United Nations. Undergraduate. Impact. These three words summarize the Millennium Fellowship, a program established by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) to supply undergraduate students with necessary tools to amplify civic engagement, volunteerism, and both local and international change. Students, when accepted to the millennium fellowship, develop and implement their own projects with a group of other millennium fellows in becoming part of the process of making the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality. Ex-Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon noted the critical importance of the millennium fellows and their responsibilities, “As Millennium Fellows, we need you to lead by example – with empathy, humility, and inclusion as guiding values.”
In the French city of Le Havre, located North-West of Paris in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandie, 17 Sciences Po students were selected as part of the Millennium Fellowship alongside 2000 other equally talented, impact-driven scholars around the world from a total of 23,000 applicants. The regional campus in Le Havre has been the sole Sciences Po campus participating in the program that runs from August to December, for the second year in a row. On this occasion, Inwoo Kim on behalf of Le Dragon Déchaîné interviews the two director representatives of the campus, Malavika Kannan and Harshvardhan Zaveri, for deeper insight on some of the projects that have been initiated in Sciences Po.
Some of the millennium fellow projects that have expanded and gained public traction over the past semester are ‘Sciences Po Refugee Help’, ‘LH20’, and ‘S(H)E’.
‘LH20’, headed by Ariane Perrin, Lea Gambier, Liou Margueron, and Sofia Da Col, has recently launched a social media campaign and initiatives on raising awareness of environmental pollution. Simultaneously, they plan on organizing a photography contest and exhibition around water and environment, besides intervening in school classes and organizing workshops covering climate issues. Another project, ‘Sciences Po Refugee Help’, led by Malavika Kannan, Jon Gill, and Alxis Thng, focuses on holding bi-weekly workshops that promote sustainable and sustained support for refugees and migrants by raising awareness in these workshops on the issues that refugees and migrants face in receiving continued, formal education. Other projects, including ‘Finding Futures, Walking connected’, spearheaded by Lynette Teo and María del Valle García López and FLAME by Naman Kapoor, focuses on SDG number 5, gender equality and number 4, quality education, respectively.
Just recently in the month of November, the 2021 millennium fellows had their graduation ceremony after a two month training period. More than 3000 students joined the zoom meeting to attend the live graduation ceremony, and thousands of zoom chats were entered in the meeting. Omar Hernandez, program manager of United Nations Academic Impact, and President Michel Mawad of the Lebanese American University were present at the closing ceremony to celebrate the initiation of the millennium fellows — to step out into the world with the toolkits supplied by the fellowship. Many of the Le Havre students are planning to continue with the project even after the graduation ceremony. The position of the millenium fellows serve as a starting-point to launch a project students have passion in, with necessary and appropriate guidance provided by impactUN and UNAI.
Applications for the Class of 2022 are now live and can be accessed through the link: https://www.millenniumfellows.org/apply
A message from the incumbent campus representatives,
“Make sure to apply as soon as possible to ensure that Sciences Po remains a Millennium Fellowship school this academic year. The next priority deadline is on February 28th, and the final deadline is on March 31st. There are rolling admissions with early applications strongly encouraged. 15,000+ young leaders have already applied this cycle!”