Ms Dorcas Apoore, a 23-year old final year student of the University of Development Studies (UDS), has been selected as the European Commission’s young leader to participate in the European Development Days (EDD) event in Brussels, Belgium.
By her selection, Ms Apoore becomes one of the 16 young people from across the world, who would attend the Young Leaders Programme of the EDD 2018 Event.
The European Commission earlier invited young people from around the world to play an active role in this year’s EDD, of which Ms Apoore was selected alongside the 15 others from the more than 283 young people from 82 countries who applied.
The participants are Taffan Ako, from Sweden, Shwetal Shah, India, Esther Nakajjigo, Uganda, Hope Jeremiah Offor and Olaolusa Abagun, Nigeria, Diwa Samad, Afghanistan, Ernesto Hernandez, El Salvador, and Grace Banda, Malawi.
The rest are Phonsina Archane, the Republic of Congo, Natalie Tingo, Kenya, Lais Rocha Leao, Brazil, Salma Abdallah, Sudan, Shah Rafayat Chowdhury, Bangladesh; Bushra Dabbagh, Syria, and Farhad Wajdi, Afghanistan.
The 16 candidates were chosen for their active engagement in social projects in their home countries with the aim of implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, share exceptional skills, expertise and passion to contribute to the debate on sustainable development for all, and a strong commitment to gender equality.
They are extraordinary young people aged 21-26 who represent the powerful impact that youth are having on development.
The Young Leaders Programme consist of a 10-day visit to Brussels, where they would meet EU experts, stakeholders and play a leading role in the EDD Programme, which would include speaking in various sessions alongside global leaders.
The Young Leaders Programme encourages young people from around the world to share their views on the themes of this year’s European Development Days event, which include gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Mr Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, had explained that the Programme was to encourage young people to contribute to debates on international development by sharing their ideas.
He said: “More than half of the world’s population today are under the age of 30 and so it was not enough to work on building a better future for the younger generation without them.
“We need to build it with them, give them the stage they need to put their brilliant ideas into practice. I look forward to meeting these inspiring young people during this year’s EDD.”
Ms Apoore, who is a MasterCard at Camfed Ghana Scholar, offering Bachelor of Science in Development Planning at UDS, has established a Non-Governmental Organisation called Advocacy for Social Inclusion and Girls Education (ASIGE-Ghana) in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region, through which she had educated 2,000 in and out of school adolescents on their reproductive health rights.
She had also put nine school dropouts back to school at the junior and senior high school levels, sponsoring their education with part of the scholarship grants she was receiving from Camfed.
She had, in partnership with other international NGOs, had distributed washable sanitary pads for 50 girls within the Bongo District where poverty was rife and many girls stayed out of school when in their menses.
Ms Apoore had also engaged over 200 women in the District in basket weaving, which are mostly exported.
While in Brussels, Ms Apoore would lead a-high panel discussions on Women and Girls and the Economy, speak at a Lab Debate on how digital pathway leads to inclusive education and Women Empowerment, as well as be a panellist on Women Entrepreneurship.
She told the GNA that the offer would grant her the opportunity to network, forge new partnerships with investors and donors to contribute her quota to help Ghana attain the SDGs.