The Millennium Fellowship is a semester - long leadership development program
convening, challenging, and celebrating student leadership that advances the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and United Nations
Academic Impact (UNAI) principles. We interviewed Samel, a third year student at
the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology pursuing a Bachelor of
Science degree in Petroleum Engineering. He was selected as a Millennium Fellow
in 2020 and served as the Campus Director for the Millennium Fellowship Class of
2020. This post will highlight Samel’s experience as a Millennium Fellow.
How did you hear about the Millennium Fellowship Opportunity?
I first came across the opportunity from an online source during the onset of the Covid - 19 pandemic and later found out that one of my classmates was a 2019 fellow. I did a bit of research into the fellowship, thought it was a great opportunity and decided to give it a ‘shot’ by submitting an application.
What was the duration of the fellowship program?
It was from August 2020 - December 2020.
What does the Millennium Fellowship mean to you?
The Millennium Fellowship presented me with a priceless avenue to network with great like - minded human capital in the economy of social progress. The fellowship refined me to positively participate in the many change processes the world requires, beginning with redefining the leadership space in Ghana on the basis of accountability. As one committed to tackling social inequality, it is my resolve to contribute hugely to bridge the gap in social classes prevalent in society.
Which SDGs and UNAI principles did your project focus on?
SDG 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
SDG 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
UNAI 4: Global Citizenship - A commitment to encouraging global citizenship through education.
How did you assume the position of Campus Director and what was your role ?
I actually applied for the position and got chosen. I moderated weekly discussions on SDGs and served as the lead member for the other Millennium Fellows on my campus.
Could you briefly describe your project "Kania Nkunim?"
"Kania Nkunim", which means, “Victory of Light” in the Ghanaian dialect, Twi, is a project founded on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16 and 17, which aims at addressing misinformation, lack of information, and a seeming leadership crisis in Ghana. The impetus was birthed from Dr. Myles Munroe’s words, “The graveyard of leadership is tolerance.” As of 2019, the informal sector in Ghana was believed to have contributed ~
GH¢73 billion to the country’s economy. Despite their enormous contribution, most of the individuals in this category are victims of either a lack of information, or misinformation. With the Madina constituency as my target community, I informed members of the informal sector on what the Sustainable Development Goals are, their role in advancing them, and what the actual roles of Members of Parliament (MP) are.
Through this project, it is my hope that the constituents, especially those that make
up the population of the informal sector would now be informed of the duties of
their MP and hold them highly accountable on their words.
What is your long term goal for “Kania Nkunim”?
I plan on providing continuous education to constituents in the informal sector to know their rightful duties in the society so they are not taken advantage of by their leaders and representatives.
Did the Covid - 19 pandemic impact the execution of the fellowship in any way?
One of the requirements of the fellowship is for selected fellows to convene in person at least 8 times during the course of the fellowship. However, due to the lockdown that occurred as a result of the pandemic, all sessions moved virtually. Additionally, a couple of fellows who had projects that needed heavy physical contact had to modify their project. Needless to say, there has definitely been some high points of the fellowship program being conducted virtually.
What have been some of your personal high points of the fellowship program being conducted virtually?
Having the opportunity to network online with people from all over the world has definitely been a great experience. We’ve had online sessions from speakers across the globe, including one with the co - founder, Sam Vaghar, which probably might not have been the case had Covid -19 not disrupted normal daily affairs. Initially, I did not know how to effectively pitch my idea to get the attention it deserves, but now I do! The webinars and seminars were all enlightening to say the least. However, I’ll say nothing beats the 1:1 in - person interaction which was missing during the fellowship as a result of the pandemic.
Why should a student apply for the 2021 Millennium Fellowship program?
The fellowship opportunity is a platform that builds you up as a leader and teaches you how to effectively use the resources at your disposal to the best of your abilities in becoming the best version of yourself. It is also an opportunity to network and learn from different individuals around the world. If you are considering applying to the Millennium Fellowship, it is important you consider a project you intend to work on which ties to the SDGs and UNAI principles and how realistic it will be in the long term, other than applying mainly because of how good it would look on your resume.
The United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network proudly present the
Millennium Fellowship. The Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development
program on your campus to take your social impact to the next level. Access to world class training, connections, and recognition is just an application away. Early Applications strongly encouraged. Second Priority Deadline: February 28, 2020.
If you know of any student whose accomplishment(s) deserves to be highlighted, send us an email at email@example.com and we will have them featured!