On the 15th of May, 2020, Youth Sustainability Development Conference held a Zoom Webinar ahead of its 2021 conference. The underpin of this webinar was to discuss the plans for the 2021 conference which will present a collaboration between 3 SDG promoting institutions and individuals. The topic was – A collaboration for change: Launch of YSDC 2021 (Pan African Edition).

The host, Chikamso Ononuju started off by asking the guests to introduce themselves. The founder of YSDC, Damilola Balogun, introduced YSDC as an idea that started out as an innovation of students that have been exposed to MUNs’ at different levels and the first edition held in 2019 at Igbobi College with 100 students in attendance. Next, Caroline spoke to the audience about YSDC 2021 conference. She stated that it was during the course of an interview with Madelle that YSDC 2021 conference was birthed. She went further to state that YSDC 2021 is going to be a collaboration between three partners. With regards to specific details, she said that there would be two delegations for each group. The goal according to her, is to have a total of 340 students so, she admonished potential delegates to apply for the conference. She mentioned that the conference which is to span 3-4 days, would provide people an opportunity to network with peers. She added that there would be a career fair and entrepreneurship workshop. On the final day, the best projects would be selected and our aim/projection is to award these projects with $5000 each. She noted that those who are awarded the cash price would be supervised in order to ensure that they bring sustainable development goals to people at the grassroot level in a post-COVID world.

Madelle spoke about the importance of SDG 4. She noted that it pertains to quality and lifelong education stating that it cuts across everything especially the SDGs in their totality. According to her, when acquire an education, you are eligible for employment and this leads to the attainment of Goal 8.

The officers were asked to discuss the goal of YSDC 2021 and the work done so far. Caroline stated that her vision is to assure people (especially young women) that they are not alone. She also intends to help them empower themselves in order to make themselves and their communities stronger.

Madelle on the other hand, spoke from the perspective of human capital. She admonished potential participants/delegates to not just leave the conference when its concluded but to ensure that they impact in their communities sequel to the conference.

On a final note, Chikamso spoke about a team of 16 people working on YSDC 2021. She forged ahead, emphasizing the tentative timeline of events in preparation for the 2021 conference.

June 1st – July 30th 2020 – Applications for the posts of Directors and Deputy Directors.
August 2020 – Interviews and selections
September 2020 – Applications for delegates
November 2020 – Delegates selection
January – June, 2021 – Conference preparation (logistics, travels and trainings)
July 2021 – YSDC Pan African Conference

We would also like to use this medium to apologize for the frustrating, profane, and discriminatory hack during today’s call. The Zoom bomber responsible for this was not affiliated with our organization and does not in any way reflect our views. Our mission is to empower youth by giving them the support of a community that supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and by providing them with the entrepreneurial skills they need to create sustainable progress in their communities. We will not let this Zoom bombing deter us from achieving this mission. Therefore, if you wish to speak with any of us and express your concerns or questions relating to the event or about the Conference, please reach out to us at info@ysdc.org.ng or cpio@ysdc.org.ng.

We look forward to your questions. Stay safe and well, friends! Remember, together we have the power to drive change and create sustainable progress for youth across the globe.

Caroline Rakus-Wojciechowski
Chief Partnership and Innovation Officer