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Saturday, 30 May 2015

"I've learnt to think globally, beyond my local understanding." - Highlights from the Chat with Victoria Ibiwoye

If you missed the Facebook Live Chat with the Opportunity Desk May Young Person of the Month, then this summary will help you catch up on all that happened!

Victoria Ibiwoye is the May 2015 Young Person of the Month - a 21-year-old youth leader from Nigeria who is currently pursuing a Law degree at the prestigious University of Ibadan. She is the founder of the OneAfricanChild Initiative. During the chat, she shared her views on Youth Development, Education and dished out strategies to help you can prepare yourself ahead to be selected for great opportunities around the world.

Find below, excerpts from the chat:

Magne Rosy: Hello Victoria, what inspired you to start One-Africa Child?

Victoria Ibiwoye;
Hi Magne smile emoticon , I was inspired by the need to fill a need in my community. I wanted to invest in the lives of children so that they can grow to be the best for the world.

Babajide Oluwase: Hi Victoria, how best do you think inexperienced individuals can go about preparing solid applications for international opportunities, especially in cases where experiences are required.

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Experience is not an event, it is a life-long process. Once I was in-experience, even now, I am still learning. My advice to keep on learning new thing, acquiring more knowledge within and out of school. This internet has made it so easy to access materials and connect with young people who are better experienced. My advice is to make the best of everyday - How we spend our day is how we eventually spend our lives.

Fashola Samson: Hi Victoria! I had been nominated twice for international opportunities, IsfiT & TAVRIDA precisely. But visa denial stood as a stumbling block against my attendance. Please, what systematic way(s) had you adopted in obtaining visa for international events?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Hello Fashola, sorry about that. One of my friends once experienced the same. In order avoid this, I recommend that you find out about the embassy where you'll apply for visa, get all required documents ahead of time and contact your sponsors to contact the embassy on your behalf before visiting. This helps. Remember to be polite and comply with necessary instructions while at the embassy. If you have to go through an interview session, search online for possible questions and prepare well ahead of time. Above all, pray smile emoticon I wish you all the best with future opportunities.

Zaidat N. Ibrahim: Tell us a bit about One-Africa Child and how you got inspired to start this initiative?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
One African Child started as a dream. I am passionate about helping children discover their potientials. I was inspired by young people from around the world who are making huge differences in very little ways. I simply wanted the children of my community to aspire to be different so I started to educate and empower them first.

Magne Rosy: What gives you the daily motivation? When feel tired, or when you do not have energy, what keeps you going?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Magne Rosy, I started with the little I had. I started to inspire children to be great, I shared with them some of my old books to read. I shared this event on Facebook and got more people to support me. Because the initiative moved from "me" to "we", it is today, more sustainable.

Fashola Samson: Majority of international opportunities require you take care of your transportation to and fro. Please, how do you source for your Airfare as a Youth with little or no income?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
True. You can crowfund. Check more about this online. You can as well write to Governmental/ Non-governmental bodies for support. If you plan to use any of these options, please start early.

Zaidat N. Ibrahim: How do you deal with rejections? And what’s your advice for people who received rejections from opportunities they applied after a rigorous application process?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Hi Zaidat, truth is, it hurts to be rejected. However, what matters is not how we feel but how we handle it. For me, I see this as an opportunity to improve. This mindset has really helped me to build better applications for the right programmes. I advice young people to continuing improving on themselves, this reduces the chances of being rejected. prepare ahead for what is to come.

Magne Rosy: What do you think are winning arguments, what can we do to have all the chances on our side, when we apply for international trainings?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
To have winning arguments when applying for international trainings:
For international trainings, I have learnt to think from a globally, beyond my local understanding. For such applications, we must be aware of the competitiveness & work towards having a distinct application. Take time to research about the programme, why you really want to apply and what you hope to acheive. This helps in defining why you should be considered as a good candidate. You must also be willing to accept that not all applications suits your qualification.

Wiem Askri: What is your advice for a successful interview, I got accepted to some opportunities but then in the interview process I get rejected. what do you think is the best way to prepare for this!

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Prepare ahead. I normally research about the organisation/theme of the event I am applying for before I apply, after I apply, if I get selected, the research continues in preparation towards the event. you can also try to connect with past participants and learn from them. This helps!

Jude D'genius Ogar: Victoria Ibiwoye how can young people who have nothing actually affect lives?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
There is always something great within us. God did not creat us empty. We can make use of our gifts/talents/skills/knowledge to affect lives positively.

Chrissy Michael: Hello Victor,do you think that the government have done enough to combat these challenge the young people are witnessing today by being rejected during the application of Visa process. If yes, how?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Chrissy, it's really disappointing that we are limited in visiting countries of our choice. We need to channel our challenges in calling for call for the right leadership. These are issues that we must continue to bring the attention of our leaders to. If we keep trying, maybe someday, you and I won't need a visa to visit the country of our choice.

Mohamed Abozaid: In your opinion, what  do we need generally for development?

Victoria Ibiwoye:
For development, we need Peace. There is no development without peace & there is no peace without development. Peace and development are like two sides of the same coin and that involves the collective effort of every citizen, culture and religion.

Magne Rosy:
How do you think we can encourage youths to achieve social positive change? Espacially those in rural communities who do not see any any hope for a better future, in our african countries?

Fasoranti Fash Damilola:
The rural community especially needs most of us in the city, same way most of us in the city needs the rural communities to survive. The biggest encouragement for today's youth is a personal inside energy to see a better world. On another side, nothing will change darkness if we don't strike the first match. Success stories from youths doing amazing stuffs in rural communities is enough to get us running.

Omozojie Aigbogun: Hello Victoria, I am a member of Samuel Counselling Corner and founder Youthful and Powerful.. I have a passion to motivate youths and teens towards academic achievement and one way we do this is by donation of books by Ben Carson and other authors but funding has been a major issue. How do you deal with funding in ur area of expertise?? 2) How do you combine what you do with your studies....Thanks and wish you all the best....Thanks opportunity desk

Victoria Ibiwoye:
I am proud of what you are doing to make a difference. For funding, we have written to individuals and organisations who might be interested in our work. You may try the same, it is best to write to organisations/companies in line with your project. Combining school work with my organisation's activities has taught me about planing. I had had to plan strategically how to spend my day. This is easier said than done, we need to be disciplined and learn to strike a balance.

Chrissy Michael: Finally Victoria, how can the youth prepare themselves with the advance technologies at their disposal in other to be relevance in this digital world today.

Victoria Ibiwoye:
Hello Chrissy, young people must go the extra mile to acquire relevant skills needed for the 21st century. Without acquiring knowledge, there is no way to maximise what we already have because it looks difficult. Our problem is not necessarily access to opportunities but what to do with these opportunities. We as youths must constantly work to develop competences that will help us become better leaders today and tomorrow.


Chrissy Michael Victoria: Thank you for a job well done by attending to all the questions.God bless you. Up #OD
Like · Reply · 1

Magne Rosy: Thank you very much Opportunity Desk. I got very useful tips for the future from this chat.

Victoria Ibiwoye: Thank you Opportunity Desk for such a unique platform as this. Dear young leaders, I wish I could answer all your questions, feel free to connect with me on Twitter. Together, we can achieve more.

Don't miss the next one. Join us at OpportunityDesk to follow live updates!
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Friday, 29 May 2015

BUILT TO LAST: Keys to Building Strong Network Relationships

Many of us know that as youths, it is important that we network properly with the people we meet everyday in school and on campus. This is true because your success can sometimes be influenced by who you know.

The problem though for most youths is how to find a balance in such relationships with other youths of very different backgrounds, temperaments, lifestyles, beliefs and thinking processes. Below are five keys that will help you.

This is paramount and very sensitive. Don’t appear in a way that’ll make people take you for less than you are. Someone once said that people will first see you before they hear you. So, be devoted to excellence in your dressing and make up. Also, always wear a smile or at least a cheerful look; it will make people feel they are around a successful person.

Never highlight your accomplishments except when you are asked to or when the need arises. People really don’t like to be around those they feel have overtaken them in life. You remain an accomplisher whether or not you trumpet it. Also, don’t have proud looks.

What you say, how you say it and when you say it can be as damaging as it can be very helpful. You can use your worlds to strengthen a weakening relationship and you can as well use them to crumble a good relationship. So, be careful. Also try as much as possible to be calm and very fluent when you speak.

Arguments always come up that expose differences in beliefs, morals and temperaments. So, if a relationship is beneficial to you and you don’t want any of the above to come in the way, then learn to focus your efforts on finding common grounds and areas on which you agree, rather than focusing on what tears you apart or your differences. Like Barak Obama once put it, “The bonds that hold us together are more potent than the forces that divide us”.

Learn to praise people for the smart things they do. Don’t praise them at their back but right before them and openly. Appreciate them for what they have been through and for how far they have come. Be generous enough to do that and people will always love to be around you.


(Joshua is an Electronic and Electrical Engineering student at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, a speaker and an author of a best-selling book. This short but loaded piece would inspire you to adjust your attitude and build a strong network relationship with others).
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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Melissa Cara Marie from Canada selected for Women Deliver's Young Leaders Fellowship Program

Melissa Cara Marie writes from Canada to share her success story with us. She is one of the 200 youth leaders selected for the Women Deliver's three-year Young Leaders Fellowship Program and Scholarship to attend the 2016 Conference in Denmark.

Read more about her below:

I'm Melissa from Toronto, Canada. I am one of the 200 young people selected for the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. I currently work in government research/statistics. My background is in women's development, specifically human rights and freedoms within the context of international law. I'm also passionate about youth advocacy and engaging young people in development. 

I'm really excited about this three year fellowship and to be given the opportunity to make meaningful change with other young leaders from all over the world. Thank you to Opportunity Desk for making me aware of this fellowship and for prioritizing youth!

Find what you are passionate about and follow that passion endlessly. It is always worth the risk."

- Melissa Cara Marie

Thank you Melissa, for writing to us and sharing your story. Best wishes.

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.
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Wiem Askri from Tunisia selected for Full Scholarship to Women Deliver Conference in Denmark

Wiem Askri from Tunisia is one of the young women selected to receive full scholarship to attend the Women Deliver Conference 2016 in Denmark. She has sent us her story of success. Even though she got several rejections, she kept improving herself and trying her best, and has not regretted it.

Read her story and be inspired!

I want to share my success story with you all. I was accepted for a scholarship to attend Women Deliver Conference in Denmark:

I have been following Opportunity Desk for about two years now, and I am really thankful to all the opportunities that keep being posted all the time, a lot of chances for everyone from around the world no matter what their interests are.

Even though I got several rejections, I kept improving myself and trying my best, and when I read about the Women Deliver scholarship on OD, I was very excited and worked hard to get my application ready in time, and now that I got accepted I want to thank you for being the ones who introduced this opportunity to me. 

Now I can proudly say that I am on my way to prove that being a woman is not a handicap as long as we keep preserving and doing our bests."
Thank you so much OD. You rock!

Thank you Wiem for writing to us and sharing your story. Best wishes.

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.
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Berabose Aline Joyce from Rwanda shares her amazing story with Opportunity Desk

We could not be more grateful to receive this beautiful piece by Berabose Aline Joyce from Rwanda.

Before her 18th birthday, Joyce had received invitation to travel to London for a debating camp. Since then, she has participated in many international programs including: the Global Youth Forum in USA, Isfit 2015 in Norway, UN Changemakers Summit in Switzerland and the Cambridge University Women's Open debate in UK. She is one of the young people receiving full scholarship to participate in the Women Deliver Conference scheduled in May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Read her story below and be inspired!

Before I travelled to London for a debating camp, I wrongly assumed that traveling was a privilege for rich families. I could not imagine anyone spending hundreds and often thousands of dollars on someone like me for a training. But it happened to me, not once, not twice but several times.

After posting a video on youtube I was contacted to apply for a training in the UK and was offered a full scholarship just before I turned 18. There are amazing opportunities for young people who are committed to make a positive change in their community and in the world. Opportunity Desk is an excellent tool to find these life changing opportunities.

You may apply and get rejected several times but my advice is not to give up. 

I look at OD almost everyday before I go to bed and I apply at least once a month or two. If you are wondering what next since my trip to London, and on full scholarships, I also participated in the Global Youth Forum in USA, Isfit 2015 in Norway, UN Changemakers Summit in Switzerland and I even returned to UK to debate at Cambridge University Women's Open.

I am also thrilled I will be participating in the Women Deliver Conference scheduled in May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

- Berabose Aline Joyce (Watch her Video)

Simply amazing. Thank you Joyce for writing to us and sharing your story. Best wishes.

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.
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Mohamed Abozaid from Egypt shares his success with the UNAOC Forum in Bali and more

We are pleased to receive this amazing success story by Mohamed Abozaid from Egypt. He has been following Opportunity Desk and has leveraged on some of the opportunities posted. His success with the UNAOC Forum in Bali, Indonesia in 2014 highlights his breakthrough. Read all about it and be encouraged to keep trying.

I coincidentally discovered Opportunity Desk while surfing online for some courses - and later, I have found that, it was one of the most amazing Coincidences that happen to me ever!

My breakthrough came when I applied for the 2014 UNAOC Forum in Bali, Indonesia. Actually, I just applied and did my best to fill that long application and write those essays. About 2 months later, they replied me that I have been selected and I have to be ready to go to Bali.

Actually till the last moment I didn't believe that, until I went there and met 100 of the best youth leaders worldwide whom became not only my motivation during the program, but also friends for the future!

That experience made me think wider and get more experience. It was my 1st introduction to UN Forums. After this, I applied to a Certified Training Program with the World Youth Alliance and I am almost through with the course. 

For the great time that I had in Bali, for the friendship and relationships that I built and for many open doors, thank you so much Opportunity Desk, for helping and supporting us, Nothing is more noble than offering hands and helping others - that's what you actually do all time!

Warmest Regards,

Thank you for writing to us and sharing your story. Best wishes.

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.
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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Edidiong Umoh receives Scholarship to attend Women Deliver 2016 Conference in Denmark

We are pleased to hear from Edidiong Umoh from Nigeria on her selection for a FULL Scholarship to attend the Women Deliver 2016 Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The scholarships are awarded to incredible youth advocates, under the age of 30, who are working to advance the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in their community and around the world.

Edidiong now has the chance to serve as a youth representative at the conference and connect with the wide range of policymakers, donors, activists, and journalists in attendance. Read her statement below:

"I am so grateful to the Opportunity Desk administration, I have applied for a lot of the opportunities I see here, and found it so discouraging at some point. Today, I am so glad that I am successful and that I didn't give up. Thanks to OD, I love you so much.

If you are out there, passionate about something, then don't quit trying, take advantage of these great opportunities, and keep trying. You will be glad you didn't quit" - Edidiong Umoh

We are so excited for you, and wish you the best!

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.

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