Anthony presenting during the 'Leave No Young Person Behind' Panel Discussion

AbleChildAfrica at the DFID Youth Summit

On 12 September AbleChildAfrica Youth Advocate Anthony Ford-Shubrook and AbleChildAfrica Programmes and Advocacy Officer Jenny Bowie, joined hundreds of young people who gathered in London at the first ever Youth Summit held at the Department for International Development (DFID). The summit was designed by young people for young people and focused on the future of our world in light of the Sustainable Development Goals being agreed at the UN General Assembly later this month. Anthony shares his experience of the day.

In the light of the fact that September also sees the largest-ever gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York to sign up to new Global Goals that aim to eradicate poverty for good. The Youth Summit is a chance for young people to get their voices heard on the global issues they care about.

I was invited to speak on a panel alongside three other representatives from NGOs to talk about my own personal experiences of barriers to education and to talk about AbleChildAfrica’s work in Little Rock. Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Department for International Development, joined us on the panel and echoed the key points from my speech in her comments.

Anthony talking to participant at the AbleChildAfrica stall in the 'Make A Change' Market
Anthony talking to a participant at the AbleChildAfrica stall in the ‘Make A Change’ Market

We spent most of the day running a stall in the marketplace where we spoke to many people about AbleChildAfrica’s work and highlighted our new projects including our Youth Council work. There was a very positive response.

In my opinion the summit was a success, I was empowered by the progressive language which was used. A lot of people came up to me personally to congratulate me on my speech, which made me feel that I had conveyed mine and AbleChildAfrica’s ideas well and that people were inspired by my speech and our work.

This was a very valuable opportunity to join the global youth conversation to press global Leaders to sign up to a new progressive set of global goals, in which disabled people are finally recognised.

In the closing Q&A I asked Justine Greening MP what she was going to do to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the goals. She recognised that people with disabilities were marginalised and that that needed to change and stated that this would be something she would be advocating for later this month at the UN talks.

To keep the up the momentum, AbleChildAfrica will be taking part in the ‘Light The Way’ at Millennium Bridge in London on the 24th September on the eve of the UN talks to campaign for a better world for all. It would be great if you could join us. Click here to register for the event.

You can see more photos from the Youth Summit here and read more blogs from other youth delegates here. For more information of AbleChildAfrica’s youth advocacy work contact jenny@ablechildafrica.org.uk 

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