To have been selected to participate in the UWE Common Purpose Global Citizenship and Inclusive Leadership Programmes was a great privilege and unique opportunity. Interacting with student leaders from various parts of the world broadened my perspectives and understanding of how others uniquely perceive situations, handle challenges, and view leadership.
My UWE Bristol Common Purpose Experience
Understanding the individual motivation of my peers for contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) during group discussions was really encouraging. I was able to see the devotion and service true leadership requires as well as the hunger of young people not unlike myself to create innovative, achievable, and efficient solutions to the SDGs in various fields
Global Goals, Local Roles
I have always been passionate about helping to eradicate water-borne diseases and maintain clean environments in my local community Wusuta, in the Volta region of Ghana, where I originate from. I believe we all have a responsibility in facilitating the success of the UN SDGs, one local community at a time. Playing my part in achieving SDG-6 (Clean Water and Sanitation for all) has been part of my daily life since I turned 18. It was simple, the reality for many around me was dirty and contaminated water and lack of knowledge regarding maintaining clean water sources and habits. I was determined to make a change and empower those I could, using the knowledge and passion I had.
To achieve my goals, I have learned through the Common Purpose Leader experience, the importance of celebrating and engaging with diverse suggestions, understandings and perspectives regardless of identity or background. This skill encourages collective engagement in providing lasting solutions to problems. Changing preconceptions and raising awareness of unconscious biases eliminates discrimination and enables collaboration and better leadership.
I developed a 3-part strategy, educating my community on ways to eradicate water-borne diseases, engaging the district assembly to uphold their campaign promises and advocating for better infrastructure to enable safer, equal water access and usage. Having participated in the Global Leadership Programme, I am further enthused to attain a personal goal of ensuring at least 50% access to a piped water system in my local community by 2027 as well as a functioning recycling plant for plastic and other waste materials.
Change is near
As an agent of generational and global change, there is a responsibility I owe to those that will come after me.. I learned throughout the Common Purpose experience the importance of creating an environment of peace, value, understanding and inclusivity. I have learnt further the value of building trust, confidence, and togetherness to enable people to have their voices heard.
Inclusivity and the common goal to achieve equality
I have developed as a person, within the four days of engagement. I will carry forward community inclusiveness and be courageous enough to engage with more people and with ‘uncomfortable’ discussions that can result in new, tailored, and unique resolutions for issues that affect many in their daily lives.
The sense of achievement and skills developed
Having to work as a group to develop an approach to foster communal participation towards finding solutions to problems that exist in our everyday communities was very engaging and mind opening. I further expanded on my skills of active and critical listening, and mutual dialogue: great skills for a future leader. I also experienced the power of collaboration and the distinctive role it plays in confidently bringing out the ideas of others once they feel part of the process . As a future leader, I have also become further enlightened on how systematic bias can affect the contributions of people from minority backgrounds and the significance of preventing this in every space