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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. 44,000+ student leaders from 3,300+ campuses across 170+ nations applied to join the Class of 2023. 260+ campuses worldwide (just 9%) in 38 countries were selected to host 4,000+ Millennium Fellows for the Class of 2023.



Addis Ababa University | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Advancing SDG 15 & UNAI 2 | Emerging Technologist


Millennium Fellowship Project: Empowering youth

Title: Empowering youth
On the concluding day of an entrepreneurship training program hosted by Stem Power and Visa, our session was graced by the presence of Mrs. Roza, an esteemed American startup consultant with a wealth of expertise. Following her enlightening discourse on business, a lingering question pressed upon my mind.

Driven by curiosity, I couldn't resist raising my hand to inquire of Mrs. Roza, "Why do we often witness American youth at the helm of major global companies like Amazon, Google, YouTube, and Twitter, while their counterparts from Africa, Europe, and Asia seem underrepresented?" Her response was not only insightful but also eye-opening. "In Africa," she explained, "the weight of daily life's struggles can impose a heavy burden on young minds, stifling their creativity and ambition. Basic necessities such as food and clothing become their primary concerns. In contrast, young Americans, with their immediate needs met, can aim for larger goals."

This revelation struck a chord with me, prompting profound reflection on the youth in my own community. Many of them spent away their days in cafes, sipping beverages and engaging in idle conversations. Society had labeled them as failures, and some turned to addiction as a coping mechanism for life's hardships. I yearned to work on them, starting from participating in this entrepreneurship program. However, my impact was limited as I lacked the leadership skills at the time. But, amidst this, I received an email from the Millennium Fellowship, notifying me of my acceptance to the class of 2023 Millennium Fellowship. This marked a turning point, and I decided to channel my efforts towards empowering the youth.

After trained through this fellowship, I reached out to local authorities, expressing my desire to work on youth development. They appreciated the idea and provided a space for training sessions. I shared Mrs. Roza's story with the youth, using it as a source of inspiration to ignite a spark of motivation within their hearts. They aspired to transform their lives and break free from the cycle of despair. Armed with newfound determination, they embarked on a journey of change. Leveraging the knowledge and skills gained during the training and aligning with Sustainable Development Goal of number 15, I taught these jobless individuals, helping them discover their purpose and understand why they exist on this earth. In just a few weeks, some started engaging in volunteer activities, assisting elders and orphans while others began to involve in small startups.

Remarkably, three individuals among these disheartened youth secured loans from organizations supporting entrepreneurial endeavors. Then, they invested in a poultry business, starting with just ten hens. Over time, their flock grew, and so did their aspirations. This endeavor is not only changing their lives but also serving as a testament to the transformative power of opportunity and determination.

This experience left an indelible mark on my perspective. It underscored the profound impact that converting ideas into action can have, demonstrating that every successful venture begins with a spark of creativity and leadership. I learned that behind every developed country, there is a good leader who emphasize positive change. The skills gained during this training not only helped me impact these youth but will remain the greatest treasure of my life. I am grateful for this opportunity and the chance to contribute to my local community's development. I extend heartfelt thanks to the Millennium Fellowship for providing this platform and supporting me in making a positive impact. I would like to say thank you so much!

About the Millennium Fellow

Ararsa Fayisa is a passionate Civil Engineering student at Addis Ababa University with a strong interest in technology, particularly emerging technologies. He aspires to contribute to the ever-evolving tech landscape, believing that a technology-driven world fosters safety, ease, joy, and hope. Ararsa values teamwork as an efficient means to achieve tasks of high quality and quantity. He seizes every opportunity to create something useful and productive. Upon graduation, he envisions pursuing a Master's in Artificial Intelligence aiming to improve peoples. Ararsa is determined to leverage his natural talents to make a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.

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