I built a solar panel for myself in a matter of few hours, how was that possible one will ask. It is because I was given the opportunity, which is a platform, I was given the required knowledge and information, I was given the tools and equipment needed and the space to put it into action. The result was a solar mobile charger. I am proud of myself and excited that I did something once in my life that I never dreamt of building myself, but thanks to Roskilde festival with the dream city project.
We visited the maker space in dream-city at Roskilde Festival and i found one of the workshops was focused on building solar chargers that can charge phones and other items. The process looked like something anyone could do with a little guidance. I sat down and enrolled for a workshop. In a matter of hours, I had a solar charger on my hands, i tested it and it worked.
The Roskilde festival has practically demonstrated to me that, it is possible to do whatever you dream of as well as making what you never dreamt of come through. This is exactly what the African Youth Panel is Advocating and Campaigning for; that our African governments and we as citizens provide the required information, opportunities, tools, equipment and space to give young people the jobs that will make us and Africa grow.
I bring home with me a product from the Roskilde festival that will certainly be an idea that will be shared with my fellow youth who did not get this opportunity like me, but will inspire a youth in solar charger project in our organization that will ultimately be a source of income for some young persons in some rural part of Ghana.
Vera Jawol is a member of the African Youth Panel from Ghana. She works as Program Officer, empowerment for Youth Empowerment for Life, a youth organisation based in Tamale, Ghana
Rising from its steering Committee meetings in Roskilde, Denmark, The African Youth Panel has concluded plans to host a side event at the United Nations General Assembly Special session on the Post 2015.
The side event will provide an opportunity for the panel and its partners to bring to the front burner the issues around youth unemployment on the African Continent.
Speaking after the meetings, The AYP Chairman, Ibrahim Ceesay mentioned that African youth would no longer stand aside as world leaders decide on global goals that will affect every country. He mentioned that the panel is working with youth networks on the continent and partners across the world to bring this dream to fruition.
He particularly mentioned the kind contributions from the Roskilde Festival Society and support from DANIDA that will provide the necessary funding and logistics for the event.
Have you read about the Gold rush several years ago in the United States where hundreds of people moved to specific states in search of gold and a better life? The closest physical representation to this i have seen is the opening of the camping area at Roskilde Festival. Every year, campers arrive, some even days ahead to camp at the gates and wait for its doors to swing wide open. In their thousands and especially in groups, they make a mad-dash in search of a suitable spot to camp. Somewhere strategic, spacious and able to accommodate friends.
It was awesome watching this rush from the sidelines. I will tell the story in pictures below!
Female camper running to find a suitable spot
Male camper pulls his music box ….
Roskilde Festival goer amazed at how fast the camp was filled up!
tent is almost ready….
Once again, as it has been the tradition for 2 previous years, the African Youth Panel arrived the city of Roskilde to take part in the famous Roskilde Festival. Established in 1971, the Roskilde festival has grown to become one of the largest music festivals in the world attracting more than a hundred thousand young people from across Europe and the entire world. Roskilde festival is known for its unique orange stage, several pavilions, its creativity and its legendary support to charities. The African Youth Panel can easily testify to this. In 2010, when the panel was at the edge of collapse after fulfilling its original mandate, the Roskilde Festival provided the much needed ‘life-support’ grant tagged the bridging grant which oxygenated the panel and brought life to the panel’s ideas. The initial grant supported regional forums in Egypt at the middle of the North African uprising and also another in Accra, Ghana among many other things.
AYP Member, Hannington poses by the Orange stage at #RF13
The AYP delegation to Roskilde Festival 2013 includes the following:
- Ibrahim Ceesay, AYP Chairman from The Gambia
- Christian Kam, AYP Central Africa Steering Committee Member from Cameroun
- Robert Nkwangu, AYP Eastern Africa Steering Committee Member from Uganda
- Hannington Seggy, AYP Eastern Africa Steering Committee Member from Uganda
- Rotimi Olawale, AYP Communications Office from Nigeria
- Saba Badi, AYP Member from Ethiopia now living in the Diaspora
- Helder Malauene, Former AYP Chair from Mozambique
- Vera Jawol, AYP Member from Ghana
- Godfrey, Sign Language Interpreter
The panel as part of its week long activities will hold series of meetings, it already has had a successful meeting in Copenhagen with Mr. Ib Petersen, the DANIDA Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will also brainstorm on ideas around its proposed side event at the United Nations around the Post-2015 discussions.
Panel Members are also delighted to take part in many of the festival activities and look forward to an awesome time!
Some AYP Members pose by one of the social messages at the festival
Stories and Pictures by Rotimi Olawale, Communications Officer, African Youth Panel
Chairperson of the African Youth Panel, Ibrahim Ceesay made it to the frontpage of a major Danish Newspaper following an interview granted to highlight the role of the African Youth Panel on the continent and the support it has received from Dannish partners including the Roskilde Festival Society, DANIDA and Dan Church Aid.
Ibrahim Ceesay on the front page of www.dr.dk a news website in Denmark
AYP SC members at the Lunch
It was a sumptuous lunch for members of the panel on Friday July 6, 2012 with Mr. Steen and Marie of the Roskilde Festival Society. The occasion afforded the panelists the opportunity to relice their festival experience, make suggestions for subsequent years and also speak about their passion. the panelists were joined by Thomas Ravn Pederssen, its Senior adviser at the lunch. Shortly after the lunch, selected paenlists spoke to the press about its work on the continent, support from DANIDA and Roskilde Festival Society and its future work on the African continent.
Chairman of the African Youth Person, Ibrahim Ceesay being interviewed by the press
Robert Nkangu and Marwa Jabou fielding questions from newsmen
The day continued with an opportunity of a group picture with the orange stage at the background and a group dinner with the Senior Adviser and his wife. The day with ended with panelists attending various band performances and music gigs across the various sites.
a cross-section of AYP Steering Committee Members
performance at the cosmoopol
The Steering Committee of the African Youth Panel concluded its series of meetings on Thursday July 5, 2012 with a review of the Central and Southern African Regional Meeting concepts. The Southern African Regional Meeting has been scheduled tentatively for October/November 2012 while the Central Africa Meeting will hold first quarter of 2013. Both regional meetings alongside several set of activities were contained in the proposal approved and funded by DANIDA for AYP.
The steering committee further developed and approved Terms of References for all Steering Committee Members and its key officers and also Terms of References for Program Manager and Programs Assistant.
Finally, the Committee developed and approved the work plan for the DANIDA grant and agreed to kickstart implementation from July 2012.
The meetings lasted all morning, broke up for lunch and continued after lunch till 3.15pm.
The completion of its sets of meetings will give room for SC members to participate fully and enjoy the music performances by various artists and bands at the Roskilde Festival.
After series of brainstorming sessions which culminated into a 20 minutes ideas slides, the Steering Committee on Wednesday July 4, 2012 presented its broad ideas on running with the AYP vision to the Roskilde Festival Society. The Presentations led by the AYP Chairman, Ibrahim Ceesay dwelt on three broad ideas. These are: The Youth Basket fund, youth in Regional and Global Advocacy and Strengthening the Africa-Denmark ties.
Felix Limbani making a presentation
Ibrahim was supported by Diana Bulanda, Felix Limbani and Marwa Jabou in making the presentation to the Roskilde Festival Society.
In response, Mr. Steen committed support to the AYP especially the basket fund which he mentioned had been muted at the November summit that he was a part of. He also mentioned specifically that the society will be interested in supporting the attendance of the AYP to the UN summit on the Post2015 Agenda in 2013.
Steen Jorgensens, Rass Henrik Rasmussen and Marie Rogvig at the Meeting
Mr. Steen concluded that AYP will be invited to subsequent Roskilde Festival and would also be glad to work with the team on the Roskilde High School project.
The steering committee members continued their volunteer work with Rotimi Olawale, Diana Bulanda, Felix Limbani and Marwa Jabou working with the Refund Project of Dan Church Aid. The team joined other Dan Church Aid to collect recyclable cans around Camp P of the festival grounds.
Felix Limbani and Marwa Jabou on the Refund Collection team
Helder Malauene, and Christian Kam volunteered at the game city while Ibrahim Ceesay and Robert Nkwangu volunteered at the Poor City.
christian Kam (on the drums) and Ibrahim Ceesay at the Poor City
The day ended with Steering Committee meetings to look at the draft concept of the Central Africa Regional Meeting.
The African Youth Panel team at the Roskilde festival continued its volunteer activities on Tuesday July 3, 2012. Rotimi Olawale and Marwa Jabou moved from the game city the previous day to Poor city. at poor city, the duo took part in activities including Brazilian dancing and drumming. Rotimi got a free haircut by one of the assylum seekers at the barbers lounge. Marwa got a free portrait from an Afghanistan assylum seeker who fled his country to Denmark because he wasn’t allowed artistic expression. Diana Bulanda, Helder Malauene, Felix Limbani and Christian Kam moved to the Orange City backstage where they did lots of painting. Ibrahim Ceesay, Godfrey and Robert Nkwangu were at the game city to support the game activities and also participate in games.
Marwa Jabou with Brazillian Drummers at the Poor City
Later in the day, Helder Malauene and Christian Kam took part in story telling activities at the art city where they shared their experiences on participating in Roskilde festival last year. Christian spoke on how Roskilde festival has been a platform for connecting people and Helder spoke about how the festival provides an opportunity for emerging leaders in Africa through support to the African Youth Panel.
Christian Kam on stage at the art city
The day ended with a long meeting of the steering committee at 9pm that took 4hours and ended after 1am.
Late night steering Committee meetings