- Overarching concept 
- Platform

- Creative Research
- Art Directing

- Robbert-Jan Hofman
- Maarten Smeele

- Empower Youth for Work 


Supporting the national influencing work of the Empower Youth for Work

During a 12-hour pitch session for Oxfam Novib organized by non-profit initiative RA*W University, we get the task to come up with new ways to provide a platform for role models in rural areas of Africa, Asia and South America, and inspire young people within their own community. 

In our process we came to the understanding that role models are just people like you and me; and the closer we can feel to them, the more optimistic we feel about ourselves. Therefore, we want to show people how close they are, both physically and emotionally. What helps us the most when we feel powerless? That is the fact that you are not alone, because someone has been there before.

In the final concept, we showed where the role models came from and that they really are not as different as you and me. Because if they can, I can too.

Our idea became the winning concept and was immediately put into production. With an extra session to sharpen the concept and creative strategy, we hand it over to the people from Oxfam Novib. They took the next steps and gathered the stories with the chosen role models (narrative and visuals). This has been translated to local/national contexts for local and national influencing purposes.

During International Youth Day on August 12, 2019, we saw our concept going live globally via online (website, social media) and offline (multiple events, posters/billboards/flyers). "#IWASTHERE"; inspiring youth peers with their story of change.


'How youthful dreams become reality’ was the message behind the #IWASTHERE campaign, kicking off at International Youth Day'19. The campaign showcases the stories of the local role models; how they overcame challenges, what difference this has made in their lives and how they are influencing others. The stories are a proof that change can happen anywhere and encourage others to make changes too. 


Via online (website, social media) and offline (multiple events, posters / billboards / flyers) took the stories further shape: Raising young people’s voices and give them an audience with employers, government representatives and others.


In Bangladesh a series of street performances and dialogues took place to raise awareness of the issues young people face in the workplace. (read more)


In Indonesia, young people took to the streets to celebrate International Youth Day with a series of events that shone a light on youth unemployment, child marriage and negative stereotypes of youth in the workplace. (read more)


During the 12-hour pitch session for Oxfam Novib organized by non-profit initiative RA*W University, where we took the challenge to came up with new ways to give role models in rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America a bigger stage to inspire youngsters in their own community.


  • Emphasizes the idea of possibilities and hope, which is key to youth self-empowerment and confidence.
  • Fits well into the current idea role model/door to opportunities and be easily aligned with planned off-line activities (for example IYD);
  • It not only strengthens the voice and agency of role models, but also inspires, encourages and convinces the other youth peers, especially marginalized youth;
  • It has great flexibility in terms of activities: countries can choose, design the activities that suit their needs, capacity and budget;
  • Offers a good basis for a multi-year campaign; from awareness to possible call to action in the future.

© Gino Bodt 2020