as a member of staff.
4. What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?
I joined Miss Koch Kenya as a Data Collection and Management Officer, the position in time metamorphosed into Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer. Prior to joining MKK, I worked as a research assistant with various organizations, this meant that while interacting with people in the cause of qualitative and quantitative data collection, I would encounter issues that went beyond the scope of the study and I could do nothing about except listen and move on, currently, I can create better tools in project monitoring that can better give insights into what actually happens within communities, tell stories of impact as opposed to simply reporting on outcomes. The beauty of my job is that I get to piece together reports from individual community workers and make one impactful report as well as follow through the growth and development of each beneficiary. I also get to meet the community during project monitoring and impact assessments, the joy and appreciation on each individual, the behavioral change or increase in income within households or the sheer delight of a learner when they improve in academics or co-curricular activities, lets me know that my efforts and input were not in vain. This fuels my passion to new heights.
5. How do you see Move the World and your organization collaborating?
Miss Koch Kenya has built a reputation within the community it serves since 2001 as a youth serving organization. Over the years, Miss Koch Kenya has implemented various interventions geared towards bettering the lives of persons living in informal settlements of Nairobi and rural settings in Kenya.
Global citizenship is primarily an agenda best driven through the youth and children who in time will take leadership and residence in this world. Miss Koch Kenya has positioned itself as a perfect tool to help advance this agenda, both in urban and rural areas. This is possible through the technical and financial support of other organisations and possible collaboration with Move the World.
For me you brought a basic concept, Teaspoons of Change is not a program or organisation or whatever, it is a concept. The essential thing is, how do we connect our actions with impact. Teaspoons of change is about turning off light switches, using less plastics, checking up with your friends, being a good person and really it’s about knowing that your actions have impacts and connecting to them.
So when you turn off a light switch, you are not turning off a light switch because you are saving the world, you are turning off a light switch because, you are connecting your behaviours, attitudes, habits and these sort of things into ‘I am turning this off because I know it’s about saving electricity which uses fossil fuels, not exactly in that kind of ways’. In the [most] simplest kind of way is that, I take action or I make good choices or good decisions and take good actions that have good impact and believe that that fits into a collective context using the global goals, and so if I do that and other people do that then big change is possible.
“So [the] really important thing is that small actions multiplied by lots of people equals big change”
Question: How does what you do fit into being a global citizen concept
So I don’t put the burden of the world on individual shoulders. The thing for me is not to overwhelm people. So Teaspoons of Change is a very friendly, easy way to connect to knowing that we are one person of 7 and a half billion people in the world, and without a moral bashing or guilt trip or without asking people to save the world. I always call teaspoons of change as kind of like a welcome mat to global citizenship. If you can work out which of your actions have positive impact, then hopefully you will celebrate them and do more of them, more often.
So the first question I ask everyone is, are you a global citizen? and in order to answer that question you have to have your own personal definition of what that means. I am very not prescriptive of what a global citizen is, and you should do this and this and this and it’s more like what does it look like to you. So it can be more of I help carry the water for my family to go and wash the clothes by the river. All that adding the context of those things, being a good person and how that fits into a family, and a community, and a country, and as a globe. So global citizenship is really essential but I never start with, okay he is a global citizen, you should go and do that.
The last thing I want is for everyone to go and work for UNICEF or the UN. I want people to do what they want to do, to be hairdressers, or farmers, footballers, musicians, lawyers or whatever it is. All of us can go and do it as long as we look at the world with 360 degrees and that for me is much more important than I need to be a good person and be like I want to do this job and go and do it and hate it. But follow your passions and your interest in the things you care about, but do knowing we live on one planet, one finite planet and that we are one of 7 plus billion people in the world.
Question: So what brought about the idea of teaspoons of change
It comes from polio eradication, so when you are talking about drops in the ocean, that’s where it came for me, I was working in the UN, Gates foundation, WHO and other organisations. When it comes to polio eradication, I am not a doctor but works with communication and one of my colleagues is from Ghana. I was working in Uganda, South Sudan, Pakistan, India and some other places.
With polio, the vaccine, prevention is two drops, and what I learnt was in 1988 there were 350000 cases of polio in the world, in 125 countries. 30 years later in 2008 there were 33 cases in just two countries for the whole world for the whole year. The way we did that was two drops, two drops, two drops, two drops, billions of times over to eradicate the second killer disease after small pox. So that was from 2012-2014 around that time and I have been working in global citizen and climate change and blah blah blah and was always trying to fight with big change and I’m like yeah, we need this big change.
So after seeing polio eradication, I just felt it comes down to individual choices decisions and actions. And if we all make good choices, decision and actions collectively we can do amazing things. “It’s not that people don’t care, it’s that they don’t believe their actions matter. That’s the little area I wanted to fill, is for people to feel like their actions do matter”. One of the hardest things is that change is invisible, so the plastic water bottle that I don’t use, I can’t see, the plastic straw that I don’t use, is invisible you can’t see it. So creating change is really [really] difficult because at that moment and at that time we can’t see the impact that it is creating. I have lived in Africa and central Asia and other parts of the world, I haven’t bought one plastic bottle for more than eight years. I can’t see the number of plastic bottles I didn’t use but I know that I am responsible for zero plastic water bottles at least for me as one individual. That’s why I created a concept of Teaspoons of Change to try and put a name to the small actions we make that feel tiny and insignificant to try and make them like, yeah I did do this and did do that so that I know that though it is small it does fit into that bigger change.
Question: How do you think MTW can incorporate the teaspoons of change concept.
I am a teacher by trade and have been an educator for over 20 years and I love working with young people, and so, I think what I found in my personal sort of experience is never telling people what to do, so what I try to do is make it fun and engaging, and the people that I am trying to reach aren’t the ones who already care, they already care and are motivated and it is wonderful to work with them, my target audience are the people who don’t know and don’t care. Therefore, I try to use Teaspoons of Change as a contextualization tool, when you do this, it has a positive impact. When you use less hot water, when you have a shorter shower, when you check in with your friends to make sure that they are doing okay, maybe you are helping the older people in your community.
So it is adding context to these small things. I have been to Liberia, I haven’t been to Ghana but, in West Africa and lots of places I go, there are already so many people doing good things that we don’t have to look at Malala, Gretha and these other people in these other places. In every community in the world, especially in many communities I have lived in Africa, there are so many good people. The person who is very community minded, they are the true global citizens, so they don’t travel around the world or speak five languages, maybe they do, maybe they don’t; but that they care about other people and themselves and the environment. The other thing for me, I do a lot of work in China as well, it’s like, look at your grandparents and the way they live and it’s a very self-sufficient and sustainable model, and if we start to learn from those practices, half the time we can teach the older generations why these things are important. So I look for opportunities to really celebrate the things that people are doing and starting at that point and once we start at that point, then we can think of fun and interesting ways to keep them engaged.
My second question is, what does it mean to be an active and effective global citizen, and that is infinite, so not using plastics is a great place to start but is a terrible place to stop. So the picture becomes more active and effective by making sure we are doing some of the small things when we can and as often as we can and enjoying it along the way, that for me is about facilitating that process.
What I like about MTW is that it is engaging, it is fun, it is a growth mindset and these sort of things. Basically I try and trick people into doing good things without them knowing it.
Question: Which of the SDGs resonates with you so much
My favourite is global goal number 12 (responsible production and consumption) because I think if we shift our idea of being, you know quantity of life, if we shift it to quality of life and we have less stuff I think we are going to be happier and healthier for the planet, so for me that is really important. For me I have a self-sufficient tiny house off the grid, I have got solar panels, rain water like many of the houses in Africa and in place I have lived. So this is one of my happiest, I don’t want a big house I don’t want lots of stuff, I am happiest when I can have chat, have some Wi-Fi, connect with people, go for a walk stuff like that.
My least favourite is decent work and economic growth. I am not a fan of economic growth, I think it creates inequalities and I think it creates lots of planetary problems in the wrong way. There are examples of restorative, regenerative economies which are okay but instead of me throwing stones at it, we need to redefine what does that look like.
One other key thing is to find good people doing good things and so every young person can find someone who is good who is doing good things that they aspire towards, learn from them, ask them questions and keep trying to[be] persuasive like yeah today I am going to wake up and see if I can make the world a better place, at least in the tiny little way.
A global citizen is anyone who understands the bigger world and is always curious about his or her place in it.
In regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most/or which one are you most passionate about?
Actually I’m passionate about 2 of them. SDG 3, which focuses on health and SDG 4 which focuses on education. I’m always excited when I see people living their lives to the fullest irrespective of where they find themselves. So I ask myself, how do we achieve this? By educating people on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and for those who have challenges with their health, lifestyle modifications they need to make to enable them to live healthier lives. And I don’t mean just physical health. Emotional and social well being too!
How did you get involved with your organization?
I joined the World Merit Team a few years ago during my housemanship in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. These were a group of people that were ready to help the world around them in any possible way they could. The effect of such noble intentions were inspiring.
What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?
Giving back to the society. Joining forces to be a source of hope to another is fulfilling.
How do you see MTW and your organization collaborating?
I got to know about Move The World in the course of my work with World Merit Ghana 4 years ago; then the group identified themselves as ‘Awareness through Dance’. It was a night of multicultural learning. Their eagerness and willingness to connect and explore ways both parties could be beneficial to our community was admirable. Move The World and World Merit Ghana has collaborated in the past and I believe we can do it again.
Caroline Shumba is a Zimbabwean advocate and an active youth leader in her community. She is the Provincial Representative for Marvel Act Youth Organization in Zimbabwe (MayaZim) where she serves in various initiatives since 2015.
What does it mean to be a global citizen?
Being a global citizen means you are conscious and aware about universal events and you have an understanding of how what happens in one geographical location can affect events in another such as global warming; Africa has the lowest emission rate but it is also affected by climate change. It also means you know your place in the world, that is taking the responsibility to positively impact communities. Taking active roles in making a difference to humanity, enhancing sustainability.
In regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most? Which one are you passionate about?
Wow, l have to say if an issue made it to the 17 sustainable development goals set, then it sure is immense and impacts any global citizen significantly. I am more passionate about youth empowerment so l will have to say goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) for it is a solution and achievement of other goals. For example, goals 1 (No Poverty) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
How did you get involved with your organization?
Its a vision that falls on my passion. I have always had a thing for making a difference and MAYOZim gave me the opportunity to impact humanity. I just found myself playing an active role in organising and conducting some of the activities the organization implements I simply found my purpose in the mandate of Marvel Act Youth Organization Zimbabwe (MAYOZim).
What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?
People. I have a passion for humanity and just knowing that whatever we do will make a difference to someone keeps me going, nomatter how small a difference… after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day right.
How do you see Move the World and your organization collaborating?
SDG 17 huh! Lol The mandate of Marvel Act Youth Organization includes developing youth leadership and covers a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is inline with what Move the World is also thriving for. A collaboration of these Move the World and MAYO will see leadership skills development in young people as well as a change in humanity through young people. Our mission and programmes designed to Move the World.
Free yourself, think positive and get rid of all those false thoughts. You create your own prison with your thoughts. How then can we pull down our prison walls and set ourselves free? How can we use memories and thoughts intelligently without being trapped by them?
Actions inspired by true awareness will no longer be driven by fears, angers, anxieties or stress. Even in the face of great difficulties, instead of dwelling in a state of bitterness or self-pity, full awareness will give us the ability to focus on choices that bring happiness to us as well as to others. And that is the taste of true freedom.
As a volunteer, young advocate, young reporter or concerned citizen, I know that we are passionate about making the world a better place for everyone. Many of us are probably already taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to protect our well being as well as others.
When there is true awareness, mental walls will slowly break down, instead of being limited by our conditioned way of thinking, we will live life spontaneously and act according to the needs of each moment, living in the now rather than living in the past or future.