Every human is a potential changemaker

In an effort to promote global progress toward a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world, UNITAR has been working since its founding in 1963 to bridge the capacity gaps that exist for individuals and institutions. By developing tailored learning solutions that facilitate the creation of flexible and intellectually stimulating environments for learning and collaboration and encourage participation, dialogue, local ownership, and knowledge base expansion for sustainable impact, UNITAR’s Division for Peace helps to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 of Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions as well as the Agenda 2030. UNITAR is continuously working to promote the realization of the Youth, Peace, and Security agenda with an end goal of youth empowerment in mind, and has been at the forefront of this mission, evident in the increasing expansion of its youth empowerment activities.

Youth, like every other human, are in the pursuit of truth, purpose, meaning, and ultimately happiness, which forms a part of every human’s priority and preoccupation in their life sojourn. Suffice it to say that purpose discovery may not come off as easy for many, suggesting an intervention through a dedicated and intentional approach to walking people in this quagmire down the journey of self-discovery. With this background in mind, UNITAR is playing a leadership role in helping people discover their true self, strength, purpose, bringing them out of their enigmatic web, and catapulting them into a state of self-discovery, actualisation and realisation, and positive action. Realizing that there is a potential changemaker in every human who finds their strengths and purpose, UNITAR launched a Changemakers Series of courses for changemakers, beginning with the flagship “Explore your Changemaker Potential”.

The Changemakers Series course is a free and open course suitable for anyone willing to explore their inner strengths and potential to initiate positive change in the world. Changemakers are guided through a process that encourages them to ask relevant questions to find a personal and genuine angle to bring about positive change in the world. It entails self-reflection exercises, micro lessons on mediation, and inspirational questioning.

Leaving no one behind

In line with UNITAR’s commitment to promoting inclusive learning, and with the mandate of the United Nations system to advancing the 2030 Agenda, the UN institute is ensuring that they leave no one behind by leveraging multilingualism to bridging the access gap that may ensue from language differences for changemakers around the world who are interested not only in exploring their potentials but also in maximizing them to create impacts.

While conceptualizing this idea and thinking around making the course accessible to a wider audience, several stumbling blocks were identified, that if turned over will facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the changemakers course. An outstanding challenge among those is ensuring that no one is excluded from the opportunity to explore their changemaker potential due to the language barrier. About 17% of the world’s total population are English-speaking, implying that an attempt to limit the publication of the Changemakers course to English will deny over 80% of the global population the chance to access the course. It thus became imperative for UNITAR to reproduce the course contents in other languages. The choice of languages selected was informed by the need to stay within the scope of languages listed as the UN official languages. Notwithstanding how straightforward this may sound; it was not a piece of cake to represent the contents in other languages while at the same time ensuring that their original meaning is retained. Changemaking translates as different terms in different languages and gave the methodological team interesting insights into the global changemaker communities.

Barring these challenges nonetheless, the changemakers series course has been made available in seven languages including English. Changemakers can now enroll and complete the Explore your Changemaker Potential course in the following languages: French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese. With the translation of the course into other languages, there are higher chances of it reaching more people across the world. Apart from reach, it becomes much easier for every changemaker taking the course in their preferred language to interact more deeply with the activities and exercises contained in the series. Through the changemaker series, UNITAR stands at a vantage of empowering many more youth across the world, and in the process activating more changemakers with the hope that we can truly work together and collectively make the change that we all commonly envisage.

Begin your changemaker journey

Everyone has one or more people in their networks, who may be faced with the task of discovering their strengths and capitalising on them to make societal impacts. The challenges involved in the task of self-discovery are multifaceted. Besides the inability for self-realisation, there also exists the lack of access to information about extant tools, such as the Changemakers Series, designed to inundate these challenges. It is incumbent on us to take ownership of this process of linking changemakers with the tools they need and assume full responsibility for ensuring that they can make use of the tool in a purposeful manner and with a fulfilling end.  If you desire to unravel the mysteries behind your existence and are looking to maximise your discoveries, your changemaker journey begins by logging in to the Explore Your Changemaker Potential course on EdApp published on a microlearning platform under a partnership between EdApp and UNITAR, called Educate All, enrolling, and completing the course. In the spirit of helping other people excel, remember to spread the word about the Changemakers Series course. The course can be accessed by anyone irrespective of their device, internet, or bandwidth.

To explore your inner changemaker potential, apply here.

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