Charly Burridge-Jones spoke at and attended the G20 summit in Germany she shares her experiences below.
I had the absolute privilege of speaking at the G20 Interfaith Summit in Potsdam this year and was invited to speak on a Panel on ‘Youth Interfaith Engagement’ as a representative of the 3FF ParliaMentors Programme. The Summit is now in it’s 4th year, and was previously held in China, Australia and Turkey. Other representatives at the Summit included: Office of UN High Commissioner of Refugees, Human Rights Department for the German Commission of Justice and Peace, KAICIID, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ACWAY, Co-Exist, as well as various NGO’s, religious leaders and scholars. The overarching theme for this year’s Summit was ‘Religion, Sustainable Development and the Refugee Crisis’.
I spoke alongside other young leaders, each with really interesting insights, and from all over the world. Ironically, though discussing different programmes, we all had a similar approach when it came to working with young people and how to empower them.
When it comes to youth empowerment we don’t need to dictate to them, we have to listen and give them the freedom. If you give young people the tools they need and let them make their own decisions, they will come up with incredible results. By also giving them the correct tools they need, we enable them to develop as leaders and take with them skills that they have learnt.
I was able to discuss some of the ParliaMentors’ social action projects that have come out of the programme, as well as mention our incredible Alumni, and the amazing work they are now embarking on. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to discuss the ParliaMentors programme, but also to connect with like-minded individuals and organisations all striving for the same goal. I really believe that when we work hard we can achieve incredible results, but when we work together the outcome is greater. I am excited for this year’s Interfaith Summit (Thursday 16th November 2017), where we will be able to continue doing just that, being in the same space, at the same time, and discussing how we can bring about positive change, and put words into action.
Charly graduated from the ParliaMentors Programme 9 years ago and is on the Alumni Committee.