Teenagers fleeing war helped to become future community leaders by University of Sheffield
- The University of Sheffield has launched a new project to help teenagers who have fled war and persecution become community leaders
- Young Changemakers is providing training in business and finance, so young people can create their own ideas on how the city of Sheffield can reach the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals
- Youngsters will work in teams to create proposals for a pilot project that could help the city tackle one of its major challenges
- Programme will end with a mock UN meeting where teenagers will present their ideas to Sheffield City Council
Teenagers who have fled war or persecution in their home country are taking part in a new training programme, launched by the University of Sheffield, to help them become future community leaders.
The Young Changemakers project is providing training for displaced young people in South Yorkshire to help them develop the skills needed to become community leaders.
Supported by experts in business and finance from the University’s Management School, the initiative is seeing teenagers work together in teams to create their own ideas on how the city of Sheffield can reach one of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
Launched earlier this year (27 March 2023), the first session saw young people start to prepare proposals for a pilot project that could enable the city to tackle one of the challenges it is facing in reaching the goals.
In the most recent session, which was held earlier this week (9 May 2023), the project focused on developing their presentation skills. The class was run by Olena Zhygula - a Ukrainian refugee and former head of a commercial company in Ukraine who studied English at the University’s English Language Teaching Centre.
The programme will end with a mock UN meeting where children will present a summary of their recommendations to Sheffield City Council.
Lena Mandrik, Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, who developed the project, said: “Reallocation to another country is difficult for everyone, but in particular, for adolescents. Many of them do not integrate easily into the new society and need help to engage. Through this project, our team wants to create future changemakers among adolescents who recently reallocated in Sheffield. By joining the training sessions, working with their mentors, and developing and presenting their own ideas at the mock United Nation Assembly meeting, the children will enhance their skills in critical thinking, project management and debating, which can help their future careers.”
The Young Changemakers project has been launched as part of the University of Sheffield’s University of Sanctuary initiative - a scheme that supports students, scholars and other staff who are seeking sanctuary in the UK or affected by war in their home countries.
Sheffield has twinned with a university in Kyiv to help support staff and students who have been affected by the war in Ukraine, and launched two new Ukrainian language courses, one of which is a first in the UK, among the work it has done so far as part of the sanctuary initiative. Researchers from Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering have been collaborating with exiled Syrian academics for the past four years to find new ways of reusing the huge amounts of rubble left behind by the civil war. The team has found a way to recycle the concrete rubble to help rebuild key infrastructure quicker and more sustainably.
For more information please contact: