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Inspired to Act

The 2018 Young Leaders programme is well under way with this year’s young leaders taking part in high level meetings and preparation workshops leading up to the European Development Days starting on Tuesday 5 June.

Yesterday I asked them what first inspired them to first take action to make a difference.


“I was raised on noble morals and the value of helping our siblings in humanity, so I decided to help other people to achieve their dreams. When war hit my city many young children had to drop their education due to the hard situation, and as an academically oriented young women, I found that we need to get those kids back to school.”

Bushra Dabbagh, Women and Girls in Emergencies

“Growing up in India, being surrounded by and never being in poverty myself, I always questioned my privileges.”

Shwetal Shah, Women and Girls in Digitalisation

"As a teenager, I visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto and learnt about how him and other children died speaking against inequality. In that moment, I was deeply inspired. I resolved to never stay silent but to use my voice to power progress in my society."

Olaoluwa Abagun, Women and Girls Human Rights

“Believing in the power of change”

Salma Abdalla, Women and Girls and the Economy

“I was only 11, but l saw babies pulled out of pit latrines almost every day. These babies were born to children around my age, children who were caught up in transactional sex in my community - Uganda’s biggest “red light” slum of Kabalagala. l said to myself that someone, someday must put an end to this. I am that someone”.

Esther Nakajjigo, Women and Girls Migration

“When you're exposed to an environment filled with social problems, you either run away from it or become a maverick who tackles these problems. I chose the second option.”

Shah Rafayat Chowdhury, Women and Girls and the Environment

“I saw a reality I didn’t like. With too many challenges confronting society, but also with many opportunities to overcome these problems. I decided to be active in a world that need us to act.”

Ernesto Hernandez Otero, Gender Equality in Education

“I was inspired to take action by the by the level of extreme poverty among rural women in Ghana and the widening gap between male and female education.”

Dorcas Asige, Women and Girls in the Economy

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