Global Shaper Jilt is Building amazing Bridges in Africa!

One of the new Global Shapers of the Amsterdam Hub, Jilt, is currently in Africa for his Building Bridges project. We held a short interview with him to get to know more about the project, Jilt himself and his connection with the Global Shapers program.


Who are you? 

Jilt van Schayik, aged 25, from Langenboom, was the Dutch youth delegate to the 69th & 70th United Nations General Assembly. Jilt studied Business at Fontys University of Applied Science in the Netherlands. As part of his study he interned in 2012 at the Head Office of Volkswagen India. For his graduation thesis, Jilt conducted research on agrarian cooperatives in Kenya and established - together with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture – a cooperative including 500 farmers. 

Inspired by the stories, challenges and dreams of young people he met around the world, Jilt’s work as youth representative focuses mainly on putting youth at the center of the post-2015 development agenda. In this respect, he attended the World Conference on Youth, the 3rd Africa – EU Youth Leaders Summit and the 52th Commission on Social Development. During the last six months of his two-year term, Jilt cycled from Amsterdam to Cape Town to picture the post-2015 agenda from a different perspective. A perspective that focuses on the priorities of young people on the grassroots level and their vision of the world in 2030. Jilt believes that there can be no peace, no prosperity and no progress, without the full and equal participation of women and youth all over the world!


What should we know from you we can't find on the internet?

I have a huge passion for action / outdoor sports. Whether it is off-piste snowboarding, surfing in Sri Lanka or Cape Town, or just a great game of football, I am always ready for it! :D


What exciting project are you working on now?

From the metropolis Johannesburg to rural communities in Northern Zambia, from Uganda’s agricultural sector to Nairobi’s ICT hubs. The Road to Nairobi 2016 project will connect youth entrepreneurs and local change makers in eight African countries to foster youth employment. The Building Bridges team of African and European youth will conduct field visits to youth entrepreneurs, meet with local youth organizations and converse with youngsters from all walks of life they meet on the road. At the end of each country visit multi-stakeholder events will be organized to present real life case studies and to propose better policies to increase the youth employment rate. Everyone involved will learn from young people on the ground about their environments and challenges to give them a voice and work together on youth driven solutions for youth employment and youth entrepreneurship. 


Why did you start it?

During the first Building Bridges project (a bicycle tour from Amsterdam to Cape Town) I spoke with thousands of youngsters living in both Africa and Europe about their priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals. By far the most heard challenges was the existing gap between educational systems and the labor market. With the Road to Nairobi 2016 we hope to overcome some of those challenges, while at the same moment creating hundreds of jobs by working closely with young entrepreneurs.


How can the Global Shapers help with this project?

For the Road to Nairobi 2016 project we work in close cooperation with Global Shapers Hubs in 8 countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda). Among others the support the project with peer-to-peer mentorship, local networks, and outreach.


Why did you join the Global Shapers project?

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together". This African proverb lies at the heart of everything what I do. By joining the Global Shapers Community, I hope to work together with a group of bright young leaders to make a positive contribution to our global community.


What can we expect from you in the upcoming 2 years?

More initiatives, more energy, more impact and collaboration!


More on this project