Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) BTech: Human Resources Management student Ntuthuko Mchunu, attended the prestigious annual One Young World Summit at The Hague in Netherlands from the 17 to 21 October 2018.
The summit gathers together the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.
The annual summit is also where the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organisations are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World counsellors.
“I was chosen through the evidence of my work that I do with young people. I was also part of the Barack Obama Initiative called Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) last year and then this year, I was invited by One Young World to conduct a workshop during this world prestige summit,” said Mchunu excitedly.
Mchunu, who is also the Vice-President of the DUT Debating Union, said this trip gave him the opportunity to develop his leadership skills and to formulate and share innovative ideas with other emerging world leaders.
“This trip of a life-time which was made possible thanks to the sponsorship from DUT’s Research and Development Department under the helm of Professor Sibusiso Moyo-DVC OF Research, Innovation and Engagement,” he said.
He added that this year the One Young World Summit had more than 1800 delegates from around the world to showcase their community engagement projects in their countries and to share ideas with the other delegates who are in the same field of civic engagement.
“The summit also had a drafting committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Young Envoy which I was part of it,” he said excitedly.
The summit was also attended by world influential leaders such as Thuli Madonsela, Bob Gedolf (musician and activist) Dr Mohamad Yusuph, Kumi Naidoo, Akon, Terry Crew and the Queen of the Netherlands, Your highness Queen Maxima along with the mayor of Netherlands.
“The summit had speakers from Uganda who work at the refugee settlements and who told their stories on how they overcame their ordeals by being leaders in their communities and organising peace building initiatives.
Another speaker, Yasmeen Mjalli–Founder and Creative Director of BabyFist, gave a talk on her clothing designs using the slogan “Not Your Habibti. Darling” which was born in Palestine out of the urge to give women pieces of clothing to empower them as they go about their day.
Mjalli revealed that their projects are designed to spark conversations about social change within Palestine and to engage Palestinians in way that invites them to contribute to the conversations and voice ideas to produce positive change and empathy.
Another interesting speaker was the charismatic Ibtissam Abaaziz, a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is the founder of the anti-Islamophobia organisation Meld Islamofobie and lives in The Hague.
In her speech, she voiced the story of being told to remove her headscarf to work aged 16. Over time she recognised that her headscarf was and is part of her identity as a Moroccan, Dutch, Muslim woman. Through her work she has exposed Islamophobia that would never have been associated with the Netherlands.
“One of the greatest highlights for me during the summit is having been the youngest and to have to represent DUT at the summit as well as being part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Drafting Committee. We had to look and thoroughly criticise the declaration and come up with a proposal to submit in Geneva in December 2018, at the United Nations. I am proud to say that I have been selected as one of the few members that will go to the United Nations which is all fully funded from One Young World,” he said excitedly.
Pictured: (DUT’s) BTech: Human Resources Management student Ntuthuko Mchunu, at the annual One Young World Summit with a fellow young leader.
Ntuthuko Mchunu/Waheeda Peters