The Commonwealth Roadshows are underway and have been taking place around the UK. These events, which have so far been held in London and Glasgow, run throughout 2018 and are an opportunity for young people to come together to engage in meaningful debate about the challenges and opportunities facing their Commonwealth.
The roadshow, which next takes place in Leicester, is being produced in partnership with Elevation Networks, a youth employment charity that focuses on social action and community engagement initiatives.
Attending the London event at The Royal Overseas League was Aqib Malik from Pakistan who works with the charity World Merit. He said that the event was an “opportunity to meet people from really varied backgrounds across the Commonwealth. It’s so important for us to all work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in all the Commonwealth countries.”
Keynote speaker Geoff Thompson MBE said “I believe in sports and the arts and believe in Commonwealth Youth. You will shape the world you inherit, so dream big and contribute to it with meaningful and sustainable work.”
The London Roadshow took place during the Commonwealth’s Common Ties, an event for youth diaspora from across the 53 member nations to network together. The young people in attendance heard from former world champion athlete and motivational speaker Geoff Thompson MBE, before listening to a range of panelists from The Commonwealth Foundation, The Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, and The Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network.
London panelists Arif Zaman (Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network), Vijay (Commonwealth Foundation), Cat Leggat (UK Youth Climate Coalition) and Tiffany Daniels (Youth Development Practitioner) discussed the role that youth have to play in working towards a more secure, sustainable, prosperous and fair Commonwealth.
Ms Daniels focused on the role young people have in peacebuilding. She said, “Young people are mostly left out of peacebuilding discussions. Yet, we as young people have a key role to play in those processes and Commonwealth Youth are leading the charge for a bigger role in peacebuilding.”
The 40 young people at the Commonwealth Roadshow in Glasgow, which was organised by the Commonwealth Scholar Esomchi Agalamanyi heard from a panel featuring Carol Awuor Ofafa, who is pursuing an MSc Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. She said of the Roadshow that “as a mentor for young girls in STEM and an advocate for the Women in Energy Kenya agenda, I aim to cultivate a culture of self-belief in which everything you set your mind to is possible. The roadshow provides a platform to interact, share ideas and even an opportunity for introspection. The Commonwealth youth are eager to learn from each other and this makes it an opportunity with wealth of knowledge and diversity.”