Winners 2017

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Africa Winners Runners Up

Chaikhwa Lobatse

In her role as a nurse, Chaikhwa is committed to using her own experience of cancer to help improve the lives of others. After losing her leg as a result of bone cancer, on return to work Chaikhwa asked to be transferred to the oncology department of the hospital where she worked in order to be able to help other patients and their families. Together with an oncologist friend, she has founded a support group in her village to help both cancer sufferers and their carers. Chaikhwa gives talks in schools and churches to try to increase awareness of Botswana’s most prevalent forms of cancer, and to encourage primary prevention and early detection amongst patients. She also gives motivational talks to young people about the importance of facing challenges and not giving up. Chaikhwa is determined to continue to act as a voice for disabled people in Africa.

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Tobby Bond Njamngang

Tobby is trying to help low-income communities out of poverty by teaching them about the benefits of organic and sustainable farming. After training in organic farming himself, Tobby founded the Seed of Hope Foundation and now heads the agricultural department of the organisation. He and his team work with poor families and disabled people to improve their livelihoods through better farming practices. They also provide education and healthcare to participants. In future, Tobby aims to establish a social enterprise to promote organic and sustainable agriculture, which would offer training to young people on food production and innovations in technology. He would then reinvest some of the profits in initiatives to educate and train women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Efua Asibon

Efua is helping to raise awareness of disability and improve teaching in special education schools. She is the co-founder of Dislabelled, an organisation which provides a teacher training programme called SustainAbility, offers a scholarship fund for disabled children and is currently organising a forum for parents of disabled children. Dislabelled also gives teaching materials to schools, and leads the ThisAbility summer programme – an initiative which exposes children with autism to new activities like robotics, arts and crafts. Dislabelled has so far worked with six special education schools and brought benefits to the lives of over 200 disabled people. In future, Efua wants to develop a children’s book project featuring disabled characters.

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Elijah Amoo Addo

Elijah is using his experience in the catering industry to champion a series of community food initiatives supporting vulnerable people. In 2012, he started Chefs for Change Ghana Foundation which arranged for surplus food from the hospitality industry to be used to provide food for people with mental health issues, pensioners and children in need. Elijah later left his job as a head chef to set up Food for All Ghana, West Africa’s first food bank. Since launching in 2015, the organisation has recovered more than $10,000 worth of food products to feed and support almost 5000 beneficiaries across five regions in Ghana. It has also established new and extended existing partnerships with supermarkets, farmers and hotels, and has created a number of community food farms. Elijah’s vision is to grow the number of community food banks operated by Food for All Ghana from three to 30 across Ghana and West Africa in the next three years.

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Winnifred Selby

As an entrepreneur, Winnifred is committed to creating socially responsible job and educational opportunities for young women and vulnerable groups. She is the co-founder of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, a social enterprise which builds lowcost bikes from bamboo. The organisation now employs 35 people and commits 15% of its profits to the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative, of which Winnifred is President. In this role, she promotes education and life chances for refugee children and girls from deprived communities. She leads a variety of programmes to help over 10,000 girls. These include the provision of uniforms, educational supplies and menstrual pads to try to curb the high rates of school absenteeism. Winnifred hopes to set up an alternative education system for girls who have never previously been to school, in order to better prepare them for entering mainstream education.

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Chebet Lesan

Chebet is dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution among the millions who cook over open fires. She founded BrightGreen Renewable Energy in order to turn the problem of waste in Kenya into a means to solve another problem – the issue of unsafe and unsustainable cooking fuel. Today, under her leadership, BrightGreen has processed more than 80 tonnes of clean cooking fuel from recycled waste, through the production of smokeless fuel briquettes that reduce indoor air pollution by up to 80%. In addition, the organisation fights deforestation by replanting trees as a source of energy, trains early school leavers on how to make BrightGreen’s products, and teaches women how to run their own sustainable businesses. Chebet’s dream is to see these solutions expanded to other African communities experiencing similar challenges.

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Domtila Chesang

Domtila is working to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya. She co-founded the group Kepsteno Rotwo Tipin CBO – “Let’s Abandon The Knife”. After helping to end the practice in her own village, Domtila now visits other communities to champion girls’ education and support the eradication of FGM and early forced marriages. She conducts workshops, training and seminars and has established alternative rite of passage ceremonies for young people. Domtila also believes that men need to take an active role in helping to end FGM and she is planning to hold a Warriors’ Festival to engage their support. The event will bring together men from remote villages to be trained on the negative health implications of FGM.

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Towett Ngetich

Towett is the founder and chief executive of Uthabiti, formerly Daktari Thabiti (“reliable doctor”). The social enterprise  aims to tackle the problem of counterfeit drugs by verifying the provenance and safety of medicines. It does this through a portable scanner for suppliers and a mobile app for consumers that installs a digital scanner onto a phone to help identify the legitimacy of drugs by scanning their batch numbers. Towett has also helped launch Onward, a social action platform, which encourages young people to volunteer to make changes in their communities in five main areas: education, healthcare, urban development, peace and cohesion, and women, youth and vulnerable groups.

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Virginia Khunguni

Virginia is leading initiatives to end cultural practices that hold back the advancement of young women. As the founder of Girls Arise for Change, she has worked with community members in three districts of Malawi to form educational support structures for girls, who have escaped early marriages, child prostitution and child labour. Virginia has also worked with health organisations to establish mobile clinics providing reproductive health services such as contraception to young people in remote areas. In future, she intends to set up a project called I RISE, to encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report their cases.

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Hilda Nambili Liswani

Hilda is encouraging young people to become involved in current affairs at both a national and local level. She is the co-founder of NamibiaNow, which aims to inform and engage young Namibians about issues which affect their communities and their country. The organisation uses social media to promote local stories for local people, and gives young aspiring reporters a chance to use mobile technology to create stories. Her team is now working towards the launch of a website so that NamibiaNow can become both web and app-based. Hilda is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers: Windhoek hub, an initiative which organises events in the city to help address local community issues. In addition, she helps run the #NotSoDifferent Campaign, which aims to link educators from around the world to create a more diverse educational experience.

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Nyeuvo Amukushu

Nyeuvo is working to empower young people through entrepreneurship and investment. She was the Chairperson of the Learners Representative Council and a School Management Council member at her school, where she represented her fellow students and raised issues that affected them. She speaks at youth events about personal finance and wants to set up a venture capital fund to provide small and medium-sized enterprises run by young people with skill development, incubation and funding. Nyeuvo also volunteers for the Harambee Sustainability Programme, a leadership programme aimed at creating leaders that think about environmental impact.

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Bukola Bolarinwa

Bukola was born with Sickle Cell Disease. After noticing the chronic shortage of blood faced by people living with Sickle Cell who need regular transfusions, she joined the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation in 2010 to help raise awareness about the importance of giving blood. She began a monthly campaign drive in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service to try to ensure a regular supply of donated blood, and to help combat cultural fears about giving blood. In 2015, Bukola set up an online blood donation register which asks young people to register to donate blood in emergency situations. During its first year, the register has gained more than 1,000 prospective donors and, through the use of social media and text messaging, linked over 500 donors with patients in urgent need of blood. Bukola is currently working to recruit 5,000 people as registered blood donors by December 2017.

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Nasir Yammama

Nasir is harnessing the power of simple, low-cost technologies to help local farmers produce more crops and increase their sales. He is the founder of the social enterprise Verdant Agritech Ltd, which began in 2015 by teaching 50 farmers how to use lowcost mobile phones to access market and weather information, management skills and financial services. Now, in collaboration with Oxfam and GIZ, Verdant is supporting 25,000 farmers through a mobile platform which makes smallholders more visible to the markets, and provides agricultural data for improved food production. Nasir’s vision is to transform agriculture in Nigeria and enable farmers to double or triple their yields.

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Kellya Uwiragiye

Kellya is working to improve access to services and education for deaf people. After discovering members of the deaf community were unable to access the media, Kellya started Media for Deaf Rwanda. As well as working as a sign language interpreter, Kellya raises awareness of the difficulties deaf people face. She designed a communications campaign called Sign your Name, which featured policy makers signing their names on television in order to promote Rwandan Sign Language and the importance of greater access to services. Kellya is now developing vocational training videos for young deaf people. Her future goal is to create an education centre for deaf children.

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Yvette Ishimwe

Yvette is working with communities to ensure improved access to safe water supplies, and to reduce the burden on women and children responsible for collecting water. She is the founder of IRIBA Clean Water Delivery Ltd, which offers clean household water to people living in remote areas. She created the company in 2015 after realising that children were having to miss school because of the amount of time spent collecting water, whilst women were forced to wait hours to buy water supplies from local centres. Yvette’s solution was to collect water from Lake Muhazi, clean it using an ultraviolet water purifier, and deliver the water at an affordable price to people in the community using bikes. Yvette now employs 25 young people and plans to expand the scheme to other districts.

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Demien Mougal

Demien is educating young people in the Seychelles about sexual and reproductive health. As chairman of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), he has helped organise national events about sex education and teenage pregnancies, working in collaboration with the Seychelles National Youth Assembly and the Ministry of Education. Through the My Health, My Responsibility campaign, he has also helped introduce peer educators into schools. Over the next few years, Demien intends to introduce workshops promoting sexual health and leadership for students. He is also a member of the sustainable development organisation SYAH, due to his concern about the long-term future of small islands; and the vice-chairman of the Association for Rights, Information and Democracy, which allowed him to act as an observer during the Presidential election in 2015.

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Kumba Musa

Kumba has been working to encourage more women to enter the science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions. As an engineer, Kumba became disheartened at the lack of other women working in her field. So in 2015 she founded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Women Sierra Leone (STEM Women) to try to motivate girls to pursue STEM careers and improve STEM education in the country. Kumba and her team visit schools to talk to pupils about the benefits of STEM subjects, and mentor female students who are interested in pursuing such careers. She is currently planning to introduce STEM Social Clubs into schools, which will focus on the practical aspects of the subjects. The organisation will also recruit and train STEM teachers.

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Salton Massally

Salton is using online and digital technology to help generate employment, and address some of the socio-economic challenges facing his home country. He is the creator of careers. sl, a job search website that aims to reduce unemployment by advertising work opportunities around Sierra Leone. He also began the start-up company iDT Labs, which uses technology to develop scalable solutions for some of the country’s social and economic issues. For example, Salton and his team helped create a payment system for Sierra Leone’s 27,000 Ebola Response Workers during the 2014 Ebola crisis. iDT Labs also runs a computer literacy training programme for business owners and recent graduates. In future, Salton would like to develop careers. sl workshops to teach computer literacy to young people.

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Aditi Lachman

Aditi is a civil engineer and managing director of WomEng (Women in Engineering), a social enterprise working to close the skills and gender gap in engineering by ensuring girls and women have the necessary skills, support and access to networks. Having started off as a mentor for the organisation, she now leads its operations in South Africa and Kenya. WomEng has reached more than 10,000 girls and women via its GirlEng and Fellowship programmes, which support high school girls and university engineering students. In 2016, in celebration of the organisation’s 10th anniversary, Aditi and her team launched the #1MillionGirlsinSTEM campaign. They now aim to reach a million girls through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and awareness initiatives in at least ten different countries over the next ten years.

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Chantelle De Abreu

Chantelle is dedicated to helping marginalised young people pursue careers in sport whilst continuing their more traditional education. She is the founder of Educating Athletes, which provides academic placements, tuition, uniforms, mentoring, “community give-backs” and counselling for young sportsmen and women. Through her work, Chantelle hopes to show that sport and education can be carried out together. Specifically, she wants to inspire young athletes to return to their community to tell other young people about the importance of education.

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Farai Mubaiwa

Farai is working to empower young people in Africa. In 2015, she began the Africa Matters Initiative, which brings together 20 young Africans from across the continent who are committed to involving their peers in conversations about identity and leadership and ensuring fair media reporting. Farai is responsible for expanding the initiative and she oversees its social media channels and the content it produces and disseminates. The Initiative recently created an online African Leadership Development Programme in collaboration with the Fredrick van Zyl Leadership Institute at Stellenbosch University. Farai also serves on the Rape Culture Task Team at the university, and is an active voice for the #EndRapeCulture campaign to help change attitudes and teach women about their rights.

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Nonduduzo Ndlovu

Nonduduzo is leading initiatives to help girls living in rural communities continue their education. She mentors school and university students, and links other young women and girls with mentors able to help them pursue their career ambitions. Nonduduzo is also a volunteer at the youth organisation Young Climber, where she encourages young women to move towards their career goals. She speaks at its annual Success Summit, and helps fundraise for school fees for students from poor backgrounds. Nonduduzo would like to set up an Online Learning Centre where school leavers who are not qualified enough to go on to tertiary education will be able to take online courses to develop their skills.

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Favourite Driciru

Favourite is supporting young people and women to find employment in Uganda through the provision of micro-credit lending and training in social enterprise. She set up Favourline Financial Solutions in 2014 after discovering that many young people in her community were unable to find jobs after finishing school or university. Two years on, Favourite has been able to help over 400 young people and women launch businesses in areas ranging from agriculture to retail. She now leads a team of five, and also engages in project development and training to help young people create viable business proposals able to attract funding. Favourite would also like to launch a new Keep Girls In School Initiative in the future, to support girls forced to leave school early due to pregnancy to acquire basic technical training from vocational institutions, which they can then use to earn a living.

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Joel Baraka

Joel is focused on providing practical ways to address some of the challenges facing young refugees, and encouraging them to engage in education. Joel grew up in the Kyangwali refugee settlement in Uganda, and at the age of 14 set up a sports programme to try to tackle some of the problems within the camp, including gangs, teenage pregnancies and early marriages, all of which led to high school dropout rates. His programme included organising football and volleyball games for boys and girls, followed by post-match discussions on social issues. Despite the programme’s successes, Joel realised many of the refugee students were still performing poorly at school. In response to this, he came up with the idea of creating educational games which would allow children to learn the curriculum through play. Joel is currently developing the games further to try to help solve the problem of poor performance amongst refugee pupils.

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Ruth Nabembezi

Ruth is committed to raising awareness of the importance of sexual and reproductive health through the innovative use of mobile phone technology. She is the founder of Ask Without Shame, a social enterprise providing a free and anonymous service in which medical experts answer sex education questions via apps, text messages and calls. Most of the questions are posed by teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since its launch in 2015, Ruth and her team have responded to more than 35,000 questions from 20,000 users. The success of its work won Ask Without Shame a grant to set up an information and call centre. This will enable the team to respond to 1,000 users a day, and create a clinic where callers will be able to receive treatment and counselling.

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Natasha Salifyanji Kaoma

Natasha is committed to raising awareness about sexual health. In 2015, whilst attending medical school, she co-founded Copper Rose Zambia to teach women about the importance of sexual and reproductive health. Since then, the organisation has launched fundraising drives to provide menstrual hygiene kits to girls in rural areas, and, through its Candid Pride Campaign and Woman4Her programmes, has educated over 5,000 teenagers about reproductive health. Natasha is also the country co-ordinator for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and a member of the Youth Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, where she supports the inclusion of young people in policy making. Her goal over the next five years is to reach a million females through sexual and reproductive health programmes by 2021.

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Nandini Kochar

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Desmond Atanga

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Emilia Miki

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Jude Thaddues Njikem

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Michele Valerie Njiki Djemi

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Abraham Addy

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Belinda Otieno

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Derrick Wanjala

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Kevin Mwendwa

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Oscar Juma

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Peter Njeri

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Sarah Mwikali Musau

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Sylvia Otieno

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Victor Wasonga

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Winnie Mangeni

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Chidinma Akaniro

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Christiana Iyasele

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Chukwuebuka Obimma

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Grace Ihejiamaizu

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Oluwafisayo Ajisola

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Oluwaseun Osowobi

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Omotayo Junaid

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Onyinye Edeh

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Norbert Gasinzigwa

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Roselyne Mukaneza

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Theodomir Sebazungu

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Aminata Bintu Wurie

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Hellen Ziribagwa

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Kandole Reagan

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Manisuli Miyingo

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Saddam Hussein Kiiza

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Joseph Koams Sichangwa Pupe

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Asia Winners Runners Up

Rahat Hossain

Rahat is working to improve Bangladesh’s emergency and disaster relief services through training and technology. He is the co-founder of CriticaLink, which trains emergency first aid volunteers, and alerts them to accidents via a mobile app. Since launching the organisation in 2015, Rahat and his team have trained over 2,600 volunteers. The mobile app allows people to report accidents and has led to the rescue of more than 1,000 patients in Dhaka so far. In future, Rahat is hoping to implement Mass Causality Incident policies in Dhaka to co-ordinate the deployment of the police, firefighters and medical teams in emergency situations. He also plans to create emergency response drill awareness programmes in rural areas, where people are often most at risk during natural disasters.

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Sajid Iqbal

Sajid is championing the use of renewable energy in commercial and domestic environments. He is the founder of Change, a youth-led development agency which has been pioneering renewable energy initiatives since 2012. Through Change, Sajid has introduced the idea of using low-cost natural lighting in slums and factories. In disadvantaged communities, he has introduced solar bottle lights to 4,000 residents ensuring natural lighting and reduced dependency on electric bulbs. He has also developed solar pipe lights, which allow factories to use natural light from outside, rather than electrical bulbs. Within two years, Change is aiming to ensure that 1% of industries will use the sky lights, as a way to reduce electricity costs and CO2 emissions. Sajid and his team are also developing solar water pumps and purifiers for rural communities.

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Ankit Kawatra

Ankit is the founder of Feeding India and is committed to ensuring excess food is used to tackle hunger. At the age of 22, he began working with a team of five volunteers and started partnering with caterers and restaurants to encourage them to donate their excess food to people in need. He then created programmes, called Hunger Hero and Superhero, to enable volunteers to recruit, organise and take action against hunger and food waste in their communities. In less than two years the project has expanded to 2,000 volunteers in 28 cities, and has served close to a million meals. Ankit is now working to provide 100 million meals by 2020, via a network of 10,000 volunteers in 100 cities.

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Suhani Jalota

Suhani is a leader in women’s health and female entrepreneurship initiatives. She is the founder of the Myna Mahila Foundation, a network of young women living in slum communities who produce low cost hygiene products, such as sanitary pads. After conducting research into public health in slum areas, Suhani used seed funding to set up a manufacturing unit in Mumbai that now employs 18 women to produce, market, and distribute sanitary pads door-to-door. She also works with the community to create positive conversations around menstrual hygiene and health. She now hopes to scale up her work into other communities.

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Heidy Quah

Heidy is committed to championing refugee issues in Malaysia, and to helping young refugees rebuild their lives. She is the founder and director of Refuge For The Refugees, a non-profit organisation which seeks to raise awareness of the status of refugees in the country, and provides education for refugee children. Together with a team of four people, Heidy oversees eight refugee schools. This involves managing a group of volunteer teachers, helping to develop structures and syllabuses, and networking with partner organisations. Heidy does this whilst studying for a degree in finance. In future she hopes to be able to help refugee families set up small businesses.

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Syed Faizan Hussain

Faizan is a social entrepreneur who uses technology to create solutions to health problems in his community. He has developed a number of startups, including Edu-Aid, which translates sign language into spoken language, and OneHealth, a disease surveillance and tracking system which notifies health institutions about epidemic outbreaks. Faizan also works as a voluntary teacher and has mentored more than 200 students from underprivileged households and equipped them with computer programming skills. Faizan is now planning to develop Venture Dart, a tech consultant and outsourcing company for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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Yunquan Qin

Yunquan has been active in giving vulnerable Asian groups, including women and children, the power of self-defence. She is the co-founder of Kapap Academy Singapore, where she trains women and children in Kapap (Israeli unarmed combat) so that they can protect themselves against domestic violence or potential attacks. In 2015, Yunquan and her team trained more than 3,000 participants and expect to train over 8,000 in 2017. They also offer free classes to the elderly and victims of crimes and Yunquan gives talks at companies and schools to educate people about personal protection. Yunquan is now planning to open training centres in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and selected cities in China, to run alongside her two existing centres in Singapore.

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Rakitha Malewana

Rakitha is using his medical research expertise and community work to pioneer a new HIV nano-vaccine, and to encourage more young people to engage in scientific innovation. Rakitha first began working with people affected by HIV/AIDS in 2011, when he started visiting slum areas to teach science, maths and English to the children of people living with the disease. In 2012, he formed ideanerd Sri Lanka, which encourages schoolchildren to get involved in scientific research, and promotes an innovation culture. So far, it has helped more than 20,000 students conduct scientific investigations. In 2015, Rakitha co-founded United Youth Consortium to raise awareness of sexual reproductive health issues, and provide support and counselling to families living with HIV.

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Senel Wanniarachchi

Senel uses social media to inform and engage members of the community, especially women and young people, on issues that affect them. His longstanding love of writing first prompted him to use social media platforms to tell the stories of ordinary people in his community. The posts became so popular that he was invited to write a regular column about contemporary issues from a youth perspective for the national newspaper The Nation. In 2015, Senel co-founded Hashtag Generation, a youth movement committed to creating online and offline platforms to encourage discussions around youth engagement and gender equality. One of its projects We Govern Sri Lanka (#WeGovernSL) holds training programmes for women who want to learn how to use the internet to become more engaged in national and local issues.

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Caribbean and Americas Winners Runners Up

Antigua and Barbuda flagAntigua and Barbuda

Barbados flagBarbados

Canada flagCanada

Dominica flagDominica

Grenada flagGrenada

Guyana flagGuyana

Jamaica flagJamaica

Saint Lucia flagSaint Lucia

St. Kitts and Nevis flagSt. Kitts and Nevis

Trinidad and Tobago flagTrinidad and Tobago

Lia Nicholson

Lia wants to protect her local environment and works with government and communities alike to address climate change. She is involved in climate change negotiations on an international scale and liaises with the Department of Environment in Antigua and Barbuda on legislative issues. Lia also supports organisations that are working to implement climate change solutions into the community, by helping them to develop research and evidence to secure funding. In addition, Lia leads field trips and workshops, and visits schools to talk about the environment. Her next goal is to create a network spanning all Caribbean islands that enables communities to work together and share innovative approaches towards protecting the environment and addressing climate change.

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Jamilla Sealy

Jamilla is working to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and is a member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). As well as teaching environmental science to children aged 11 to 19, she coordinates projects such as consultations with the community on climate change and beach clean-ups. As a result of her management of the International Coastal Clean Up initiative in Barbados, in 2016 she participated in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. She now plans to create a map of Barbados which highlights illegal dumpsites. The map will be interactive and accessible via a website and phone app to enable community members to come together for local clean-ups and to take pride in the area they live in.

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Alexander Deans

Alexander is an inventor who is using technology to help empower young people. He invented iAid, a navigation device which uses sonar technology to help those with visual impairments move around. After creating the iAid, Alexander worked with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Foundation Fighting Blindness to share his story with 160,000 students across Canada, challenging them to use technology. Alexander’s latest initiative is Operation Reach, a program for Aboriginal young people which encourages them to expand their horizons through technology. Its pilot programme connected a First Nations school on Walpole Island reserve with a school in Windsor, Ontario, through robotics and technology workshops. Alexander would now like to expand it to more Aboriginal schools.

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Kevin Vuong

Kevin wants to see communities in Canada prosper and is committed to helping reduce unemployment. He is a co-founder of the Public Accessory Commission which supports pre-apprentices to create accessories for public and private spaces. Its Cycle Home project, for example, enables local citizens to co-design bike racks to become pieces of functional art that celebrate the heritage and values of the community. The bike racks are built by unemployed people, to provide them with job opportunities and to help enable them to break the cycle of poverty. Kevin now plans to expand the organisation across Canada.

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Eber Ravariere

Eber creates opportunities for young people through agriculture. He is the President of a youth co-operative which he represents at workshops and seminars throughout Dominica. He sets the co-operative’s strategy and develops its policies, and his team of seven plan community projects and provide necessary planting materials for young farmers. It is currently establishing a natural herbs, spices and seasonings nursery that will serve as a seedling outlet for farmers and is also constructing a roots and tubers nursery, which will be used to provide training. Eber additionally works to raise awareness about the importance of food security in Dominica.

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Rianna Patterson

Rianna is dedicated to helping ease the impact dementia has on individuals and families. She established Dominica Dementia specifically to help families who have a member living with the condition. It holds support groups to enable people to speak openly about the challenges they face in caring for people with dementia, and to share advice. Dominica Dementia also provides funding to families and works to educate the wider community about dementia. In addition, Rianna is the President of Age 4 Change youth group, which provides services for elderly people in the community, including home visits and house maintenance. She was  also an orientation leader for Dominica State College, where she assisted students during registration and offered advice to newcomers and their parents.

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Michael Thomas

Michael is a champion of diversity and inclusivity in Grenada. He began working for GrenChap, a non-governmental organisation which promotes sexual health and human rights, nine years ago as a peer educator. He is now its co-director. A focus for GrenChap is raising awareness about Sexual and Reproductive health rights and it uses training and social media as tools to change behaviour and attitudes. Its Love Without Fear Project, for example, uses social media to promote anti-stigma and non-discrimination. Michael is also studying for a degree in psychology and serves as copresident of his university’s LGBTI+ student organisation.

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Samantha Sheoprashad

Samantha helps disadvantaged communities and is working to reduce suicide rates in Guyana. She is the President of Enterprise Youth Development Group (EYDG), which runs several initiatives including providing clothes and food to low income families, organising Christmas parties for children living in orphanages and offering community computer classes. Under Samantha’s leadership, EYDG also ran a suicide prevention project, which offered support to people at risk. She has recently completed the research thesis ‘Identifying depression from social media content’ and created an algorithm which processes natural language to detect ‘depressive statements’ in social media posts. She hopes this system will be applied to help to prevent people in Guyana from taking their own lives.

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Abrahim Simmonds

Abrahim uses the arts to help develop the skills of young people, having co-created the Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN) group. Under his leadership, the group helps young people to identify a skill or talent that they can use to help the community and creates programmes which use the arts to drive positive changes. These include ArtReach, where volunteers visit children homes and rehabilitation centres to provide music, art and drama sessions; and Herstory, which encourages young women from disadvantaged communities to use the spoken word and writing to help them to explore their past.

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Ajani Lebourne

Ajani works to empower students to ensure that their interests are represented at a local and national level. He re-established and now leads the Saint Lucia National Students’ Council, where he collaborated with the Ministry of Education to launch the first National Students Forum to provided student leaders with the opportunity to share ideas and express their views on education policy. Ajani also carries out school visits where he leads assemblies and meets with student councils to discuss their work. In 2016 he spearheaded a Leadership Symposium for student councils, which enabled 50 students to learn about democracy and public speaking. He now hopes to create a National Students’ Centre which would become a headquarters for the Saint Lucia National Students’ Council.

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Dion Browne

Dion is committed to bringing out the best in young people by working to address anti-social behaviour in the community. He is the founder of Spotlight Inc, which helps young people aged 12 to 25 to nurture their talents. Until recently, he was also the President of the St Kitts Basseterre Leo Club youth group, and partook in a number of its projects including a tutoring programme at a children’s home, a mentorship programme at a hospital and a campaign to encourage sexual health. Dion is currently implementing the Boys Mentorship Programme, which matches teenage boys with positive role models in the community. He now intends to create a leadership ambassadors’ project, which will develop leadership skills in young people in secondary schools.

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Matthew Batson

Matthew works in the field of mental health and is committed to helping and serving his community. He works on the Safe Space programme, which offers peer support and group therapy sessions at the University of The West Indies. The group is open for anyone to attend, but particularly supports people interested in discussing issues relating to sexuality and gender. Matthew also co-founded Yellow Pebble, a youth and mental health organisation which provides guidance to clinical psychology students. He is currently setting up a digital magazine called The Voice.

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Siddel Ramkissoon

Siddel is dedicated to empowering young people. In 2010, aged 16, he founded Overall Youth Empowerment and Action (OYEA) to encourage his peers to help out in the community. OYEA provides volunteering opportunities for young people which primarily focus on improving the environment, for example via tree planting initiatives and recycling programmes. Siddel and his team hosted the first youth-led Green Expo in San Fernando, which raised awareness about and encouraged environmentally friendly practices. Siddel is currently trying to set up a partnership across Trinidad and Tobago which will allow him to support social entrepreneurship in the community.

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Amy Bourque

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Hayley Todesco

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Ibrahim Musa

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Leanne Prendergast

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Moiz Hafeez

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Simei (Amy) Li

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Nyus Alfred

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Xuxa Garroden

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Jonathan Bhagan

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Europe Winners Runners Up

Eman Borg

Eman is dedicated to supporting the LGBTI+ community, and to giving young people a stronger voice. He is the founder of the first LGBTI+ group on the island of Gozo. Under his leadership, LGBTI+ Gozo holds educational sessions, organises social events and works to create links with other organisations in Malta. It hosts a monthly youth club in order to provide a safe environment in which LGBTI+ teenagers can meet. In future, Eman hopes to be able to open a permanent youth hub where young people can spend time. He is also planning to organise a diversity march to celebrate LGBTI+ Gozo’s second year anniversary. In addition, Eman is the Vice-President of the Gozo Youth Council, which seeks to give young people a greater say in their community. He has already helped members draft 60 proposals on changes they want to see on the island.

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Vladyslava Kravchenko

As a Paralympic swimmer herself, Vladyslava is a passionate ambassador for disability sports. In Malta, she has been part of the National Paralympic Swimming Team since 2013, whilst continuing to maintain her job at PwC Malta. In 2016 she became the first female swimmer to represent her country at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Vladyslava is now a Youth Ambassador for the Paralympic Movement in Europe and works to raise awareness of para-sport in the community, encouraging greater grassroots participation, and inspiring young athletes to continue their training to an elite level. Vladyslava is also an ambassador for the Malta Be Active campaign through which she visits schools to talk about her sport and to encourage others to get involved.

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Alex Holmes

Alex is an active campaigner for the ending of bullying in schools, after having being bullied himself as a child. He is the founder of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, a programme which trains young people in schools to support each other and champion the issue of anti-bullying. Since its inception 10 years ago, it has trained more than 20,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in schools and communities across the UK and Ireland. Alex’s work has attracted government funding and the support of charities, including the Diana Award, and companies such as Facebook. Alex now sits on a number of bullying advisory boards, and helps to organise Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. He has also set up a programme called Coz I Can, which supports young people to make a difference in their community. In future, Alex would like to introduce ‘happiness training’ into schools, organisations and workplaces through his idea of Smile and Compliment days.

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Usman Ali

Usman works to improve social-economic opportunities for people and to support those who are being bullied. He is a committed public servant who has worked as an adviser within the political, public and third sectors. As youth lead of a Muslim Police Association, Usman organised a residential programme where 30 young people participated in workshops, heard from guest speakers and improved their CV and interview techniques. As Chairperson of Trade Union Youth Committees, Usman created ‘the employment journey’ model to strengthen public policy. In this role, he established a legacy plan which includes taking Unions into Mosques and establishing an academy for future young leaders. He also works to tackle bullying in schools and workplaces building upon the Tackling Bullying in Scottish Schools Campaign which he founded in June 2010. Usman was elected as the first Scot from a Muslim or Asian background to be Scotland’s 77th Chairperson of the Scottish Trade Union Congress Youth Committee. In 2014, Usman was appointed as a Commonwealth Youth Lead; a fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society; and a UK Young Leader by the U.S Ambassador to the UK.

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Pacific Winners Runners Up

Abdullahi Alim

Abdullahi is dedicated to countering violent extremism amongst youth through awareness raising and online outreach. He is also leading initiatives to increase economic and employment opportunities amongst young people. Abdullahi is the director of MyHack, a peer-to-peer project which challenges young Australians to create technologies and social media campaigns to curb the threat of violent extremism. In addition, he has organised international conferences, youth forums and podcasts to raise awareness about the issue. Abdullahi is also the curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community in Perth, and has worked together with colleagues to develop two programmes in the city: Perth SOUP, a monthly crowd-funding dinner where social entrepreneurs pitch for funding for their ventures, and Project Connect, which provides university students with internship opportunities in not-for-profit organisations. In future, Abdullahi hopes to create local hubs that can be used by young people to help tackle extremism in their respective communities.

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Jordan O’Reilly

Jordan is committed to giving disabled people the best chance in life. After seeing the struggles his disabled brother had trying to find work, Jordan and his sister founded Fighting Chance. The organisation offers stimulating, challenging work-experience and employment for 140 disabled people at two offices in Sydney. Jordan and his sister also launched Hireup, a social benefit business and online platform that gives people living with disabilities the power to find, hire and manage their own home care and support workers. More than 4,000 people have already signed up to the platform. Jordan now plans to launch the next Fighting Chance hubs in other areas of Australia.

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Madeleine Buchner

Madeleine is committed to supporting young people acting as family carers across Australia. Using her own experiences as a young carer, Madeleine set up Little Dreamers Australia. The charity supports young people who are caring for parents or siblings with a chronic illness, mental illness, disability or drug/ alcohol addiction. Madeleine manages a team of 15 volunteers and, through a range of initiatives, has helped more than 1,000 young carers. She also created the first VIC Young Carers Festival in Australia, which has been running for three years and aims to improve connections between young carers, in order to increase the support they receive and reduce the potential for mental health problems.

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Ashleigh Smith

Ashleigh is dedicated to reducing the problem of online bullying. She is co-leader and vice chair of the board for Sticks n Stones (SnS), an organisation that focuses on positive action to avert the risk of cyber-bullying and aggressive online behaviour. She is also chair of her local SnS division, where she organises and hosts events for both young people and parents about online life and social media. In addition, she mentors young people in schools throughout Central Otago and Dunedin, helping students to run workshops about bullying and mental health. Ashleigh is currently working with the Government to help inform their policy-making on bullying and social media. SnS now has 300 young volunteers, and Ashleigh hopes to be able to expand the initiative to every school in New Zealand. She is also studying to become a nurse, and plans to use her future career as an ongoing platform through which to raise awareness of bullying, suicide and mental health.

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Johnetta Lili

Johnetta works to raise awareness of the rights of young people in her community. In 2014 she joined Equal Playing Field, which aims to decrease violence and encourage gender equality. As its site manager, she was responsible for leading 20 volunteers from the University of Papua New Guinea, who used sport to promote gender equality to more than 300 students. She went on to co-found the Carteret Campaign (now The Climate Change Campaign), which works to help people affected by climate change from the Carteret Islands. In addition to raising awareness about climate change, the group runs a book drive for children at schools in the islands. Johnetta was recently awarded a Kokoda Track Foundation leadership scholarship. She is now planning to implement a project in Port Moresby to raise awareness of cancer treatment and prevention.

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Theresa Gizoria

Theresa is dedicated to increasing opportunities for young people, and, in particular, to helping young mothers in tertiary education. She is the founder of UniMums where, together with four others, she supports young mothers at the University of Papua New Guinea. The group provides a mentoring scheme for young mothers, as well as monthly workshops during which they share health tips, teach budgeting skills and hold relaxation sessions. Theresa now hopes to build UniMums’ capacity and expand it to five other national universities. She also volunteers with Advancing PNG Women Leaders Network, Women Arise PNG, Australia-PNG Emerging Leaders Network and the Kokoda Track Foundation. She uses these platforms to ensure the voices of young people are taken into account in the political decisionmaking process.

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Karrie Jionisi

Karrie works to provide professional skills and further educational opportunities for young people, many of whom have left school early. She helped to form a group called Girls for Change, which supports unemployed girls and single mothers in her community learn new skills to help them find jobs. Karrie also works as a facilitator for the Digital Storytelling Project, which encourages young women to tell their stories using different forms of media. She volunteers for the Honiara City Council Youth Division and helps organise its annual International Youth Day. She is currently working on a project called Back to School to support early school leavers in continuing with their education.

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Elizabeth Kite

Elizabeth leads educational initiatives for young people and disabled people in Tonga. She is the co-host of a radio programme led by The Talitha Project, which aims to help young women and girls make wise and informed life decisions on issues such as reproductive health. The show provides a safe platform for listeners to voice their opinions anonymously, and cites and celebrates the achievements of young people who have contributed to their communities. Since 2012, Elizabeth has also volunteered at The Mango Tree Centre for the Disabled, which provides rehabilitative therapy, education and vocational training to disabled Tongans. She currently teaches a braille class to students who are visually impaired.

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Rena Ou Yang

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Robert Gillies

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Alex Bengree

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Loren Skudder-Hill

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Kasek Galgal

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