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Hello, beautiful souls! πŸ‘‹ My name is Deng Dak, a beacon of hope hailing from the heart of South Sudan. Growing up in the shadows of the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, my life unfolded amidst hardships, the kinds that test your spirit and the resilience of your dreams. 🌠 From these humble beginnings, I journeyed to the luminous heart of the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2023, Switzerland. Isn't life extraordinarily unpredictable? πŸ”οΈπŸ€”

Join me, as I take you on an inspiring ride through the lens of a Global Shaper, shedding light on the trials and triumphs of refugee youths, and illustrating the electrifying power of collaboration. Let's dive deep into the indispensable values of equality and inclusion. Ready for the journey? 😊

🏚️ A REFUGEE'S STRUGGLE FOR OPPORTUNITIES 🏚️WhatsApp Image 2022-10-15 at 20.15.59

Having matured amidst the echoing cries and smiles of approximately 200,000 faces at Kakuma Refugee Camp, I experienced firsthand the iron grip of hardship that clutches its inhabitants. Struggles were abundant, particularly in the wake of the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic. Can you imagine living a life with limited access to opportunities as a young dreamer? πŸ˜”

This scarcity cast a dark shadow on our dreams, leading us, the young souls of the camp, to develop a fixed mindset, convincing us that our fate was sealed. πŸ’” South Sudan's relentless civil war acted as salt on our wounds, making it nearly impossible to dream of a brighter tomorrow. Can we change our fate? πŸ€”


One day, a life-altering realization dawned upon me. I recognized that the reigns of my life were in my own hands. πŸ™Œ Just like any vibrant youth outside the camp, I had the power to seize opportunities and pave my own path. Thus, began a paradigm shift in my perspective. I started viewing the camp not as a place of indefinite waiting for peace but as a fertile training ground for nurturing skills, ones that could heal and rebuild our homeland once the civil war was history. Do you see the power in a change of perspective? 🌈

Embracing this new outlook, I stepped into the shoes of a community leader, participating in youth-led organizations aimed at nurturing the phoenix within each refugee. πŸ’ͺ My journey took me to the Global Shapers Community, a network of young change-makers committed to sparking a wave of local, regional, and global change. I also joined, a revolutionary social enterprise with a vision to reskill and employ one million refugees by 2030. Can you feel the winds of change? 🌬️🌍

πŸŽ† THE OVERWHELMING EXPERIENCE OF WEF23 πŸŽ†WhatsApp Image 2023-06-13 at 12.47.29

Attending the WEF23 was akin to stepping into a dream. Can you imagine watching a global conference on television one day and participating in it the next? 🌍🀩 With the compelling theme "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," and a staggering 263 sessions, I was a child in a candy store, eager to savour every moment of this grandeur.

Upon my arrival, I was fortunate enough to engage with the visionary Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, who painted a clearer picture of the annual summit. I was also humbled to serve as a panelist in a discussion on Climate Migration, where I held the torch of my fellow refugees' experiences, emphasizing the importance of supporting local initiatives to combat climate change. Could your voice make a difference too? 🌿🌎


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The conference unfolded like a cascade of wisdom, offering insights from dynamic speakers across the globe, each equipped with their unique perspectives to address our shared global challenges. Can you imagine being in the midst of such a knowledge fest? πŸŽ“πŸ’‘

The enlightening discussions on diverse issues ranging from employment and gender equality to peace and food security in Africa stirred profound thoughts within me. But that's not all! Networking with influential leaders, kindred spirits, and fellow Global Shapers from around the world was an invaluable experience.

One unforgettable encounter was meeting Joachim Box from Fujitsu. Not only did he introduce me to the facets of Davos beyond the conference center, but also later became a client of🌟 Could these encounters lead to life-altering opportunities for you as well?

Through him, I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet Mark Pepler, the esteemed founder and CEO of Pepler Group. This meeting marked the first time I met a client face-to-face since joining, fostering a profound professional bond. Isn't it amazing how connections can bridge gaps and create opportunities?🀝


Growing up in the multicultural melting pot that is Kakuma Refugee Camp opened my eyes to a world of diverse cultures. Yet, we need to dispel the common misconception that refugees are mere recipients of charity. Could we instead see them as bearers of untapped talents, skills, and ideas that can contribute to solving global challenges? 🌍🌟

The real game-changer lies in providing the necessary infrastructure and platforms to nurture these talents. It's about creating an environment of equality and understanding that refugees, just like anyone else, can be the torchbearers of change. Isn't it high time we shift our perspective and embrace the power of inclusion? 🀝

Every refugee out there carries within them the spark of potential waiting to light up the world. Could you be the wind that fuels this flame? πŸ”₯✨


Deng Dak
Post by Deng Dak
May 28, 2023
Global Shapers || Team Leader - Kakuma Refugee Camp, I help individual business leaders connect with their target audiences|| Curving the narrative of Capability.