April 11, 2011

Youth Voices: AGYA Co-Founder Matovu Abraham Attends Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in San Diego

AGYA Country Director and Co-Founder, Abraham Matovu, attended the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Meeting in San Diego, California during the weekend of April 1-3, 2011. 

Hosted at the University of California at San Diego by Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, the conference highlighted 5 areas: education, energy & climate change, global health, peace & human rights, and poverty alleviation. President Clinton emphasized the importance young people to develop and implement innovative, sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges (http://www.cgiu.org/).

At the Conference, Abraham had the unique opportunity to network, share, and learn from global youth activists and college students from the United States and more than 90 other nations. Abraham attended sessions on grassroots community engagement and education: pathways and opportunities for adolescents. 

Abraham had the opportunity to update CGIU members about Recording Our Dreams, AGYA's 2010 "CGIU Commitment to Action" which is in the process of establishing a solar-powered recording studio that will economically and artistically empower Ugandan youth. Abraham was interviewed by NBC San Diego on Day 1 of the Conference, and on Day 2, he had the opportunity to  connect with Liberian youth activist Kimmie Weeks of Youth Action International, Inc.

Abraham wrote the following piece about his experience at CGIU 2011:
It was my first time at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. I came to San Diego with no expectations, but it was very amazing to see what other young people are doing to change the world. Sitting in a room of more than 1,000 young people, all determined to change the world in a positive way,  made me feel like I am part of a global movement of selfless, creative people. I also felt like there is so much more work to be done.
I was inspired to see what President Clinton is doing because he has travelled all over the world and has been the President of the United States, but he still wants to help people living in poverty, people without access to healthcare. The Conference also made me reflect on life. Seeing my fellow African young people at CGIU made me realize that the world is a small place; that whatever you do in countries like Uganda or Kenya or wherever, you are still helping people all over the world. Being at the CGIU Conference also made me realize that the only way you can be happy is to make someone happy. I am just one piece in the puzzle for change and I want to do this work for the rest of my life.