How we participated in the Global Youth Summit thanks to DofE

How we participated in the Global Youth Summit thanks to DofE

From Friday 23 April to Sunday 26 April, the Global Youth Summit took place to devise solutions to the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change on the lives of young people around the world and to actively engage with peers around the world, governments and policy makers. They are united by their ambition to change the world we live in, to prepare young people for the future and to intensively support and develop their communities. And how do they evaluate their participation in the Summit?

Adam Škvor, Gymnázium Evolution

A new world opened up before me. A world of young people trying to make the world a better place, solving world problems of all kinds and wanting to spread their experience to others.  

It is almost impossible to summarise the whole summit in a few lines, but I will try. Seize all the opportunities life has to offer. You never know where each path will take you. You still don't know what life path you will take, but would you like to choose it? It doesn't matter. The key to a successful life is not to have a precise plan, just do what you enjoy and find fulfilling. Your career will present itself to you. Get better at your "soft skills" (communication, listening, leadership...), we are slowly losing these skills, but they will be the key skills of the future. The world is facing several problems that have been started or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Create a project (either alone or in a team) to solve a problem that has been caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. You can apply for a grant here in the amount of $500 - $5,000. 

I would never have believed that I would get to attend such an inspiring global summit thanks to DofE. I think it confirms that if you embrace all the opportunities that surround you, some will take you much further than you would initially expect. Thank you to the whole DofE team.

Amálie Papoušková, Gymnázium Vysoké Mýto

My name is Ami and I'm seventeen years old. I am studying at a grammar school in Vysoké Mýto and I am currently doing my gold level DofE. Doing the DofE programme helped me a lot in the pandemic because I had set goals. I tried to meet these targets, although I lacked motivation at times, but at least I wasn't bored and had something to do. Thanks to DofE I was able to attend the Global Youth Summit. Even though I was "just" sitting at the computer the whole time, it was one of my best weekends during the pandemic. I really enjoyed the whole programme. Thanks to WHO's collaboration with other youth organisations (YMCA, YWCA, IFRC, WAGGGS, WOSM, DofE), the summit was organised with a very varied programme. The main theme was COVID-19 and youth. During the day, we could choose from the so-called breakout sessions, depending on our interests. We could actively participate in some of the lectures. I was most interested in the topic of exploitation and human trafficking. The lecturers taught us to recognize the signs and how to report such a problem. I also attended lectures on climate change and mental health. 

What did I like most about the summit? Networking sessions with up to 20 participants with whom we discussed the topics discussed together. I met a lot of great, inspiring students. But believe me, discussing in English at two o'clock in the morning wasn't exactly easy for me. Still, the whole weekend was really beneficial. I am still in touch with DofE members from the UK. The summit inspired and motivated me to get involved in various campaigns that raise awareness of global and environmental issues. Thank you DofE for this great opportunity!

Kateřina Nováková, DofE online

The Summit brought me vision and hope. No matter where we live, we face the same challenges. Governments do not hear our voices and underestimate our capabilities. Now is the time to improve the world together. Get involved and help our communities. The world needs us.

Lenka Galatíková, Gymnázium Zlín - Lesní čtvrť

When I got the call from the DofE that I had been selected to represent the Czech Republic and the DofE at the Global Youth Summit in a few days, I was absolutely thrilled. Now it's a few days after the Summit and my excitement for the whole event has at least multiplied tenfold! I have experienced a few student conferences in my life (e.g. the Czech Hope Conference), but this was something else.  To know that young people from all over the world, who have their eyes open and actively want to change their environment for the better, are at the same time watching what you are doing, is just indescribable. 

During the weekend I attended a number of very interesting and inspiring sessions. As I am the leader of the Bear's Foot Holešov Youth Hiking Club, and also an instructor of experiential pedagogy at Tokaheya Ltd, the sessions dedicated to education were of most interest to me. It was amazing to meet scout leaders from Nigeria, Bangladesh or Brazil and to listen to their interesting stories and to find out that even though we are thousands of kilometres apart, we have similar experiences in our troops and we solve similar problems.  

My favorite part of the day was the "Networking Sessions" where we could openly share our feelings about the meetings with the other participants, and also try to figure out together how to put our new knowledge to real use. Even though it was hard for me to keep my attention on Sunday after so many hours spent looking at the screen, I took away a lot of new information from the Summit (to the point where at times I felt like my brain couldn't handle more inspiration). Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a great initiative! 

Martin Mojžíš, Sunny Canadian International School

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Global Youth Summit, an event for young students, during the weekend of April 23-25. This is an event created by DofE, IFRC, WAGGGS, WHO, UN, YMCA and many others that have long provided us with a platform to share experiences and gain inspiration on how to help others around us more. Even though it took me the whole weekend from early morning to late evening to participate, I must enthusiastically say that it was worth it. The summit gave me a new perspective on how to look at the world and gave me hope that the world could be in good hands. After the first few lectures, I was so highly motivated that I decided to become a volunteer for the Czech Red Cross because I want to help those who need our help the most. In this context, I would also like to point out how necessary and important it is not only to take care of each other, but also to take care of our planet through everyday small activities. If you see rubbish lying around on the street, please pick it up and put it in the bin if you can. Not only will the cleaning staff thank us, but also nature and the planet we are leaving behind for our future generations.  

Thanks to the Summit, I discovered many new programs. For example, the Earth Tribe program offers us three challenges that we can meet for our benefit and for the benefit of our planet. You can find a more detailed description on their website. I also got information about the United World Schools programme, which really captivated me. In this programme, any school can become a partner school to help students from third world countries in their studies. All the lectures were followed by, among other things, introductory meetings where the participants could get to know each other and share their experiences and ideas. Through this, I met many wonderful students from different parts of the world, such as Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil, etc. Believe me, it was an extraordinary experience that has enriched me immensely for my future life. If you are sorry that you could not make it to the summit, don't despair! All talks will be available soon on the GYMobilization YouTube channel. Once again, I'd like to thank the DofE organisation for a great experience and for the opportunities and challenges they put in front of us.  

Orlando Ramirez, Sunny Canadian International School

The International Summit was a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of other cultures, foreign policy and world issues. It was very interesting to listen to all the so called speakers who came from different organizations such as WHO, UN, EU and many others. These people also came from different backgrounds and places from all over the world. This made each meeting a unique experience. We also had the opportunity to interact with these persons, especially through the Summit's interactive platform. This interactivity was another reason why the meetings were not just a monologue by a professor or a doctor. They gave us the opportunity to be part of the dialogue and the topics, for which I am really grateful. The best part was that all the participants were as interested in the topics as I was. This made the so-called Break Rooms, where participants could interact with each other, very fun and interesting. I made a lot of new friends from all over the world. 

We also had a lot of interesting seminars to choose from. These sessions covered many different topics, from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the future of work and digital activism. In fact, digital activism was one of the sessions that most influenced my perspective on politics. I was always under the impression that digital activism could never mean anything; as a participant in Global Youth Mobilization, I learned that this was not true. There are many changes, even digitally, that we can achieve together. 

 The entire summit was filled with the positive energy of resilient and determined people, all for the benefit of changing the world into a better place for our and future generations. 

Šárka Pospíšilová, Gymnázium Česká Lípa

By attending the Global Youth Summit with a crowd of young people from all over the world who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and are passionate about helping others despite the ongoing pandemic, I was able to look at things from different perspectives to better understand the fundamental problems that contemporary society faces on a daily basis and seek possible solutions. The programme of the event certainly did not disappoint me in terms of content and organisation. Each meeting had something to offer, and managed to captivate me, not only in its overall design, but also in the range of topics - from the absolutely crucial, though often overlooked, mental hygiene, to climate change, to the accessibility of education and electronic devices. During the so-called "networking sessions" I got to know several inspiring people better and actively participated and contributed my views to the friendly discussions. I learned a lot of new information that I will certainly use in the future, either for my personal development, to spread awareness about the impact of coronavirus or to fight against misinformation. I would say that it was a really meaningful weekend that will be a constant reminder to appreciate what I have, as even the seemingly obvious things are not so obvious in reality, especially now that I know how quickly things can change, at any time and without notice.

Tanita Býmová, Gymnázium Matyáše Lercha v Brně

When my professor suggested that I could participate in the WHO youth meeting, I happily agreed. The first thing I welcomed was an online meeting of all the students- we got to know each other a bit and talked about our experiences in online learning. I took a break from the screen on Friday after school and was eager to join in the afternoon for the welcome. Despite slight problems with the audio and video quality, the speeches were interspersed with people from different countries.  Afterwards we were able to choose a variety of topics, sometimes it was a challenge to choose which of the three topics was the most interesting. I took something away from all the talks. And what did I take away the most? Perhaps the knowledge of different accents. I hope to get to more events like this. 

Yuliia Badziuk, Sunny Canadian International School

The event was a truly motivating experience. Seeing so many people unite to discuss the problems brought into our daily lives by the Covid-19 pandemic really showed we are not alone in this difficult situation. The Networking Sessions were my absolute favourite ones – I, too, got to speak up and discuss some important matters with the other members of the audience.  

Personally, I got inspired to try and do some volunteering work once the restrictions are finally taken down I feel like it would be a shame to have listened to how activists from all over the planet are trying to make the world a better place without eventually taking part in it myself. I want to pursue a career in the medical field, so I will consider something connected to healthcare.  

Sometimes you need to hear about seemingly obvious things from a different person to realize their true meaning. What stuck with me the most was when one of the speakers insisted that it is normal to be less productive then usual, that your body and mind are currently undergoing a significant amount of stress and that we should all take a moment and show ourselves some love. As a student that’s about to pass the exams, I found a lot of comfort in that thought. Productive or not, you are loved and valid, and you can make a difference.  

Published: May 16, 2021 Author: Nikola Slováková | Sdílejte článek na: Sdílet