Democracy Works Academy Fellows celebrated a successful 2020 year in December 2020, despite a turbulent year prompted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, holding a graduation ceremony for an inspiring cohort of young civil society leaders.
DWA project manager Elaine Pypers spoke at the graduation.
“This year has been an interesting journey. During the 2020 recruitment and selection, we knew that we had a high calibre cohort of Fellows. We started the year with excitement, thinking that the Academy’s year would be similar to the year before, with similar experiences. However, COVID-19 threw us a major curve ball. We had to think differently and be innovative in our approach. With lockdown, we decided to go virtual for the first two residential seminars of the Academy’s year, not wanting to place Fellows and DWA staff at risk.
Luckily, we were able to experience the Third Residential Seminar in person. The week was challenging, but it has also granted us as DWA, staff and Fellows the opportunity to get to know each other face-to-face.
I hope this journey with DWA helped you realise that you are a catalyst for change, that you are capable, and that you have every right to take a seat at the table, or, where there isn’t a seat at the table, to build your own and make yourselves known in that space.”