RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — on May 3–4, 2017, the seventh UNESCO NGO Forum took place, with Youth and their Social Impact as the main theme this year. This event was the first held in the Arab region, and brought together a record number of 2,000 participants from UNESCO’s NGO partners, and young women and men from 70 different countries who exchanged views on the theme. For this occasion, the MiSK Foundation initiated the MiSK NGO Pitch Competition with a main objective to “identify the most promising project or proposal from an NGO that fosters engagement amongst young people to create positive social change”. The Water Youth Network (WYN) submitted the ‘YouKnoW’ project to participate in the competition. As a “Young Water Professional”, Ms. Amrita Gautam of the ITT–TH Köln, World Youth Parliament of Water (WYPW) and Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE), attended the event and reports for the WSCC 2017:
Tatiana Silva from Brazil, in her speech:
“I’ve used the toilet twice and drank a bottle of water since I woke up. I’m a privileged person – like all of you here in the audience – living in a world where 2 billion people do not have access to sanitation and face water scarcity. And when attending events that ultimately decide how our society is going to provide water for all, we, young professionals, entrepreneurs and researchers, especially from vulnerable countries, are never at the decision-making table.
“So at the Water Youth Network, an organization that connects over 100 youth from the world, we developed the platform YouKnoW: Youth-driven Knowledge in Water. It’s a map and dynamic database where youth can communicate better, empower each other and cooperate to solve the challenges we face today. We already have 50 youth initiatives connected but we want this number to grow. We want to showcase how we are taking the lead in building our water future. We want to promote knowledge sharing by youth for youth and support each other in this difficult task of being agents of change.”