I have always been passionate about advocacy and activism in order to bring about much-needed social change in the lives of people and communities in Ghana. This was born out of observing social injustices and wrongdoings while growing up. With a zeal for seeing change, I started advocating for special needs students when I was in basic school through poetry recitals and drama before transitioning into SRH, Tax Justice and Education.

I am part of youth activists from across the world meeting in Bangladesh for the Activista youth forum and training from 15th May – 27th May 2016 . One of my aims for joining this training and forum is to advance work on launching Activista Ghana.

This particular training focuses on 2 of the 5 new youth principles

  • Principle 1: Reaching out to strategic alliances with progressive youth movements
  • Principle 2: Activista will become a connector and trend spotter

It is no surprise that the forum set off with introductions, in attendance are people from Uganda, UK, Nepal,Sierra Leone, India, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Senegal, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Philippines, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Palestine, Bangladesh and The Gambia.

The training captured the expectations and worries among participants and facilitators from onset. The world market style session used brought about country level reflections on Activista’s achievements, mainly how Activista reaped success in the face of adversity on several occasions. I am inspired to work with youth to launch Activista Ghana this year.

Many stories stood out for me but the ones that I captured are stories from Myanmar to Zambia during some sessions, stories of running successful campaigns with zero budget within the country and supporting other countries. This session ended with  what Activista is doing and hopes for the future on its campaign issues such as Tax Justice, Safe Cities Campaign, Education Rights and Women in Leadership.

The outcomes of discussions during sessions underscored the fact that, Activista is an international movement led by young people working on sociopolitical and economic issues. It was agreed that, challenges such as negative identity tags, lack of funding, no access to political voice and difficulty in youth mobilization were common across Activistas globally despite the availability of creative youth from diverse backgrounds, networking opportunities, room for capacity building and the exchange of ideas and experiences for Activista.

I look forward to discussing in-depth, the two youth principles highlighted above to build Activista Ghana and to advance Activista’s development.

Activista is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all, every young person who ActionAid engages or works with around the world who aspires to end poverty and injustice and who wants to be an active member of a movement creating social change can be an Activista.

Twitter : @valormann