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.
1 What does it mean to be a Global Citizen?: It’s heavily built on the concept of awareness. The understanding of what goes on beyond your community and what happens in other jurisdictions and how that informs the way you behave in your local environment. All these come into play and all these is based on educatio, having the heart and caring about the environment and things beyond oneself.
2 In regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most / OR which one are you most passionate about?: Goal 4; Quality Education. In my opinion, all the other goals can be achieved when one is well educated.
3 How did you get involved with your organization?: GIZ is the name of the company and it’s the initials for the German name of the company. It is a German development cooperation which have a lot of ongoing projects worldwide, funded by the German government and Ghana happens to be one of the big beneficiaries and there are about 80 ongoing projects here in Ghana. one can get into the organisation as a worker via a long process of application. I was lucky to be offered a position in the organisation to manage an entrepreneurship programme within the organisation and that’s how I got to be working with them now.
4 What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?: I believe in quality education and entrepreneurship. There has a long of history where people come to Africa and give supporting hands but what they miss is teaching people how to provide for themselves and that’s what I’m really into, helping people to find their potentials and becoming independent.
5 How do you see MTW and your organization collaborating?: Our organisation is a big umbrella with so many different parts and we are more into economic development; skills development and entrepreneurship so I don’t clearly see a connection because MTW is more into youth empowerment which we lack so i think our company should take a look on that side and maybe step down a letting to that aspect. But there are many opportunities for us partnering in terms of projects which will involve funding “for example the mountain hike” we did some time ago. I can create more connection when it comes that aspect of getting my people on board with activities of that kind but there are other many windows where we can have a strong collaboration so we need to keep doing more of open communication to see what can be done together!
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.
Have a read of Hawa’s conversation with Nuhu on his thoughts on the SDG’s and Global Citizenship
My Name is Nuhu Hakeem, I am the communications and research director of Mother of all Nations Foundation.
1. What does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?
A Global Citizen is a member of an international community of change agents who strive to make the world a better place by helping to fix the challenges the world is facing.
2. In regards to the SDGs, which one do you feel impacts you the most / OR which one are you most passionate about?
The SDG that I am most passionate about is the SDG4 which seeks to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. As a volunteer facilitator, I have played a significant role in achieving this goal through various Literacy Project for young learners especially now that schools are indefinitely closed/suspended.
3. How did you get involved with your organization?
Through a video l watched on YouTube which was about a particular project, READCAMP, an off campus Literacy program for kids in undeserved communities which seeks to help improve their reading and writing skills. From there I decided to contact the organisation because their objectives is in consonance with mine.
4. What makes you passionate about what you do within your organization?
Seeing our beneficiaries, especially young learners become a better version of themselves makes me Happy and passionate about rendering my selfless service.
5. How do you see MTW and your organization collaborating?
MTW and MOANF can collaborate and form a synergy because both organisation seeks to address the problems in the society around us. My organisation focuses on helping to achieve SDG 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 8 and 10. So I believe we can come together to develop strategies that are geared towards achieving the UN’s SDGs.
This is a foundation which is set to tackle juvenile crime and violence in Ghana. Its main objective is to prevent Juvenile delinquency and thereby coming up with interventions that will correct and nurture them into becoming a ha person tomorrow.
Mr. Chaucer believes that a global citizen will usually work with others and make sure that the world is a fair and better place for us all to live in. among all the SDGs, he believes that eradication of poverty is paramount since it cuts across all sectors. Once poverty issues are solved, crime, hunger and other vices will reduce drastically.
Mr. Chaucer started JRF as an academic programme in 2013 when he was working on a project that took him to a place in Accra where the juvenile offenders are kept. he built a very cordial relationship with them through arts (drama, dance, music etc.) and also used it as a means of correcting them. This started JRF.
Mr. Chaucer want to see every young man grow up to be a good role model especially those young ones kept in the correctional facilities. His passion is to see that juvenile crime is dead and its facilities closed in Ghana.
He therefore extends his hands to MTW for a possible collaboration since each organization has similar interest in building the capacity of children to be a much better global citizen. He believes that together we can move the world to a better destination.
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.
I work with the youth a lot in my day to day activities. I do a lot of business consulting for them in the area of business registration, the requirements and the processes involved. I also aid them in writing their business plans and proposals. Within a month I am able to consult for 6 young people on the average. Those I speak to informally on a friendly basis are enormous. Youth entrepreneurship has taken a different path in Ghana after the Corona Lockdown. Most young ones has risen to the fact that they need to build something that will last. Most of these young ones are sitting on ground breaking business ideas that need some little guidance and mentoring to make it a reality. Some of these ideas are capable of solve our alarming unemployment challenges should it be materialized.
My expertise as a business set up consultant has opened my eyes and made me realised that goal number 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals is attainable should we take a critical look at youth entrepreneurship. Goal number 8 talks about Decent Work and Economic Growth. For the economy to grow it needs a strong private sector presence that will supplement the government by creating jobs, increasing the employment rate thereby leading to national development. It has been said that it’s better to teach someone how to fish than to always fish for them. Move the World, a non for profit making organisation has join in this campaign through their GetGlobal program where they introduced their students to the Beads Making Activity. This activity was meant to instil in the kids the ability to create business from what they have, develop entrepreneurship skill by learning a skill for themselves.
It gives me great joy to give business support to up and coming entrepreneurs. My team is made up professionals such as lawyers, tax experts and business development experts who are ready to help build small business into magnificent ones. Together let’s create jobs instead of looking for jobs.