Being the first Bath student to go to One Young World
It was ten years ago, but I still remember it well. Everything about the opportunity stood out to me. One Young World (OYW) is about ambitious young people making a positive change on the world. That's everything I believed in at the time and still believe in now.
I was on my professional placement as part of my BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations degree working for a human rights NGO in Geneva when I got an email from the University. It advertised the opportunity to go to the OYW summit in Johannesburg, which was a first for Bath students at the time. Immediately I thought ‘Yes!’.
There was shortlisting and an interview to get the place, which I got through. I was so excited.
A memorable atmosphere
The whole experience left me feeling inspired. I came back thinking ‘wow, that was life-changing’.
I remember the opening ceremony, which was in the Soccer City stadium where the football World Cup final in 2010 took place. There were so many people cheering and school children with vuvuzelas; the atmosphere was memorable.
At one point I looked to my left and saw Kofi Annan – that was amazing! I also saw Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Richard Branson and Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Starting a movement
During the summit, I listened to one of the delegates speaking about a global social network movement that she was doing with other students in London to raise awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking.
We spoke after her talk and that’s how the University of Bath became the first hub outside of London to get involved in the Cube Movement.
It was basically a simple idea to raise awareness about human trafficking thanks to global and traceable chains of communication.
The Cube Movement used little wooden cubes that had information on human trafficking on them. Each had a unique code, so the idea was that people would get these cubes, read the information, enter the code onto a website, and then pass them on to someone.
By people registering that they had the cube and where they were, we could see how the message was spreading all over the planet. Within days, one of our cubes had travelled from the UK to Australia!
That was the start of my involvement in anti-human trafficking, which carried on afterwards from a professional point of view.