For the final episode of Season 2 of The Kurerie Podcast, Atoshi and I sat with Rayan Laghzal, a 16-year-old Morrocan high school student, writer, and changemaker.
The editor-in-chief of Le Bureau Des Jeunes Reporters (BDJR), a writer for Moroccan Digest, and one of two Moroccan members of Les Lycéens!, a group advocating for French high school students in France and abroad, Rayan has always had a flare for writing. His journey into journalism and writing began at the young age of 13 when he joined BDJR, a journalism club in his high school. From being a video editor, then a reporter, and then Editor-in-Chief of BDJR, Rayan knew he could change the world through writing.
Being able to make a difference, even in small ways, is incredibly empowering. I realize that my actions and words could shape the world around me.
Rayan attributes what ignited his passion to create impact and change to a number of moments, one of them being the time he was selected as a student representative by his classmates where he represented over 500 students. He found that no one took him and other young people seriously when they spoke up. Age seemed to be a barrier, but Rayan was determined to break it down and ensure that youth truly had a genuine say and could reach their full potential.
I want to be part of a world where every young voice matters, where every idea, no matter how young the mind behind it is, is heard and can make a difference.
A major part of Rayan's life has been his study abroad experiences, where he has been immersed in another country, different languages, cultures, and people.
These experiences have had a huge impact on me, and are the reason I have this really open mind. I realize the huge value in embracing our differences - they enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.
It is this opportunity to travel and explore, that has made him eager to learn, not only about different cultures, but different perspectives and opinions. This is one of the reasons he is so passionate about ensuring that every story is told, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Everyone, regardless of where they come from, deserves the same opportunities. This is what drives my advocacy work everyday.
When we asked Rayan about his biggest setback, he went back to his peers and the gap he felt in convincing them of the impact they could create. He changed his approach by listening more and talking less. Soon he found that his peers felt disconnected from the global issues plaguing the world. By creating events that broke down these issues and made these global issues personal, Rayan quickly turned a setback into a success.
Every setback has shaped me into a more empathetic, confident, determined, and resilient individual.
Rayan continues this empowerment and education of his peers through his podcast Point Culture where he and his friends explore national and international, news, geopolitical events, and cultural subjects through debates, and in-depth analysis.
As for his very bright future, Rayan hopes to continue to steer the ship of creativity and knowledge at BDJR, go deeper into creating more projects for Les Lyceens, engage with his podcast Point Culture more, and of course, inspire more young minds! He also hopes to establish a charity with his friends aimed at helping people living in poverty in Casablanca, Morocco! Though Rayan Laghzal 'be but young, he is fierce' and he is not backing down from using writing skill as a tool to create impact and change. He is also pressing forward to empower other young people to be advocates for a better world.
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This episode was recorded after the earthquakes occurred in Morocco, you may still donate to the survivors of the devastating earthquakes through the links below;
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WRITTEN BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. Zulu Uwolloh is a lawyer and international development professional. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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