By: Elizabeth DiEmanuele
This August, 13 McMaster students will be attending African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC), happening in Accra, Ghana as part of the efforts by Empowerment Squared and the Youth Bridge Foundation to increase cooperation among African youth and the global diaspora. Entering its tenth year, this conference is an opportunity to harness the power of young Africans and inspire a new generation of leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to interrogate issues that are relevant to youth development and well-being in Africa while alsofostering global connections that can help shape their future careers.
For McMaster delegates fundraising to attend the conference, AYGC is an opportunity to contextualize their university learning. As Nicole Agyei-Odame, one of McMaster’s representatives seeking sponsorship and new Social Sciences graduate, shares:
“The AYGC is important to me not only as a student but as a Ghanian-Canadian young adult. As a sociology graduate at McMaster University, I have come to understand the many ways as to why people do the things they do in order for society to function… As I continue my academic journey to complete my Masters of Immigration Settlement, I hope to use this experience to guide my own research and inform others about how important African youth are to Africa and the diaspora.”
“The hands on experiences this conference will bring, will not only benefit myself and my fellow delegates in our future careers, but ensures that sustainable and transferable skills accompany us as we return to Canada,” Sonia Igboanugo adds.
Recognizing that McMaster students make up 13 of the 17 Ontario delegates attending and that the majority of these delegates are women seeking leadership opportunities, the Student Success Centre has partnered with Empowerment Squared to help fundraise the trip.
“We are invested in connecting students with global experience and learning opportunities. The African Youth and Governance Conference is an opportunity for our students to engage in McMaster University’s vision of dynamic leadership, which includes vocalizing our values and contributing towards a brighter future,” says Gina Robinson, Director of the Student Success Centre. “This opportunity to build our youth capital and influence global policy makers simply cannot be missed. If everyone contributes a little we can all be part of this positive change.”
On June 20, 2018, McMaster University will host a film screening of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a film about the Liberian women who came together in peaceful protest to end the civil war in their country. This film celebrates the power of women to inspire change. The screening will take place on June 20, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in MDCL 1110. Light refreshments will be included. Register for this free event.
As Leo Johnson, Executive Director of Empowerment Squared and McMaster alum, shares, “There can be no better place to begin this form of engagement. McMaster’s progressiveness under the leadership of Patrick Deane is the perfect catalyst for extending the University’s commitment to experiential learning to the African continent through the conference. For Empowerment Squared, it is about educating the next generation of leaders for a world increasingly characterized by global implications in all aspects of our society.”
Those who attend the screening will have an opportunity to connect with McMaster’s delegates planning to attend AYGC and learn more about how they can support their mission to attend AYGC. Delegates include: Gabriela Roberts, Andrea Gyamfi, Noroh Dakim, Toyemi Opeoluwa-Calebs, Olamide Egbewumi, Yosi Ladipo, Foluso Ogunjimi, Sonia Igboanugo, Hameda Nyamekye, Nicole Agyei-Odame, Cherechi Emenogu, Marian Ali and former President of the McMaster Students Union, Chukky Ibe.
For those who cannot attend the screening, but are interested in supporting the trip, The Ontario Delegation is seeking to raise $34,420 by Friday, July 6, 2018. They have already raised $15,000 to support this mission. All funds donated towards this initiative will be received by Canadian charity Empowerment Squared (#806582896RR0001). A full tax receipt for donations will be provided. For more information, visit the GoFundMe page.
For more information about Empowerment Squared, visit the website.