The atmosphere was full of excitement as UN Youth volunteers from across the country filled the Unleash Space at Auckland University for the April National Development Hui, the first event of its kind! 🎉 This was an amazing opportunity for volunteers to improve their own knowledge base and skills, and also provided them with a chance to get together and discuss what kind of future they wanted for UN Youth!
The skills and knowledge developed at National Development Hui are not limited to use within UN Youth – these volunteers are gaining professional skills that can be applied to various aspects of their lives outside of the organization too. The ultimate goal? Creating engaged and informed citizens who are willing to make a positive change in our world! 🌏
Three amazing guest speakers attended UN Youth’s National Development Hui, sharing their expertise and personal experiences. These guest speakers perfectly reflected the core values that UN Youth aims to uphold within their organization: empowerment, equity, whanaungatanga (kinship), and kotahitanga (unity).
The wonderful Deanne Yang, who you may know as the founder of Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar 🍪, was the first of these three speakers to take the stage. Deanna shared her own personal experiences, reflecting on the journey of starting her own business and the challenges she faced along the way. She shared an important message that has stayed in my mind ever since: believing in ourselves is the most powerful thing we can do.
After a quick break for lunch, it was time to hear from another amazing guest speaker: Tony Walker, a financial wellbeing specialist from ImPower. Tony came prepared to talk about all things finance, teaching the volunteers how to be savvy with their money. Most importantly, he highlighted the importance of financial wellbeing and gave volunteers some pointers on how to take care of themselves 💰.
Lastly, Anthony Ruakere, the director of EY Tahi, spent some time with the volunteers talking about the importance of Māori engagement and representation within national and international organizations, and how to create safe spaces for Māori. UN Youth is very passionate about creating a safe space for individuals from all kinds of backgrounds, so it was an amazing opportunity to hear Anthony’s thoughts on how people should approach this topic 💭.
These three guest speakers provided a number of discussion points that volunteers were able to take home and think about, challenging them to think about how they could transfer this newfound knowledge into real life. With this new information freshly in their minds, volunteers then participated in a korero about facilitation, diversity, inclusivity, and leadership. Eager to work together to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment at future UN Youth events, volunteers were able to identify areas of improvement and come up with attainable solutions that they felt represented the values of whanaungatanga (kinship) and kotahitanga (unity). The korero provided a chance for everyone to share their thoughts, worries, and ideas in a space that they knew their voices would be heard and respected.
Having witnessed how empowered and passionate the volunteers were at the end of National Development Hui, I truly believe that the future is in good hands!
If you are interested in attending any upcoming events, keep an eye open for posts on UN Youth social media pages for more information! 👀