Talent is everywhere, but opportunities are not. That’s the conventional belief.
Today, after listening to some amazing young people speak about their lives at Thursday’s End Poverty event at the World Bank, I’m convinced that opportunities are omnipresent.
These youth have one thing in common: They all want to take on poverty and want everyone else to join them. For the first time in history, we can end extreme poverty, and we can do it by 2030. It’s the right thing to do.
Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who lived in the fifth century B.C., said that when we are faced with what’s right, “to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.” Today, four inspiring youth leaders were at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. to do what is right by helping to launch a global movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.
One of them, Chernor Bah, was born during a civil war in the slums of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. Access to basic needs such as food was a privilege for him. His mom’s resilience helped him get education, he passionately told an energetic, youthful crowd. When he grew up he took it upon himself to mobilize young people to help increase access to education. Today he serves as the chairman of the Youth Advocacy Group for the Global Education First Initiative. Its goal is “to accelerate progress towards the Education for All goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals.”
I just returned from Brussels where I met five very determined individuals. Whether an entrepreneur, a doctoral student, a ministerial chief of staff, or the head of a community organization in the slums of Nairobi, these five young people have one common goal: to fight for a more just future. And to achieve this goal, they have chosen to use both their talent and their determination to intensify the pace of social progress in their country.
Benedetta Mwongeli Kyengo (Kenya), Bruce Dube (South Africa), Crystal Fiallo (Dominican Republic), and María de los Ángeles Lasa and Alexis Estevez (Argentina) were guests of the World Bank at the Brussels Forum.
Click on the slideshow below for their portraits
The schedule for the trip was packed. No sooner had they been introduced than they had to set off for their first major meeting...