Ambassadors Network: Youths Leading Change


This academic year, EduSpots has run two cycles of the Student Ambassadors Network and Youth Ambassadors Network. These programmes are aimed at high school and university level students respectively, and provides them with an opportunity to advocate for EduSpots, fundraise in their own capacities, and gain a better understanding of EduSpots as a whole and wider knowledge of the development sector. At the heart of EduSpots is a belief that anyone can be a catalyst for change — the individuals we have encountered in these networks solidify this belief as we equip them with skills and a network to continue on their journey.

We have made a strategic decision to restructure the Ambassadors’ Networks moving forwards, in line with wider organizational aims, launching a new ‘EduChamps Community’ in the months ahead.

Whilst we restructure the paths through which wider individuals can engage with our work, we have taken some time to reflect on the impact of our Ambassadors across the last year.

Student Ambassadors Network

The Student Ambassadors Network operated under the framework of ‘Learn, Lead and Reflect’. This has allowed students to tap into the different aspects of absorbing and internalising a new experience. In the first phase, students would participate in an online course, talk to the EduSpots’ team, or go through a reading list to gain foundational knowledge in the field of global development. This is a very important process that allows students to critically situate themselves and be aware of both the big picture and nuances of this field.

Equipped with this, they applied this knowledge practically and led fundraising events. This demanded skills in organisation and communication, as they were not only raising funds but were also acting as advocates for EduSpots. We had some brilliant participation in this phase, including several successful bake-sales — where Izzy Wen raised £230 — as well as a read-a-thon, with the aim of raising funds for and celebrating African-authored literature. Students have also communicated back to us with how much this cause resonated with them, as they too realise the importance of representative literature.

Finally, students engaged in reflection — a space for all these experiences to settle in and for connections to be drawn between ideas and practice. Some wrote essays and blogs, and others recorded a short video, speaking about their experiences. Importantly, each of these reflections are unique and personalised: Arianna Gbemudu recalled what she learnt in the online course, considering how advertisements normalises certain Western lifestyles, therefore occluding the diversity of experiences across the globe; while Charlotte Teague interviewed her friends on the importance of perspectives and the process of shaping and changing them. They were thoughtful and critical, and it is certainly exciting to have assisted them along their journey.

Youth Ambassadors Network

The Youth Ambassadors Network was more loosely structured, serving mainly as a network for young individuals to become advocates for EduSpots, connect, and lead fundraisers in their own capacities. Under the more informal setting, we have had the opportunity to converse with Ambassadors and see their enthusiasm as they sign up to EduSpots talks and courses. We have also had two Ambassadors — Rolande Hantaniaina and Bright Above — take the initiative to organise a webinar, with a discussion around the book drive campaign and literacy. Aboubakar S.M. Sidibe wrote an essay, discussing how EduSpots, through foregrounding local agency, plays an important role in preservation of cultural heritage in the age of globalisation.

We wish our Ambassadors the best of luck for the future and a huge thank you for their enthusiasm and dedication!

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