ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2018

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2018, students applied to join the Class of 2018 on 285 campuses across 57 nations. 30 campuses worldwide (just 11%) were selected to host the 402 Millennium Fellows in the global pilot this year.

The Class of 2018 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 48,785 hours and their 214 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 393,449 people worldwide.

UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT S. MORRIS MASSALAY, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2018.

African Methodist Episcopal University | Monrovia, Liberia | Advancing SDG 4 & UNAI 3

" I am excited to be a Millennium Fellow because of the wide range of knowledge and networking opportunities the fellowship offers. the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and learn from people from across the globe on the same platform with like-minded youths and professionals. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: National High School Debate Competition

Liberia experienced 14 years of civil war which official ended 2003 with the exile of former president Charles G. Taylor. More than half of the period between 2004 to 2013 were concentrated on reintegrating people in post war Liberia. The young people were exposed to all forms of violence. Students and young people who had whiteness violence and confrontation became to demonstrate some form of violence orientated actions. The issues of grievance expression to government and national stake holds became a problem as the only means known to youths were the traditional protest and violence means of soliciting government attention.

Soon the behavior of students and young people in reaction to issues relevant to their own development became a national concern. Many high school became to complain the constant hobbit of student escaping instructional hours. Many of the student who escaped form school were seen on beaches and other entertainment centers. Most of the students complained about not having times and opportunity to have some level of fund on their serious campuses. this lead to the rise in drug abuse and consumption of alcoholic and harmful substances by young people.

In response to the call of the people on government to take action aimed at protecting the future of my dear nation, the government responded by deploying police on most of the constantly visited beaches and entertainment centers. This effort didn't prove to be effective as the youths quickly developed counter moves while the schools continue to complain about student escaping from school while the nation cries in fear of losing its future.

Early 2015/, an innovative young man named Mr. Alex Devine introduced an organization called the divine event management and consultancy international. A youthful organization with the mission to provided solution the above mentioned national emergency. His idea was to provide a space for the student to participate in events and activities in the name of their various schools outside the class room. Some of those activities included Raping, dancing , sinking, and most importantly debate. Activities that attracted most of the students including myself.

In 2016, after participation in the debate category and emerged as one of its most outstanding student, I join the rebranded organization as Youth For Change inc. True to its mission, the move to discourage students from participating in activities that would harm them gained strengths and popular support among the youth and students community as we offer an alternative way of fun and entertainment that was highly marketable. We went out to train young people in debate and public speaking. We provided the platform for young people with passion for sinking, dancing and rapping to showcase their talent in the presence of their peers and parents in a well organized student and youth program. So, it was easy now to discourage most of them from going to the beach in search of extra curriculum activities because those opportunities were being provided under a very good atmosphere.

As a result of this initiative, we produced several young people including myself who were and are currently advocates and mouth peace in more modern form and manner; the intellectualize form of advocacy. Most of our products were heard on most local media talking about issues affecting them and the society while demanding government and national stake holders to provide answers. we managed to use some of the topics / motions of the intellectual debate among school to sensitize and education people their basic social responsibilities. Outstanding team members from the various high schools were very instrumental in the conduct of the 2017 general and presidential elections because they were trained to Cary the message of peace and preached against electoral violence. This was only possible because we had provided them the opportunity to develop their skills in pulblic speaking.

This year, we are working hard to take the project to all fifteen counties of Liberia. Soon, we will be able to transform our youthful population into more responsible and moderate young people. As long the opportunity to develop the human mind is afforded to all of our people, the occurrence of violence and demonstration as a mean of expressing grievance and disagreement will be stopped.

About the Millennium Fellow

Sedeke Morris Massalay is a Liberian youth born during the Liberian civil war on July 24th, 1992. He hopes to make positive impacts on society. He is a student and youth leader who has spent over six years fighting for quality education for the youthful population of Liberia. Having spent lots of time training and teaching young people at high school level on debate and public speaking, he has also witnessed the power that education has on transforming people and the society at large. Working with young people in academic related events are to him the most memorable activities in his life. He believes that education should be provided to all those who seek it and that only through quality education people can truly save themselves from poverty.

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