- Charles Chilufya, University of Zambia
Do Not Judge Based on Fiction Something They Will Tell You About YouthMappers
Do you know that there is something unique about YouthMappers that they will never unveil to you?
Uniqueness of YouthMappers
I have come to understand that YouthMappers' works are sustainable. The YouthMappers community contributes to all the sustainable developments goals through mapping, making different communities to be connected and well known, training young leaders as the way of building inclusive decision makers and strong institutions. The virtue of bringing young people together around the world to network, collaborate and generate usable knowledge as a way of increasing their abilities to lead in different communities is one of the uniqueness of YouthMappers. YouthMappers is a selfless organization that believes in imparting youths with leadership skills, diverse ICT (Information Communication Technology) skills including geospatial skills, and different mapping tools. YouthMappers creates a conducive environment for Youths to flourish in and a stronger foundation for Youths. YouthMappers make young people realize their potential and be prepared to protect their future.
YouthMappers believes also in reaching out to many people in all corners of the community. Equally, YouthMappers has decentralized its services to make them more accessible to many young people in their communities. It has shown commitment through establishing its chapters in universities and making them be youth-led chapters. These youthful spaces bring different knowledge of youths to interact, learn from each other and find solutions to various problems in their communities.
YouthMappers value sustainable development goal number 5, which focuses on gender equality. YouthMappers realizes the importance of females in contributing to the well-being of society. In fact, YouthMappers has opened up the program called Everywhere She Maps, which will bring a lot of females into the space of technology and contribute to their communities.
University of Zambia Chapter
Equally the University of Zambia Chapter believes in accelerating the sustainable development goals which include gender equality. By doing so, the University of Zambia has been balancing the chapter leadership to ensure that it includes females. Since 2019, the University of Zambia had a female who served as chapter vice president for three consecutive terms.
In fact, the University of Zambia Chapter won the 2020 award for gender balance. This paved the way for the chapter in ensuring that more female students are recruited.
In addition, the University of Zambia YouthMappers Chapter believes in self-sustainable leadership within the chapters. It mentored and selected more females in 2021-2022 executive leadership. In short, since the chapter believes in ensuring the advancement of SDG 5, the previous executive left new leadership, which is female dominated starting with the vice president up to the treasurer. The chapter has also introduced the position to deal with gender for both females and males.
As part of growing our network, we had collaborations with different chapters within the region. In 2021 the University of Zambia YouthMappers and Chreso University had an open mapathon and the two chapters were visited by the OSM Zambia and HOT teams in one space.
YouthMappers has imparted me with knowledge and leadership skills that I will treasure always in my life. Additionally, YouthMappers has given me lifetime empowerment through skills in mapping, which I will utilize to make a living in my life. I must mention that I had little knowledge on how to carry out research, but through YouthMappers, I have been trained on how to identify a researchable problem and provide solutions.
Furthermore, I have also increased on my skill with the mapping tools, and understand how to contribute to sustainable development goals through mapping. The YouthMappers community has increased my advocacy in good governance, the 5 sustainable development goals which include (speak to people, speak to prosperity, speak to planets, speak peace and speak to partnerships). I have come to understand that YouthMappers contribute massively to the well-being of societies.
Final year experience
In 2021, which was the final year of my studies at UNZA, I received a lot of requests from friends who wanted to learn and join YouthMappers. They realized how difficult it is to leave campus and start a new journey in society without creating networks and discovering different and unique skills away from one’s profession. Personally, I was not ready to leave the position of secretary-general after realizing the benefits of being in a YouthMappers Chapters and presiding over the chapter’s matters. In my final year, I made my first ever presentation in the presence of the YouthMappers Founders/Co-Founders and different stakeholders. It gave me resilience and confidence in my leadership journey. At the same time, it also unveiled my new chapter as I left university life to start a new journey in my life. I got the best exposure in YouthMappers ranging from different technologies, institutions, field projects, data collection tools and different stakeholders in both private and government institutions. I will forever treasure what YouthMappers has imparted in me. In October 2021, I had an opportunity to lead my fellow YouthMappers from the University of Zambia to Kasama and linked with the Kasama Youth movement in the field for data collection in the most vulnerable communities of the northern part of Zambia. I have learned how to interact with people from different walks of life through YouthMappers networks and works.
YouthMappers gave me an opportunity to carry out research as I was selected as 2020 YouthMappers Research Fellow. This opportunity taught me a lot of things both from networking, collaboration and fieldwork. I will forever cherish that opportunity and utilize the knowledge gained to develop communities.
I will continue to volunteer in YouthMappers works because it helps many lives of people around the world. I do not want to give up helping, and I am not ready to do so.
About the Author:
CHARLES CHILUFYA is a:
Undergraduate student at the University of Zambia pursuing Records and Archives Management! President for the University of Zambia Youths of United Nations Association (UNZA-YUNA), Outgoing YouthMappers UNZA secretary-general 2019-2021, Youth Advocate for Sustainable Development
Goals! Outgoing President for Records and Archives Management Association at the University of Zambia!