What were the Top 10 Moments from this year’s YUGA Leadership Summit?
We asked–and you answered!
- The “Regarding Humanity” Workshop led by Lina Srivastava and Linda Raftree. Full of thought-provoking images and ideas, plus hands-on work creating our own campaigns to raise awareness of global issues. (In the photo below, a group is planning to present their “transmedia” strategy!)
- The very talented Talent Show! We brought the house down with our singing, dancing, and bad jokes. The Show was followed immediately by a dance party that lasted late into the night. Thomas, one of our staff members, even taught everyone to salsa. (He’s the one in sunglasses in the photo below.)
- The Child Trafficking Workshop led by Hussainatu and Hassanatu Blake from Focal Point Global. We studied the complicated issue of child trafficking in four different countries–Haiti, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, and the United States–and then presented our policy recommendations to a panel of our peers. “How will you pay for it?” our fellow YUGA members asked. “How will it be sustainable?” they demanded. Check out more photos of the workshop here!
- Indian Dance. It started with creating symmetrical henna designs with a partner. Then we learned about different cultural traditions across India and we finished by creating our own dances that told stories through movement and music. Beautiful!(Special credit to Emily H., one of our participants, for this fabulous photograph of our instructor, Shanthi Muthi, taken while she was demonstrating a form of classical Indian dance.)
- Meeting people from all around the world. This is one of the most important parts of the Summit. From big group icebreakers led by our youth representatives from Haiti and Sierra Leone, to our small get-to-know-you games played in our Family Groups, we made the most of the diverse, fun-loving, and curious community of teens at the Summit. We learned so much from each other in only five days–and in as many languages!
- Youth Presentations. Listening to our friends present their work advocating in their home countries was incredibly inspirational. A whole delegation had just participated in a Youth Takeover of the United Nations for #MalalaDay, and they were full of information. Youth from Germany, Haiti, Indonesia, Norway, and Sierra Leone all shared their “lessons learned” from their campaigns–and together, we developed as activists.
- Girl Rising Red Carpet Screening. We screened the movie Girl Rising–a movie that Plan International USA has been a big part of! The screening was complete with red carpet and paparazzi, plus popcorn and other movie theater treats. (Want to watch it, too? Find out where you can see the movie and screen it in your own community.)
- The Diversity and Equality Workshop led by Laurie Jo Wallace from Health Resources in Action. We learned about the different types of oppression that occur in our society, then got together to plan ways to combat the resulting inequality. We also talked about all of the types of diversity present in our group and all the different “-isms” that affect us–from sexism to racism, as well as ageism, adultism, and ableism.
- Air conditioning. Okay, so this sounds silly, but while we were at Roger Williams University, it was one of the hottest weeks in Rhode Island’s summer. We kept cool in the beautiful air-conditioned Global Heritage Hall, as well as the Commons Dining Hall and our dormitory. It made a big difference! (And the food in the Dining Hall was delicious!)
- Many multilingual moments. At the Summit, we had many different languages being spoken, and sometimes our participants didn’t share a common language. However, we just found other ways to communicate: through smiles and laughter, through dance and music, and much more. One example: Riddy, one of our participants from Haiti, was taking the swim test but couldn’t understand the directions from the life guard, which were in English. Bethany, one of our American participants, hopped in to swim it with him, so he could copy her. That’s the kind of compassionate teamwork that we practiced at the Summit.