How education on the 21st century looks like?!

If you know me, you probably know I go on and on about the role young people play (or should play) in deciding their own lives. While many agree we need to empower our youth, very little are ready to create the space and the opportunity for young people to take ownership over different aspects of their own lives.

In many previous posts, I’ve talked about youth-led development.. which is the idea of young people becoming equal partners in development processes that will shape their communities and consequently their lives…

But today I want to bring a question about youth-led education… Have you thought about what could happen if students would design their own schools!?

Sounds weird!? Maybe you should have a look at this!

“Education is not the filling of a pail, it’s the lightening of a fire!”

If you want to learn more about the project, and engage with other people trying to re-think education, make sure you connect at

Some barefeet inspiration…

Continuing with my posts about the wonderful treasuries of Africa… I want to share a little inspiration from Zambia today.

In my two years working with UNICEF in that country, I had the incredible pleasure of coming across a series of special people, and learn a bit more about their work and passion, constantly feeling re-charged with inspiration to continue my own work.

Some of those people I’ve been luck to come across and meet were Adam McGuigan, Tobias TemboTaonga Tembo, Ndala Bukola, Felix Chali, Michael and John Chanda and others that are part of an amazing group called Barefeet Theater Company..

Barefeet started as a few workshops with children living on the streets of Zambia but along the years has grown into one of the most exciting and inspiring projects I’ve personally came across!

They use Arts (theater, music, dance, etc) to inspire, empower and transform lives in Zambia, working with street kids from across the country, trying to build their confidence, and enable them to express themselves and to engage in building a better community.

But as an image speaks for thousand words… I would like to invite you to loose your shoes, and enjoy a bit of barefeet inspiration!

I guess there is no doubts that Africa has many treasures to be discovered still, but more than anything, we definitely have lots and lots to learn from incredible people like the Zambian Barefeet team!

If you want to learn more about the project, check

1 Minute to Save My City!

The theme of World Habitat Day 2011 is Cities and Climate Change.

Share your thoughts on your city and climate change, send us a video or photo. The 1 minute to save my city campaign gives you an opportunity to answer these critical questions on your city and climate change:

• How is my city contributing to climate change?
• How is climate change affecting my city?
• How can I help my city stop climate change?
• How can my city mitigate and adapt to climate change?


1. Submit a maximum of three photos, or make a video on climate change.
2. The video, a film, clip or recording should not be more than 60 seconds. Upload your video to your YouTube channel and name your video “1minutetosavemycity“.
3. The photo can be in jpg, pdf or gif format. Upload the photo(s) online directly or to a Flickr account, YouSendIt, or other website, and name your photo or folder “1minutetosavemycity“.
4. After uploading your video or photo and naming it, fill in the Submit Your Entry form. Please include a short description of your climate change film or photo (maximum 50 words) and remember to include the YouTube, Flickr,YouSendIt or other website URL link to your video or photo in the form.
5. The deadline for submission is 23 September 2011.
6. Winners will get a World Habitat Day 2011, Cities and Climate Change t-shirt, and their photo or video will be published on UN-HABITAT and Urban Gateway websites.

For additional information, please contact
Terms and Conditions

1. Your photo and video must be about climate change. The video must be no more than 60 seconds long
2. Your must have made your video or taken the photo yourself (or in your entry team).
3. The competition is open to anyone, anywhere.
4. Do not use any music, sound or pictures that you have not created without the permission of the copyright owner.
5. Your film should only feature people who have consented to appear in the work.
6. Your film must not contain any obscene, unlawful or objectionable material.
7. Submit your entry electronically using the Submit Your Entry Form.


If for any reason, you are not following the grand

Get online right now at to stay up to date with what’s happening at Kariobangi South, Nairobi, Kenya..

23rd UN-HABITAT Governing Council, Nairobi

Hey guys,

I just got back from the 23rd Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) which was held at the UN-HABITAT Headquarters Nairobi, Kenya from 11th to 15th April 2011. This time under the theme: “Sustainable Urban Development through Expanding Equitable Access to Land, Housing, Basic Services and Infrastructure.”

If you are not very familiar with the UN system, the Governing Council works as a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and basically serves as the intergovernmental decision-making body of UN-Habitat. So, every two years all the governments which are members of UN-HABITAT gathers to make decisions.

The main goal of the Governing Council is:

1- To establish UN-Habitat’s policies by developing and promoting policy objectives, priorities and guidelines regarding existing and planned programmes of work in the field of human settlements;

2- To oversee working relations with partners by following closely the activities of the organisations of the UN system and other international organisations in the field of human settlements and to propose ways and means by which the over-all policy objectives and goals in the field of human settlements within the UN system might best be achieved;

3- To approve the UN-Habitat’s biennial Work Programme and Budget.

Since I am the Latin American and Caribbean representative at the UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board, once again I had the opportunity to attend the governing council.

At the event, our role as YAB members varies a bit, but mostly we are there to facilitate and host the Youth Caucus meetings every morning, to meet with different UN-HABITAT officials and branches to discuss youth mainstreaming strategies as well as programme collaboration opportunities and finally, to lobby and mobilize our governments to pass resolutions which support our youth efforts.

Photo of the Youth Caucus Meeting held every morning.

This year, on top of lobbying our governments, the youth present at the Governing Council decided to organise a FlashMob to raise our concerns among the governments which were discussing the Youth Resolution.

The idea was a bit too innovative for UN security, but on and on, we managed to get our message across and gain the support from many people which were passing by and felt passionate about our call for a more meaningful intergenerational partnership.

We managed to achieved support from the governments of Brazil and South Africa, which along Norway’s continuous support, was enough to get approved the YouthResolution which advances many fronts for us youth advocates within UN-HABITAT. (If you want to see all the resolutions which were passed, check for more information).

As a member of UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board it’s the second time I attend the Governing Council, and I believe we are getting better in the way we work during the GC. We also decided to create a blog, to post some of the experiences we lived while at the Governing Council. (