Today’s youth are far more than future leaders, creators, explorers and movers. “Young people are, in fact, some of our strongest partners in securing peace and progress on the ground,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
“In everything from advocating on behalf of the marginalized and people with disabilities, to embracing and employing clean energy and sustainable farming techniques, to driving peaceful movements for democracy on nearly every continent - young people are not waiting for change- young people are driving change.”
“And they are documenting it as they go,” she said.
“ They’re not just making a difference; they’re telling stories of impact and progress. They’re communicating urgency. They’re generating awareness with compelling images and persuasive messages. They are better at this than my generation and other generations that have come before them; they are inspiring others to follow their example.”
Last August 12, USAID launched the Global Leadership and Education Advancing Development, or Global LEAD Initiative, to engage one million young people as partners in their own countries’ development. In addition to expanding new programming around education, civic engagement and leadership, this initiative and USAID offered young people a chance to share the impact of their projects to the world through the #WatchOurImpact Global LEAD Digital Storytelling Contest. Young people were urged to submit an original, three-minute video or slideshow that told the story of their youth-led actions to advance local, national, or global development. The five winners that were chosen on August 2, and on August 12, took part in the Global LEAD #WatchOurImpact Dialogue.
Best Overall Video winner was S. Abida Bhirawasiwi for his documentary on a group of Philippine, Indonesian and Malaysian youth who are working to mitigate the enormous environmental impact caused by disposable mask waste.
The Most Inspirational Video prize went to Ineza Umuhoza Grace of Rwanda, whose video, Power of a Voice to Drive Impact in the Community, dealt with young changemakers impacting climate change.
Most Impactful Video, Creating Safe Spaces to Provide Learning Opportunities, belongs to Chaima Amraoui [Male] of Tunisia.
Beatrice Ndisha Mwanjala of Kenya won Best Overall Slideshow for An Arid of Affli ction, describing how her arid homeland shaped her destiny.
And 3-D Animated Videos for COVID-19 Response in Tanzania by Padili James won for most engaging video.
“Despite the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead,” said Administrator Power, “USAID sees in its youth partners a willingness and capacity, not just to make an impact, but to inspire others to join the cause.”