Winners 2018

Closex

Africa

Alimatu Bawah Wiabriga

Alimatu is the co-founder of CowTribe, which uses mobile technology to provide animal health services to rural livestock farmers. The platform has helped to link farmers with veterinary services more quickly and easily, via a simple booking app. Farmers can also subscribe for vaccination reminders, outbreak alerts and animal husbandry management advice. The service aims to reduce livestock mortality and increase farm productivity and income. As the only ‘vet on demand’ platform in the country, CowTribe now has more than 25,000 users after just two years of operation. Alimatu has also worked with a radio station to produce several farming programmes. She is involved in various government, NGO and rural development initiatives to improve livestock productivity and food security amongst small-scale farmers in Ghana.

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Derick Omari

Derick is working to raise levels of IT literacy within his community. He is the founder of Tech Era, a programme which introduces underprivileged children in Ghana to technology. To date, it has trained 80 students to use computers and solve problems with robotics. Derick hopes to reach more than 4,000 students in rural Ghana in the next three years and to establish 12 robotics clubs in high schools. His team is also working with visually-impaired students at one school, where the aim is for half of the learners to be able to use a computer and mobile phone within a year. In addition, Derick is the founder of the Berekuso Music Project, which equips students with music and art skills that they might use as a future source of income.

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Shadrack Frimpong

Shadrack is a social entrepreneur working to improve the lives of people living in rural communities in Ghana. He is the founder of Cocoa360, which runs a free girls’ school and medical clinic in his community, funded by proceeds from a community cocoa plantation. With 17 paid staff members, 90 students and an annual reach of 2,500 patients, the Cocoa360 model has already benefitted many lives in rural Ghana. In the future, Shadrack would like to train members of the community to become health workers, and provide them with motorbikes to be able to deliver healthcare to patients in remote villages.

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Douglas Mwangi

Douglas works to reduce illiteracy and poverty in his community in Kenya through education and skills-training. He founded Oasis Mathare, which offers entrepreneurial and IT skills to unemployed young people, including teenage mothers. Douglas now leads a team of five staff and 10 volunteers and has so far helped more than 2,000 teenage mothers, young people and children in the Mathare slum. The centre also has a community library, where students can do their homework, or those who lack the money to attend school can study. There is also an early childhood development space, which allows children to play and, in turn, develop physical and social skills.

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Reekelitsoe Molapo

Reekelitsoe enables and encourages young people in Africa to become entrepreneurs. She is the founder of an initiative called Educate Your Peer Foundation, which encourages African young people studying or working abroad to fund the education of one of their peers back home. Through her own business, Reekelitsoe is also developing an innovation hub where she and her team will help to develop, accelerate and provide seed-funding for start-ups. It aims to address the lack of financing, market access and coaching that causes many young entrepreneurs to fail. In addition, Reekelitsoe works closely with the Lesotho Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation to raise awareness among young people of the opportunities available to them, and to develop creative solutions to tackling challenges such as unemployment.

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Chikondi Violet Mlozi

Chikondi is finding new ways to improve the lives of women and children within her country. As a district co-ordinator for Youth Net and Counselling in Malawi, she helps to free girls from forced, early marriages, supports victims of abuse and provides women with mentoring opportunities. Chikondi’s work also involves using theatre and road shows to raise awareness about children’s rights. In addition, she co-ordinates an initiative to increase access to healthcare for people living in rural communities and has set up 17 support groups for people living with HIV. In the future, she would like to establish community counselling centres in rural areas to offer support to children who have experienced sexual abuse.

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Pilirani Khoza

Pilirani is working to provide disadvantaged young women in Malawi with an education. After becoming the first woman in her community to attend the University of Malawi, Pilirani founded the Bunda Female Students Organisation (BUFESO) in 2012 to help young women and girls to become involved in the fields of science and agriculture. As well as offering scholarships to those who are unable to afford school fees, BUFESO employs students as interns during academic holidays and trains them on topics such as sustainable agriculture and climate change. Interns are also paired with mentors with agricultural experience. So far, 110 university and secondary school students have been supported by scholarships, 360 women farmers have been trained and six agribusiness projects have been implemented.

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Mavis Elias

Mavis is a young philanthropist who is committed to helping underprivileged people in her community. She is the founder of the EM Love Foundation, whose work ranges from providing donated food and clothing to low-income families, to hosting fundraisers to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Mavis now leads a team of seven directors, and has more than 40 volunteers working with her. She and her team have hosted a charity pop-up shop in collaboration with Street Store, a pop-up store that can be created in any community to enable the homeless to shop for free. In recognition of her community work, the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia invited Mavis to serve on her One Economy Foundation, which works to promote inclusivity between different communities, via programmes focused on education, violence and health.

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Hauwa Ojeifo

Hauwa is dedicated to overcoming the stigma around mental health in Nigeria. She runs a women’s support group called She Writes Women, which focuses on mental health support and outreach among some of the most vulnerable people in the community. Through this organisation, she set up the country’s first 24-hour mental health helpline, which has so far assisted more than 200 women to gain the support they need. Hauwa also operates ‘Safe Places’ – free monthly support groups for women, which include therapy and help from counsellors, coaches and physicians and carries out ‘Hope Visits’ to people in psychiatric hospitals who have not had visitors for a long time.

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Isaac Ezirim

Isaac is a computer programmer who teaches coding to teenagers in low-income areas. He is the founder of Teens Can Code, which is currently training 200 teenagers from the Ajegunle, Alimosho and Ejigbo communities of Lagos about computer coding and how to build web and mobile applications using the same tools that are used by professionals in the tech industry. Isaac also created a Teens Hub, where teenagers from the community can go to learn about coding and create applications together. It hosts monthly demonstration days for teenagers to help them build their entrepreneurial skills: participants are tasked with developing and pitching a tech-based approach they themselves can build to help solve a problem in the community. In addition, Isaac organises a Teens Code Conference for students aged 11-18 to provide an opportunity for people in rural areas to learn how to code. Through the conference and career day events, Isaac and his team have reached more than 3,500 teenagers.

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Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph

Kennedy works to promote women’s rights in Nigeria. He is the founder of the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights (CYCWR), which supports the rights of women in the areas of female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, forced child marriage and access to education for girls. The CYCWR works with rural community members, to educate them on the dangers of gender-based violence. CYCWR has worked with The Girl Generation to end the practice of FGM in over 200 communities, and has worked with the government to run safe houses for victims of FGM. Kennedy is currently working with the government to introduce anti-FGM laws in his state, and anti-FGM and gender-based violence education into the curriculum of all secondary schools.

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Priscilla Ruzibuka

Priscilla is an entrepreneur who helps women gain employment. She has created Ki-pepeo Kids Clothing project, a children’s clothing line, which employs women from underprivileged communities. Priscilla trains them as tailors and uses the profits from the sales of the clothes to pay fair salaries. Priscilla also offers the women microloans if they need help supporting their families and advises them on how to look after their money. She is a board member of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Rwanda, a membership based organisation that empowers youth in the community in areas such as entrepreneurship and leadership and connects them with mentors and investors.

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Anael Bodwell

Anael teaches young people about their sexual and reproductive health. In 2012 she co-founded Youth Action Movement (YAM) of Seychelles, the first youth group in her country to discuss these issues. The group was recognised by the International Planned Parenthood Federation for the campaign it led to improve access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services for young people, to help girls to understand their rights and for the contribution it made towards national policy on adolescents and reproductive health. In 2015, Anael was elected as a board member of the Seychelles National Youth Council for a two-year term. During this time, she advocated for the opening of youth health clinics in the inner islands. In 2017 she attended the World Economic Forum on Africa to call for the inclusion of young people in the decision-making process on legislations which affects them. Anael is also the co-founder of SYAH Seychelles where she advocates for the sustainable development goals in line with her passion for youth empowerment.

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Brima Manso Bangura

Brima is an inventor, solving problems in his community through entrepreneurship. Having grown up in a slum in Sierra Leone where there was no access to a stable electricity supply, Brima invented a bicycle-powered generator to provide clean, environmentally-friendly and affordable electricity to power household appliances. His invention benefitted not only his own family, but also his neighbours and the wider community. He recently won an award for inventing a substance made from coconut shells which can absorb carbon monoxide in enclosed areas. While studying at the African Leadership Academy, Brima started a Creativity and Innovation Club to encourage a culture of innovation among young people and to enable them to create practical solutions to problems facing their communities.

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Siposetu Sethu Mbuli

Siposetu is developing new ways to end the stigma of albinism in South Africa. Growing up with albinism herself, and mindful of the misconceptions that still exist around it, Siposetu co-founded Love, This Skin. The organisation assists, supports and educates young people with albinism and their families. It currently works with over 100 people, the majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and provides them with necessities like sun protection and eye care. As a broadcaster, Siposetu regularly tells her story and encourages other people to share theirs. Love, This Skin runs an online series which, through interviews and conversations, reports on some of the challenges people with albinism have faced. The group also works with organisations like the Western Cape Albinism and Hypo-pigment Foundation to host community initiatives focused on educating the public about albinism and eradicating misconceptions about the condition.

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Thamsanqa Hoza

Thamsanqa is helping young entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve their goals. In 2014, while studying at the Lawhill Maritime Centre, Thamsanqa and a friend developed the ‘Hot Nozzle’, a portable battery-operated shower head which heats up water. As a result, he was recognised by the African Innovation Foundation as one of the top ten young innovators in Africa. He has since co-founded HN Innovate, an organisation which seeks to encourage and inspire young people to explore entrepreneurship. Thamsanqa is also launching a Robotics Science and Technology Programme to help students learn to conceptualise, design and build robot models.

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Alice Ahadi Magaka

Alice educates girls about menstrual hygiene and provides sanitary care provisions for students who cannot afford to buy their own. After discovering many girls were absent from her school due to having their periods, Alice set up The Pink Box Project. The scheme encourages those who can afford to buy sanitary provisions to make donations to those who cannot. At its launch, 100 packs of sanitary towels were donated to women and girls and Alice now runs a monthly collection and distribution service. The scheme also hosts forums to educate girls about menstrual hygiene. Since starting the project, Alice has noted a reduction in the number of girls and young women who are absent at her school. She would now like to expand the scheme to rural areas and to introduce reusable menstrual products to girls living there.

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Isaya Yunge

Isaya uses mobile software to address the needs of African communities. He is the founder and chief executive at SomaApps Technologies which created SomaApp, a mobile app which is revolutionising how scholarships are offered in Africa. Isaya and his team came up with the idea after seeing how many domestic and international scholarships go unclaimed each year because young people are simply unaware of them. The app enables students to enter their academic qualifications and the SomaApp search engine then matches them with scholarships they qualify for. More than 2,000 students are currently using SomaApp daily. Since the beta (test) version was launched in February 2017, 450 scholarships totalling more than $850,000 a year have been won by students in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

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Bazil Mwotta Biddemu

Bazil is dedicated to helping farmers in his community thrive. He is the founder of AgroDuuka, which helps farmers in Uganda access information about market prices for produce in their region. It is designed to act as a low-cost SMS platform to connect smallholder rural farmers directly to buyers, before and after their harvest. To date, Bazil and his team have helped more than 800 farmers from 36 villages in Western and Central Uganda to gain a fair price for their produce. AgroDuuka has recently partnered with the Uganda National Farmers Federation, which is enabling almost five million farmers to have access to AgroDuuka.

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Elizabeth Kasujja

Elizabeth uses technology to transform the lives of people living with mental health issues in Uganda. Her inspiration came after witnessing the stigma surrounding mental health in her community, and discovering that many mental health problems went undiagnosed due to a shortage of trained professionals and resources. This led Elizabeth to co-found Clear Yo Mind, which creates secure online platforms for people to express their feelings and access free help from mental health professionals. Clear Yo Mind also offers a text message service, where users can request help, and secure one-to-one appointments with professionals outside of a hospital environment. Elizabeth is currently studying towards a Diploma in Psychology to further support her work.

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Stephen Katende

Stephen works to ensure that children in rural areas of Uganda are able to complete their education. He is the founder of Kisoboka Africa, which runs School Community Banks in the rural districts of Lyantonde and Lwengo that allow parents to save, borrow and invest for their children’s education. In addition, Kisoboka Africa equips parents with entrepreneurial and agricultural skills to help start and run their own businesses. The parents are also encouraged to engage with teachers to address any challenges their children are facing at school. Stephen and his team now work with 150 parents in two schools, and have helped over 400 children to acquire an education. The organisation is also starting to operate Young Savers and Investment Clubs in rural primary schools so that children can learn how to save money and boost their leadership skills.

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Gift Chansa

Gift uses his skills as a circus performer to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people in Zambia. After training at Barefeet Theatre, an organisation seeking to engage and educate at-risk youth in the country through theatre, Gift went on to co-found Circus Zambia. The circus company provides participants in the township of Chibolya with circus, academic and life skills. As the artistic director, Gift and his team currently train 80 young people on a weekly basis who perform to more than 5,000 children in the community. By using circus skills, the Circus Zambia members are able to provide information on issues, such as HIV awareness and sanitation. They also organise events such as ‘A Day of Learning’, which encourage young people to develop their own entrepreneurial business ideas.

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Sela Kasepa

Sela explores how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can help solve some of the challenges faced by her country. Applying knowledge gained from her own engineering studies, she is the founder and teacher on Zambia’s first robotics development team. Sela has been instrumental in enabling the team’s participation in the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge in the USA, an international robotics competition which aims to inspire young people across the world to engage with STEM. Sela is now working with the Zambian Institute for Sustainable Development to popularise and broaden research into robotics, and to train the next team that will participate in the FIRST Global Challenge. She also hopes to organise local robotics competitions to show young people how to apply innovation to problem-solving.

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Asia

Ayman Sadiq

Ayman is improving access to education for young people throughout Bangladesh. He is the founder of 10 Minute School, a free online educational platform providing interactive videos, live classes, quizzes and smart books to students. The school is run by Ayman and a team of 52 others, most of whom are students themselves. With over 40 million active users across all its channels, 10 Minute School is the largest free-learning platform of its kind in Bangladesh. It allows people to study a range of academic subjects and also teaches presentation and interview skills. In partnership with the country’s ICT Division and the telecom operator Robi, 18,000 schools are now using 10 Minute School’s resources to teach their students.

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Zaiba Tahyya

Zaiba works to promote equality in society and reduce violence against women in Bangladesh. With a degree in criminology, her experience as a researcher in the police force gave her unique insights into the problems of mobility and vulnerability among women in low-income areas of the country. Since being selected as a Global Shaper 2017-2018 by the World Economic Forum, Zaiba has been able to deliver a number of projects in Dhaka including one on anti-harassment, which uses paintings on the sides of buses to raise awareness of the issue. She has also collaborated with a local legal firm to create a self-defence project for women, and partnered with a youth-based organisation to teach women how to ride bicycles, to increase their independence. Every five weeks, 40 girls receive self-defence and cycling training.

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Ahmad Fadillah Sellahhuddin

Ahmad works to support underprivileged families in his community. He co-founded Projek Bina Ukhwah, a youth movement that aims to create safer and more hygienic living conditions for people in need. In its first eight months, the group raised more than B$35,000, distributed $6,000 worth of food packs, and built houses for two families living in poor conditions. In addition, the organisation runs a Family Empowerment and Economic Development Programme which mentors families and provides them with funding to start their own small businesses. Ahmad has also been a member of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council for 14 years, where he raises awareness of HIV/AIDS through education.

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Aditya Kulkarni

Aditya is developing mobile health solutions to help reduce maternal and child mortality in areas with limited health resources. He is the co-creator of CareMother, a mobile and online platform that connects health workers to gynaecologists and empowers them to carry out regular doorstep antenatal check-ups to pregnant women in any setting. The app enables women to monitor their pregnancy, health workers to early identify any potential or emerging high-risk complications and gynaecologists to schedule timely interventions or follow ups. Within the last two years Aditya and his team have worked with more than 15 organisations and provided affordable care to more than 30,000 pregnant women in over 800 villages in India, Bangladesh and Kenya. CareMother has also created more than 100 jobs for health workers and has led to significant improvements in how antenatal care is delivered at a grassroots level.

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Deane De Menezes

Deane is determined to tackle the stigma around menstruation in India. She is the founder of Red is the new Green, a project which aims to end the embarrassment felt by women and girls about their periods, while providing eco-friendly solutions to tackling sanitary waste. In 2016, Deane started a pilot scheme at a school in Mumbai, which installed low-cost sanitary towel vending machines and incinerators on campus and delivered awareness-raising sessions to students. As a result of its success, both in reducing female absenteeism caused by menstruation and improving the disposal of related waste, the project has now been extended to 11 schools and has reached over 15,000 women and girls. Deane has introduced the project to hospitals, colleges and self-help groups in her aim to take her work and message to all sections of society, regardless of age, gender or income.

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Trisha Shetty

Trisha works to promote gender equality. She is the founder of SheSays, a youth-led organisation that aims to end sexual violence and improve education, healthcare and sanitation, and inform public policy. As part of their work, Trisha and her team of 20 provide resources for women, including access to legal, medical and psychological support, to enable them to take direct action against sexual abuse. To help combat child sexual abuse, Trisha also initiated the Agents of Change youth programme, which trains young people on crisis intervention, teaches them about gender based violence and equips them with skills to support their peers. She works with schools, colleges and workplaces to encourage them to listen to the views of young people about their policies. Since its inception in 2015, SheSays has worked with more than 150,000 people.

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Siva Nagappan Visvesvaran

Siva develops new solutions to existing environmental problems. He has developed numerous innovations to improve everyday recycling including the Linear Water Storage system for his school, which enables rainwater to be stored in a fraction of the space usually required. Siva is currently studying electrical power engineering, and hopes it will allow him to deliver more sustainable and affordable sources of energy to developing countries. In addition, he is the co-founder of a social enterprise called Project Paplet. The organisation set up a ‘Reuse Initiative’ which takes paper already used on one side and turns it into booklets. The booklets are donated to 50 refugee schools throughout Malaysia through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The group also provides toolkits to 11 other institutions globally explaining how to make the booklets and to empower people to create new products out of everyday rubbish. Since its launch in 2016, it has saved around 4.5 tonnes of paper.

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Wen Shin Chia

Wen is an environmentalist who uses innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle pollution in her country. In 2016 she founded Green Yards, which deters people from disposing of household oil down drains by offering them free soap in exchange for every 5kg of oil returned to them. This oil, which pollutes the water supplies, is instead recycled into eco-cleaning products and candles. In addition, Wen and her team organise community workshops to promote recycling. In just one year, Green Yards has prevented 4.7 tonnes of used cooking oil from being dumped.

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Haroon Yasin

Haroon is dedicated to giving children from underprivileged backgrounds the chance of a good education. He is the founder of Orenda, which teaches children in Pakistan the national curriculum through an engaging digital education model. Its mission is to build a dynamic education model to help young children develop. Originally set up as a safe place for children living in slums, Orenda has since expanded to various regions across the country. Haroon and his team are now teaching around 1,300 children primarily in rural areas of Pakistan, through a specially developed cartoon series, Taleemabad, which is available on mobile phones and cheap computers. Haroon is also encouraging communities and local governments to make improvements to children’s education in their areas. In recognition of the impact of Orenda’s work so far, one local government has invited the organisation to replicate and scale-up its educational model across its district.

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Hassan Mujtaba Zaidi

Hassan uses art to help educate marginalised young people in Pakistan. He is the founder of Discovering New Artists (DNA), which provides free art education, and primary and secondary education, to students unable to afford school fees. DNA raises money to fund school projects through its initiative, Art for Change, a national child art competition which aims to forge links between young people in privileged and underprivileged communities. Students who can afford to, pay a registration fee to participate in the competition. Their fees are then used to enable a child from a marginalised background to enter for free. Further proceeds from the competition are used to fund other educational projects run by DNA. To date, 11,500 students have participated in the competition and over 5,000 students have benefitted from donations of art materials. Through DNA, Hassan also supports the construction of libraries in under-resourced schools, and funds various college and university student internship and volunteer programmes.

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Mahnoor Syed

Mahnoor supports underprivileged people in her community. Her start-up Spread the Word began by partnering with seven schools to provide extra-curricular workshops to students on issues such as bullying, child abuse, mental and physical health. It now has 300 volunteers from all over Pakistan. Mahnoor has also collected money and books to secure the creation of two libraries in Lahore, and has raised funds to sponsor the education of 24 children from disadvantaged backgrounds who attend one of her partner schools. In addition, she has partnered with an organisation called Khwajasira Support to fundraise for the vocational training of 50 transgender people. At the same time, she has worked with the Barkat Foundation to arrange health camps run by doctors in 15 deprived areas.

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Tian Sern Oon

Tian is using technology to help people access mental health support. He is the founder of Acceset, an online platform for people to discuss mental health issues and seek help anonymously. Tian previously spent three years on the management committee of Audible Hearts, an online peer support mental health network. During his time with Audible Hearts, Tian and his team worked alongside professional counsellors and trained volunteers to offer support to young people who were not yet ready to seek professional help. Tian is now working to compile a directory of social service organisations in Singapore, to make it easier for those in need to find the right professional help.

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Yi Jun Mock

Yi Jun is giving young people the help and encouragement they need to pursue their ambitions in vocational areas of work. He co-founded Advisory, an online initiative aimed at providing young Singaporeans with the opportunity to learn about different career options. The service provides users with access to resources, and interviews with professionals from a range of sectors to help them plan their future careers. Yi Jun also served on the National Youth Council’s Young ChangeMakers (YCM) Grant Panel, to assess and mentor youth teams applying for funding for community improvement projects. While working with YCM, he acted as leader of Project Keep-In-Touch, which focused on building awareness of urban poverty in Singapore. Together with his team, they raised $52,000 in 16 weeks, which went towards projects to help people living in disadvantaged areas. Yi Jun also serves as Project Leader (Networks) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth, where he works to engage youth globally with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Bhagya Wijayawardane

Bhagya is an urban gardener who is working to improve food security. She is the co-founder of ESHKOL Garden Works, which encourages people to grow their own food in their garden or home. The company sells products from space-saving vertical gardens to hydroponics, which make it possible to grow plants without soil. Most of the products are made using upcycled materials by people living in rural communities. Bhagya and her team run a community centre to teach organic vegetable gardening and provide seed starting and composting. She also delivers programmes in schools and youth clubs to teach young people about the importance of fresh produce, and provides low-income families with the resources needed to grow food at home for a reasonable price.

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Caribbean and Americas

Ronelle King

Ronelle is committed to helping end violence against women in the Caribbean. She was the initiator of the social media movement #lifeinleggings, an online hashtag that aims to dispel the myth that only certain types of women who dress in a particular way are harassed. It soon went viral. Through it, women around the world were encouraged to speak out online about their experiences of harassment. Following this success, Ronelle formed the grassroots organisation Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence Through Education, Empowerment and Community Outreach. She also organised the Reclaim Our Streets: Women’s Solidarity March which took place in Barbados and six other Caribbean countries, in order to raise awareness about sexual abuse and how to prevent it.

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Aditya Mohan

Aditya is a scientist looking for new ways to fight cancer. His interest in medicine began when he was a child. By the age of 15, he had already begun to study cellular interactions in chronic diseases such as HIV. Aditya then transferred to cancer research, specifically seeking to understand whether the manipulation of viruses like the common cold could be used to target tumours and whether the body’s immune system can be trained to recognise and kill cancer cells. He is now conducting pre-clinical trials in research labs to explore this. Aditya is also the co-founder and co-president of Project Pulse Spark, an annual healthcare conference in Ottawa, which attracts over 1,000 high school and university students. Aditya and his team use the conference to inspire students to pursue careers in the medical industry.

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Ishita Aggarwal

Ishita is improving the lives of marginalised and impoverished women in Canada. She is the founder of Mom’s The Word (MTW), a non-profit organisation that hosts free prenatal workshops for pregnant women who have a low income or who are homeless, to fight ill-health, illiteracy, maternal poverty and infant morbidity. Doctors and counsellors refer participants to MTW, and women who complete the programme receive food stamps, milk coupons, bus tokens and/or prenatal vitamins in return. Since its inception in 2016, MTW has raised $100,000 and hosted more than 60 workshops for 750 women. Staff also run monthly Safe Sex Talks, which have reached more than 93,000 people. In addition, Ishita and her team have launched Pro-Bono Healers (PBH), a service which links sexual abuse and rape victims with obstetrician-gynaecologists and therapists. To date, PBH has helped over 215 girls and women access services including HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing, birth control and counselling.

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Midia Shikh Hassan

Midia works to support the educational and healthcare needs of refugees worldwide. After moving to Canada, she set up The Refugee Outreach Programme in Ottawa, which aims to encourage entrepreneurialism within the refugee community. She has also established a social venture called Dextra, which uses 3D printing to provide upper body prosthetics to refugees in refugee camps. By using this technique, she and her team are able to produce the limbs for $20, rather than the usual cost of $2,000 to $20,000. In addition, Midia has started a programme at the University of Ottawa to help students identify social issues in the community and create solutions for them. More than 300 students have accessed the programme.

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Lakeyia Joseph

From an early age, Lakeyia has stood up in support of young people and gender equality in Dominica. While still at school, she established a charity called Golden Opportunities which donates clothes, shoes and school supplies to children from low-income families. To date, the organisation has distributed over $10,000 worth of supplies to children and young adults. Lakeyia is now working to establish the Golden Empowerment Foundation, which seeks to motivate young people through education, sport and training, and promote greater understanding of gender equality. In 2017, the High Commissioner of Canada in Barbados named her Dominica’s Youth Champion and Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality.

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Jenella Edwards

Jenella is dedicated to helping young people in Grenada achieve their full potential. Being aware of the difficulties faced by young people to further their education, Jenella founded the HEON (Help Educate Our Nation) Project in 2015 to provide disadvantaged students with full scholarships to attend either college or a recognised skills centre. The project raises funds by hosting an annual dinner, and by selling promotional items such as t-shirts, bags and stickers as well as sourcing sponsorship from local businesses. Before establishing the HEON Project, Jenella was the President of the River Sallee Youth Alliance, which aims to foster a strong community spirit through after-school programmes, activity weeks and clean-up campaigns. Jenella is now expanding the HEON Project to attract more supporters and help even more students to receive a quality education.

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Marva Langevine

Marva is transforming the lives of bereaved, sick and underprivileged children and families in Guyana. She is the founder of the Guyana Golden Lives Organization, which she has used to open up a national conversation about the loss of a loved one in childhood. The organisation provides financial and psycho-social support services for bereaved children, job opportunities for widows, and food hampers and building materials for low income families. In the future, Marva hopes to hold ‘grief in the classroom’ workshops for teachers and community outreach initiatives on bereavement. Marva has also created Camp Golden, a camp for bereaved young people, which provides counselling, food, shelter and educational opportunities. In addition, Marva is a founding member of Den-Amstel Dynamic Network, a youth group focused on restoring the cultural art forms for which her home village of Den-Amstel was once famous.

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Aubrey Stewart

Aubrey supports and motivates young people to bring about positive changes to their lives and those of others. He is the founder of the Youth Organisation for Upliftment, which provides a space where young people can come together and make a difference in their community. Since its establishment in 2009, the organisation has run a number of campaigns, including The Crime Out Campaign, a youth-led peace movement which inspired young people to speak out against violence. In his current role as country co-ordinator for the RuJohn Foundation in Jamaica, Aubrey helps provide underprivileged schools and students with resources such as computers, school lunches and sporting equipment. It also arranges yearly activities like celebrity sports camps and acting workshops. In addition, Aubrey serves as chairman for the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica, which represents young people in policy making and he is a Jamaica House Fellow where he works with senior officials at the Office of the Prime Minister to contribute to national development.

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Jodie Dennie

Jodie champions the issue of mental health in her community. She is the creator of The Mind Matters SVG campaign, which aims to teach people aged 10 to 30 about the importance of good mental health. Her work, which has the support of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment, has included giving presentations to young people at three summer programmes and holding art therapy and sports sessions to show how these activities can help to improve people’s mental health. Jodie’s interviews of two local people about their experiences with depression were used by the World Health Organisation on World Health Day as part of its ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’ campaign. She created social media sites to promote the campaign at a local, regional and international level.

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Benedict Bryan

Benedict is dedicated to improving social equality in his country. He is the founder of the Humanitarian Association of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (HARTT), which focuses on providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. Its programmes have included an initiative which taught refugees English and extra-curricular activities to help them integrate into their new culture. Benedict also sits on the committee for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Trinidad and Tobago. Currently, he is working alongside other young people throughout the Caribbean to launch a Youth Peace and Security Think Tank, the aim of which is to promote peace and security for all, especially for those from minority backgrounds.

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Jean-Claude Cournand

Jean-Claude founded the 2 Cents Movement, which uses spoken-word poetry to raise awareness of social issues and to encourage young people to address them. Jean-Claude and his team, which includes 12 young people and 10 poets, has led workshops and performances at more than 70 secondary schools and 30 primary schools. In 2017, the team’s focus was on gender-based violence, so Jean-Claude partnered with the University of the West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies to train poets on the issues, before they took their messages into schools. The group has also hosted two annual national spoken-word events in which 25 secondary and 17 primary schools participated. Each year more than 40,000 young people in Trinidad and Tobago engage with the programme.

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Europe

Antonia Michailidi

Antonia works to help disadvantaged people in the community. She is the co-founder of the Humanitarian Aid Programme (Cyprus), which supports refugees accommodated in Cyprus by collecting donations for the Kofinou Refugee Camp. She uses her experience of working in the camp to raise awareness of some of the problems facing the people living there, for example the financial and language difficulties they experience. Antonia is the International Law Association’s student representative in Cyprus and volunteers for One Woman At A Time, which helps abused women in Cyprus by advising women on their legal rights.

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Martina Caruana

Martina is the co-founder of the Network of Young Women Leaders in Malta, which supports women to assume leadership roles. The network raises awareness of the challenges and barriers that young women and aspiring female leaders often face and runs initiatives designed to enable women from marginalised backgrounds to thrive. As part of her role, Martina led the campaign ‘Artemisia: 100 Remarkable Women’, which told the stories of 100 successful women from all walks of life, all of whom were portrayed in an accompanying exhibition. Martina is currently training to become a lawyer, and in the future wants to support women in Yemen and provide them with opportunities for education and legal aid.

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Harry Phinda

Harry promotes the rights of women and girls through education and advocacy. He is the co-founder of Youth for Change (YFC), which is a global youth led organisation that works in partnership with organisations and governments to tackle gender-based violence and to create positive change. YCF’s main aim is to eradicate early forced marriage (EFM) and female genital mutilation (FGM) in their generation. The organisation works in the UK, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Youth for Change started a campaign called #traintoprotect which provides a curriculum for teachers to protect girls from FGM and EFM. So far Harry and his team have trained 100 teachers in six schools in London. They also partnered with IKRWO (The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation) and Not in My Classroom, to hold the first UK Schools’ Conference on ending gender-based violence and to train more than 200 professionals. The team collaborated with the UK Government to host a Global Youth conference called the Girl Summit, where they equipped 400 young people from across the world to campaign on women’s rights.

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Leanne Armitage

Leanne is training to become a doctor and is working to inspire young people from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities to enter the world of medicine. Having grown up in an area where knife crime is high, she decided she wanted to become a trauma surgeon, both to help patients and to enable her to work with communities and change mindsets by inspiring young people to reach their full potential. She is the founder of Leanne’s Amazing Medics, which is designed to equip and increase the self-confidence of students from ethnic minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds. It introduces students to medics from similar backgrounds and provides them with detailed understanding of what the field of medicine entails. In addition, Leanne created the Aleto Foundation’s Medical Mastermind Group, which aims to increase the personal and professional development of medical and science students.

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Pacific

Caitlin Figueiredo

Caitlin is working to establish more opportunities for women and young people, and to help ensure that they grow up in a safe and positive environment. At 19, she founded World Vision’s youth organisation VGen ACT and co-founded the Peshawar School for Peace, which encourages peace-building and provides education and gender-inclusive career opportunities for 300 women and girls. Caitlin has spoken widely to Government and at the United Nations about bullying and ending violence on children, and organised the world’s largest Girls Takeover Program with the Australian Federal Parliament to increase female representation and leadership. As a Plan International Youth Ambassador, she also assisted the Unilever Period Emoji campaign against period stigma which reached 160 million people. In 2016, Caitlin became the CEO of Lake Nite Learning, a social enterprise specialising in upskilling young people to enter employment and become community leaders. Caitlin now wants to develop a free self-defence studio to empower women physically and psychologically through self-defence training and leadership workshops.

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Hunter Johnson

Hunter works to end the stigma around mental health in men and to reduce domestic violence. He co-founded The Man Cave, an organisation that works with boys and young men, providing workshops, camps and presentations that explore healthy masculinity, respectful relationships and men’s role in gender equality. The programme has worked with more than 2,500 boys and young men. Hunter’s goal is to introduce The Man Cave curriculum to every school in Australia, in order to help reduce suicide rates in young men and develop respectful relationship skills. In addition, Hunter has co-managed Young Social Pioneers, an incubator programme for the country’s top 60 social entrepreneurs and innovators aged 18 to 29. Previously, Hunter co-founded Kids in Philanthropy (KiP), which aims to develop empathy and the culture of giving among children, by encouraging them to raise money for other youngsters in need. In four years, kids and parents of KiP have raised over $300,000 through fundraising events.

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Lily Brechtefeld Kumkee

Lily helps young people and women to continue their education and to set up successful businesses. Through her work as a Business and Company Regulatory Officer with the Ministry of Commerce, Lily helps people on remote islands to register their businesses. She speaks to young people about how to turn their talents, such as craft-making and fishing, into viable businesses and encourages them to save and use their earnings to establish small legal companies. In her free time Lily also mentors women, especially young mothers, to encourage them to establish their own businesses or to continue with their education. In the future, she would like to expand her work to help both men as well as women.

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Alexia Hilbertidou

Alexia is inspiring and enabling women in New Zealand to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), leadership and entrepreneurship. She is founder and CEO of GirlBoss NZ. Its mission is to tackle three factors limiting women’s career opportunities in traditionally male-dominated spheres: too few role models; misconceptions of difficulty; and a lack of other women to provide peer support. GirlBoss addresses these issues through conferences, workshops, monthly newsletters and a mentoring network. Since launching the organisation, Alexia has led three GirlBoss Leadership Conferences, attended by 450 high school students, and reached 20,000 New Zealanders through school visits, corporate events and government agencies. GirlBoss now has 8,000 members and 2,200 GirlBoss Ambassadors across New Zealand.

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Ezekiel Raui

Ezekiel works to encourage men in New Zealand to take up leadership positions and to talk more openly about mental health issues. At school, he helped develop a leadership programme for Native American Polynesian and Maori students focused on four key areas: effective communication; management; self-belief; and core values. Alongside this, Ezekiel set up TuKotahi, a peer-support programme which offers information to young people about mental health services in their local area. It will be piloted in four schools in 2018. Ezekiel is also the chairperson for Te Kahui Ururoa, the national rangatahi (youth) council established by Te Rau Matatini, the National Centre for Māori Health, Māori Workforce Development and Excellence, in order to promote young Maori voices in local and national government decision-making across the country.

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Petronilla Molioo Mataeliga

Petronilla has helped provide valuable employment opportunities to young people in Samoa by reviving traditional native handicraft skills. Through the Fala Masi Revival Project, originally run by her late grandmother, Petronella teaches other women how to create traditional Samoan mats. The Project is run by the Women’s Committee of Faleapuna, of which Petronilla is a member. Attendees include members of the Samoa Victim Support Group and unemployed young people, who are able to learn new skills in order to become more financially independent. In the future, Petronilla hopes to help young people make their own creations using recycled materials.

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Millicent Barty

Millicent uses traditional storytelling to educate and empower young and underprivileged people across Solomon Islands. In a country where only 17% of the population aged 25 to 60 is literate, Millicent set up a project called Kastom Story Time which aims to pass on and preserve national stories and story-telling traditions to younger generations through oral and pictorial techniques. She uses these techniques to educate communities on social and political issues. Her work includes translating political pledges and ideas into information-graphics to ensure that marginalised groups can engage in the electoral process and to shift traditional perspectives on the role of women in leadership and politics.

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Joshua Isikeli Sefesi

Joshua raises awareness of sexual reproductive health and women’s rights in Tonga. In his role as an International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Regional Youth Representative, he helps to educate young people in his community about prevalent issues faced by Tongan women and girls, such as teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. He holds sessions with men to educate them on equality and safe sexual practices and informs women about the support available to them. In addition, Joshua encourages young people across Tonga and the Asia-Pacific region to participate in IPPF’s #KnowItOwnIt online campaign, which calls for better quality, comprehensive sex education.

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Litiana Kalsrap

Litiana is a youth leader, committed to mobilising young people as a force for positive social and environmental change. She is Vice-Secretary of the Pango village Youth Council in Vanuatu, which oversees local youth associations. She works as a Youth Sector Counsellor for the Pango Area Council, where she represents the views of young people. As part of her work, Litiana organises activities such as beach clean-ups and tree planting initiatives. She also raises awareness about climate change and its effect on the Pacific Islands. Litiana is a member of 350 Pacific, a youth-led grassroots network working with communities to tackle climate change in the region. Her job includes organising community consultations to encourage and help people adapt to environmental changes.

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