Again through meeting different people and networking I found the opportunity to become part of the British Council Global Changemakers programme. I submitted my application and video and waited to hear if I had been selected. Luckily I heard back quite soon and was happy to hear I had gotten on to the programme and was away to Brussels for a week for the EU-Africa Youth Summit.
Whilst I was in Brussels I didn't only meet some friends for life - but learn so much about the world and experiences other young people where having internationally. It's so easy to watch things on the news - especially conflict and just brush it aside, but when you meet someone that was there, lived it, breathed it, you can really begin the understand the full scale of something. As you can probably tell my main focus group was on conflict - I was pretty much the odd one out with being from the UK but as I had already visited Northern Ireland several times before as well as learning about the situation here I was able to offer some input.
The project for me was life changing.
As well as discuss our experiences we were given talks and presentations - most notably from Kate Holt the photographer and journalist who has documented conflicts from Somalia to the DRC. We where then trained to think of our own projects; what we could do to make a change in our communities. I was inspired to hear what other people had done - if you would like a small insight as to what these wonderful young people have achieved please have a read of the blogs on the website - click here.
It's sad this programme no longer runs, but I know I have a network of over 800 fellow change makers internationally through it having been run - and surely between us we can make a difference.