In honor of International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12, 2021 and the YES program hosted an IYD YES Alumni Virtual Discussion and Panel on August 10 from 10-11:30am ET. Started in 1999 by the United Nations, IYD is an opportunity to celebrate and center young people’s voices, initiatives, and contributions to the world.
This year’s IYD theme is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” which aims to highlight the meaningful contributions that young people make in working towards more equitable food systems. The YES Alumni Virtual Discussion and Panel featured three alumni panelists who presented on the theme as it related to their experiences in sustainable agriculture, agribusiness projects, and fighting against climate change. The panelists also engaged YES alumni attendees in conversations about what transforming food systems means and how YES alumni can get involved in creating sustainable solutions.
The YES alumni panelists and participants discussed sustainable agriculture, urban farming, spreading awareness around issues related to food systems, and how youth can become more involved in developing sustainable solutions. After the event, the participants had the opportunity to complete a survey to stay in contact with each other through a shared Whatsapp group. The goal of the Whatsapp group is for the participants to continue the conversation they started at this event and collaborate on future alumni projects together.
Meet the guest speakers:
Neha Sharma (YES 2005-2006, India, placed by PAX in Charlotte, NC) is a Public Relation Manager, Content Writer and a Yoga Trainer. Her diverse profile is an amalgamation of her holistic professional and personal vision of life. Neha loves to read everything and human connections motivate her to take on diverse projects. She is a Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication and currently pursuing Public Relations Corporate Communications from Seneca College, Canada. A decade of work experience includes Gandhi Fellowship, film production and media manager, yoga trainer, online media strategist for promising start-ups and NGOs.
Tasneem Mohamed (YES 2015-2016, Egypt, placed by CIEE in Columbus, Indiana) is 22 years old and an Egyptian biotechnologist. The YES program was a life changing experience for Tasneem and ever since she came back home, she has been blessed with so many opportunities. Tasneem became a first place award winner in presentation skills, a talented baker, an avid traveler, and a huge believer in the power of bringing people together for world peace.
Allieu Christopher Moiwa (YES 2013-2014, Sierra Leone, placed by AFS in Enterprise City, OR) is a graduate in Community Health and Clinical Studies from Njala University, and is currently serving as the Sierra Leone YES Alumni President. Allieu was hosted in a community in the U.S. where agriculture was common; his host brother drove him often to ranches to see agricultural fields. Upon returning to Sierra Leone, Allieu saw and learned about the disconnect between the vast arable land to the number of youths unemployed and unmotivated or unwilling to venture into agriculture. Allieu applied for a YES alumni grant to implement an agribusiness project that helped engage youth, teach, motivate and inspire them to value profitable agricultural ventures.