Last month, 12 of the newly elected UK Young Ambassadors met in Malvern for a four day induction. It is the first time in UKYA history that all the UK Young Ambassadors have been inducted together. There are three different UK Young Ambassadors roles: the British Youth Council’s representatives for European Youth Forum and Commonwealth Youth Council and the UK Young Ambassadors for Europe (specifically working on Structured Dialogue).
Over 2014-2015, all the UK Young Ambassadors will be working on the theme of Youth Empowerment specifically access to youth rights and political participation. They will be campaigning, consulting young people, advocating and representing UK young people’s voice at international decision making forums.
The induction involved training on international decision making, youth rights, what it means to be a good representative, communication as well as outdoor activities and action planning for the year ahead.
Here Ariane Takyi one of the UK Young Ambassadors for England talks about her experience:
Being new to this way of empowering young people I thought I would be overwhelmed and left behind. At the induction we went over our aims as UK Young Ambassadors and our themes for our term which are young people’s access to rights and young people’s political participation through interactive sessions with enthusiastic BYC staff!
At first I was confused with all the various complex acronyms and terms – but I quickly found out that others were in the same boat! The ‘Jargon Buster’ was there for us to write down any acronyms or terms we were confused by. This was definitely a great system for a newbie, to youth politics like myself, to get familiar with the masses of acronyms used in the UKYA and BYC. All my worries were put at ease by the friendly staff and the other young representatives.
The induction was an amazing experience. Based at an outdoor activity centre, we did some team bonding activities including guiding each other around an intense obstacle course (which I fell over on the tires, thanks to my guide – Leon Ward Commonwealth representative). I felt I gained not only knowledge but the opportunity to meet like minded young people. Young people who truly want to make a change to how our generation is viewed and listened to. I learned a lot, being new to youth politics in general. The BYC staff made everything clear in a concise and interactive way from the start.
Me and two UKYAs have now put ourselves forward to attend the EU Youth Conference in Rome, Italy to present the UK’s standpoint on youth rights. Throughout our term, we will hold several consultation activities to consult with both young people and decision makers to fully understand the issues at hand. I really look forward to my term and I’m sure the others are too!
All the UK Young Ambassadors are now working on their action plans for the year including preparations for the European Youth Forum COMEM (bi-annual meeting) and the first phase of the Structured Dialogue cycle researching access to youth rights by delivering roundtable with experts and young people across the UK. All their work will be posted here on the UKYA website!
You can see photos from the UKYA Induction pictures.