On the last day of the Youth Global Forum 2018, participants got the chance to finally visit the stunning centre of Paris, before heading off to the impressive venue of the closing ceremony. The day started early, transporting our future young leaders as well as some of the coordinators to the heart of the city. Benjamin, a local guide, drove with us and explained us highly interesting details on cultural sights, just as the Louvre, the Moulin Rouge, the Invalides Castle or the Eiffel Tower. Strengthened by a delicious lunch near the famous arch of triumph, we returned finally to the hotel – just before heading off the most expected event of the whole Forum.
The Closing Ceremony, accompanied by a classy dinner, took place in a stunning old monastery located in the outskirts of Paris. After a warm welcome by funky organ music and glasses of Champaign, followed by an extensive photo session, Mr Mohammad Shaheed took the word and opened the ceremony formally by welcoming all participants. He thanked Ms Julia Kinash and Youth Time for establishing this unique platform and encouraged the young leaders to further invest in this network, speaking from his own experience as an ambassador. Afterwards, Mr Jimmy Gani, IPMI Business School (Indonesia), spoke to the excited participants: “I see a lot of young bright minds, which have the potential to be winners, who will make an impact on each of their environments, in which they are living”, he stated, pointing out the success of last year’s winning project.
Subsequently, Mr Vladimir Yakunin addressed the audience. He encouraged them to get further engaged in their passion: “Time is running so fast. You do not have the opportunity to leave something for another day, or for another month, or maybe for another year. Because it’s like water: it is not possible to enter the same river twice. So save your time.” He addressed the rising wars and unrest that are changing the world’s face now more than during the last 50 years. Additionally, the president of Youth Time International Movement, Ms Julia Kinash, told the participants to not “be afraid to share your knowledge or make mistakes, because the greatest people in history failed many times” whilst achieving their goal.
Finally, the evening reached its most exciting part: the awarding ceremony. Professionally moderated by Mr Shaheed, the third prize, a 6-month internship with IYSERT Energy Research India, the world’s largest power solutions company, was awarded to Mr Samuel Afadu (Ghana). His project “Light My World” aims at providing a better and safer alternative source of light for families living in Ghanaian communities without electricity. Close to 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live currently without access to electricity. The lack of modern energy services severely limits educational and economic opportunities. Children who find themselves in such off-grid communities and homes cannot study any longer just after sunset. Without proper light, they are compelled to complete their homework with candlelight, kerosene lamps and another inefficient source of light, an additional expense to the impoverished families living in the villages.
The second prize, a fully funded Bachelors/ Master’s Program at IPMI Business School Indonesia was awarded by Mr. Gani to Ms. Nicole Morveli (Peru) for her project named WEEDS A.C. This project considers individuals as the main and most critical factor for creating a positive impact on the economic, social and environmental areas of our community. The goal of WEEDS AC is to evaluate, analyze the context and provide within 6 months the most suitable tools for individuals, universities and enterprises to make them grow as socially responsible leaders. By doing this, economic savings are expected as well as improvements in environmental and social issues in Peru.
Next, an entirely new prize aiming at for-profit projects got introduced, which was created especially for Mr. Jose A. Molinelli Gonzalez (Puerto Rico) and his Urban Hanging Gardens Initiative (UHGI). It was awarded by Mr Vladimir Yakunin and contained a 7500€ investment into the project. The initiative aims at creating a sustainable model of Urban agricultural investment in Puerto Rico, that can rehabilitate abandoned urban spaces after Hurricane Maria. The initiative also seeks to provide local farmers with an inexpensive alternative to produce and sell their products. Furthermore, this project wants to locate farmers near their urban markets.
Finally, the first prize, a supporting 6500€ grant, was awarded by Ms. Kinash to Ms. Shinelle Bayrd (Guyana) for her project called The Wellness Center, raising awareness and providing support for persons dealing with mental health illnesses. It wants to promote the improvement of the overall physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing by involving individuals, families and other stakeholders in mental health promotion, prevention, care and rehabilitation. She especially pointed out at the urgency of the project, since Guyana is the country with the highest suicide rate in the world. In addition to the importance of this project, Ms. Shinelle Bayrd’s detailed, reasoned and structured business plan, based on different business strategies, convinced the jury of the great impact this project will have for Guyana’s future.
Concluding the event, an extraordinary life band rewarded the participants for their hard work of the last days and months. After those days of intense bonding, participants enforced for a last time their new friendships, dancing through the night.
Overall, the Youth Global Forum 2018 was a stunning success, opening the minds of all the motivated participants and connecting them for a lifetime. The only thing left now is to thank the Youthtime International Movement for their continuous efforts fighting national divides and moving the globalized world a big step forward towards a more sustainability!
For more information on the winners, watch the video interviews with Shinelle Bayrd and Jose Molinelli on this website: http://www.orangemagazine.eu/editions/youthglobalforum2018paris/