Youth For Change at One Young World

One Young World brings together young leaders from 196 countries who have committed to drive positive change in their communities. Youth For Change Tanzania team member Petrider attended the summit – she shares her thoughts.

My One Young World journey began when I became a Scholar for the OPEC Fund for International Development. As a resident of a developing country, I was sponsored to share the work I do towards ending gender-based violence and given a center stage to be heard as the flag bearer and the only representative from The United Republic of Tanzania, I also represented Youth For Change Tanzania and our work in the community to drive positive change for young girls and women.

Having attended the interactive session to educate and empower young people to eliminate domestic violence worldwide, led by Carole Stone, One Young World Counselor and Patron of the Global Foundation for Elimination of Domestic Violence (GFEDV), I got to share the my story and the situation of domestic violence in Tanzania. 

One of the key moments was the opening ceremony when The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - a feminist ideal leader that I look up - called on young delegates to "create a future that we will all be proud of" as he opened the seventh annual One Young World Summit at a spectacular ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, seat of Canada's Government.

Emma Watson, actor, Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and champion of the HeForShe Campaign, revealed she has suffered a ‘series of threats’ and ‘a baptism of fire’ after becoming a gender equality activist but refused to give up the fight. This literally highlighted the risks we activist always face when standing up to our communities - due to the passion to fight for creating a better environment for girls and women we see past through that.

One key message that I will take with me was from Counsellors like former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan - ‘Young people you are the now generation do not let us down’

Being able to attend the One Young World Summit enabled me to learn so much from so many different young leaders. The Summit was one of a kind experience where you meet a diverse number of young people, yet all interact and do things as a team. Even though there was a low representation from African countries, I foresee more and more representation in the future as it takes learning to know how to solve the world’s pressing issues.

My goal is to work for girls’ rights until gender equality is reached. As ambitious as it may sound, gender-based violence can be ended! It may take baby steps, but with collective common vision this can be achieved.

It’s a great sign that leaders took their time and effort to show us how it is possible to have the summit. They did not just bring together 1,300 delegates from all 196 UN-recognised countries, but they empowered us to learn from our fellow young people and make lasting connections to create positive change.

This all started thanks to David Jones and Kate Robertson who founded One Young World in 2009, and the amazing team who organize the annual summit!

Find out more about One Young World here.

Follow Petrider on Twitter at @PetriderPaul.