OWEN McMeel from Northern Ireland will attend the Euro-Africa Youth Summit in Brussels from 22-28 June.
Only eight people from the UK have been selected from over 1500 young people from Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. The sixty selected participants will spend a week sharing best practices in the areas of human rights, climate change, poverty reduction, education, HIV/AIDS, and social entrepreneurship.
The new Changemakers will share best practices on activism, and work together with experts and other young social activists on how to best address the issues they are facing on the ground in their home country.
Owen is a 21 year old student studying Product Design & Development Engineering at Queen’s University, Belfast. Owen is originally from Moneyglass and attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Magherafelt before starting Queen’s University Belfast.
The judges were impressed by Owen’s enthusiasm and commitment to working with others and in the many volunteering and social enterprise activities Owen is involved in outside of the classroom such as SIFE (a student society, Students in Free Enterprise). As current president of the society, SIFE creates sustainable social enterprise projects locally and internationally.
Jonathan Stewart, Deputy Director British Council Northern Ireland, stated: “This is a fantastic achievement for Owen to work with other Changemakers from across the world tackling issues and sharing ideas. This will help Owen with his volunteering work back in Northern Ireland but also for Owen to share his knowledge and experience with others from different countries and contexts. We are confident that Owen will be a wonderful ambassador for Northern Ireland and are really pleased to have a local representative at this year’s Summit.”
The Euro-Africa Youth Summit is part of the British Council’s Global Changemakers initiative. Global Changemakers is a global network of a select group of young who have a significant track record as social entrepreneurs, social activists and volunteers (ages 16-25).
They meet to share ideas and best practices, and work individually and together on projects that directly impact the lives of those in their local communities. In addition, each year, a select group of Global Changemakers is chosen to participate in high-level political and economic events, to act as advocates and to raise decision-makers’ awareness of key issues on the global agenda.
Founded at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2007, Global Changemakers has partnered with, and participated in, World Economic Forum events (in Davos, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Cartagena, Dar-es-Salaam and Cape Town), the Clinton Global Initiative, the Global Humanitarian Forum, UN W-CCIII and the G20.
Individual supporters include HM Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, President Bill Clinton, and the actress Emma Thompson.