Published: 05.05.2021

From Friday 23.4. to Sunday 26.4. Global Youth Summit was held to devise solutions to the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change on the lives of young people around the world and to actively engage with peers around the world, governments and policy makers. They are united by their ambition to change the world we live in, to prepare young people for the future and to intensively support and develop their communities. And how do they evaluate their participation in the Summit?

Adam Škvor, Gymnasium Evolution

A new world opened up before me. A world of young people trying to make the world a better place, solving world problems of all kinds and wanting to spread their experience to others.  

It is almost impossible to summarize the whole summit in a few lines, but I will try. Seize all the opportunities life has to offer. You never know where each path will take you. Still don't know what life path you're going to take, but would you like to choose it? It doesn't matter at all. The key to a successful life is not to have a precise plan, just do what you enjoy and find fulfilling. She will introduce you to your career :). Improve your soft skills (communication, listening, leadership...), we are slowly losing these skills, but they will be the key skills of the future. The world is facing several problems that have been triggered or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Create a project (either alone or in a team), that will address a problem caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. You can apply for a grant to ranging from $500 - $5.000. 

I would never have believed that the DofE would get me to such an inspiring global summit. I think it confirms that if you embrace all the opportunities that surround you, some of them will take you much further than you might initially expect. Thank you to the whole DofE team.

Amálie Papoušková, Gymnasium Vysoké Mýto

My name is Ami and I'm seventeen years old. I am studying at a grammar school in Vysoké Mýto and I am currently doing my gold level DofE. Doing the DofE programme helped me a lot in the pandemic because I had set targets. I tried to meet these goals, although I lacked motivation at times, but at least I wasn't bored and had something to do. Thanks to DofE I was able to attend the Global Youth Summit. Even though I was "just" sitting at the computer the whole time, it was one of my best weekends during the pandemic. I really enjoyed the whole program. Thanks to the collaboration of WHO with other youth organisations (YMCA, YWCA, IFRC, WAGGGS, WOSM, DofE), the summit was organised with a very varied programme. The main theme was COVID-19 and youth. During the day we could choose from the so-called breakout sessions, depending on our interests. We could actively participate in some of the lectures. I was most interested in the topic exploitation and trafficking. The lecturers taught us how to recognize the signs and how to report such a problem. I also attended lectures on climate change and mental health. 

What did I like most about the summit? Networking sessions with up to 20 participants, with whom we discussed the topics discussed together. I met a lot of great, inspiring students. But believe me, discussing in English at two o'clock in the morning wasn't exactly easy for me. Still, the whole weekend was really beneficial. I am still in touch with DofE members from the UK. The Summit inspired and motivated me to get involved in various campaigns that raise awareness of global and environmental issues. Thank you DofE for this great opportunity!

Kateřina Nováková, DofE online

The Summit brought me vision and hope. No matter where we live, we face the same challenges. Governments do not hear our voices and underestimate our capabilities. Now is the time to improve the world together. Get involved and help our communities. The world needs us

Lenka Galatíková, Gymnasium Zlín - Lesní čtvrt'

When I got the call from the DofE that I had been selected to represent the Czech Republic and the DofE at the Global Youth Summit in a few days, I was absolutely thrilled. Now it's a few days after the Summit and my enthusiasm for the whole event was at least tenfold! I have experienced a few student conferences in my life (e.g. the Czech Hope Conference), but this was something else.  To know that young people from all corners of the world, who have their eyes open and actively want to change their environment for the better, are at the same time watching what you are doing, is simply indescribable. 

During the weekend I attended a number of very interesting and inspiring sessions. As I am the leader of the Bear's Foot Holešov youth hiking club, and also an instructor of experiential pedagogy at Tokaheya Ltd., I was most interested in the sessions dedicated to education. It was amazing to meet scout leaders from Nigeria, Bangladesh or Brazil and to listen to their interesting stories and to find out that even though we are thousands of kilometres apart, we have similar experiences in our troops and we solve similar problems.  

My favourite part of the day was the "Networking Sessions" where we were able to openly share our feelings about the meetings with the other participants, and also try to work together to figure out how to put our new knowledge to real use. Although it was hard for me to keep my attention on Sunday after so many hours spent looking at the screen, I took away a lot of new information from the Summit (at times I felt that my brain couldn't handle more inspiration). Thank you for allowing me to be part of such a great initiative! 

Martin Mojžíš, Sunny Canadian International School

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Global Youth Summit, an event for young students, during the weekend of April 23-25. This is an event created by DofE, IFRC, WAGGGS, WHO, UN, YMCA and many others that have long provided us with a platform to share experiences and gain inspiration on how to help others around us more. Even though it took me the whole weekend from early morning to late evening to participate, I must enthusiastically say that it was worth it. The summit gave me a new perspective on how to look at the world and gave me hope that the world could be in good hands. I was so highly motivated after the first few talks, I decided to become a volunteer of the Czech Red Cross because I want to help those who need our help the most. In this context, I would also like to point out how necessary and important it is to look after not only each other, but also take care of our planet by doing small things every day. If you see rubbish lying around on the street, please pick it up and put it in the bin if you can. Not only will the cleaning staff thank us, but also nature and the planet we are leaving behind for our future generations.  

Thanks to the Summit, I discovered many new programmes. For example, the program Earth Tribe offers us three challenges that we can meet for our benefit and for the benefit of our planet. For a more detailed description, please visit their website. I also got information about the United World Schools program, that really blew me away. In this programme, any school can become a partner school to help students from third world countries in their studies. All the lectures were followed by, among other things, introductory meetings where the participants could get to know each other and share their experiences and ideas. Through this, I met many wonderful students from different parts of the world, such as Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil, etc. Believe me, it was an extraordinary experience that has enriched me immensely for my future life. If you are sorry you couldn't make it to the Summit, don't despair! All talks will be available soon on the GYMobilization YouTube channel. Once again, I would like to thank the DofE for a great experience and for the opportunities and challenges they present to us.  

Orlando Ramirez, Sunny Canadian International School

The International Summit was a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of other cultures, foreign policy and world issues. It was very interesting to listen to all the so called speakers who came from different organizations such as WHO, UN, EU and many others. These people also came from different backgrounds and places from all over the world. This made each meeting a unique experience. We also had the opportunity to interact with these persons, especially through the Summit's interactive platform. This interactivity was another reason why the meetings were not just a monologue by a professor or a doctor. They gave us the opportunity to be part of the dialogue and the topics, for which I am really grateful. The best part was that all the participants were as interested in these topics as I was. This made the breakout rooms, where participants could interact with each other, very fun and interesting. I made a lot of new friends from all over the world. 

We also had a number of interesting seminars to choose from. These sessions covered many different topics, from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the future of work and digital activism. In fact, digital activism was one of the sessions that most influenced my view of politics. I was always under the impression that digital activism could never mean anything; as a participant in Global Youth Mobilization, I learned that this is not true. There are many changes, even digitally, that we can achieve together. 

The entire summit was filled with the positive energy of resilient and determined people, all for the benefit of changing the world into a better place for our and future generations. 

Šárka Pospíšilová, Gymnasium Česká Lípa

By attending the Global Youth Summit together with a crowd of young people from all over the world who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and, despite the ongoing pandemic, are enthusiastic about helping others, I was able to look at things from different perspectives and better understand the fundamental problems that contemporary society faces on a daily basis and seek possible solutions. The programme of the event certainly did not disappoint me in terms of content and organisation. Each meeting had something to offer and managed to impress me, not only in its overall design, but also in the range of topics - from the crucial, though often overlooked, issue of mental hygiene, to climate change, to access to education and electronic devices. During the "networking sessions" I got to know several inspiring people and actively participated and contributed my views to the friendly discussions. I learned a lot of new information that in the future I will certainly use it for personal development, to spread awareness about the impact of coronavirus or to fight against misinformation. I would say it was a really meaningful weekend that will constantly remind me to appreciate what I have, because even the seemingly obvious things are not so obvious in reality, especially now that I know how quickly things can change, at any time and without notice. 

Tanita Býmová, Gymnasium Matyáš Lerch in Brno

When my professor suggested that I could participate in the WHO youth meeting, I happily said yes. The first thing I welcomed was an online meeting of all the students- we got to know each other a bit and talked about our experiences in online learning. I took a break from the screen on Friday after school and was eager to join in the afternoon for the welcome. Despite slight problems with the audio and video quality, the speeches were interspersed with people from different countries. Afterwards, we were able to choose a variety of topics, and sometimes it was difficult to choose which of the three topics was the most interesting. I took something away from all the lectures. And what brought me the most? Perhaps learning about different accents. I hope to get to more events like this. 

Yuliia Badziuk, Sunny Canadian International School

The event was a truly motivating experience. Seeing so many people unite to discuss the problems brought into our daily lives by the Covid-19 pandemic really showed we are not alone in this difficult situation. The Networking Sessions were my absolute favourite ones - I, too, got to speak up and discuss some important matters with the other members of the audience.  

Personally, I got inspired to try and do some volunteering work once the restrictions are finally taken down - I feel like it would be a shame to have listened to how activists from all over the planet are trying to make the world a better place without eventually taking part in it myself. I want to pursue a career in the medical field, so I will consider something connected to healthcare.  

Sometimes you need to hear about seemingly obvious things from a different person to realize their true meaning. What stuck with me the most was when one of the speakers insisted that it is normal to be less productive then usual, that your body and mind are currently undergoing a significant amount of stress and that we should all take a moment and show ourselves some love. As a student that's about to pass the exams, I found a lot of comfort in that thought. Productive or not, you are loved and valid, and you can make a difference.  

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