Members of ECPAT UK's youth groups for victims of trafficking were recently invited to Co-op's Global Citizen Live event at the O2 Academy in Brixton. In this blog post, they reflect on the evening and share their experience of the event.

In April this year, Co-op awarded us with a very exciting opportunity – the chance to attend the Global Citizen Live Event at the O2 Academy, Brixton and experience an evening of performances by world-famous musicians, poets and activists.

Global Citizen is a collective movement of socially and politically engaged citizens who work together to lobby governments and world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty. The event was an example of Global Citizen’s innovative approach to campaigning – combining grassroots organising with fresh beats, comic relief, and the voices of influential politicians. The lineup included Emeli Sandé, Professor Green, Naughty Boy, Gabrielle Aplin, Kojo Funds, Comedian Luisa Omielan, and Poet Hussain Manawer. But even better than that, the night featured the voices of inspiring figures including Kofi Annan, Penny Mordaunt, Professor Michael Ohene-Yeboah, the President of the Republic of Botswana, Joseph Muscat, and the Prime Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda amongst many other world leaders and innovators.

We were all so excited to attend. Many of us had never been to a concert before, so we didn’t know what to expect. We met at the ECPAT UK office and walked down together. When we arrived, it was quite overwhelming as there were hundreds of people waiting in the queue, which stretched all the way around the block! Our youth group leader spoke to the person on the door, and we were so surprised when they said that we had special tickets. We were then taken past the long queues and into the concert. We all felt so special! We managed to get straight to the front. Of course, as always, one of us was late so we had to find her and get her through the crowd to the front with us.

Because we didn’t know what to expect, it was a bit confusing at first when people were speaking, but they were well-respected people and what they were talking about was very inspiring. The energy in the venue was amazing! We put on some glasses to show support for the charity Clearly, which aims to provide glasses for children in need.

We all had so much fun dancing in the front row, taking a few breaks here and there during the speeches. We were all struck by the inspiration coming from the stage and found ourselves yelling support for statements like ‘a law that discriminates against a woman is a law that discriminates against all of us’. It was a long night that was full of surprises – like Emeli Sandé and Professor Green performing together, and Luisa Omielan’s call to action against injustice within the NHS. By the end of the night, we were exhausted and hungry. Some of the young women in the group decided to go for dinner, whilst the rest of us went home to sleep.

All in all, the experience was truly unforgettable. We’re so grateful to Coop for providing us with the tickets and making us feel so special.