A plane full of hope!

“Starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat.” – Amartya Sen.

According to the Global Goals website, 3 million young people die of malnutrition per year. And it is not that there isn’t enough food in the world, or that we are overpopulated. It is simply not accessible to some while others overuse it.


This week in SDG X is a novel writing initiative to keep the network and the blog’s loyal readers up-to-date with a brief collection of news directly related to the Global Goals.


On the 28th of March, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) made a statement, describing that millions of children around the world are on the brink of starvation; it is the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. They are pleading for $255 just to be able to respond to immediate needs in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, according the United Nations website. Around 22 million children are sick and hungry in just those four countries alone.

While famine was declared already in South Sudan, the other countries are not much better off. “Children can’t wait for yet another famine declaration before we take action,” says Manuel Fontaine. We have to take action.

It is heartbreaking to think about nutrition being the reason for so many deaths. In first world countries, we complain about being hungry, we throw away slightly discolored food, we ‘overeat’ on various occasions but we don’t know true suffering. So what can we do about it?

There are many attempts already to help ease the situation in various parts of the world. One in particular has sparked the attention of the internet lately. Internet sensation Jerome Jarre posted a video, urging people to help fill a turkish airlines flight with humanitarian help, sparking the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia. This campaign has meanwhile gained the attention of famous public figures like Ben Stiller. President of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerim Kinik, has assured that airplanes will be sent to various countries, attempting to offer immediate help.

Things like this show that an individual can have a huge impact and you don’t have to be an internet sensation to have a great idea.

If you want to go out there and help on sight, there are many opportunities within AIESEC that you can choose from, to help. Don’t wait until someone else does something, don’t wait until the situation gets worse. The time to act is now!

What are you doing about it?

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

Hunger is not over.

I sat at the restaurant, completely full and not entirely sure if I wanted to continue trying to swallow the last piece of garlic bread or just leave it on the plate for the waiter to take away. Somehow, I didn’t think that I could have asked for a smaller portion or what I had not eaten would end up in the garbage.

Two days later, this is what I see in the news: “Somalia’s Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Haire, says 110 people have died from hunger in a single region in the past 48 hours amid a severe drought.”

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Almost immediately, all the wrong choices I made come to my mind. How much have I wasted throughout my entire life? How can I be so self-centred that I never stopped to think that the piece of bread that I did not finish could have fed someone who has been starving for weeks?

Truth be told, I was naïve enough to think that hunger was not a world issue anymore. With many things happening in the world, with many conflicts around us, I stopped thinking that hunger has taken as many lives as any other gun has. As soon as reality hit me, I knew that we needed to raise awareness on this issue once again. We need to remind ourselves that hunger is not over.

Hunger is still haunting people, taking their lives away.

 

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Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Somalia was at risk of its third famine in 25 years. The last one, in 2011, killed almost 260,000 people. Right now, close to one million people are in need of emergency food assistance. An additional two million people are struggling to meet their basic food needs and risk falling into a food security and nutrition crisis if they don’t receive sustained humanitarian assistance.

Do you know what is like to die from hunger?

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According to the British Medical Journal, it’s when a lack of food has led to an 18 percent loss of weight, the body starts undergoing physiological disturbances. The body metabolism gets increasingly dysfunctional, affecting the brain and other vital organs. At that point, therapeutic feeding treatment is necessary to save their lives, as the body has lost the ability to process normal foods. When people have insufficient food over several weeks, it leads to organ failure and eventually death.

Also, did you know that young people make up 42 percent of the population in Somalia?

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What we are achieving for 2030 is to end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

However, ask yourself how are we, humans, contributing to this target?

Somalia is not the only country living this reality; let’s not ignore what still claims the lives of many people every day. Our world needs us to work together against the evil that threatens to take control. Do something.

Leave no one behind.

Are you a lone wolf?

What is the fundamental purpose of leadership? Regardless of your definition, leadership means empowering others. For how can we achieve and grow, if we attempt to do it alone? As an outstanding leader, you have to be willing to engage with others, exchange concepts and ideas and work together towards a bigger goal.

It was James Cash Penney, american businessman and entrepreneur, who said: “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

That is the reason why in AIESEC’s definition of leadership, empowering others is one of the 4 defining characteristics. But what does it mean to empower others? How can you make sure that other people are engaged in your common purpose and you are all working together towards the same goal?

Well, that is what makes a great leader. They make sure that the expectations of everyone are set from the beginning and that every person feels valuable in the whole team, that all of their contributions matter. The leader doesn’t force their ideas down people’s throats, but they guide others towards great ideas and leave space for them to come up with their own concepts.

If every leader in the world thought that they knew best and that they don’t need any help from anyone else, we probably wouldn’t be at the point we are right now. Engaging with other people is vital if you want to achieve your purpose.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie.

It is that kind of attitude and this kind of thinking we try to support in our exchange programs. We want the members of our organization and the people who are benefiting from our projects to understand these values and to see their importance and worth.

In the end it is your decision whether you think you will achieve your goals better alone or in a team. However, looking at past experiences and statements from great leaders, working together is the way to go and by really engaging your team members and pushing them to their limits, incredible results are practically a guarantee.

What kind of leader are you?

Find out through an AIESEC experience: http://opportunities.aiesec.org

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

President of AIESEC speaks at the Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit

Abu Dhabi, UAE: On 27-28th of March AIESEC Global President, Niels Caszo, participates at the Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit 2017 taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He spoke at the opening session together with H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates and H.E. LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

As part of the opening ceremony, Mr. Caszo took a part in a panel discussion moderated by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The debate included Ibrahim Saif, Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and Joe Kaeser, Global CEO of Siemens. The panel was addressing the issue of a global impact of migration on economies. With the majority of migrants being from the youth populations and with the youth being the driving force for disruptive technologies, Mr. Caszo has represented young people answering the question how can public, private and tertiary sector organizations work towards empowering the youth to regain economic prosperity in their home countries/economies.

The inaugural Summit offers a voice and a venue for leaders with a vision to shape the future of manufacturing with a hand-selected audience of over 1,200 delegates expected to attend, including Heads of State, Government Leaders, Ministers, Policy Makers and C-Suite Executives from Global 2000 Companies.

On Tuesday, 28th of March, Mr. Caszo will participate in the youth circle on “Skills, Employment, and Education”. Youth Circles initiative aims to inspire youth-centric dialogue across a variety of areas for sustainable engagement with Youth to shape innovative solutions for global challenges. Mr. Caszo will be sharing relevant benchmarks and information on skills development with the youth.

For more information, contact:

Tanya Landysheva

Global Vice-President PR

tanyal@ai.aiesec.org

Forever in student debt

The job market isn’t what it used to be. Many who have grown up in the industrialized countries envy older generations for how easy it was to get a job. Those from developing countries often see more opportunities brought by economic growth, but also face a more competitive environment. In both cases the rules have changed and the advice you get from the older generations might be a bit out of date.

 

This week is the CYFI Global Money Week. Its’ aim is to inspire young people to learn about money and become financially savvy. With many graduates struggling to start off their careers and pay off their student debts, many could use some of that savviness. Add the high youth unemployment rates in many countries, higher requirements for jobs and increasing financial burden together and you’ll get what is starting to look like an impossible equation. The first proper job is notoriously hard to get, but nobody wants to keep eating those instant noodles forever.

Photo by Christian Kadluba (CC 2.0)

 

The only thing between you and the position that will kick start your dream career is the hiring manager.  You know that you’ve got what it takes but how on earth do you convince the hiring manager about that? Studies show that the first positions you have can have an effect on the rest of your career. In the end somebody always gets the job and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be you. So how do you get there?

 

Older people seem to find it hard to believe how it can be so hard to get a job. After all, they just walked into a company and got hired, so why won’t you do the same? Many things have changed in the past decades. Just the Internet alone has completely revolutionized recruiting and made the job market a lot more competitive.

 

Even if you have the drive and skills needed for the job, you still need some proof unless you have exceptionally good persuasion skills and can sell yourself well at the job interview. But it can be hard to even get your foot between the door in the first place. With thousands of applications and resumes that look a lot the same you need to stand out somehow, get that differentiating factor that proves that you have the right kind of attitude and that you’re prepared to go out of your way to make things happen.

 

You can find a million different blog posts listing tips on how to tweak your CV, what to say in a job interview or when is the right time to contact a potential employer. But nothing really rivals practical experience. Getting a good internship that gives you the kind of experience that you’re looking for is an investment to kick-start your career. It helps you break that seemingly paradoxical situation where an employer requires experience for an entry level position, and serves as proof of your proactive attitude. It gives you a story to tell about what you can actually do, instead of just what you would like to do.

I’m hungry. Are you?

Around the world millions of people still suffer from starvation. Millions of people are living in fear of them and their relatives dying of hunger. There are places around the world where a significant percentage of the country’s population is suffering from hunger, yet hunger as a topic of concern among us has faded. With so many issues going on around the world, it’s no wonder, but we cannot stop tackling one issue and move on to the next, especially when it affects so many people.

Across East-Africa, Yemen and North-East Nigeria, more than 20 million people are facing starvation and 50 million are severely hungry. Drought has caused crops to fail and cattle to die in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya – causing severe food and water shortages. Brutal conflicts in South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria have driven millions of people from their homes and left millions more in need of emergency food. 

These areas are facing the largest hunger emergency in the world. According to the United Nations, around 1.4 million children could die in the coming months as a result of this.

Meanwhile, in first world countries, food is used as a means of entertainment and worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. It cannot go on like this.

But what is it that we can do to help? Well, the most obvious path is to go to these countries and volunteer there, to help these poor people survive. Other than that, managing your food waste is also incredibly important. Instead of inhaling massive amounts of food, or filling up your fridge only to discard half of that food one week later, make sure to pace yourself and actually think before buying it, so that you don’t end up throwing most of it away. And in the end, if you don’t want to actively make a contribution, you can always donate money to any organizations that are attempting to help.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Inform yourself better about this issue and let’s stand together to make sure that no person goes hungry and that everyone has the same basic living standards.

What will be your contribution?

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

Water you doing about it?

As I’m writing this, I’m enjoying a nice cool glass of water. What’s better than that to really quench that thirst. But unfortunately, not everyone has that privilege. This wednesday, March 22nd, marked the World Water Day, a day set in place to tackle the water crisis. To this day, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of various diseases. Something needs to change!


This week in SDG X is a novel writing initiative to keep the network and the blog’s loyal readers up-to-date with a brief collection of news directly related to the Global Goals.


On wednesday, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report, which states that by 2040, 600 million children – one in four worldwide – will be living in areas with extremely scarce water.

“But around the world, millions of children lack access to safe water – endangering their lives, undermining their health, and jeopardizing their futures,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. According to the report, 36 countries around the world are already facing extremely high levels of water stress. Imagine how many people are living without access to basic, sanitary water. It’s horrifying.

As an outcome of this report, the UN is urging governments and businesses to make changes to ensure access to water for everybody.

It was Thomas Fuller who said “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” In first world countries, water is not something we give much thought. It’s just always there, seemingly limitless and at our disposal practically everywhere. And yet, all around the world people are dying for the very reason that they don’t have access to it. Children in these countries have to spend their days, looking for water instead of having the opportunity to get an education and on these trips they are in danger of many things. It is an issue that may no longer be overlooked by the general public.

We have to help. Now, apart from water saving measures like not leaving the tap running or not showering for 2 hours per day, we can also go out there and actually help on the spot. With AIESEC, you could go to Cambodia and raise awareness in communities about the dangers of unsanitary water and how to tackle the water crisis or you could go to any number of other places and show your support there. It is time to step it up and do something for our fellow human beings. What will happen without our support? Well, maybe the number of children living without water by 2040 will double.

What are you going to do about it?

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

A Homeless Generation of Builders

The me, me and me generation is constantly being told how they are the most narcissistic and spoiled generation in the history of humankind. If you use the amount of selfies as your yardstick, then yes, it might make you believe that the youth of today are more self centered than the generations before. But somehow, millennials also happen to be the most altruistic compared to the older generations.
Millennials think it’s important to engage in work that has a positive impact in the community and contribute to the society; they give to charity and think it’s important to help others; they are also active citizens and engage in volunteering. We are a generation that doesn’t only believe in change, but is doing something about it.
We’re at a point in time in history where we have to start cleaning up the mess that others before us have made. We can either ignore that the change needs to happen, and selfishly deny the responsibility. If we want the next generations to have it as well of as we do, we need to accept that we need to roll up our sleeves and get on with it. A lot of young people choose to make a difference. So perhaps it’s better to talk of Millennials as the “we” generations that doesn’t need to be selfishly motivated to act, but can, and will do it for the world.
What does the world need?
We’re perhaps more aware of global problems than ever. It can be quite overwhelming, especially when the scale of some problems, like climate change, can make you feel very small as an individual. Fortunately a lot of different instances are driving change, and it’s easier than ever to get information about every issue. For example the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations give quite a comprehensive answer to what are the problems in the world that need to be tackled.
But what does the world need from you?
You’re probably a 20 something year old university student with no complete degree, yet. You don’t have much experience and little to no money. What can you possibly do to help towards eradicating poverty or hunger? You have the passion, but passion alone is not enough. You also need to think how you can help the most. Of course it would be nice to do something Instagram-worthy that you can showcase to your friends. However, in order to maximize your impact it might be worthwhile thinking twice about how to best utilize your time. Many people want to do something concrete to help, like building a school in a developing country. But if you’re a business student, maybe creating a kick ass marketing plan for an NGO can have more of an impact.
It’s important to consider what’s your personal fit for what you’re going to do. You can maximize your impact by doing what you’re best at. Other things to consider are the scale of the problem you want to tackle, quite simply by contributing to solving bigger problems you can have a bigger impact. Sometimes it can also make sense to look at issues that might neglected and not talked about so often for one reason or another, for example problems related sanitation and hygiene in poor regions.
In the end you can contribute a lot even by being willing to take on seemingly small things. Just interacting with people and sometimes giving them a role model can be enough to make a huge impact on individual people’s lives, and that positive impact can produce a ripple effect that can have unforeseen positive consequences. There’s always a way to contribute to no matter your situation and skill-set. Find an opportunity that can help you maximize your impact, your way to do it for the world.

I’m young and selfish. Deal with it!

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

Give me a dollar (or whichever currency is present in your country) for every time someone calls a millennial selfish and self-involved. There is a stigma present about young people these days, that all we care about is ourselves, that we only do things to further our own agenda and that if we had a glass of water and had the option to give it to a person dehydrated, we would drink it ourselves or pour it out. Let me tell you why that mindset can be a good thing.

In the age of new technologies, children are growing up in a completely different way than their grandparents and even their parents. There is access to technology at a much younger age and especially social media seems to be present even in pre-school. But while you may argue that it ‘ruins’ children and makes them vain and selfish from an even younger age, that is not the case.Sure, kids will probably start taking selfies on their way to primary school, but they have a huge advantage to any generation before them. No matter what social media you are on, no matter how hard you are trying to avoid it, information is present everywhere. Young people are educated through social media more than you know. This means, that from a young age, they know much more about the world’s issues. You can’t spin this to make it a bad thing. 

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Now, in AIESEC we send people on exchange. Young people go abroad and do social projects or professional internships. We say, that it’s important to help other people because they might not be as privileged as we are. It’s important to be selfless and give back to our community. But there is nothing wrong with being selfish about your choices. You might only be going abroad to see a country you have never seen before or to make all of your Facebook friends see what an amazing person you are for helping people in need. But who cares? You are still going there and helping them. Other people are still benefitting from your selfishness. Whether or not you choose to post pictures of it all across social media (which does actually have the benefit of raising awareness) or to make all of your friends feel bad for only caring about themselves, someone somewhere will reap the benefits.

The truth is, most of our actions can somehow be traced back to a selfish motive. And that’s okay, because we are all human. Pretending like you’re a Robin Hood type character that never does anything selfish is just a pretentious lie. However, if your selfishness doesn’t harm other people, or even better, actually helps them, then go ahead. Go abroad, snap those pics, slap on a filter and make your friends feel like horrible people. As long as you are doing something good, it really doesn’t matter.

Ayn Rand, a russian-american philosopher and novelist said “Selfishness does not mean only to do things for one’s self. One may do things, affecting others, for his own pleasure and benefit. This is not immoral, but the highest of morality.”

Find a place where you can contribute, be selfish but make sure that you’re helping others in the process. We’re all young and selfish, just deal with it!

Introducing the new AIESEC Opportunity Portal

Rotterdam, the Netherlands: On Monday 20th of March, AIESEC is releasing the completely refreshed version of our main platform – AIESEC Opportunity Portal. Counting 1.3 million users, the platform provides access to over 80,000 volunteering positions and 6,000 job opportunities in 120 countries and territories. The new version aims to make it even easier for young people to quickly find the most relevant experiences all across the world. The updates will enable a seamless experience across mobile and desktop, a new application flow, and support in 5 languages.

What can you expect?

More intuitive: We simplified all our design and navigation so that there’s a better and faster experience for users on our site. We created new pages to access the information needed on every stage of your experience with us.

More consistent: Find additional information about our products, a simplified flow and a clear connection between your physical and virtual experience with AIESEC. The new version showcases our products and how each of them can provide you a different leadership experience.

What is new?

Smarter content: All text displayed in our opportunities on the portal was carefully thought out to provide you the required information for better decision making. Our opportunities now display clearer job description, specifics for each product, a map with the location of the opportunity and our fee.

Access using your phone: We built this version from scratch and you can now see our opportunities on the go! Apply, review your applications, edit your profile or read more about each of our products using your mobile device.

Constant support: Look for the blue bubble in the right bottom of your browser and we will be ready to support you. Also, we created a help center where you can find most of the answers to your questions.

The new AIESEC Opportunity Portal is rolling out globally to all members today. Make sure you experience it live yourself at youth.aiesec.org