My name is Kelly Mothe and I am 23 years old. I am a Bachelor of Law graduate and at the University of Seychelles. I am fluent in English, French and Creole. I have varied interests but I love reading novels because there is nothing better than unwinding with a good book. I am passionate about creativity, being able to create something extraordinary from nothing, seeing something nobody else can see and making it ten times better. If I was to pick between any of the SDGs to work towards it would be SDG 8. Being a student who will soon be entering the work force, finding a job at this point is difficult and many go to school and then are left with unusable qualifications because there are not enough jobs for the large amount of people that seek it. Therefore I feel that this SDG should be advocated for the future generations.
The Youth Assembly at the UN is an international conference that presents both an enormous opportunity and a challenge to stimulate and ensure youth engagement and participation in achieving an inclusive and sustainable future where no one is left behind. The conference explores cross-cutting issues and solutions for sustainable development in the social, economic and environmental dimensions. The conference provides a platform for youth from around the world to learn and share practical knowledge and skills with experienced professionals and fellow attendees through dynamic panels and workshops.
Seychelles is a small country and many do not even realise that we exist. I want to be a voice for the youth and share my experiences and my knowledge back home. I want to grow as a person, tackling all my fears and becoming a better leader. I want to be able to speak up and help advocate for those that can’t. At the Youth Assembly, I wanted to learn how to do more so I can bring it back home and do more for my community. Being a Youth Assembly delegate means doing more than I am already doing. I wanted to experience what the world has to offer and help change the things that need to be improved. The world has potential and I feel like an opportunity where I can help develop myself and in turn aid to empower someone else is pivotal to me. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunities that I have been given in my life and I feel like I wouldn’t be living fully unless I utilise everything I have to its fullest.
The journey to the UN Youth Assembly was long and winding, from getting the necessary preparations for the US visa to the raising of the funds. Out of 8 delegates from Seychelles, 4 of us were required to travel to Mauritius. Having applied for the visa online and booking the appointment, time seemed to be going by so fast. We only returned to Seychelles a week prior to our flight to the US. As for raising of the funds, I was sponsored by different businesses as well as partial self-funding. Finding sponsorship was not an easy task especially since I only started looking for funding in May and the deadline for payment was on the 15th of June.
The UN Youth Assembly was an extraordinary experience; however, I did feel like the itinerary so compact that it left barely any time to network or sight-see. In New Jersey, where we stayed at Fairleigh Dickinson University, we took part in a Social Venture Project that we had to create with different members of our team. Our project was called Food 4 Thought which tackled with children obesity and gave children a healthier alternative at school. Having presented our project to other delegates and judges and listened to other groups present their projects, I realised that so many people out there, even those younger than we are have some amazing ideas out there. One project that stood out for me was one named Jaygo which may not have been the winner but for me they were just as impressionable. Jaygo was a project that gave people access to an app which allowed people, ngos and charities to post their projects on a map with details about what their project is and what it aims to do and gives sponsors and people like you and me a chance to donate money from anywhere around the world to these global projects. It even allows you to search for projects around the area/ country you live, like Trivago for projects. We didn’t get a chance to visit City Green where we would have had workshops and activities relating to urban farming because of the weather, which I was really looking forward to. We even had a few activities like a scavenger hunt and sporting activities for bonding which was great since I ended up meeting a lot of different people because of it.
In New York, where we stayed at PACE University, we got a tour of the United Nations Headquarters and attended sessions in the different conference rooms. Moreover, we were given the opportunity to sit in the General Assembly Hall where previous global leaders have sat before us. We even got to visit the Permanent Mission of Canada which for me seemed rather dry. My favourite session by far was on by Microsoft which was on how technology can bring people together. The presenter spoke with such passion that I felt like I wanted to get into the field of technology and aid the fight for inclusion. Another session which I was inspired by was a panel of like-minded delegates that have done so much in their respective countries and spoke about what they’ve done and the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. One of the panellists, an 18 year old boy named George from the UK, had been volunteering in Africa, and tackling the clean water crisis at the age of 12.
In Washington DC, we got the chance to visit the World Bank, IMF and Sustainable DC to name a few. The opportunity was great but I did feel like it was lacking because it felt like information we could have read online rather than a close-up view of their operations or something that you can find in Google. We did also get to see the landmarks. I saw the White House, Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument to name a few.
To make the most out of the Assembly, you need to talk to as many people as you possibly can in the short amount of time you have there. Although it was 12 days long, the UN Youth Assembly seemed to zoom by so fast. Talking to people from around the world and hearing their stories, their struggles and even some of the amazing solutions to issues they faced back home can either inspire your own ideas for projects or things to do back in Seychelles or even change your view of the world. If an 18 year old can create a project impacting over 100 people within their community then why can’t we?
After visiting the UN Youth Assembly and all the talk on the SDGs, I felt that to aid in the success of the Goals, I would continue creating projects with AIESEC in Seychelles and even starting a project with the amazing group I went to US with. The UN Youth Assembly gave me perspective and I believe every single person that went came back wanting to create projects and do more now than they did before they left and that is why being a apart of UN Youth Seychelles, we will have that opportunity.
I believe that the Youth in Seychelles have more than enough opportunities. We are so privileged, every single one of us and have listened to people from across the world sharing their stories, I think Seychelles Youth can do more than we are currently doing. Having said this, I feel that so many either do not see the countless opportunities in front of them or choose to ignore it. I can envision as much as I want to for the Youth of Seychelles but it is up to each and every one of them to take a stand and grasp at these dreams and make them their reality.