Young leaders 2022

The EDD Young Leaders programme is conceived to ensure that EU policies take youth into account by involving them in policy-making discussions. Since 2015, the Young Leaders Programme has ensured that young people have their say on the issues spotlighted each year. These 11 exceptional young people selected among 231 candidates from all over the world, aged between 21 and 26, have been selected because of their skills and expertise, as well as their commitment to positive social change.
Click on each picture to find out more.

  • Elisha Caleb
    EDD 22 Young Leader, Kenya

    Elisha Caleb is the United Nations Young Leader for SDGs and Commonwealth Youth Council Secretary General. He is an innovator, creative thinker, and entrepreneur with a passion for emerging technologies and their application to solve some of  the biggest global challenges. Elisha also serves in the World Bank Youth Advisory Group. He is the founder and CEO of Agrotech Plus, an agricultural technology company targeting over 1 billion small-holder farmers globally with precision farming technology to increase production, reduce hunger and achieve sustainable food security. Elisha is interested in the most pressing challenges in the global community; with particular focus on agriculture, technology, climate change, water and sanitation. He is a strong believer in youth as the change powerhouse.

    HLP: The AU-EU Innovation Agenda

    Elisha Caleb
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Kenya
  • Vitoria Galvao
    EDD Young Leader, Brazil

    Vitória is a young enviromental activist and social innovator from Manaus, Amazonas in the Amazon region of Brazil. She leads Palmares Action Lab, and serves as the Regional Focal Point for LAC Region on Children and Youth Constituency on Sustainable Communities. As a transgender Afro-indigenous activist, Vitória recognises our current model of development as a major cause of the climate crisis. She sees that youth play a central role in driving local actions in our areas and communities. She works to push young vulnerable voices forward through action, and to empower people to tackle the climate crisis through political participation, education and adaptation/mitigation efforts. 

    HLP: Tables rather than desks, for more inclusive response to the climate crisis

    Vitoria Galvao
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Brazil
  • Emmanuel Ganse
    EDD Young Leader, Benin

    Emmanuel is a blogger and digital communicator. He has been an activist for children's and women's rights since 2020. As a member of the Benin Association of Bloggers, he has been collaborating with Plan International, among others, to strengthen the inclusion of girls in the digital world by building their capacities for legal responses to online violence, jobs on the web, and online technical protection. He develops civic tech projects for the promotion of peace and civic behavior.

    HLP: EEAS HLP on Open and secure internet

    Emmanuel Ganse
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Benin
  • Ngawang Gyeltshen
    EDD Young Leader, Bhutan

    Ngawang is a One Young World Ambassador, and as such, has represented Bhutan twice. He is the founder of Bhutan Food, whose mission is to make Bhutan a 100% organic country. As a leader in building sustainable food systems in Bhutan, he understands the importance of including smallholding farmers in digital growth to facilitate agricultural transformation. Moreover, he is a private sector partner and advisor to Bhutan's Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.

    HLP: Digital technologies in service of inclusive, climate-responsive development

    Ngawang Gyeltshen
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Bhutan
  • Bethel Madu
    EDD Young Leader, Nigeria

    Bethel Madu is a construction manager, an entrepreneur, and the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bryme Designs, a construction startup aiming to shape the future of African cities through the power of design and sustainable construction. He is currently the project manager for a building construction project with a value of over 200,000. He is the convener of The Construction Community, a global online community for construction professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Electronic Engineering, and participated in the Graduate Entrepreneurship Scheme 2021 hosted by Construction Kaiser and the Kaiser Foundation for Sustainable Development at the Lagos Business School. He is a member of BIM Africa. His passion for entrepreneurship was borne out of a desire to solve problems. He believes in the mantra that 'whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve', and his leadership philosophy is that 'Everyone has the unlimited potential to succeed in certain major capacities'. At the EDD 2022, he will focus on infrastructure connectivity as an economic corridor for development.

    HLP: Sustainable and smart corridors

    Bethel Madu
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Nigeria
  • Anaïs Matthey-Junod
    EDD Young Leader, Switzerland

    Anaïs has a Master's degree in Energy Management and Sustainability. She is involved in several actions focused on clean energy access and the energy transition, and co-founded a social entrepreneurship student project to improve access to clean energy in Malawi. At EDD 2022, she will represent the NORCAP Female Accelerator Programme. This organisation aims to offer a gender perspective and feminise the humanitarian energy sector while bridging the development-humanitarian divide while accelerating the transition towards SDG 7.

    HLP: Strengthening the EU-LAC partnership for a green and just transition

    Anaïs Matthey-Junod
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Switzerland
  • Chiaratou Olayindé Moutairou
    EDD Young Leader, Benin

    Chiaratou is a specialist in community health and has been part of Consumer International's Next Generation Leaders Network since 2020. Passionate about health and gender issues, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Beninese session of the West African Network of Young Women Leaders (ROAJELF-Benin). She is currently involved in promoting consumer rights and food safety. She also works with youth and women's organizations on sexual and reproductive health as a lever for the empowerment of women and girls.

    HLP: Partnering for African Sovereignty on medical products access

    Chiaratou Olayindé Moutairou
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Benin
  • Giovanni Pintor
    EDD Young Leader, Switzerland/Italy

    Giovanni is a Master's student in International Affairs and works as a Partnerships Officer at the United Nations Road Safety Fund. He is the founder of the NGO Adesso Basta, which aims to promote road safety and raise awareness about transport infrastructure in his home region of Sardinia.

    HLP: Safe and green mobility in low-and middle income countries

    Giovanni Pintor
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Switzerland/Italy
  • Katarina Polomska
    EDD Young Leader, Chile/Slovakia

    Katarina is an international development professional working on the Latin American urban food agenda at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). She holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS University of London. She is experienced in sustainable development, agri-food systems and the urban food agenda. At the EDD 2022, she will represent the Youth Committee of the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, which focuses on localising the global youth movement on Latin American development.

    HLP: Sustainable cities as vehicles of green, productive, just, and smart development

    Katarina Polomska
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Chile/Slovakia
  • Junior Tagne
    EDD Young Leader, France/Cameroon

    Junior is a big data engineer and entrepreneur who focuses on data usage and security issues. He is a co-founder of a digital agency. At the EDD 2022, he will represent Je M'engage pour l'Afrique, a public policy incubator where he works to use digital technology to make public policy accessible to all. 

    HLP: Contribution of Digital to Africa's economic growth and progress

    Junior Tagne
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    France/Cameroon
  • Funmilayo Taiwo
    EDD Young Leader, Nigeria

    Funmilayo is passionate about youth development and is a fierce advocate for comprehensive sexuality education. She currently serves as Policy and Partnerships Fellow at Global Citizen, where she works to influence policy commitments to advance investments in adolescents and young people’s health. At the EDD 2022, she will share localised solutions deployed through her collaboration with a network of organisations to make young people more resilient in post-pandemic Nigeria. She will also discuss how traditional and social media were leveraged to mainstream mental health support into reproductive health services.

    HLP: A Global Gateway to reimagine learning and skills for the future

    Funmilayo Taiwo
    EDD 2022 Young Leader
    Nigeria

Young leaders Alumni

Since the program’s inception, inspiring and engaged EDD Young Leaders from all over the world have been at the core of the EDD and its high-level discussions.
Find out more on each former EDD Young Leaders by clicking on their picture.
A few Alumni also run an independent blog.

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    EDD Young Leader, Nigeria
    2018

    Olaoluwa is a qualified legal practitioner with 4 years of experience in grassroots organizing for girls’ rights and programme implementation for girls education. She founded a local NGO - Girl Pride Circle Initiative - that has the objective of galvanizing communities to safeguard girls’ rights and invest in girls. Through this organization, she mobilized 270 adolescent girls into drafting an Action Plan for the prevention of sexual violence against girls and young women within the community: the Action Plan was adopted by the Local Government shortly after. She has also advocated for girls/women’s rights across strategic global platforms, including the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Olaoluwa works to enable girls become active change makers, in a virtuous cycle of empowerment.

    Olaoluwa Abagun
    Nigeria
    2018
  • Paa Kwesi Essonh Abak Bonney
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2021

    Paa Kwesi E. A. Bonney is a community development enthusiast from Ghana and works with the Research and Defence Cooperation Directorate of Ghana’s Ministry of Defence. He serves as the Programme Coordinator for KIDCITY GHANA – a non-profit organisation that provides support for vulnerable communities. Over the years, Paa Kwesi has co-led a team to conduct a research that helped identify and provide support to meet the needs of 12 partnering orphanage institutions. This resulted in the assessment of the needs of 700 orphans to develop tailored solutions. He seeks to pioneer innovative solutions that promote sustainable urbanisation by tackling the global burden of waste in contemporary societies. He remains passionate about inspiring positive change in the world around him.

    Paa Kwesi Essonh Abak Bonney
    Ghana
    2021
  • Salma Abdalla
    EDD Young Leader, Sudan
    2018

    Salma Abdalla is a 26 years old Sudanese and has lived in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Sudan and now Egypt. As an intern at Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) she works on a project called "Women and energy". It aims at expanding economic opportunities and alleviate poverty by encouraging women entrepreneurship in the sector of clean and renewable energy, given its diverse possibilities and promising future. Through her work she focuses on the role of women in the energy sector, particularly towards the attainment of implementation of the SDG Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement and the AU Agenda 2063.

    Salma Abdalla
    Sudan
    2018
  • Hovhannes Aghajanyan
    EDD Young Leader, Armenia
    2016

    Hovhannes holds a Master’s degree in IT Management from Yerevan State University and currently focuses in IT Management and Digital Production. He has more then 6 years working experience in IT industry, Banking and NGO sector. In addition, he has experience in founding and managing IT and Social Startups. Since 2012 he is Co-Founder at Citybugs Social Start-Up, an award-winning citizen-reporting platform. Hovhannes actively engaged in Internet Governance related issues with ISOC AM.

    Hovhannes Aghajanyan
    Armenia
    2016
  • Esenam Amuzu
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2017

    Esenam works to improve access to sexual and reproductive health rights in Africa for young women, particularly in rural areas of her country. As a member of CURIOUS MINDS Ghana, a youth-led advocacy working towards children and youth development through the media, she hosts one of the flagship youth radio programme. Esenam is also part of the “My Teen Life”, a project aiming at finding proactive solutions to some young people’s issues such as teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and unsafe abortions. Despite her young age, she also mentors and volunteers for several youth and health related organisation, both on the national and international level. She is also a dance4life changemaker, and speaks of the realities and needs of young people in relation to sexual and reproductive health through consultations with them at the grassroots level. She aspires to be a journalist to promote developmental issues.

    Esenam Amuzu
    Ghana
    2017
  • Carlo Angeles
    EDD Young Leader, Peru
    2019

    Carlo Angeles is an advocate for sustainable development. At 25, he was appointed as National Director for Organization of Youth at the Ministry of Education, becoming peruvian youngest senior government official. In this capacity, he designed Peru´s first civil society participation and accountability mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals. He represented youth in various international development processes and served as regional focal point for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth for the UN Habitat III process. Currently he serves as Executive Director at Lab2030. In this capacity, he is leading a national discussion that represent over 500 USD million annual investment for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, by implementing Sustainable Procurement processes.

    High-level panel: Addressing the challenge of inequalities in middle income countries, tailoring tools and priorities to the circumstances and inequality dynamics of these countries

    Carlo Angeles
    Peru
    2019
  • Dorcas Apoore
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2018

    She is a team leader, mentor and trainer in her community focusing on economic empowerment, social inclusion of disabled rural women and poverty reduction. She also works on SRH education of rural girls and women and fighting against school dropouts. Dorcas is currently studying Development Planning at University for Development Studies Wa of Ghana. In 2014, she founded “ASIGE Ghana” (Advocacy for social inclusion and Girls Education), a woman-based organization that empowers women through basket weaving, currently employing 219 women.

    Dorcas Apoore
    Ghana
    2018
  • Phonsina Archane
    EDD Young Leader, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    2018

    Passionate about women, girls and youth's rights with emphasis on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Phonsina is currently enrolled for a Master’s degree at Mount Kenya University, she is a Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni dedicated to activism and advocacy on SRHR issues around Sub-saharan Africa. A former UNDP intern, she received a training from UNAIDS on HIV/Aids and currently works at Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health – TICAH for a network of SRHR activists regrouping over 7 sub-Saharan African countries, the "MAMA Network". The network aims to improve adolescents and women's empowerment by expanding access to SRHR services for sustainable development through training, activism, and advocacy.

    Phonsina Archane
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    2018
  • Aaron Atimpe
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2019

    Aaron is a youth advocate for access to education, health and sexual reproductive rights, with a rural development background. As part of his work as the Chair of the Marie Stopes International Ghana and Ghana Health Service Youth Advisory Boards, he has been advocating for increased investment in youth sexual reproductive health and rights in Ghana. In total, they have trained close to 1,000 young advocates to become ambassadors for adolescent health and development with support from UNFPA and UNICEF. An alumnus of the Kufuor Scholars Programme and a volunteer in a number of youth-led organisations, Aaron currently serves as an Emerging Public Leaders Fellow at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance. He holds a Bachelor in Geography and Rural Development with Political Science.

    High-level panel: Gender inequality

    Aaron Atimpe
    Ghana
    2019
  • Lourence Balatbat
    EDD Young Leader, Philippines
    2019

    Lourence is currently pursuing an MA in Political Economy with specialization in International Relations and Development from the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is working with The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines as a Research Assistant to The Arangkada Philippines Project - a major advocacy aimed at boosting investment and increasing employment in the country. Lourence is also a Community Development Mentor at the Young Leaders Access Program of MCW Global - New York where he guides a group of youth leaders in developing community projects across the globe. He previously worked with Edukasyon.ph, a social enterprise in education technology that connects Filipino students to educational opportunities. He is the founder and president of ASEAN Youth Philippines, a not-for-profit organization that engages Filipino youth in sustainable development and he has held leadership positions in the Department of Education Federation of Student Governments (President) and the Caniogan Library Initiative (Project Manager). Lourence would like to advance the idea that poverty alleviation through tailored social protection programs must always be supplemented by state-initiated labor market integration if a government aims to reduce income inequality.

    High-level panel: Social Protection and the EU Social Market Model

    Lourence Balatbat
    Philippines
    2019
  • Nishchal Banskota
    EDD Young Leader, Nepal
    2017
    Nishchal Banskota
    Nepal
    2017
  • Reuben James Barrete
    EDD Young Leader, Philippines
    2016

    Reuben is the founder of the Christian-Muslim Solidarity Network, an organisation that advocates for mutual respect and understanding between various faiths, cultures and communities through concrete social actions and online campaigns. Through his organisation he has set up Peace Education initiative, which builds on the idea that children are the cornerstone to build a peaceful and respectful society. The project is consists of peace education classes for young children from marginalized Muslim communities in Manila. His project has reached more than 200 children aged 3-13 so far. Reuben’s involvement is complemented by his studies on Conflict Transformation and his professional experience in the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process for the President of the Philippines. He is a graduate of Public Administration and presently taking his Master in International Studies in the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

    Reuben James Barrete
    Philippines
    2016
  • Rida Boutros
    EDD Young Leader, Lebanon
    2021

    Rida Boutros lives in Lebanon and holds a Masters in Biodiversity: Management and Conservation of Natural Resources, as well as a Bachelor in Earth and Life Sciences. She currently works as a Project Coordinator on an Agricultural Vocational Education Programme for vulnerable adolescents and youth at AVSI Foundation. Before that, she was the Project Manager at Jouzour Loubnan Association, a local NGO that promotes sustainable restoration of Lebanese ecosystems. Also, she was named a Youth Leader on the 6th Mediterranean Forests Week, and EU Med Dialogue Young Fellow in 2020.

    Rida Boutros
    Lebanon
    2021
  • Leticia Pinheiro Rizerio Carmo
    EDD Young Leader, Brazil
    2019

    Leticia has an MA in urban planning, sustainable development and territorial systems and a BA in civil engineering. Currently, she is a Local Pathways Fellow at UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth Projects, and is working on “The voices of Belo Horizonte’s women: collectively building public spaces that are safe and inclusive for all". She is also involved in dialogue with local stakeholders, focusing on the most marginalized areas of cities. Leticia works on women empowerment and the creation of public policies with a gender perspective in public places in order to enable women to engage and participate in political and economic decision-making processes. She was a youth representative to the National Delegation to the World Urban Forum 9 for the implementation of the NUA. Leticia has spoken at the World Urban Forum 9 and at the conference “innovating for tomorrow's management: challenges and opportunities for young leaders.

    High-level panel: Territorial inequalities

    Leticia Pinheiro Rizerio Carmo
    Brazil
    2019
  • Inota Cheta
    EDD Young Leader, Zambia
    2019

    Inota Cheta is co founder of She Entrepreneur. The organization focuses on enhancing livelihoods of females with a focus on entrepreneurship and job readiness. At the centre of it all is a focus on financial literacy which is paramount for both approaches to livelihood. She has worked with youth at community level and has also worked with teen mothers, helping them to identify and initiate opportunities for income generation. Inota was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellowship (YALI) in 2018 and as a Youth Global Leader under Restless Development Youth Power Project which saw her develop global campaigns that sought to hold leaders accountable to their promises made towards the fulfillment of SDGs. She has an academic background in Economics, Finance and Statistics.

    High-level panel: Inequality of opportunity

    Inota Cheta
    Zambia
    2019
  • Bushra Dabbagh
    EDD Young Leader, Syria
    2018

    Bushra pursued a Master of science in molecular biology, ecology, and immunology from the University of Vienna, as well as a Masters of Science in Biotechnology and Enterprise from Northeastern University in Boston.
    She is the founder of Eelitna, a foundation that provides psychological and financial support for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Aleppo, through which she developed educational catch-up classes for children and youth.
    She is also a Project Manager for Core Relief Assistance to Vulnerable Population of Aleppo at the Al-Ihsan Charity and Development organization. She is currently founding “She Learns”, an online platform that aims at creating a network of experts that believe in the values of gender equality in education, in order to provide females with online courses, while also networking them with scholarship providers.

    Bushra Dabbagh
    Syrian Arab Republic
    2018
  • Nestor Dehouindji
    EDD Young Leader, Benin
    2016

    Nestor is a young journalist specialised in economy and trade, with strong academic background in the contribution of international trade to development, and an extensive knowledge of the World Trade Organisation: he has participated in several WTO events and shows very strong public speaking skills in his video. He is the Head of the Western Africa Block for the World Youth Government Ministry of World Trade. Nestor would like to become an international expert in trade and development topics.

    Nestor Dehouindji
    Benin
    2016
  • Nada Diouri
    EDD Young Leader, Morocco
    2015

    Nada is currently the national executive director of Moroccan NGO ESPOD which aims to empower women and young people through getting professional qualification to access the job market. Since January 2015, she is involved in helping groups of women creating cooperatives by providing production equipment and trainings necessary for getting knowledge of management and personal development.

    Nada got her master's degree in International Relations at Laval and McGill universities, Canada, where she received the Rotary scholarship for Young Leader in International Development area for her participation as UNDP delegate to NMUN in New York.

    Her passion for development was deepened through her implications in the international bureau for children rights in Montreal as assistant to project manager on MENA region and with the UNHCR during the International Refugee Day in Montreal to promote the respect of international refugees rights. Those achievements were recognised in 2014 through the prize of "Personnality of 2nd and 3rd cycle" in Quebec by Forces Avenir.

    Nada Diouri
    Morocco
    2015
  • Richard Dzikunu
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2017

    Richard is a journalist specialised in development communication, primarily concerned with open development, transparency and accountability. Member of “Curious Mind Ghana” and host of the youth radio show “Gems of our time”, he is also part of “Accountability Advocates”, a group of 20 young experts from youth-led community-based organisations in Africa and Europe, which aims to design and implement a national monitoring framework to hold government accountable in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Now studying an M.A in Development Communication, he hopes to work in the development cooperation sector and contribute to innovative policies.

    Richard Dzikunu
    Ghana
    2017
  • Nomindari Enkhtur
    EDD Young Leader, Mongolia
    2017

    Nomindari is an international management graduate, primarily concerned with sustainable finance and the role of private sector mobilisation in financing sustainable development. She currently works at the Mongolian Bankers Association as the Lead coordinator of the “Mongolian Sustainable Finance Initiative”, a national voluntary framework aiming at helping banks integrate environmental and social considerations into lending decisions and product design through “green financing”. Her commitment resulted in the adoption of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Principles and Sector guidelines, to help banks in assessing and identifying E&S risks engaged with their clients and their own operations to drive and encourage green and inclusive development opportunities.

    Nomindari Enkhtur
    Mongolia
    2017
  • Nandin-Erdene Enkhtuvshin
    EDD Young Leader, Mongolia
    2021

    Nandin-Erdene Enkhtuvshin is from Mongolia and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration - Applied Economics, from the School Of Business And Economics, Mongolian University of Life Sciences. She works as a Project and Partnership Manager at the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association. Before that, she was a Consultant for the Project Preparation Facility Of Mongolian Green Finance Corporation Project at the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and a Researcher on Agricultural Project for The World Bank Group in Ulaanbaatar. She is convinced that finance can play a key role in allocating investment to sustainable companies and projects and thus accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy.

    Nandin-Erdene Enkhtuvshin
    Mongolia
    2021
  • Rachid Ennassiri
    EDD Young Leader, Morocco
    2017

    Rachid has a degree in sustainable energy. He combines culture and climate actions, engaging in raising awareness about climate change through all art forms. He has won the first Prize for Environmental Poetry competition in the framework of the COP22 organised by Human Dynamics. He has also co-founded two projects aimed at promoting old (Berber) traditions and methods to protect the environment, exploring the role of culture and creativity in responding to climate change challenges, seeking as well internationals collaborations for his projects. At the moment he works for a project called “Green Mosques and the transition to clean energy” funded by the German International Development Agency.

    Rachid Ennassiri
    Morocco
    2017
  • Chinenye Ezeakor
    EDD Young Leader, Nigeria
    2017

    Chinenye is an engineer currently working for Microsoft Nigeria and previously with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. She serves as the mentoring manager of the “Abuja Global Shapers” initiative, where she has mentored more than 200 students. Chinenye has also founded her own non-profit organisation supporting and mentoring young girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and has provided hands on training to over 500 young female students in areas relating to energy, computer programming and physics.

    Chinenye Ezeakor
    Nigeria
    2017
  • Silvia Victoria Flores Aguilar
    EDD Young Leader, Peru
    2017

    Silvia is a specialist in International Business particularly concerned about international trade and agriculture in Peru and the role of private sector partnerships in reaching local and global development. In the last five years she has experienced three models of partnership: University – Enterprise, NGO – Enterprise and private – public sector. In 2012 she represented her country, Peru, during an international programme in the USA in front of leaders and entrepreneurs and has been organizing and leading international events in Peru and abroad together with state authorities, entrepreneurs and leaders. Her professional work focuses on solving national necessities in the agricultural field and international trade, supporting innovation in her sector of expertise and promoting trade between her country and others.

    Silvia Victoria Flores Aguilar
    Peru
    2017
  • Courtney Gehle
    EDD Young Leader, South Africa
    2017

    Courtney is the founder of “The Greenline” an organisation which raises awareness and acts on environmental issues. She is also the Executive Director of “The Better Tomorrow Movement”, an online youth empowerment platform. As part of her journey, Courtney helped organise the Green Youth Indaba which aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs to promote green economic growth. She organised a Global Divestment Day action whiche called for an investment shift from fossil fuels to clean technology and she helped draft the Youth Resolution on Climate Change at COP21. She was a finalist for the South African Eco-Youth award and was awarded South African Green Student of the Year in 2016 for her work. She has also recently accepted a position with the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme – South Africa.

    Courtney Gehle
    South Africa
    2017
  • Farahnaz Ghodsinia
    EDD Young Leader, The Philippines
    2017

    Farahnaz comes from an ethnic and religious minority in the Mindanao region, southern Philippines. She works to prevent conflict and build peace through quality education and interfaith dialogue in fragile regions. She founded “Children of Mindanao”, a social-civic venture that provides educational assistance to both Muslim and Christian groups in southern Philippines. Farahnaz was elected as President of the 10th National Youth Parliament of the Philippines, which is the largest parliamentary gathering of young leaders in her country. Over the years, Farahnaz worked in various international programs, the most recent of which was the WISE Learners Voice Program. This 2017, she was included in Lifestyle Asia’s “30 Young Gamechangers”.

    Farahnaz Ghodsinia
    The Philippines
    2017
  • Hamid Arrum Harahap
    EDD Young Leader, Indonesia
    2021

    Hamid Arrum Harahap is PhD Student, whose thesis focuses on Integrated Natural Resources Management. He holds a BSc in Economics. He was named Youth Leader Climate Change of Indonesia for UNESCO and a researcher for forest services study for the local communities in Tapanuli. In the past, he also worked as a communication officer for the Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme. He is passionate about nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and the fight against deforestation, which causes mass extinction and loss of rights for indigenous peoples and local communities.

    Hamid Arrum Harahap
    Indonesia
    2021
  • Ernesto Hernandez Otero
    EDD Young Leader, El Salvador
    2018

    Ernesto has a Bachelor Degree in Math and Sciences from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and is a middle school teacher on technology science. He has mentored a group of girls for Technovation contest, which implied programming, creation and elevator pitch creation of an app made by young girls,  with the objective of overcoming their fears to code. He is part of the Global Shapers Community, pushing for gender equality in education through local projects. He is also an entrepreneur and has launched his own business, with the social purpose to improve school cafeterias by providing healthy food.

    Ernesto Hernandez Otero
    El Salvador
    2018
  • Inès Tatiana Houndjo
    EDD Young Leader, Benin
    2019

    Inès is an African IT expert, currently interning at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in coordination with the Ministry of Planning, doing technical support, capacity building for CSO, and previously interned at Comtel Technologies. She has also participated in programs to increase digital capacities of young women and is a mentor for Women TechMakers initiative as volunteer. She wants to address access to digital tools and its barriers (financial means or education). Inès has a BS in Computer Science from The Benin School of Applied Economics and Management (ENEAM).

    High-level panel: Bridging the digital divide: managing digitalization and technology for inclusive growth

    Inès Tatiana Houndjo
    Benin
    2019
  • Suneha Jagannathan
    EDD Young Leader, India
    2021

    Suneha Jagannathan holds a Master in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems and a Bachelor in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology. She has carried out research on the restoration of marine biodiversity, the development of sustainable fishing methods and the use of artificial reefs in Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu. She also conducted research on the ecological monitoring of artificial reef ecosystems in Pondicherry. She is a Project Head at Artificial Reef Program.

    Suneha Jagannathan
    India
    2021
  • Alieu Jallow
    EDD Young Leader, Gambia
    2017

    As a social entrepreneur from a humble background, Alieu dedicates his life and career to building opportunities for young people like himself. In 2012, he founded the “Young Entrepreneur Association of the Gambia”, and in 2015, he founded the first ever business incubator “Startup Incubator Gambia” which has so far supported 42 start-ups, and created 120 jobs. In 2016, he launched the first Youth Entrepreneurship Summit + Job Fair for young people, which centered on innovation, entrepreneurship, and professional development. With his work, Alieu has provided interactive workshops and networking opportunities to over 400 young entrepreneurs and professionals. He has helped young, jobless persons develop their ideas and become successful entrepreneurs that are able to sustain their businesses and provide for their families.

    Alieu Jallow
    Gambia
    2017
  • Suman Kumar
    EDD Young Leader, Nepal
    2017

    Suman is an engineering student and social entrepreneur. After the Nepal earthquake, he collaborated with non-profits and worked on disaster response and prevention projects that involved designing and manufacturing machines, which built 5,365 shelters for over 26,000 earthquake victims. He also co-founded “School Relief”, a social venture working on rebuilding schools destroyed by the earthquake using earthquake-resistant technology. He won a Social Venture Challenge at the UN Youth Assembly in New York to rebuild a school in Nuwakot. He was also selected to participate in the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi, Kenya, as a Youth Delegate advocating for education, trade and development.

    Suman Kumar
    Nepal
    2017
  • Carmen Monges
    EDD Young Leader, Paraguay
    2015

    Carmen María Araceli Monges is a student of Forestry Engineering Career at the National University of Asunción. When Carmen was 15 years old, she started volunteering for WWF Paraguay, giving environmental talks in schools. Five years later, she received the organisation's most prestigious award, The International President WWF 2014, which recognises and encourages initiatives and achievements of those young people under 30 years old, who are committed to the conservation of nature in their respective countries.

    Carmen has coordinated several projects and campaigns, including the “Think Eat and Save” campaign in Paraguay, a social project called Youth for Environment and a Leadership Development Program LEAD for AIESEC. She also volunteered in Mexico City for EduAction, giving workshops on topics such as leadership, social responsibility, sustainability, cultural diversity and more to high school children.

    Currently she leads the programme ‘Leadership and Empowerment for the Women in Paraguay’, an initiative of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Asunción and the University of Florida. Carmen received the Municipal Youth Award 2014 with a special mention in the Area of Environmental Protection, as well as recognition from the Government of Paraguay for her dedication and merit. Carmen currently works for the Latin American Network for Democratic and Sustainable Fair Cities and she is the Executive Assistant to the Paraguayan Network for Sustainable Cities, in Paraguay.

    Carmen Monges
    Paraguay
    2015
  • Muhammad Kisirisa
    EDD Young Leader, Uganda
    2015

    Muhammed is the Co-Founder/CEO of Action for Fundamental Change and Development, which operates Bwaise Youth Employment Centre that recruits 600-800 disadvantaged youth aged 16-25 years annually from Kampala’s poorest slum areas. The centre offers training in vocational skills alongside leadership, entrepreneurship and financial literacy knowledge among others to help these youth become self employed or find decent jobs as means of getting out of poverty.

    Muhammed has an extensive background in organising and supporting youth campaigns including the 2014 National Youth Policy Dialogue on the post-2015 Development Agenda that attracted over 200 Ugandan youth, the 2014 Uganda National Annual Youth Festival, the 2012 CIVICUS Youth and World Assembly. Additionally, he participated in a Town Hall for Young African Leaders with US President, Barrack Obama which hyped the famous Obama African Young Leaders Fellowship. In October 2013, Muhammed became the first African youth winner of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award- Conviction, the 2014 US Embassy Kampala Generation Change Award among others.

    Muhammad Kisirisa
    Uganda
    2015
  • David Watson Mwabila
    EDD Young Leader, Zambia
    2021

    David Watson Mwabila lives in Zambia and co-founded Dytech Zambia, a social enterprise funded by the Gates Foundation, that runs a rural livelihood improvement programme. Dytech Zambia helps farmers produce honey and value added products for local and export markets. Before that, David was a Economic Affairs Intern at UNECA in Zambia. He holds a BA in Economics and a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership In Business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa.

    David Watson Mwabila
    Zambia
    2021
  • Esther Nakajjigo
    EDD Young Leader, Uganda
    2018

    At 17, Esther was named Uganda's Ambassador for Women and Girls. She donated her university tuition and started a community health facility with a Teenage Centre supporting child mothers. She owns a popular reality television show on teenage pregnancy called “Saving Innocence Challenge” applauded by EU in Uganda as one of the best self-sustaining girl-lead models in the world, championed as well as financed by local girls for local girls. Amidst the world's refugee crisis, she is championing “Lift up her Voice” Expedition where girls from selected universities around the world innovate for a decent life for refugee women and girls in a Global Girls Movement. She has won 5 National Awards and a Geneva Women's World Summit Prize. Esther’s passion is to give migration a human face.

    Esther Nakajjigo
    Uganda
    2018
  • Rejoice Namale
    EDD Young Leader, Malawi
    2019

    Rejoice is working on fostering youth/women participation in socio-economic and political decision-making processes in Malawi. She founded the Youth Arise Network to teach entrepreneurship skills and train over 120 youth into bricklaying, electrical installation, carpentry, woodwork, joinery and painting. She trained over 300 urban youth volunteers and reached over 1,000 youth in numerous speaking engagements focused on enhancing volunteerism, leadership skills and personal development. In Kenya, she successfully assisted in facilitating a Training of Trainers session on budgeting and social accountability with youth trainees and she mobilized over 600 women to participate in county budget planning processes. She holds a Bachelor in Communication and Cultural studies and a certificate in Youth Employment and Development.

    High-level panel: Reducing inequalities: a catalyst for economic growth, poverty reduction, and ensuring that no one is left behind

    Rejoice Namale
    Malawi
    2019
  • Kalaba Nkonde
    EDD Young Leader, Zambia
    2017

    Kalaba is a Public Health Pharmacy and Hospital Management Master student. She works in a public health care institution, experiencing first-hand the needs of public services in the health care sector. She focuses on public-private partnerships in the healthcare sector, in order to bring universal access to health, especially in rural areas of her country. Her interest also led her to organise an annual HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, to discuss the impact of the disease, the stigma and discrimination associated with it in rural areas.

    Kalaba Nkonde
    Zambia
    2017
  • Chibunna Ogbonna
    EDD Young Leader, Nigeria
    2021

    Chibunna Ogbonna is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Renewcycle Energy Limited, a Nigerian based renewable energy startup on a mission to power Africa’s sustainable energy future through innovation. He has a background in Chemical engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. He represented Nigeria at the first International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Youth Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2020 and was nominated democratically by the SDG 7 Youth Constituency, United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth as the Africa Youth Representative at the 4th meeting of the High Level Group of Personalities on Europe-Africa Relations on Forging an Africa-Europe Climate Alliance: Green Transition, Sustainable Energy and Agriculture. He is a Social Innovator at LEAP Africa and Sahara Impact Fund fellow at Sahara Foundation. Drawing inspiration out of the impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria and the consequences of inadequate electricity supply for primary healthcare clinics across Sub Saharan Africa, Chibunna and his team launched the Lighting Up Nigeria Initiative (LUNI), a social impact project on a mission to power one primary healthcare clinic per community in Nigeria. Chibunna Ogbonna is currently a fellow of the International Sustainability Academy, Hamburg-Germany. He plans to gain a Master’s degree in Sustainable energy future technologies and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School by 2024.

    Chibunna Ogbonna
    Nigeria
    2021
  • Sherine Omondi
    EDD Young Leader, Kenya
    2021

    Sherine Omondi is based in Kenya and is a Programme Coordinator at K-SAMMIT, a community-based organization that trains farmers on the importance of sustainable agriculture and clean food production. K-SAMMIT also works alongside the local government to help farmers obtain rural credit for farming, to develop small rural markets, and develop good road networks for the farmers’ product to reach markets.

    Sherine Omondi
    Kenya
    2021
  • Akosua Peprah
    EDD Young Leader, Ghana
    2019

    Akosua Peprah is the Founder of the Mmaakunim Foundation, a social venture with the aim of educating, creating opportunities and making resources available to marginalized women in Ghana. Through this foundation, Akosua engages with peers and experts in underprivileged communities and works with government officials to influence policy in ways to make education accessible and available to kids in rural Ghana. Akosua has launched the Happy Flow Project, providing access to sanitary well-being to 135 girls between the ages of 13 and 18 in Damongo in Northern Ghana. The initiative provides monthly sanitary materials and organizes workshops on sex education, leadership, health and nutrition, and hygiene. Akosua holds a B.A. in English and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from Ohio State University.

    High-level panel: Education and health inequalities (Education)

    Akosua Peprah
    Ghana
    2019
  • Ricardo Andres Pineda Guzman
    EDD Young Leader, Honduras
    2021

    Ricardo Andres lives in Honduras and holds a Bachelor in Sustainable Development Engineering and is a Communications and Outreach Practitioner at the Centro de Agua para America Latina y el Caribe, where he communicates for a research group dedicated on efforts for water, energy and food security nexus. He was an official delegate at the Conference of Parties (COP25) in Spain.

    Ricardo Andres Pineda Guzman
    Honduras
    2021
  • Odessa Primus
    EDD Young Leader, Czech Republic
    2017

    Odessa is an international relations graduate, currently developing a forum, called Go Think Institute, with the aim of helping people interpret news and distinguish information from opinions. She took active part in the 2015/2016 refugee crisis as volunteer coordinator and fundraiser for various NGOs in Greece and Lebanon, managing hands-on tasks in the refugee camps. Her fundraising project has raised over £8,500 and her Facebook page has over 1.500 followers. In addition to that, Odessa’s dissertation thesis focused on the effects of the 2015/2016 refugee crisis in the European Union and the EU's struggle to provide an adequate response.

    Odessa Primus
    Czech Republic
    2017
  • Lais Rocha Leao
    EDD Young Leader, Brazil
    2018

    Lais is a graduate in Architecture and Urban Planning. She currently leads teams of volunteers for data research in favelas to urge governments to take actions, mapping for the communities' analysis; she has been frequently in contact with institutions and local city councils to produce city plannings and housing deficit data. She previously conducted researches on gender equality in appropriation of urban spaces, related public policies and social conflict. She is also an active member of local movements for political renovation and for the empowerment of women’s voice in the political context.

    Lais Rocha Leao
    Brazil
    2018
  • Rose Sakala
    EDD Young Leader, Malawi
    2016

    Rose is a youth leader whose passion for youth entrepreneurship and empowerment has created opportunities for hundreds of youth in Malawi and beyond. She represents the potential of young African entrepreneurs, out to improve their societies. She is the Star Prize Winner for Future African Leaders Awards 2015, for her involvement in economic empowerment for women and youth. Her project, LUSELI, engages with the private sector to invest pitch ideas from young entrepreneurs in key sectors such as agriculture, to give a chance to marginalised women and youth to start their own businesses. She has conducted trainings on managing sustainable business models and entrepreneurship skills. Rose has also represented Save The Children in various occasions including EXPO 2015 in Milan, and has excellent public speaking skills.

    Rose Sakala
    Malawi
    2016
  • Ruvimbo Samanga
    EDD Young Leader, Zimbabwe
    2021

    Ruvimbo Samanga is the National Point of Contact in Zimbabwe for the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. Her work focuses on research satellite capacity in the context of alleviated climate related security risks on the African continent, and engaging both public and private initiatives on proliferating satellite use for the common benefit of the citizenry, as an immediate climate concern, amongst other socio-economic benefits. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Law (LLM) from the International Trade and Investment Law in Africa.

    Ruvimbo Samanga
    Zimbabwe
    2021
  • Shwetal Shah
    EDD Young Leader, India
    2018

    Shwetal was chosen as a UN Empower Women champion for change: she decided to focus on the issue of gender imbalance and role model representation in the field of tech, making a documentary that featured women across different levels of their careers working in private and public sector. She has founded “Explore Science”, working on encouraging women in STEM and has won the O2 Think Big Best STEM award. She currently works for an edtech company where she contributes to making a video game to teach coding to kids between 8-13, with a special focus on girls.

    Shwetal Shah
    India
    2018
  • Vandinika Shukla
    EDD Young Leader, India
    2016

    Vandinika has been the Head of Project Enable, an initiative aimed at empowering high school children to make their schools more accessible and equal opportunity driven through the implementation of the Indian Right to Education Act, which protects the right to access quality education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thanks to her dedication and commitment, the project has already had an impact on more than 100 children in over 15 schools, published a book on the Right to Education Act, and organized several conferences with educationists, schools and the Ministry of Human Resource Development in attendance. Vandinika’s great motivation and driven attitude led her to conceptualise and head another nation wide project on increasing electoral participation and policy awareness in India, resulting in an increment in women’s participation in politics. Her involvement in forums on international development and gender equality, especially as the Indian Ambassador to Girls20, is a compliment to her bright university career pursued both in India and in Europe, where she recently graduated from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) with an MSc in International Relations. Recipient of the LSE Women’s Network’s Top 20 Inspirational Women at LSE award.

    Vandinika currently works with UN Women in New York on strengthening accountability of the United Nations system (comprising of more than 65 entities) for gender equality and women's empowerment. Vandinika previously worked as a Research Consultant and Youth Focal Point at UN Women’s Multi Country Office for India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives. There she was responsible for technical input and policy advocacy to state and national Governments on gender responsive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, alongside implementation of other intergovernmental processes and public outreach campaigns on SDGs in India.

    Vandinika serves as the youngest member of the European Commission's Multi-stakeholder Expert Group on implementation of the SDG's in the EU and is the Vice-Chair of the G(irls)20 Global Steering Committee.

    Vandinika is a trained performing artist, and loves to surround herself with creativity and innovation as she works towards sustainable and inclusive change.

    Vandinika served as the 2017 Editor for the Young Leaders for Development Blog.

    Vandinika Shukla
    India
    2016
  • Val Amiel Vestil
    EDD Young Leader, Philippines
    2019

    Val Amiel Vestil is the Executive Director and Founder of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists in the Philippines. Their flagship project is "Camp SEWI: Student’s Environmental Writing Initiative," a youth-led capacity-building workshop on environmental journalism and stewardship for university journalists all over Negros Oriental, Philippines. This project has trained more than 50 young journalists across five universities in the region, published numerous environmental stories, and pushed university publication policy to include environment in its editorial agenda. This initiative won them the ‘Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in the Philippines 2019’ and ‘2nd Negros Young Heroes Award’. Val has a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication, with high honors. He has had several public speaking experiences at programs including ‘VOX 2019: The Cagayan de Oro Young Leaders’ Parliament,’ the ‘44th Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)’, and the 'Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Fellowship program in Kennesaw State University, USA.'

    High-level panel: Climate change and environmental inequalities: exploring the interlinkages between climate change, environment and inequality

    Val Amiel Vestil
    Philippines
    2019
  • Daniel Villamar
    EDD Young Leader, Ecuador
    2021

    Daniel Villamar is from Ecuador and is the #FridayforFuture Ecuador Strategy Coordinator. In this capacity, he created a high-school network for climate action in Quito, with the goal of planting one million trees and educating more than 100,000 volunteers in the process. He holds a Bachelor in Political Science and International Relations, and was a representative at the C40 World Mayors Summit Copenhagen 2020. He is currently General Secretary of TANDARI Youth Assembly for Sustainability. This is a youth collaborative action network focused on developing projects, campaigns and initiatives to promote sustainability in Ecuador.

    Daniel Villamar
    Ecuador
    2021
  • Isabella Villanueva-García
    EDD Young Leader, Chile
    2021

    Isabella Villanueva-García is from Chile and currently studies Civil Engineering. Her Master thesis focuses on hydraulics saniatation and environement. She worked as a trainee hydraulic engineer apprentice at consulting firm AKROS Ingeniería LTDA. She is the President of the NGO “Ceus Chile”, a network of sustainability students & professionals and the co-founder of the Sustainability University Students Congress in Chile.

    Isabella Villanueva-García
    Chile
    2021
  • Richard Wambua
    EDD Young Leader, Kenya
    2021

    Richard Wambua holds a Bachelor in International Relations and is the Director and CEO of Meforest Initiative & Greenpap Innovations. The organisation monitors tree survival and ensures a speedy and sustainable achievement of the Constitutional and Presidential Call to have 10% of Kenya’s Forest mapped by 2022.

    Richard Wambua
    Kenya
    2021

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