From 18-25th November, we had the pleasure to welcome 13 fellows to Brussels for our Young Water Fellowship workshop week. From an initial group of 10 young people, we were able extend the invitation to 14, of which 13 could travel to Brussels. Selected from a total of 800 applicants, these fellows were chosen on the basis of the innovation, sustainability and impact of their water projects which seek to improve access to water and sanitation in their local communities.
Coming from such diverse backgrounds, with varying levels of experience, the capacity-building workshop week was intended to provide the fellows with the theoretical and practical tools they will need to implement their projects back home.
The week itself was intense as a succession of speakers and experts from international organisations came to direct lectures and workshops. From Integrated Water Resource Management and WASH, to Gender, Project Management, Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship, the speakers covered topics that were relevant to each fellow’s project. For more details and to download the full workshop week program, click here.
An extremely busy workshop week culminated on Friday 24th November, where Young Water Solutions welcomed over 140 guests to Thon Hotel EU in Brussels for our exclusive Pitching Night. This was organised so that our fellows could present their projects to a guest audience which included Bianca Debaets, the State Secretary for Development Cooperation of the Brussels region, numerous ambassadors and deputies, members of the European Commission and representatives from international organisations, as well as our key partners. It was a fantastic night which showcased the fellows’ projects and highlighted the virtues of the fellowship, whilst also giving our guests and sponsors a chance to meet and interact with the fellows. The event was live-streamed to a global audience of 1,700 people and can be watched or re-watched here!
It was with a mixture of sadness and excitement that we said goodbye to the fellows who have now returned safely to their countries to begin the hard work and start putting into practice everything we covered in Brussels. This workshop week represented the culmination of a year’s worth of work and we were incredibly proud of all the fellows and our team for making it happen. We also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the following sponsors without who none of this would have been possible: