Ethiopian Airlines and UNESCO, sponsors young Ethiopian youth, Teshager Amare to the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum

Profile: At only 19, Teshager is a member of Youth Network for Sustainable Development (YNSD) as well as an active member of the Addis Ababa Youth Council. Moreover, he is also an ambassador of Ethiopia in the dance4life international advocacy group Reproductive Health and Youth Empowerment and also the co-founder of the Kidan Readers’ Association, a book club created in 2010 aimed at instilling the culture of reading within the Ethiopian youth. He is currently completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Addis Ababa University, College of Business & Economics, School of Commerce. Passionate about environmental issues, he has organized multiple environment rehabilitation campaigns within and around Addis Ababa and plans do more in the future.

Following his return from the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum which was held from the 25 -28 October 2015, in Paris, France, Teshager had a one-to-one interview with Lucile Denizot, UNESCO intern for the youth Forum.

Lucile: Do you have any special message to Ethiopian airlines and UNESCO, your co-sponsors?

Teshager: I would like to express my deep gratitude to both UNESCO and Ethiopian airlines recognizing that they have given me an opportunity to widen my horizon of viewing things. Moreover, they have opened an international gateway between the youth of Ethiopia and the rest of the world, through supporting me, because I would share whatever I learnt with others on the ground. They are examples of socially responsible organizations and will be exemplary to other organizations, I say thank you & keep up the good work!

Lucile: Why did you feel the need to attend the meeting?

Teshager: The meeting for me was a unique opportunity to share some ideas and experiences I had with regards to individual contributions, especially youth towards a cleaner environment and institutional strategies to collectively combat environmental degradation.

Lucile: You must have had clear expectations before participating in the forum, were your expectations fulfilled, and where there any challenges in letting your voice heard?

Teshager: The forum definitely exceeded my expectations. I would also like to forward my appreciation to the young organizers who made it possible for everyone there to come together from all around the world and make conversation. That was a job well done. I had expected to learn from other youth on their practices and experiences, different from mine, which I did. I did not have a problem of communicating my thoughts as everyone was a good listener as they were speakers too.

Lucile: You attended the Africa capacity-building session on the specific climate changes and peace issues concerning the continent, what are your overall impressions and did you learn anything new?

Teshager: Yes I did learn a lot of things from the Africa Capacity Building Session organized by UNESCO, UNECA and African union Commission. The session was youth led, very interactive as well as informative. The presenters there were very critical of the climate issue and interestingly have come up with feasible solutions for combating climate change. With regards to action, I strongly believe the African minds in that room are exemplary for the rest of the world.

Lucile: How can you use the experience that you got in Paris in the future in Ethiopia?       

Teshager: The thing I learnt most at forum is that it’s now time for action. Many ideas have been proposed at both the individual level and aggregate level for action. My job is to choose the best practices of the rest of the world and introduce them here. We have the potential, we just need direction.

Lucile: Any last words to Ethiopian youth?

 

Teshager: Switch off the TV and start reading, it could be anything – just read! Information is the future. Go out there and engage, your voice, your spirit of volunteerism, your ideas, actions in your community can make a difference.

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