Love is in the Air – Youth for Water and Climate Meet Partners and Donors

On 29 August, Youth for Water and Climate #YWC took over the Young Professionals Booth at Stockholm World Water Week.

Photo booth

It was a day full of activities, including a photo booth where youth could make a statement, speed-dating between youth and partners and donors, and a launch reception where participants were urged to sign a Declaration of Support.

The idea behind #YWC is to support youth in developing concepts and proposals, in fundraising, as well as in promoting contributions to SDGs and climate agendas. One of the key features to implement the support is to build a YWC digital platform, acting as a bridge for youth’s ideas to become reality. The platform will connect young leaders with potential donors and partners that are interested in helping these innovative youths achieve their goals.

At the launch reception, Hannane Sellali of the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) presented the prototype of the digital platform that has been developed.

Speed-dating between youth and supporters

To illustrate the matchmaking concept, one of the activities during the day was a “business love game”; speed-dating between four young professionals and four potential partner organisations/donors. After a series of questions from the youth to the organisations and from the organisations to the youth about their projects, they were asked to declare their business soulmate. Young professionals and organisations that had a match were then put in contact to further their possible partnership around the youth project. Love was in the air! 

Launch reception – join the initiative!

At the launch reception, GWP’s Vice Chair Dionysia Avgerinopoulou set the scene and context:

“The guiding principle is for youth, by youth, with youth”, she said. 

She was followed by two young professionals who presented their projects:

Alexa Terrell from the Youth Community Central and Eastern Europe talked about a youth project proposal in Albania: “empower, advocate and act” were her lead words. 

She was followed by Meriam Ben Zakkour from Tunisia talking about youth projects related to jobs and migration. 

Signing Youth Declaration

Andreas Steiner of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation gave his perspective on how they see youth in the water sector.

“The Youth for Water and Climate initiative is a perfect example where our partners come together. Congratulations to all the partners, we are very keen on following up on this important initiative”. 

GWP’s Ankur Gupta finished the launch reception with a call to action:

“If you are interested, impressed and want to collaborate with YWC and our partners, I urge you to sign this Declaration of Support.”

More on #YWC

The Youth for Water and Climate initiative (YWC) is rooted in the work done by youth from 20 countries in the lead up to COP 21. The outcome was the White Paper of Youth to address Water and Climate Challenges. This White Paper comprises more than 50 priorities addressing the main areas that youth want to engage with: health, food security, water sharing, and water-related risks.

Since then, dozens of youth have taken these priorities from talk to walk by implementing small and medium scale activities and projects, with limited resources but significant impacts. This enthusiasm led to a group of partners (GWP, World Youth Parliament for Water, International Secretariat for Water, Water Youth Network, Office Franco-Quebecois pour la Jeunesse, AgroParisTech University) to engage with a more ambitious challenge: to bring to youth the support they need to scale up their action on water and climate – and hence become agents of change.