Young Leaders Council
The Young Leaders Council are a group of 10 fascinated young minds, channeling their passion for equality and social justice through a campaign’s journey, growing their campaign and leadership skills. Meeting once-a-month the Young Leaders Council will choose a specific campaign to focus on, completing tasks around advocacy and awareness raising, and finally driving ACTION for change. They will engage in team activities, open discussions, explore ideas, and use their creative thinking and critical analysis to come up with solutions to some of the worlds biggest problems.
Session 1 - Introductory Session: They came up with their team values and objectives, learnt about International Development and how Restless Development helps young people around the world, and discussed the importance of education.
After hearing Sonali’s story, the takeaway from the group was ‘no matter where you are in the world, you are never too young or too few to make a difference’
For their homework they each wrote a pitch about Restless Development, as if they were speaking to a friend - learning how to adapt messaging for different audiences. They also researched a campaign that inspired them.
Session 2 - Campaign Introduction: The Young Leaders Council discussed what a campaign is, and why it’s important to drive change. They then shared their homework on a campaign they found inspiring, assigned it to a thematic area and then to an SDG. After that they voted on the SDG they want to focus their campaign around...
The campaign they are working on will be SDG4: Education!
Their homework was to come up with three interesting facts around issues on global or local education.
Session 3 - Defining the campaign: Split into two breakout rooms, they shared their homework on issues they see in global education. They were then asked, 'what are the biggest issues you see in education in your local area'. Both groups brainstormed ideas and then clustered them together into themes. They came back together and voted on which theme they feel most passionate about and in turn, what they would like their campaign to be about.
The Young Leaders Council's choose reducing food and plastic waste in schools for their campaign.
Their homework was to research the amount of food and plastic waste there are in schools across the UK, and if there have been any solutions to the problem.
Session 4 - Understanding the issue through research: The Young Leaders Council delved into how they can understand the issue of food waste in their own schools, to help them come up with their campaign ask and objectives. To do this, the group decided to conduct research in each of their own school. Throughout this session, through discussion and influence mapping, they decided who was important to target (such as the chef, head teacher, and pupils) and what questions they would ask (how much food is wasted, what type of food is left on plates) and how to measure the amount of daily food wasted.
For their homework, they conducted the research in their school.
Session 5 - Campaign Objective: Using their in-depth findings, the group were able to identify the issues in schools that is contributing to the problem of food waste. By identifying these issues, they came up with their Young Leaders Council Manifesto; three pledges the school can take to ensure they reduce their food waste. The group then discussed how they can influence their peers though educating them on the issue, to support their campaign.
This week's homework they designed posters, assemblies and other material, and talk to their school peers about the campaign and drum up support.
Session 6 - Influencing Decision Makers: Now they have support for their campaign, the Young Leaders Council are ready to target key decision makers who will help create change. By coming up with a list of potential councillors they could target, sourcing their email, doing research on the councillor, and writing a persuasive email to the councillor asking for a meeting to discuss their campaign.
Their homework was an extension of this session, and to target as many councillors as possible until they hear back.
The YLC had a huge amount of success in writing to their MPs and secured a meeting with the MP for Battersea to get her to support and take action on their food waste campaign.
Session 7 - How to prepare for a meeting with an MP: Rosanne Palmer-White the UK & Influencing Director at Restless Development who has over 10 years experience in campaigning and advocacy at parliamentary level lead the session. The group learnt about the role of MPs, how to persuade an MP to support their campaign and what they can ask of them to do in parliament.
Their homework was to prepare and write up what they were going to say in the meeting.
Session 8 - Meeting with MP for Battersea, Marsha De Cordova: The group met with Marsha and talked her through their campaign and asked her to submit a question in parliament. Marsha was very impressed and agreed to support. The group followed up with a one-pager about their campaign to Marsha.
Special session - Amnesty International Children's Rights Network Annual Conference: The group were personally invited to attend this conference where there was a panel event, where one of the YLC was selected as a panelist, workshops and closing with the chair of the network presenting their keynote speech.
For International Youth Day on Thursday 12th August the Young Leaders Council attended an event where they were guest speak. The event was themed: What young people achieved through the pandemic. Three members wrote and delivered an incredibly inspiring speech.
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