One of the world’s foremost philanthropists, Mr. Bill Gates, accompanied by his wife, Melinda, as head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has lent his voice to the need for youth empowerment across Europe.
They were invited to headline an event in Paris organised by one of France’s largest social development NGO’s – Printemps Solidaire. Earlier, the NGO brought more than 500,000 youths to the Champs Elysees, to celebrate the power of youths in making social issues a priority for their respective governments.
As a young film maker and girl education advocate, Zuriel Oduwole was invited to share her experiences as a youth working on projects and initiatives typically considered for adults, as head of her DUSUSU Foundation.
Also speaking was Ndaba Mandela – the grandson of the South African icon, Nelson Mandela – who talked as head of the Africa Rising Foundation, about the importance of not just creating a good legacy, but a great legacy – having come from one himself as a Mandela.
Mrs. Gates commended Zuriel for finding her passion and working to make a difference in the lives of girls across the globe.
Zuriel shared her idea of building an e-school platform for rural girls in West Africa, a similar platform on which she has successfully used e-learning for her full time home school, since she was just four years old.
In her speech to the audience, Zuriel encouraged the youths to follow their passions strongly, explaining her experience of balancing being a youth, with her interests such as in girl education advocacy and film making.
In January 2017, she was honoured by the then US Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, for her work in teaching unemployed youths across several African countries and film making skills as part of her foundation’s skills transfer project.