Coffee Break Podcast: On Youth Voices




Global Governance, Civil Society

In this episode of the Coffee Break Podcast, hosted together by GDL Member Khaldun Al Saadi and fellow member Ghada Zribi, discusses amongst other things, the Lab “Bringing youth voices into the 21st century,” which took place in July 2022.

Ghada is a pan-African peace and civic education practitioner and the founder of iBuild Africa, a peer-to-peer support system for African youth. She leads major projects throughout the continent to celebrate African identity, counter violent extremism, and promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

The episode focuses on the Youth Lab, which created a space for diplomats and young people to share their perspectives, build trust and learn new tools for hands-on implementation of solutions, enabling them to effectively design programmes that address unmet needs. It encouraged diplomats to engage with young people, listen to their concerns and opinions and help them to gain greater trust in diplomacy and politics. This is more important than ever nowadays, making it crucial for diplomats to step out of their comfort zones, interact with new communities and build a rapport with them.

“Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you.”

As well as the Youth Lab, Ghada discusses her own experiences as a young leader. She mentions her younger self as an inspiration and describes how difficult it was for her as a Tunisian woman to find a role model who could show her what she was capable of and what her needs were. She talks about her family and how she encouraged herself to be capable of doing as much as or more than men. She believes that it is essential for young leaders to go through this development process, cross borders and boundaries, and step out of their comfort zones in order to reach their goals and see what it is actually possible to change.

Ghada overcame her own obstacles by travelling and working to represent young people; she was ultimately able to launch her project and to identify what her needs were. She emphasises the importance of staying inspired and monitoring our mental health, citing the adage:

“We cannot pour from an empty cup.”

The podcast episode also discusses the challenges faced by young people and their aspirations for the future. When asked about the major global challenges that young people want to tackle, Ghada says that this is a loaded question. The younger generation has gone through a lot, including the pandemic, revolutions, poverty and unemployment, making it difficult to give an answer. She believes that young people do not have a seat at the negotiating table to discuss solutions, which causes them to lose hope. This is why she created her project to bring young voices back to the table and design policy recommendations for future work, capitalising on the demographic dividend and addressing young people’s aspirations.

To learn about the answers please make yourself a cup of coffee and listen to the new episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Every three weeks the Coffee Break Podcast releases a new episode in which the host sits down for a virtual cup of coffee with young diplomats, experts and activists to get an inside look at their perspectives on the vast array of global challenges that we face today.


About the authors:

Khaldun Al Saadi is a project coordinator with strong experience and interests in the fields of immigration, equality, integration and radicalisation prevention.

Ghada Zribi is a pan-African peace and civic education practitioner working for various national and international non-governmental institutions and is also the founding Executive Director of iBuild Africa, a peer-to-peer support system for African youth.

Published on March 14, 2023.

Visual Credit: Julie August

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