Twenty-one young people from different institutions, nationalities, and backgrounds were on Sunday 11th July, 2021 out-doored following their completion of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Youth Leaders Fellowship program, which seeks to continuously empower young people to pursue their dreams through mentorship.
The twenty-one young people constitute the Second Cohort of the Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellowship who were integrated into UNFPA Ghana Country Office on the 6th of January 2021 under the leadership of UNFPA Ghana Country Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape to be trained to acquire skills and innovation in leadership from diverse areas, and the opportunity to work with the United Nations through its Agencies.
The young people were made up of 14 females and 7 males, an increment from the first who were 16.
The Second Cohort of the YoLe were challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic just three months into the fellowship, but they exhibited the quality of resilience and continued to implement their scheduled activities.
Fellows were equipped with knowledge in Sexual Reproductive Health and Right information, knowledge in Professional Development, and Skills in Innovation including coding, photography, video editing, human-centered design, among others in which some were conducted virtually.
As part of the COVID-19 response, the Second Cohort Fellows held a door-to-door outreach to give a helping hand to the vulnerable.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres’ 2020 message for young people which said “The world needs young people to keep speaking out, keep thinking big, keep pushing boundaries, and keep up the pressure” seemed to have had a positive effect on these young people as they conducted more than 15 outreaches.
They worked diligently to accelerate the Three Transformative Goals:
• Zero maternal death
• Zero unmet need for family and
• Zero incidences of sexual and gender-based violence.
They also supported the UN communication working group during the visit of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed’s visit to Ghana, and the UN @75 anniversary launch among other significant events.
The Second Cohort Fellows were indeed the COVID-19 Heroes as they worked together to promote the mandate of UNFPA.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Fellowship program provides a platform for professional skills building, innovation, and leadership among some selected graduates from tertiary institutions in Ghana.
The Program is in line with the United Nations’ Youth Strategy which calls on all UN agencies to “increase impact and expand global, regional and country-level action to address the needs, build the agency, and advance the rights of young people in all their diversity”.
The initiative was introduced to primarily create opportunities within UNFPA Ghana for innovation, policy development for programmes, and for management.
The Youth Leaders fellowship is a year-long program designed to address the needs and build the agency of young people, as well as UNFPA’s mission of delivering a world where every young person’s potential is fulfilled. It also provides them with opportunities for professional development and training in driving health-innovations.