MEET THE YOUNG LEADERS

Below are the biographies of the 2016 Class of Women Deliver Young Leaders. The Young Leaders are listed alphabetically by country.

Marsida Bandilli

Country: Albania

Marsida is a Ph.D. Researcher in Political Science at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is also engaged with the debates at European Union’s institutions in Brussels. She holds a major in Political Science, with a Summa Cum Laude from the University of Tirana, Albania. She is the winner of the Active Citizens of Europe Award, 2014. As an active, committed member of many networks and organizations, she is not only a fiery ambassador of her country but also a promoter of young people’s empowerment in our societies. Marsida is a frequent speaker at international events and she is a fond believer that with the right grit, motivation, and hard work, young people could bring a positive change at local, national and international levels.

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Insaf Haoues

Country: Albenia

Insaf Haoues is a fourth year medical student from Algeria. She has participated in many trainings and youth advocacy initiatives adopting capacity building and cultural exchange, nationwide and worldwide, as Algerian Youth Camp, Algeria Model United Nations, the Healthcare Leadership Summer School in South Africa and the Middle East Partnership Initiative in Georgetown University. She is highly passionate about implementing change through education, awareness and debate. She is a strong believer that youth is not a part of the solution , they are the solution.

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Sofía Minieri

Country: Argentina
Organization: Association for Civil Rights

Sofia is a staff attorney for the Association for Civil Rights (ACD), a non-governmental organization based in Buenos Aires. There, she monitors public policies regarding women’s rights developed by national and regional states. While with ACD, she has developed innovative advocacy strategies to dismantle gender discrimination particularly in the area of reproductive health. In 2012, she collaborated with members of the National Parliament involved in the reform and actualization of the National Civil Code. Sofia holds a postgraduate degree in Women’s and Human Rights from the University of Chile and will be pursuing her Master of Law degree at Columbia University Law School as a Human Rights Fellow and Fulbright Scholar.

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Liana Manusajyan

Country: Armenia

Liana is an advocate, lawyer, human rights defender and young activist based in Armenia. She graduated with her law degree from the French University in Armenia and is also licensed in advocacy, focused on on international law, human rights, and disability issues. Lianan has leads a youth initiative called "Let's Create Smiles" which supports low-income families and people with special needs. She is also a member of the School for Young Leaders with World Vision and the UN working group on the Post 2015 Agenda. Lianan is passionate about writing stories, piano, photography, exploring nature, and sports such as climbing and biking.

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Sona Hovakimyan

Country: Amenia
Organization: Society Without Violence

Sona is a Project Coordinator for Society Without Violence, a non-governmental organization based in Armenia. They work to educate and empower girls and women, increase their participation in decision making and peace building processes, and eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence. Sonia graduated from Yerevan State University with a Master’s degree in Social Work.

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Alisa Draskovic

Country: Australia
Organization: Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS)

Alisa's family migrated to Australia as refugees from former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, which engrained in Alisa a passion for protecting the rights of women. Alisa has been a Crisis Worker at the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) since she was 18 years old where she has supported and advocated for women and children affected by family and intimate partner violence. As part of her Arts/Law degree from the Australian National University (ANU), Alisa undertook an internship facilitated by the ANU College of Law and the ACT Human Rights Commission examining the human rights implications of protection order legislation. In 2013, Alisa founded and coordinated the ANU Women's Department's family and intimate partner violence awareness campaign, “This is Not a Wife Beater.” The campaign highlighted the prevalence of family and intimate partner violence amongst young people, and challenged the problematic language and ideas associated with family and intimate partner violence. That same year, she represented DVCS at “Stand Up!”, the first national conference on the elimination of all forms of violence against culturally and linguistically diverse women. She also attended the Australian National University Prisoners Advocacy (ANUPA) event at the Australasian Youth Justice Conference. Alisa has been a member of YWCA Canberra since 2013, and was elected to their Board and joined their Finance and Nominations Committees in 2014. She is also the Deputy Chair of Inanna, an organization that provides accommodation and a range of support services to people in the Canberra community.

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Lara Gerrand

Country: Australia
Organization: CREATE Foundation

Lara has over 8 years of experience working with young people and facilitating programs and projects. Lara currently works at the CREATE Foundation as a Community Facilitator. Lara is also currently the Local Leader volunteer for Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS (YEAH) and was a member of Melbourne Youth Force: Youth Pavilion Working Group for the International AIDS Conference 2014. Lara is currently completing a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion at Deakin University.

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Sevinj Samadzade

Country: Azerbaijan
Organization: International Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Azerbaijan

Sevinj is the Focal Point in Charge for the International Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) in Azerbaijan. She has developed and implemented numerous peer education programs on sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS prevention for young people. She works with a team of more than a hundred young peer educators. Since 2013, Sevinj has also served as a coordinator for the South Caucasus program, a diplomatic effort in the peacebuilding process in region. She has experience in project development, training management, and peer health education. She is interested in peace-building, human rights, and capacity-building for young people. Sevinj earned Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

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Nilufar Mammadova

Country: Azerbaijan

Nilufar is a recent graduate of Western University in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has keen interest in social work and gender studies. During her time at university, she was actively involved in extracurricular activities and participated in internships and volunteer job positions. As a result, she found herself very interested in sociology, philosophy, and gender issues. Currently, Nilufar is trying to gain more experience in this sphere through working and studying.

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Muhammad Ferdaus

Country: Bangladesh

Muhammad is an active volunteer with extensive experience in disaster management. He was American Red Cross Disaster Management Internee and was a Volunteer Coordinator after the Saver Rana Plaza garments factory collapse in 2013. International media highlighted his volunteer work during the factory collapse and his work has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State. Having been awared an exchange scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, Muhammad now studies in the Department of Disaster Management in Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. Muhammad continues to volunteer work with Helping Hand and ICNA Relief USA, and he is interning with the Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly.

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Rakibul Hasan

Country: Bangladesh
Organization: The Bangladesh Today

Rakibul is Feature Editor of The Bangladesh Today, regularly contributing op-eds and columns to more than 20 regional newspapers. Generally, he writes on counterterrorism, security issues, LGBT and gender-based violence. He is interested in public policy analyses, peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and the role of youth. Rakibul believes in ensuring freedom of expression, especially to the youth community. He advocates for youth participation in new media and citizen journalism around the country. Previously, he was a Research Analyst at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies. Rakibul graduated from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Dhaka. In 2014, His Excellency VK Duggal, State Minister of Manipur, India awarded him with the Global Youth Award, recognizing his role in the community and the region. He was invited to the 2015 World Youth Summit 2015 India as a country coordinator of Bangladesh.

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Ratul Dev

Country: Bangladesh
Organization: Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and Arts

Ratul is interested in youth empowerment, education, women rights, child trafficking, and freedom of expression. During Ratul’s second year in in BRAC Business School, he became the Vice President of the Entrepreneurship Development Forum. Later, he was selected as the General Secretary in the University Business Club. In 2011, Ratul started the International Association of Business Communicators, BRACU Chapter. Ratul also serves as a senior executive board member of the South Asian Youth Society (SAYS). Previously, he was an executive coordinator for the United Nations Youth & Students Association of Bangladesh. Ratul is currently working on a personal project to found an organization called Gen Lab, which focuses on social innovations, active citizenship, and youth empowerment.

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Runu Akter

Country: Bangladesh
Organization: Reproductive Health Services Training & Education Program (RHSTEP)

Runu works as a Youth Officer for Reproductive Health Services Training & Education Program (RHSTEP), a non-governmental organization committed to improving sexual and reproductive health and rights in Bangladesh. There, she is responsible for advising a community-level group, facilitating trainings, and developing educational materials. RHSTEP is also working with the government to improve comprehensive sexuality education in schools. In the past, RUNU has volunteer for UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan Bangladesh, and others. Runu is pursuing a degree in Sociology at Green University of Bangladesh.

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Kemar Holder

Country: Barbados
Organization: Barbados Family Planning Association

Kemar is a youth advocate and peer educator with specific focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. He works with the Barbados Family Planning Association educating youth to be agents of change and ensures they have the sexual health information they need to make informed choices. Kemar is a member of the Youth Advisory Group with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Barbados and the Organizations of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). In these positions, he offers a youth voice to the issues of population growth and development while ensuring adolescents are included in future development frameworks. Kemar has recently been appointed a board member of the Caribbean Youth Policy Institute, he is using this position to advocate for the development of national youth policies in the Caribbean region.

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Ro-ann Mohammed

Country: Barbados
Organization: Barbados - Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (B-GLAD)

Ro-Ann is a social justice activist and feminist, with a focus on the inequality of LGBTI people. She is particularly interested in lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in the Caribbean, who are largely underrepresented in spaces dedicated to LGBTI advocacy. Ro-Ann co-founded Barbados - Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (B-GLAD), a community-based organization dedicated to the eradication of stigma, discrimination, and persecution of people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. In addition to public education and engagement, she has cultivated and implemented community initiatives to address the violations and widely ignored needs and voices of LGBTI people. Ro-Ann is also a member of the Advisory Committee for FRIDA - The Young Feminist Fund. Ro-Ann aspires to continue raising her voice as a part of her contribution to the movement towards equality.

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Joannie Bewa

Country: Benin
Organization: Young Beninese Leaders Association(YBLA)

Joannie is a medical doctor who has worked in adolescent and maternal health for 8 years. She is the founder of the Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA) which, since its inception, has trained 10,000 young people on HIV/AIDS prevention through its “Red Ribbon Campaign,” and in partnership with the First lady Michelle Obama Young African Women Leaders Program, has empowered and trained 3,000 girls and women on civic engagement, leadership and entrepreneurship. She has participated in the consultation and development process of global frameworks, including ICPD and the Post 2015 Agenda, and is a member of the Africa CSO Coalition on Population and Development (ACCPD). She is also a “A World at School” Ambassador and a fellow of Secretary Clinton's “Women in Public Service Project”. Joannie speaks French and English and loves Africa.

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Hashim Hounkpatin

Country: Benin
Organization: Benin Medical Students Association

Hashim is the president of the Benin Medical Students Association as well as the West Africa Regional Coordinator of the Federation of African Medical Students Associations (FAMSA). He is also interning for the National Hospital in Benin, and, during his time in medical school, has been actively involved in various activities in his school and community. Hashim holds an e-learning certificate in Advocacy for Available Skilled Manpower in Africa. He is currently attending medical school at the University of Benin.

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Kencho Zam

Country: Bhutan

Kencho is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Public Health at the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. At AUW, she works as a biology and chemistry lab assistant, and she has also assisted senior researchers in the Vaccine Disease Prevention Program to draft an organogram and report for the Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan. She has participated in the 5th Regional Public Health Conference organized by Bangladesh University of Health Sciences, the We Tech Fest: Women Empowerment through Techfest, the National Conference on Natural Science and Technology and the ICPD + 20 in Bangladesh. She is currently a student ambassador at her university and working on her senior research project, designing and implementing an intervention to help improve maternal and child nutrition and health in Thimphu, Bhutan.

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Miguel Angel Becerra Brito

Country: Bolivia
Organization: Casa de la Mujer

Miguel is a sociologist currently pursuing his Master's in Gender and Diversity. He has been part of human rights movements for 15 years and is currently collaborating with Casa de la Mujer, a feminist movement that has been working since 1990 for human rights and the prevention of violence against women. Miguel is also working with two movements that advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights. The first, Comité Interpaises Por Los Derechos Sexuales y Derechos Reproductivos, advocates to incorporate sexual rights in the public policies in 6 countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia. The second movement, Alianza Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Juventudes, is an alliance that works advocates for the inclusion of young people global agendas, including the Post2015 Agenda and ICPD Beyond 2015. At the Alliance, Miguel is responsible for the Post2015 commission. He is also working on a civil society consultation on Child Rights.

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Alan Jarandilla Nuñez

Country: Bolivia, Plurinational State of

Alan is a youth activist and volunteer from Bolivia. He is currently studying Law at Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo and Political Science at Universidad Mayor de San Andres. Alan has participated with Model United Nations, where he worked to promote youth participation in and awareness of international issue. Alan has held the title of Secretary-General of BOLMUNPAZ, the Bolivian national Model United Nations. Alan is a One Young World Ambassador and World Vision Bolivia volunteer. He is an active follower of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and is a vocal advocate for social justice, sustainable development and the elimination of inequalities.

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Kelebogile Simula

Country: Botswana
Organization: 10,000 Global Girls Initiative

Kelebogile is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights, education advocacy, and youth leadership. Since April 2014, she has been appointed appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador with World at School Organization, a digital mobilisation and communication initiative harnessing allies and youth campaigners to make education a reality for all of the world’s children. In addition, she works as a Regional Coordinator for the 10,000 Global Girls Initiative, a joint effort between Lit World and Global Girls Rising, which improves and empowers the lives of girls around the world through a storytelling, creative expression, literacy and mentorship. Through this program she runs a Lit Club comprising of 12 girls aged 10-15 at primary school in Gaborone, Botswana. Kelebogile is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she is part of the Young Women Leadership Project on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights run by the African Gender Institute.

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Unami Moatswi

Country: Botswana
Organization: Young 1ove

Unami is a Mandela Washington fellow, mentor, volunteer, and youth activist. She advocates for evidence-based solutions to address sexual and reproductive health issues, especially teenage pregnancy and HIV among young people. She is the co-founder of a non-governmental organization called Young 1ove, which has reached over 50,000 adolescents. Prior to 1ove, Unami was a member of the Young Women’s Leadership Project at the University of Botswana, where she advocated to empower young women to choose healthier lifestyles and addressed issues of gender-based violence. Unami holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and will be pursuing her Masters in Development Studies at the University of London.

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Luiz Fernando Bispo

Country: Brazil

Luiz is currently studying Forestry as an undergraduate student at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). He has worked towards several non-profit organizations as a volunteer in Brazil and Australia, including the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA), Conservation Volunteers Australia, Oxfam, Sydney Children's Hospital, and SOS Mata Atlântica. He has been recognized as an "Eco-Hero 2014" by Eco Generation, a non-profit organization (UNEP/Samsung) and also was nominated the "Outstanding Volunteer UNSW ARC 2014 - Volunteer Army". His goal is to work for the United Nations and and to become a University professor.

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Monique Tiezzi den Hartog

Country: Brazil

Monique is currently pursuing her Master's in political science at the Universidade de São Paulo, in addition to working in social investment in Brazil. She has Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and was a United Nations Volunteer with the National Truth Commission in 2014, working on research with the Gender Group.

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Natasha Leite de Moura

Country: Brazil
Organization: UNFPA

Natasha is a Project Development Specialist on Violence against Women and Human Trafficking for UNFPA. Over the past nine years, she has worked at several organisations, such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNLIREC, the Red Cross, Saferworld, and others across Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Pacific. Natasha’s academic background is in law and international relations. She has a Master's degree in Conflict, Security, and Development. She also has a book about working in international development and blogs for Idealist, World Pulse, and Youth Coalition.

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Plamena Solakova

Country: Bulgaria
Organization: Paris School of International Affairs

Plamena has completed internships at the Bulgarian Embassy in London, the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad in Sofia, the European Parliament in Brussels, and the Risk Advisory Group in London. During her work as a Research Assistant at the Henry Jackson Society in London, she developed a deep interest in women's rights and researched honor-based violence, female genital mutilation, and violence against girls and women. She has been blogging on these issues since June 2014 and has published a number of articles in national student outlets. She is also a passionate advocate against human trafficking. Plamena holds a Master’s degree in International Security at the Paris School of International Affairs, with concentrations in Intelligence and Middle East Studies. She received her undergraduate degree from London Metropolitan University in 2013 and had done study abroad programs in the United States and Spain. She is now a consultant in London.

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Annick Thiombiano

Country: Burkina Faso
Organization: AIESEC

Annick studied Business Administration and aims to use her education to have a positive impact on her community and country. In 2011, she started working with AIESEC, an organization which develops the leadership skills of young people. With AIESEC, Annick helped to monitor and assess the progress towards the MDGs in Burkina Faso. Named a Voice of Africa’s Future (VAF) Champion in 2014, Annick has been actively fighting for the voices of youth to be heard and for young people’s concerns to be incorporated into the post-2015 agenda. She has also worked with local women’s organizations which offer training and education to allow local women to be economically independent. Annick is a passionate advocate for young people and for women.

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Bazoza Lina

Country: Burundi
Organization: Starkey Hearing Foundation

Bazoza Elsa-Lina is a recent pharmacy school graduate from the National University of Rwanda (NUR), Bazoza was the President of a girls' empowerment club during University, where she started project called "Girls are Able," promoting girls' equality to decision makers through advocacy and community outreach. Bazoza is currently the country coordinator for the Starkey Hearing Foundation in Burundi, which provides hearing aids for those who experience hearing loss. She also volunteers for Population Services International (PSI)-BURUNDI as a health educator for girls and young women, promoting access to family planning services. Bazoza has also undergone additional training in project management and implementation.

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Desire Habonimana

Country: Burundi
Organization: YOWLI Burundi

Desire has a passion for working with young people to promote SRHR and fight against HIV/AIDS. He has worked with the TWITWARARIKANE Foundation and the GIRITEKA Foundation to empower over 600 adolescent war and HIV/AIDS orphans with information and SRH services. In 2010, he was selected as one of the 15 Young African Leaders which allowed him to participate in the 3rd International Youth Leadership Training in Dakar, Senegal. At this conference, he expanded his leadership skills enabling him to found the youth-led and youth-focused NGO Young Women’s Knowledge and Leadership Institute Burundi (YOWLI BURUNDI). Through this organization he has reached over 3 million adolescents and youths in Burundi with information on sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Desire has also started 6 youth clubs gathering over 400 pupils within the secondary school environment to deliver, in partnership with the UNFPA and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, SRH services to over 25,000 youths and adolescents. Desire completed Medical School at the University of Burundi becoming a Medical Doctor (MD). Desire hopes to continue to impact the lives of young people in Burundi through his work with the African Union Commission on Youth as well as through his non-profit.

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Chansolinda Cheath

Country: Cambodia
Organization: One Billion Rising

Chansolinda Cheath is a student at Khemarak University, majoring in international relations and diplomacy. She is an activist with One Billion Rising (OBR) Cambodia, an advocacy campaign which aims to stop violence against girl and women. OBR is celebrated each year and includes activities such as flash mobs, a radio talk show, exhibitions, amongst other activities. Chansolinda is also an executive member of Independent Voluntary First Aid Team (IVFAT) and is a member of Mock Youth Parliament of Cambodia. She has been involved with a number of advocacy networks, including the Women Cafe Network and the White Ribbon Campaign. Recently, she had participates in international programs including: the IOMX ASEAN YOUTH Forum in Thailand, Global Peace Volunteers in Malaysia, and ASEAN YOUTH Exchange 2015 in Singapore as ASEAN Youth’s Leader Association (AYLA) Cambodia member.

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Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu

Country: Cameroon
Organization: HOPE for Children Cameroon

Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu is a Research Scientist by profession, and growing up he saw his mother make many sacrifices to provide him and his siblings with a quality education. In 2010, he co-founded HOPE for Children Cameroon with the goal of educating every child, one school, one village at a time. His organization has provided tuition assistance to over 300 children, and 500 children have benefitted from school supplies in 5 schools. In order to change the practice of open defecation and keep girls in school, his organization, with external support, also embarked on the construction of clean and safe pit toilets in 5 different schools, serving over 1300 children. His involvement in advocating for universal education earned him three international awards - the 2014 Youth Courage Award from the Office of the UN Envoy on Global Education, the first ever 2015 Queen's Young Leaders Award and the 2015 African Youth Excellence Award for Public Service. As a Global Youth Ambassador for A World At School, Joannes continues to mobilize and organize other young people to stand up for education, and through the HeForShe UN Women initiative he engages young men and boys to advocate for gender equality. Joannes took part as a youth speaker at a UN high level side event on "Ensuring the Emerging Leadership of African Women and Girls" and a press conference on "African women and girls speak on peace, security and development" organized by the African Union and the UN office of Special Adviser on Africa during Commission on the Status of Women 59h session. Joannes belongs to the Global Citizenship Working Group of the Brooking Institute, and is involved with the post-2015 development agenda process.

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Jude Thaddues Njikem

Country: Cameroon
Organization: Organization of African Youth

Jude Thaddeus Njikem is a youth worker with experience on issues of Human Rights, Gender and Youth Participation. He has been been teaching for four years in a public secondary school in rural Cameroon, while serving with a number of local, national and international youth-led and youth-development organizations. Jude has served as a Public Relations Officer for the Network of African Youth for Development and a Project Coordinator for Help AIDS Orphans and is now the Vice President for Africa and Cameroon Country Coordinatorfor the Organization of African Youth (OAYouth). While working with OAYouth,the organization has successfully organized several events and programs locally and internationally aimed at promoting the rights and welfare of women and the girl child, educating communities on human rights, and promoting the values of good governance. Jude has also been appointed as Cameroon’s Ambassador to the organization ‘Young Men for Gender Equality’, a worldwide network of young men promoting gender equality.

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Desmond Atanga

Country: Cameroon
Organization: GOALS-DESERVE Cameroon

Desmond has nine years of experience working on youth empowerment and sexual and reproductive health. He is currently the National First Vice President of the Cameroon Youth Network, which works with UNICEF-Cameroon. Desmond is the founding president of DESERVE Cameroon and an elected delegate to the Cameroon National Youth Council. In 2013, Desmond received an award as Cameroon’s best youth leader, awarded by the Project for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the Central African Sub-region (PPSAC) in collaboration with the Cameroon Association for Social Marketing/Population Services International. Desmond holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the University of Dschang and a post-graduate Technical Education Diploma in the Teaching of Economics (DIPET 1) from The University of Bamenda. He speaks English, French, and Ngemba.

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Elma Aseneh

Country: Cameroon
Organization: Netherlands Development Organization, SNV

Elma has four years of experience in communication for development, working with organizations like SNV, (Netherlands Development Organization), VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), Integrated Development Foundation, Action foundation Common Initiative Group, and Community Initiative for Sustainable Development. She has personally implemented projects, including the Budget Transparency Initiative and “Holding Hands: A Girl's Education Journey in Andek.” Elma’s working experience has been made up of a variety of experiences and activities, including writing and producing radio dramas and radio jingles; coordinating communication for development activities, like programming for community radios; organizing workshops; developing training manuals; writing articles for the press; and creating social media strategies. Elma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon.

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Nehsuh Alongifor

Country: Cameroon
Organization: Women Empowerment Network (WEN)

Nehsuh is a young feminist woman working on young people’s sexual and reproductive rights. Her efforts focus on sexuality education, gender-based violence, adolescent health, girls’ and women’s empowerment, and youth-friendly health services. Nehsuh is a firm believer that today’s global issues cannot be solved without engaging the power of women everywhere. Stemming from a drive to engage in her community, Nehsuh initiated and conducted sessions to empower girls and women by promoting maternal health and HIV/AIDS awareness through a variety of methods. Nehsuh volunteers at many organizations, working s with women and youth to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for the advancement of maternal health, gender equality, human rights, and education. She is also very much involved in the post-2015 development agenda. Nehsuh is eager to embrace the next challenge in her life and use empowerment as a creative outlet and vehicle for social change.

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Conrad Tankou

Country: Cameroon
Organization: GiftedMom

Conrad works as a physician in a rural community hospital in Cameroon and is the co-founder and medical director of GiftedMom. GiftedMom is a social venture that focuses on innovative and sustainable solutions to improve maternal and adolescent health, including combating the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in Cameroon. Conrad holds an MD from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.

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Melissa Fairey

Country: Canada
Organization: Government of Canada

Melissa Fairey is a 24 year old international development graduate who is passionate about community development and youth advocacy. She has lived abroad in Chile, Georgia and Indonesia working on development projects, and currently works in research for the Government of Canada. Melissa advocates for youth involvement in democracy and the promotion of the rights of women and children globally.

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Yingyi Wang

Country: China
Organization: Beijing Civil Society Development Research Center

Yingyi works for the Beijing Civil Society Development Research Center, a non-profit organization. She is involved in the feminist and LGBT movements in China and has been a sex education trainer for Marie Stopes International since 2011. She is a passionate practitioner, observer, and research in the field of gender and sexuality, as well as the co-founder of Sinner-b, an LBT feminist group. Yingyi is the current Secretary General of the Youth Committee for Special Funds for Sex Education under the China Population Welfare Foundation. She has presented at a number of international conferences and programs on issues relating to China’s feminist and LGBT movement. Yingyi graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a Masters in Gender Studies.

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Mireille Muhigwa

Country: Congo (Democratic Republic)
Organization: StrongWomen DRC

Mireille has worked to empower women in her native country of Democratic Republic of Congo for the past four years. She leads an NGO called StrongWomen DRC, where she promotes girls' education and empowers rural victims of sexual violence through capacity building interventions in technology, agriculture, and advocacy of equal rights and opportunities. Mireille served as the Gender Program Officer for a local NGO called SAMWAKI, where she focused on initiating peace-building activities. In 2013, she organized the “Children Integration and Education Empowerment” project. She also served as an interpreter and facilitator in empowerment workshops for women and coordinated children outreach programs for the Walungu Community Development Trust in the south Kivu province. As a member of YALI (the Young African Leaders Initiative), she has been selected for the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellowship Civic Leaders Program. Mireille holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Universite Officielle de Bukavu. from the University of Dschang and a post-graduate Technical Education Diploma in the Teaching of Economics (DIPET 1) from The University of Bamenda. He speaks English, French, and Ngemba.

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Angela Delgado Corrales

Country: Costa Rica
Organization: Colectiva por el Derecho A Decidir

Angela has been completing research on how social movements work to ensure women’s rights in Costa Rica since 2014. She has a degree in Political Science and currently works as a consultant on matters of international cooperation. She is an active volunteer with the “Colectiva por el Derecho A Decidir,” the coalition for the right to decide, a non-profit which works to legalize abortion, in vitro fertilization, and the morning after pill and to ensure they are accessible to all women in Costa Rica. Angela works with the coalition to educate young people about sexual and reproductive health and the rights women have in the Costa Rican health system.

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Phillys Kouassi

Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Organization: Business and Professional Women International Club Abidjan Bassam (BPW)

Phillys works at the Young Business and Professional Women Bassam Impérial, a club that aims to improve the working and living conditions of girls and women. She also participates in a program that promotes schooling and literacy for girls and women who are not able to go to school during the year due to a lack of financial means or lack of a birth certificate, which is required for school registration. Phillys is pursuing a Master’s degree in Philosophy at the University Félix Houphouët Boigny of Abidjan.

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Marinella Matejcic

Country: Croatia
Organization: Libela.org

Marinella is reproductive health and rights activist who focuses on abortion rights. She is a freelance journalist with libela.org, a Croatian portal on gender, sex and democracy. Marinella is also a coordinator for znajznanje.org, and independent initiative that holds legislators accountable to keep abortion in Croatia legal and to ensure the availability of accurate information about reproductive health and sexual responsibility, including the provision abortion-related information to women who need it.

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Karla Esquivel Báez

Country: Cuba
Organization: UNFPA

Karla is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at University of Havana, studying Social Communications. Karla is a member of the Creative Group of Young People of UNFPA, and supports communication campaigns through the Center of Studies on Youth (CESJ) financed by UNFPA.

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Yanelys Hernandez Cordero

Country: Cuba
Organization: MÁS, Creative Group of Young People of UNFPA

Yanelys works for UNFPA. She is a part of the Creative Group of Young People for UNFPA and created various campaigns, community projects and communications products. She presented The 2014 State of World Population report during the 2015 International Book Fair in Havana. Yanelys is currently in her fourth year as a social communications student.

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Nelsy Castillo

Country: Dominican Republic
Organization: PROFAMILIA

Nelsy has been a human rights advocate since 2005. She is a lawyer with a focus on public international law and international relations and works in the Ministry of Labour to prepare policies with a focus on gender equality. Nelsy enjoys working with young people. She is a Youth Representative for Central and North American and Hispanic Caribbean for PROFAMILIA, a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere (IPPF/WHR).

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María Ordóñez Moscoso

Country: Ecuador

Bernarda is currently studying law at Universidad del Azuay in Ecuador. Her professional background is in education and violence against women / gender-based in violence. She is a co-author of a book entitled "The Victim in the Criminal Justice System in Azuay - Ecuador", and is currently an intern at the Secretariat to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.

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Ahmed Taha Aboushady

Country: Egypt
Organization: IFMSA-Egypt

Ahmed is a Medical Student at Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University in Egypt. He is an active member of IFMSA Egypt, serving as the National Coordinator of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Taskforce and as a Local Officer. Ahmed also works in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights and violence against women. Ahmed coordinates projects both at the local and national levels which aim to improve the lives to those with HIV/AIDS and ensure the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Ahmed has a keen interest in youth development and leadership. He strives to create an impact through both his work in program coordination and his medical training.

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Inaam Abuelsoud

Country: Egypt
Organization: Ejitah

Inaam was motivated by patriarchal structures in her community to question the nature of gender roles and violence from a young age. She studied English and Italian at Ain Shams University in Cairo, and during that time she volunteered with Better World, carrying out an awareness campaign against sexual harassment with the NGO. She also studied fertility and its social role in rural households while living in India. After relocating to Cairo, Inaam resumed her work as a freelance interpreter, working closely with scholars and journalists on topics including sexual harassment and domestic violence. Since the Egyptian uprising, Inaam became increasingly interested in social work and civil society. She began working for an NGO named Etijah focusing on youth and development projects, including issuing national identity cards for women in 10 governorates and conducting training grassroots workers on sexual and reproductive health.

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Mohamed Essam Refaat

Country: Egypt
Organization: International Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Egypt

Mohamed is a recent graduate from Mansoura Medical School. He has volunteered with various NGOs in Egypt for over 8 years, and is now an advanced peer education trainer and a focal point with Y-PEER, in addition to being a National Partnerships and Networking Officer for the Y-PEER Network. Mohamed is also a counselors' coordinator with Ma3looma Egypt, supporting a cross-media life skills program that enables and encourages young people to engage with sexual and reproductive health issues through use of mobile phones and web platforms.

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Basma El-Mahdy

Country: Egypt
Organization: Meedan

Since the January 2011 revolution, Basma has been a journalist, specializing in human right issues for prominent Egyptian daily newspapers. Basma has a deep passion for empowering female journalists in her home country. She has volunteered as a mentor for the Aspire Woman Initiative since 2013. She is also a member of the Middle East & North Africa Committee (MENAC). Previously, she was a Media Relations Manager for the African Youth Movement. Basma holds a certificate from Munich University in training on civic education, democracy, tolerance, and coexistence as well as a certificate in journalism from Deutsche Welle Academy. She also holds a B.A. in journalism from Mansura University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in broadcasting journalism.

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Basant Motawi

Country: Egypt
Organization: Aspire

Basant is doctor who works as an Urban Health & Safety specialist at Ain Shams University. She has previously worked with the Family, Women & Children Cluster at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Basant also serves as a facilitator for the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC). Basant is the CEO of Aspire, youth-led organization for development in Cairo, Egypt which fights harassment of women through engaging the whole community, conducting women’s self-defense classes, policing the streets, and supporting victims.

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Norhan Bader

Country: Egypt
Organization: Meedan

Norhan is a physician and has been working in field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for more than seven years. She has experience as a Program Specialist in the Health Management and Research Unit at the Center for Development Services in Egypt and as a member of the National Youth Advocacy Taskforce for Population and Development, working with policy makers and government officials on Egypt’s 2030 strategy. Previously, Norhan was a member of the IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Association), where she managed various reproductive and public health projects. She was elected by the General Assembly as Vice President for External Affairs (2009-2010) and Training Coordinator (2011-2012) for the local Cairo branch. Norhan attended the Arab region’s ICPD meeting as part of the youth delegation. She was also part of the Youth Taskforce at both the 2012 and 2014 International AIDS Conferences. Norhan is the founder of the Men Awel ElStar website, funded by MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, which is an Arabic website targeting youth in the MENA region with information about reproductive health and sexuality. Norhan graduated with her medical degree from Kasr AlAiny Medical School - Cairo University. She has been awarded a scholarship by the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training on Tropical Diseases to pursue her Master's degree in Public Health, with a concentration in health promotion and community health, at the American University of Beirut.

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Walaa Ismail

Country: Egypt
Organization: Befrienders Association

Walaa works as a Program Officer at Befrienders, a comprehensive care center for people living with HIV/AIDS. She also works as a sexual and reproductive health consultant at Ma3looma, a web-based service for counseling through online platforms, under the supervision of One World UK. Walaa has been working in the field of sexual reproductive health and rights for eight years through volunteer work as well as through Y-PEER Egypt. Walaa is currently earning a diploma in Social Innovations with a focus on human rights and international law and social change at Lund University in Sweden.

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Temesgen Ayehu Bele

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Federal Ministry of Health - Royal Tropical Institute

Temesgen holds a BSc in Public Health and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health at the Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands. He previously worked for 5 years at the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia as a program officer and as health extension and primary health services team leader.

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Yosef Ahmed Terku

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: DKT Ethiopia

Yosef is dedicated to helping his community through ensuring all members have the information they need about their sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS. He currently works at DKT Ethiopia as the Project Officer of the SRH Higher Education Initiative, working with communities to improve SRHR of their members through the provision of information and behavior change interventions. Yosef was named as a Youth SRH Champion Finalist for Ethiopia in 2014 by the Youth Champion Initiative. He received a Bachelor of Art degree from Jimma University in 2007 and a Master’s degree in Social Psychology from Addis Ababa University in 2012. While completing his master’s work, he co-authored a journal paper entitled “Contribution of the Anti-HIV/AIDS Community Conversation Programme in Preventing & Controlling the Spread of HIV/AIDS.” He has worked in rural Ethiopia as an Anti-HIV/AIDS Community Mobilization Program Coordinator as part of the government’s HIV/AIDS response. In this role, Yosef planned and implemented programs to educate people about how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, worked to support and strength field programs in kebeles (small rural communities), and lead school-based conversational programs about HIV/AIDS. He also worked in his home community with an NGO on issues related to child protection and health, reproductive health, community based health service, disaster prevention, and community capacity building. Yosef is passionate about stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS through community-based interventions.

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Belachew Etana Tolessa

Country: Ethiopia

Belachew is a Lecture at Mekelle University School of Public Health. He has four years of teaching experience and has authored seven papers published in peer reviewed journals. Belachew is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Public Health at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), in the Netherlands. He is interested in health services for adolescent, including the current status of adolescent friendly health services and how to improve these services as well as how best to provide health information to this age group.

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Betty Barkha

Country: Fiji
Organization: Asia Pacific Forum for Women, Law and Development

Betty Barkha has worked in development for over 7 years with various organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. Her main areas of interest are human rights, climate justice, peace and security and sustainable development. Betty has also been involved in mobilizing youth action and has worked in the gender and education fields in South East and South Asia. Betty holds a Master of Arts in Sociology and is currently participating in a work exchange program at the Asia Pacific Forum for Women, Law and Development in Thailand.

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Isatou Bittaye

Country: Gambia
Organization: Peace Ambassadors

Isatou is a human rights advocate and feminist with almost a decade experience working on women's and girls' rights and empowerment of young people. She serves as the Interim Board Chairperson of The Girls' Agenda, a youth led organization working for the empowerment of young women and girls and advocating to end FGM, child marriage, promoting sexual and reproductive health rights, and girl's access to education. Isatour is also a Peace Educator and has been volunteering with Peace Ambassadors - The Gambia as Chairperson of the coastal zone; she is also a part of the Peace Ambassadors trainer's team, conducting leadership and peace education trainings for young people. She holds a B.A in Political Science from the University of The Gambia and is currently completing a Master's in International Studies at National Chengchi University in Taiwan.

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Hikmat Baba Dua

Country: Ghana
Organization: The League of Young Female Leaders

Hikmat Baba Dua is the Founder and Executive Director of League of Young Female Leaders; a registered non-profit organization focused on advancing the status of girls and women in Ghana through mentorship and advocacy. She also works with LitWorld International and Global G.L.O.W as the Local Coordinator for the HerStory Initiative. In 2013, she was awarded the MILEAD Fellowship as one of 27 under 25 most promising women leaders in Africa by the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa where she is also the official spokesperson on Peace, Governance and Political Participation. She is a staunch advocate against child/forced marriage and all forms of violence and discrimination against girls and women. She is also A World at School Global Youth Ambassador, a Global Startup Youth, a Fellow of the International Development Summer Institute, a 2015 Fellow of Vital Voices and a 2015 Fellow of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Hikmat holds a BA in Sociology and Social Work with a minor in Political Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana and she is currently pursuing an MPhil in Development Studies at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana.

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Leslie Abajong

Country: Ghana
Organization: Sherigu Anglican Women Development Centre

Leslie Abajong is currently volunteering with the Sherigu Anglican Women Development Centre, a local church-based NGO in the Northeast Region of Ghana, where she has been involved in community mobilization of women and girls. In particular, Leslie is the lead for developing school clubs and programming that sensitizes young people to reproductive health issues. She also raises awareness on cultural and traditional practices that discriminate against the reproductive health rights of women and girls in the region.

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Musah Sherifatu

Country: Ghana
Organization: HACEP Ghana

Musah Sherifatu is a Programme Manager of HACEP-Ghana's Girl-Centered Development Programme, where she works on projects that address sexual reproductive health and rights, gender based violence, maternal health, family planning and child marriage in Northern Ghana. Her journey as an advocate for girls and women sexual and reproductive health and rights started in high school, when she was trained as peer educator. She then went on to study nursing and community health in college and has sought out every opportunity to impart knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and rights to her peers and policy-makers, both locally and internationally.

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Edith Asamani

Country: Ghana
Organization: Curious Minds

Edith is a sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS advocate. Currently, she is the Advocacy & Communications Officer for Curious Minds in Ghana. Edith serves as the national focal person for the Global Youth Coalition on HIV & AIDS (GYCA), working actively with the Ghana AIDS Commission and UNFPA to ensure that young people are actively involved in the national and global AIDS response. Since 2009, Edith has been a National Executive Committee Member of the local chapter of the African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development (AfriYAN). In 2011, Edith was a member of the group of young people asked by the Ghana AIDS Commission to review the final draft of the HIV & AIDS Operational Plan of the National Strategic Plan. The group worked hard to ensure that comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services for young people were linked to HIV programming and strongly advocated for further involvement of young people in the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the Plan. Edith has gained some voluntary work experience with UNFPA and UNICEF in Ghana and is also actively involved in the ICPD and Post-MDG agenda, including discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Francis Oko Amrah (Oko)

Country: Ghana
Organization: Curious Minds

Francis is currently studying communications as an undergraduate student at the African University College of Communications in Accra and is a Project Officer at Curious Minds Ghana. He has worked extensively with global organizations, including Marie Stopes International, Ipas, and DKT International, under the Reducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Project (R3M). He has served in various capacities as a peer educator, facilitator, communications officer, youth ambassador, and youth counselor for sexual and reproductive services. He strongly believes in using the media as a tool for development and is actively involved in radio and TV broadcasts at Curious Minds Ghana. Francis is also currently serving as the country coordinator at the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning (IYAFP).

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Richard Dzikunu

Country: Ghana
Organization: Curious Minds

Richard is a young and passionate youth advocate. He is a member of Curious Minds, a presenter of a local radio show called “Gems of Our Time,” and a trained advocate on reproductive rights for young people. Richard is also a board chairman for Ipas’s Ghana Youth Advisory Board. He has represented Ghana in a number of international conferences, including at the United Nations General Assembly Special Section for Children in New York. He was a member of the Curious Minds delegation that represented Ghana at a child rights conference in Canada.

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Mamadou Diallo

Country: Guinea

Passionate about #Africa #TIC #Women #Children #Governance #HumanRights #SocialJustice #Leadership #AfroOptimist, Mamadou is a Blogger, Web activist, communications officer, IT consultant and webmaster. He has worked on several education and advocacy projects with NGOs, including: information campaigns on female genital mutilation, workshops on gender-based violence, public service campaigns on HIV / AIDS, and peace and reintegration projects. He is also a computer scientist with IT PRO NET in Conakry, Guinea, and holds a degree in network engineering.

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Jewel Collier-Swan

Country: Guyana
Organization: UNFPA SRH Coalition

For more than six years, Jewel has been serving on youth and women empowerment programmes and projects, working in schools and communities, facilitating workshops and capacity building training, and engagnig in advocacy and lobbying to mainstream youth development and human rights issues. Jewel is the Founder of Seeds of Hope Farm, which harnesses women's empowerment and youth potential through enterprising, agriculture and technology. She is also the coordinator of UNFPA SRH Coalition, where she works to mainstream key SRH messages into the programmes and plans of 15 youth led organizations across Guyana. In addition, Jewel is a member of Youth Steering Committee for Guyana’s national Youth Policy, facilitating youth engagement into the development of Guyana’s National Youth Policy, and a UNFPA National & Regional Youth Advisor on grassroots education for sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence.

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Patricee Douglas

Country: Guyana
Organization: Ministry of Health & One World Youth Project

Patricee is a peer educator at the Ministry of Health and a volunteer at One World Youth Project. Driven by her love for black and ancient history, she is passionate about the intersections of race, ethnicity, and identity. Patricee is a medical student at the University Of Guyana’s School Of Medicine and hopes to become a Gynecologist/Obstetrician.

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Ankit Gupta

Country: India
Organization: Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Ankit is a queer feminist activist. He is a member of Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) and also serves as the Secretary to the Board of Directors. Ankit has worked on issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health and rights and public safety to climate change and the environment. Ankit has been involved with various youth spaces and organizations including Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN). He has been closely involved with a Delhi-based queer youth group. He is currently involved on a project on sexual and reproductive health and rights of people with disabilities. Ankit Gupta is also working as a Program Consultant on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights with The YP Foundation where he is co-leading the implementation of their program “know your body, know your rights.”

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Franklin Gnanamuthu

Country: India
Organization: Restless Development

Franklin works as Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator at Restless Development, a youth-led development agency. Franklin joined the organization in 2011, and was instrumental in starting and leading the Comprehensive Sexuality Education program in the two districts of state of Bihar reaching more than 8,000 youths through 8 volunteers. He now works to ensure program quality through developing effective monitoring systems, trainings, and evaluations. He is a skilled and experienced trainer, and serves as regular representative of the Voices of Youth in India. He has participated in several international forums and consultations which include Open Working Group meetings on the Sustainable Development Goals and ECOSAC Youth Forum in UN HQ in New York advocating for SRHR in India. In December 2014, Franklin was recognized by Public Health Institute and Packard Foundation for outstanding leadership in advancing innovation and quality in sexual and reproductive health rights as part of their Youth Champions Initiative Program. Franklin holds a BS in Microbiology from V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, and a Master’s in Social Work specializing in Community Development from Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu.

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Jasmine George

Country: India
Organization: Hidden Pockets

Jasmine is a self-declared young feminist activist, who uses her legal training to improve the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls in India. She has worked on a range of issues around disability, HIV/AIDS, and comprehensive sexuality education. Jasmine has been part of the activist work at the local, national and international levels, actively participating in coalitions which aim to being a sex positive voice to SRHR discussions. She is one of the founders of Hidden Pockets which maps SRHR services using a patient experience framework. The organization aims to create safe spaces in which to have sex positive discussions and to build linkages with already existing service providers. Jasmine firmly believe in using art as a tools for SRHR activism as it helps us building better ties with other alternative and active communities.

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Jitendra Gouda

Country: India
Organization: International Institute for Population Sciences

Jitendra is a Doctoral Fellow in demography at the International Institute for Population Sciences. His dissertation is entitled “Respectful Maternity Care: An assessment of differently managed health institutions in Odisha.” In his research, he is endeavoring to assess the maternal healthcare received during antenatal visits, at delivery and in the post-natal period by women from different social strata utilizing differently managed types of hospitals (Public, Private and Public-Private) in Odisha. Jitendra holds Master’s in Social Work, which is currently helping him to understand the social genesis of maternity related health issues more holistically. He has was awarded the Junior Research Fellowship in Social Work and Population Studies by the University Grant Commission. Prior to beginning his doctoral work, he worked on action research, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of national and international projects. Jitendra worked as a Research Officer for the monitoring and evaluation division of the District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS-4). Jitendra has published in scientific research articles in both national and international journals and he has participated in conferences and seminars submitting papers on women’s reproductive health, rights, and nutrition.

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Sruthi Chandrasekaran

Country: India
Organization: Global Health Corps

Sruthi is a Global Health Corps Fellow serving as the Advocacy and Programs Coordinator at Marie Stopes International (MSI-US) in Washington, DC. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a project that examines the impact of US Government policy on MSI’s country programs and also act as the lead on an innovative partnership that uses randomized controlled trials to evaluate the impact of behavioral interventions to improve take-up of family planning services. Prior to joining MSI, she was a Senior Research Associate with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) based in Delhi, where she managed a randomized controlled trial in four Indian states that studied methods for improving health outcomes for tuberculosis patients as well as the performance of community health workers. She holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and a Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, where she was a Felix Scholar. Sruthi is passionate about using research to inform policy decisions in the sexual and reproductive health sector in developing countries.

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Tanisha Chadha

Country: India

Tanisha is passionate about and has conducted research on issues of gender and sexual identity politics. As a part of her undergraduate and postgraduate theses, she worked with transgender persons and trans-women. This experience gave her an in-depth understanding of gender and sexual identity politics throughout the life span and how social norms, media, and the law shape lives. In an attempt to explore how gender and society is experienced by trans-women, Tanisha used a narrative-based approach to understand their lived realities and to contribute to the body of research available on gender in the Indian context. Tanisha’s most recently worked at TARSHI (Talking About Sexual and Reproductive Health), an organization that works on SRHR from an affirmative and rights-based perspective. At TARSHI, her responsibilities included spreading awareness about SRHR issues through social media campaigns, trainings with young people and service providers, planning and conducting classes for TARSHI’s eLearning Course on Sexuality. At TARSHI, she conceptualized, implemented, and spearheaded the #TalkSexuality Campaign and the production of a short film on comprehensive sexuality education. She has also worked as a therapist with children on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities. Tanisha’s areas of interest include mental health, LGBTQIA issues, and comprehensive sexuality education. Tanisha holds a graduate degree in Psychology from Delhi University, India and a post-graduate degree in Psychosocial Clinical Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi, India.

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Adeveline Suija

Country: Indonesia
Organization: Health Care Center at Sungai Lasi

Adeveline is a trained midwife who works at the Health Care Center at Sungai Lasi, West Sumatera, Indonesia. She trained at "Politeknik Kesehatan Kementrian Kesehatan RI Padang" graduating in 2012. As a midwife, Adeveline has expertise in the field of maternal and child health having attended births and cared for pregnant women, postpartum mothers and neonates. She has also provided family planning services and information to women who attend her health care center.

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Hanifatur (Hani) Rosyidah

Country: Indonesia
Organization: Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Sultan Agung Islamic University (UNISSULA)

Hanifatur is a Lecturer to midwifery and public health students, teaching them about sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on maternal health and child survival. In addition to her role as a Lecturer, she also conducts research and provides health services to her community. Hanifatur is involved in a monitoring and evaluation program focusing on door-to-door health visit for high-risk pregnant women in Semarang. She is conducting research on the quality of midwifery care as perceived by mothers, midwifes, midwifery students and other stakeholders in Indonesia. She is also conducting research on the factors which influence child marriage in rural areas of Indonesia. Hanifatur holds a Diploma’s degree in Midwifery and Master’s degree in Public Health. Her areas of interest include quality care, midwifery curriculum, maternal health, and child survival including Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).

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Nikzad Zanganeh

Country: Iran
Organization: Bidarzani

Nikzad is a feminist activist, freelance facilitator, and researcher. She has worked with Bidarzani Collective, a local women’s group, since 2010. There, she works on a variety of women’s issues, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, violence against women, and community-based activities to empower local women. Nikzad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Planning and is pursuing a Masters in Women's Studies.

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Ismail Aziz

Country: Iraq

Ismail has experienced many challenges in his life, including civil war in Kurdistan, the Northern Part of Iraq, and the loss of his father at a very young age. He graduated from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani on May 30, 2015. Ismail worked as a tutor and a lab assistant throughout his education. His plan is to either pursue his master's degree or gain field experience.

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Twana Ali

Country: Iraq

Twana volunteers locally and internationally for human rights development. He grew up in a family of 11, and spent two years of his life as a refugee in Iran due to the civil war in Kurdistan. Twana graduated from the American University of Iraq in June 2015 with a degree in Energy Engineering.

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Necesia McNab

Country: Jamaica
Organization: Joy Town Community Development Foundation

Necesia is a community social worker, life skills facilitator, and HIV counselor and tester with Joy Town Community Development Foundation. During her time at the foundation, she has organized and implemented summer camps and life skills training sessions for at-risk youth and conducted HIV testing and counselling with commercial sex workers. Necesia is pursuing her Masters in Social Work at the University of the West Indies. At the university, she is a Resident Advisor and organizes and implements leadership activities for young women participating in the Leadership Academy. The Academy aims to empower young women to find their leadership voice and believe in their capacity to lead in order to reduce the low representation of women in student government on campus. Additionally, Necesia has organized different outreach activities for second year students as a means of realizing their civic responsibility.

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Brittany Amano

Country: Japan

Brittany a high school senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachussets and a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, has worked with various nonprofit organizations since the age of nine. She has even started two nonprofits of her own: Hawaii's Future isn't Hungry and Teens Stopping Domestic Violence. She has worked with organizations such as Leahi Hospital, YMCA, and local food banks and has been a member of the YWCA Young Women’s Network Board, the National No Bull Youth Advisory Council, and the Hawaii Meth Project Teen Advisory Council, and was the Executive Vice President of the National Teen Council. She also helps youth get involved in service and start their own social ventures. Brittany currently sits on numerous nonprofit boards including Keep America Beautiful, the FEMA National Youth Council, Kuleana Microloans, the Democratic Party Women's Caucus, and is the Vice-Chair of the Young Democrats of Oahu. Brittany has received numerous awards for her service work including the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Running Start's Woman to Watch Award, GenerationOn Power of Youth Award, and the National Jefferson Award. She one day hopes to have a greater impact in her community – and state – by running for political office.

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Maha Alamad

Country: Jordan
Organization: SheCab

Maha is a fourth year pharmacy student, feminist, and women's rights activist. She is a co-founder of the SheCab, the first taxi drivers' company in Jordan that serves women specifically and advocates to break the industry's stereotypes regarding providing safe transportation for women. She is also the founder of the" Feminists of Jordan" Facebook page, which holds meetings and discussions on feminists issues in her community.

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Rawan Saad

Country: Jordan
Organization: INJAZ

For the past two years, Rawan has worked as a Fundraising and Partnership Coordinator at INJAZ, a leading Jordanian NGO dedicated to empowering and engaging young people to become productive members of their society and accelerate the development of the national economy. Prior to joining INJAZ, she worked at Citi Bank. Rawan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Hashemite University.

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Salam Abukhadrah

Country: Jordan
Organization: International Platform of Young Entrepreneurs

Salam is a member of the International Platform of Young Entrepreneurs, which facilitates youth leadership activities. She is also one of the co-founders of SheCab, a company that employs female cab drivers to pick up women and their families. The project works to breaks boundaries and stereotypes about women’s roles in the Jordanian society. Salam is interested in gender equality and development issues and hopes to be an active participant in the issue of women’s empowerment in developing countries. Salam is pursuing her a degree in Finance from the University of Jordan.

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Caren Nerima Odanga

Country: Kenya

Caren is an award winning young social entrepreneur with over three years of experience working with disadvantaged and marginalized young women among communities in Kakamega County of Western Kenya. Caren’s work focuses on the empowerment of young women, human rights advocacy, peace building, and environmental protection. As the Founder and Director of the Sisari Women Initiative, a local non-profit organization, Caren’s responsibilities include strategic and participatory leadership, resource mobilization, research, networking, project development and management, and developing monitoring and evaluation tools for the organization. Experienced in civil society leadership, she boasts the ability to interact at the highest levels of decision-making, and across cultures as she advocates for the health of young women. Caren is a Diploma student in Broadcast Journalism at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).

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Catherine Wanjiru Nyambura

Country: Kenya
Organization: Dandelion Kenya

Catherine works with Dandelion Kenya, a grassroots organization based in Nakuru, Kenya which focuses on implementing comprehensive sexuality education programs, working with young advocates ensure the voices of young women and girls are heard, and advocating for access to safe abortion across rural Kenya. As part of her role at Dandelion Kenya, Catherine chairs the Women Global Network for Reproductive Rights Alliance Kenya (WAK), a network of organizations throughout Kenya all working to advocate for safe abortion. Catherine has engaged with various policy processes including the ICPD Beyond 2014 review, Beijing+20 review, and the post-2015 development agenda. She sits on the interim steering committee of the African CSO Coalition on Population and Development (ACCPD). Catherine is part of the African Youth Taskforce on Post-2015, championing African youth priorities within the post-2015 development agenda. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Science and Technology and has taken the e-learning course on “Reproductive Health: from Advocacy to Action” from the World Bank Institute (WBI) as well as a short course on Media, Film and Gender. Catherine is an active contributor to the Rural Reporters, http://ruralreporters.com/author/catherine/, an African web news platform that highlights development issues with a special focus on rural Africa.

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Collins Kibet

Country: Kenya

Collins is a trained social worker, who works as a community development and supply chain management officer. A member of the Kenya Red Cross Society, Collins services as a youth volunteer doing community sensitization as well as advocacy, civic education, and fund raising for the Society. He was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for his service to the Kenya Red Cross Society. Collins provided counseling and trauma support to those who were affected by the armed conflict in Kenya in 2007-2008. Collins has since worked on the tracing and re-unification of separated families. Much of Collins work is youth focused, including youth action planning, youth development, youth mentorship, and dissemination of information. He enjoys using the arts and drama to engage young people as well as their communities. Collins is passionate about raising awareness of the risks of FGM, early pregnancies, and gender based violence.

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Diphus Ng’eny

Country: Kenya

Diphus is a youth development and policy enthusiast. He has seen projects through their full cycle; from inception, to implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Diphus is skilled at developing social media campaigns for social causes including youth engagement in policy development. He enjoys mentoring his peers, teaching them skills including writing and management. Diphus also works in advocacy and capacity building in Kenya and enjoys working as a trainer in participatory citizenship campaigns. Diphus is the African Development Ambassador for the African Achievers. He is also a Global Youth Ambassador. He taken courses in development and social entrepreneurship from a number of Universities as well as a course on Youth Development from the Commonwealth Foundation.

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Elizabeth Okumu

Country: Kenya

Elizabeth is passionate about issues of sexual reproductive health and rights. She loves creating safe spaces for women, youth and adolescents to talk about issues affecting their sexual health and rights. Elizabeth service as a mentor to girls both in primary and secondary schools, encouraging them to pursue their education and fight for their rights. Elizabeth holds a Diploma in journalism and Mass Communication from Nairobi Institute of Business Studies and a degree in Journalism and Media Studies with majors in Public Relations from the University of Nairobi. Elizabeth uses her leadership and advocacy training as well as her film production skills to help actualized her vision of the future, a future in which women and girls from all corners of the earth will have a voice and the power to make healthy and informed sexual choices.

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Mark Wanjohi Gachagua

Country: Kenya
Organization: WAYAN

Mark is a youth advocate who is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). He is the coordinator of WAYAN, a youth led organization which advocates for the SRHR of young people in Kenya. Under his leadership, WAYAN has been able to reach more than two million people with SRHR information through media and community outreach programs. It has also engaged with more than sixty policy makers through advocacy campaigns both at the county and national levels. In addition, the WAYAN was also instrumental in the launch of the global “All in Campaign” which aims to scale up the fight against HIV/AIDS among adolescents. Currently, Mark is working on a project targeting girls and young people (10-24) with reproductive health information with the goal of increasing awareness about proper use of contraceptives. This project also advocates for increased budgetary allocation for the reproductive health budget in an effort to eliminate family planning commodities stock-outs in health facilities. Mark graduated from Kenyatta University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. Mark is committed to using his strategic planning and project management skills as well as his knowledge of SRHR to create a positive change in the lives of girls and young people in Kenya.

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Oketch Nick

Country: Kenya
Organization: Paradigm Youth Network Organization

Oketch runs the Paradigm Youth Network Organization in Nairobi, which aims to empower women in the slums and rural outskirts of Nairobi. The organization works to teach women the health benefits of good hygiene and the health ramification for children reared unsanitary environments. Oketch also leads the organization’s school-based peer educator program which encourages girls to prioritize their education and educates them on how to avoid early pregnancies and STIs. Oketch holds a diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and is passionate about mobilizing youth to improve the health of girls in his community.

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Vivian Onamo

Country: Kenya
Organization: African Leadership Academy

Vivian is a Community & Partnership Consultant with Africa 2.0 Foundation, Youth Advisor to the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group, and Global Youth Advocate for the Mara Mentor Program. Vivian has a deep interest in re-defining Africa's growth and development. She has held various leadership positions, including serving as a Congressional District Leader for the ONE Campaign in Wisconsin, a campus advocate for the United Nations Association-USA, a Half the Sky Movement community ambassador, and a United Nations Youth Representative. Vivian is the Education Spokesperson for Moremi Africa, a Global Youth Ambassador for A World At School, and a 2014 Fellow with the Nantucket Project. She has presented at the United Nations General Assembly, the Nexus Global Youth Summit, and the Clinton Global Initiative. As a blogger for the Huffington Post, she writes about holistic and innovative approaches to solving community problems. Vivian graduated from Carthage College. She was recognized as one the 25 emerging women leaders with the courage to lead change on the African continent. Vivian has a dream to help create an inclusive world for everyone.

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Aberaam Tata

Country: Kiribati
Organization: Kiribati Family Health Association

Aberaam has spent the past four years volunteering as a peer educator at the Kiribati Family Health Association (KFHA) in South Tarawa, Kiribati. KFHA is a local NGO that works to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of I-Kiribati. As a peer educator, Aberaam is involved in a wide range of activities, including condom distributions around South Tarawa, drama performances to deliver key SRHR messages, dancing performances to attract crowds to KFHA’s mobile clinics, and one-to-one peer counselling. Aberaam is passionate about improving SRHR in Kiribati, the Pacific, and the world. He is especially passionate about reducing cervical cancer through raising awareness of the importance of regular cervical screening. He has participated in a number of recent training programs including a monitoring and evaluation training with Family Planning New Zealand in 2015 and a youth worker program at the Australian Pacific Technical College in Vanuatu in 2014. Through his education and experience, Aberaam has developed strong leadership, communication and counselling skills.

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Asel Kubanychbekova

Country: Kyrgyz Republic
Organization: Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) - Kyrgyzstan

Asel is a young activist from Kyrgyzstan. She works with the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) in Kyrgyzstan as a specialist on youth mobilization and as the coordinator of the national advocacy campaign "My Voice Should Be Heard" which works to ensure that young people are included in the SDG. She also serves as an organizer for the "Stop Violence Against Children" project, in which she trains peer-educators from vulnerable populations to help prevent child abuse through peer programs in government schools. Asel has volunteered with the Reproductive Health Alliance in Kyrgyzstan where she served as a member on their Youth Committee. Through this organization, she designed an HIV prevention and testing campaign targeted at young people. Asel is currently pursuing a degree in social work. She is passionate about family planning, SRHR and improving the lives of young parents. Asel hopes to work to reduce the maternal mortality rate of Kyrgyzstan, which is the highest in Central Asia, through ensuring young people’s voices are heard.

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Aishoola Aisaeva

Country: Kyrgyzstan
Organization: Girls Activists of Kyrgyzstan

Aishoola is a young citizen activist promoting the gender equality and fighting for the rights of girls in her home country of Kyrgyzstan. In November 2013, at the age of 15, she became the coordinator of Girl Activists of Kyrgyzstan, a solidarity club where we girls are fighting for their rights and raising questions about gender norms. Aishoola has published articles on human rights, politics, and social issues on the website Kloop.kg and has over four years of journalistic experience. Aishoola is the official trainer on matters of Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS at the GIZ German Cooperation. She is also supports peer educators who work on Peace Corp projects on SRHR. Aishoola strives to show society that girls are powerful and involving them in decision making can make the future of Kyrgyzstan and world change for the better.

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Makananelo Ramoholi

Country: Lesotho
Organization: Development and Leadership Centre

Makananelo Ramoholi is the co-founder and director of the Development and Leadership Centre, a young women and girls’ organisation in Lesotho. She is a lawyer by profession and is currently studying her Masters in Women's Law at the Southern Eastern African Regional Centre for Women's Law (SEARCWL) in Zimbabwe. Makananelo has carried out various workshops and campaigns aimed at empowering young women, having worked with One Billion Rising for Justice, Akina Mama wa Africa, and the Africa Research Foundation for the Safety of Women. Prior to working for Development and Leadership Centre she worked for Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust Lesotho.

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Jerome Saydee

Country: Liberia
Organization: Youth Health Initiative

Jerome C. Saydee is a student of economics at the University of Liberia, and holds a variety of training certificates in family planning, maternal Health and youth friendly health services from the Maternal Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), Population Service International (PSI), USAID, and Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS). He began his activism at the Liberia National Children Representative Forum (LNCRF) in Monrovia, where he served as Chairman for the committee on Health and Gender. In 2011, Jerome established a local youth-led group named the Cohesive Youth Network, which develops recommendations tforresponsible authorities regarding youth issues, including sexual reproductive health and rights, education, youth empowerment. Currently, Jeromee currently serves as the Executive Director of Youth Health Initiative, with aims to help young people plan healthy life styles.

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Rasolomampionona Kanto Ericka (Kanto)

Country: Madagascar
Organization: Collective of Women's Associations Fianarantsoa

Kanto is a UN Volunteer in Milenaka, a poor city in a remote region of Madagascar, and is responsible for providing support to rural entrepreneurs. Since 2011, she has served as the general secretary of the Collective of Women's Associations Fianarantsoa, which is comprised of 26 associations working to promote human rights. The group has a special focus on preventing gender-based violence, and has a listening and counselling center and provides legal services to survivors of violence. Kanto Ericka is also a youth mentor and a national trainer for the Young Women Leadership Program (YWLP), a program designed by Youth First. Kanton holds a graduate degree in Economics from the University of Fianarantsoa Madagascar. She was the youngest prize winner of the Gender Links National Summit in 2014.

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Irene Umba Zalira

Country: Malawi
Organization: Global Health Corps

Irene has over five years of work experience in the nonprofit sector in Malawi and has a passion for youth participation, leadership, women's health with a special focus on sexual reproductive health and rights especially for girls and young women. She is currently a Global Health Corps Fellow working with the Ministry of Health-Reproductive Health Directorate as a Programs and Partnership Officer. Irene is the co-founder of Growing Ambitions which is a newly established nonprofit organization that provides career guidance and mentorship for girls and young women in peri-urban areas of Malawi. Irene has volunteered for the Malawi Youth Consultative Forum where she helped to advocate for youth issues during the past elections using the Malawi Youth Charter. This Charter is an advocacy tool that was developed by young people outlining their needs and what should be prioritized by the government. She is the Vice Chairperson for the Malawi Youth Charter National Taskforce team and one of the founding members for the Rotaract Club of Lilongwe. Irene earned a BSc. degree in Technical Education at the University of Malawi in 2009. Irene enjoys reading African literature, traveling, hiking, blogging about SRHR issues and community service.

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Talimba Chisala Bandawe

Country: Malawi
Organization: Malawi Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Alliance

Talimba is a sexual rights advocate with six years of experience working on sexual and reproductive health and rights programs. Currently she is working as a National Program Coordinator for a sexual and reproductive health and rights Program known as the Unite for Body Rights Program. The program targets young people between the ages of 10-24, linking the provision of comprehensive sexuality education with improved SRHR services while cultivating an enabling environment in order to allow young people to realize their sexual rights. Talimba is also pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender and Development. She is committed to address the plight of women and girls especially with regards to Gender Based Violence.

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Williot Joaquim Lumbe

Country: Malawi
Organization: Global Hope Mobilization (GLOHOMO)

Williot currently works as a Youth Program Officer at Global Hope Mobilization and as a teacher at Mai Aisha Academy. He also work with the Center for Child Development and Research on a part-time basis. On the weekends, he works as a Radio Presenter for Trans World Radio Malawi. Williot has been working with the Kapesi Community Based Organization since 2005. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education Social Studies from the University of Malawi in 2013. As a student, he served as the Program Coordinator for the Human Ecology Society as well as the University’s Electoral Commissioner. After graduating, he was a student-teacher at Chipasula Secondary School in Lilongwe.

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Fila Magnus

Country: Malaysia
Organization: Carefugees & Viva Palestina Malaysia

Fila started volunteering for issues she cared about at the age of 14. She is currently an executive committee member of two non-governmental organizations, one that works with refugee families in Malaysia and one that focuses on the Palestinian plight. In both organizations, her responsibilities lie heavily on advocacy and fundraising work, as it has proven to be the key aspect in moving the general public into action. Fila is currently a second-year student double-majoring in Psychology and Communications. She is also an aspiring journalist. Late last year, one of her articles was published on the Huffington Post UK. Now, she has an official blog on their website. Fila dreams to establish a platform for the voices of people whose voices have been robbed or broken to rise up again.

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Ana Aguilera

Country: Mexico
Organization: Ipas

Ana is a young public health professional and dual citizen of Mexico and the United States. She is passionate about the intersection between sexual and reproductive health, human rights, and international development. Through her work with Amigos de las Americas, she has helped build the capacity of local young leaders in rural communities, implemented over twenty community development projects, and supervised more than 70 volunteers in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Guatemala. Additionally, she has worked with the women’s sexual and reproductive health non-profit organizations Ipas and Grounds for Health. Ana has her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Global Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health.

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Maria Madrigal

Country: Mexico

Maria Madrigal a recent law school graduate with extensive experience in international human rights. Maria has also been working with an organization named Las Libres, where she advocates on behalf of girls and women's legal rights in Mexico. In addition, she has extensive international experience - in more than 18 countries and 3 continents.

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Marisol Ruiz Celorio

Country: Mexico
Organization: Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Marisol is currently working with the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) in Mexico as the Communications and Campaigns Officer. She also works as a research consultant for the Population Council Mexico. Marisol was recently granted a scholarship to do research as a Fox Fellow at Yale University in 2013-2014, where she was a member of the Graduate Working Group on Women, Gender and Sexuality, as well as the Working Group on Latin America. She studied International Studies as an undergraduate at Universidad de Monterrey and received her Master's in Asian and African studies at the Colegio de México. During graduate school, Marisol concentrated in Middle Eastern studies, but also investigated the commonalities Latin America shares with the Middle East in terms of the issues that young women and girls face that affect their full access to citizenship.

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Jargalmaa Erdenemandakha

Country: Mongolia

Claudia Banze

Country: Mozambique
Organization: Center for Mozambican and International Studies

Claudia is a Master's candidate in Rural Sociology. Since 2010, she has been a Human Rights and Gender Officer at the Center for Mozambican and International Studies (CEMO). Claudia also holds her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo-Mozambique.

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HayMann Zaw

Country: Myanmar

HayMann was born and raised in Mandalay, Myanmar, and is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring Social Science at Chiang Mai University. She has been a research assistant on projects in Karen Refugee Camps and has volunteered with the World Vision Mandalay Street Children Program. This past year, HayMann interned with the Migrant Assistance Program (MAP) Foundation in Mae Sot, Thailand, assisting on programs for Myanmar migrant children, women and adolescents. HayMann is also working as a Researcher for the Living Wage for Burmese Migrant Women Campaign; this research is conducted by the MAP Foundation as a part of the Feminist Participartory Action Research (FPAR) project with the Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)

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Helena Leonard

Country: Namibia
Organization: APCDOMA

Helena studied community development atuUniversity, and previously worked as a project planner with APCDOMA, a heath, human rights, and socioeconmic development NGO in Mozambique. She has also acted as a facilitator with Sister Namibia, focusing on conflict issues, and is Red Cross volunteer member. She is currently an administration officer at the Namibia Ministry of Work and Transport.

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Aditi Sharma

Country: Nepal
Organization: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Aditi is currently the Health Focal Point for the Emergency Medical Response Team at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Chautara, Sindhupalchok, the epicenter of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. As the sole health program officer for the IOM in the region which suffered the highest casualty, Aditi has a wide verity of responsibilities. Aditi was formerly a Research Associate at Green Tara Nepal (GTN), in joint collaboration with the University of Sheffield, where she undertook a systematic review of the health consequences of sex trafficking, an evaluation of health promotion initiatives in Nepal, and a review of health promotion teaching in Nepal. She was also the lead of the menstrual hygiene management program at GTN. In 2014 Aditi founded Kalyani with peers who are also dedicated to improving the lives of women in Nepal. This NGO works to empower women through promoting sustainable livelihoods. Aditi completed a Bachelors of Business Administration from Kathmandu University in 2011. After graduation, she worked at the Nepal Public Health Foundation for five months as a Program Officer. Aditi interned for three months at the World Health Organization in Kathmandu in 2012. In 2013, she completed a Master of Public Health in Management and Leadership from the University of Sheffield, UK.

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Prabesh Singh

Country: Nepal
Organization: International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA)

Prabesh is the Regional Assistant at the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, a Youth Working Committee member at the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), and the Country Coordinator of International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) - Nepal. He is actively involved in various activities related to young people and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, including HIV/AIDS. Prabesh has participated in various workshops and trainings related to SRHR and HIV/AIDS as well as been a peer educator on comprehensive sexuality education. He is interested in advocacy and is involved in several youth organizations working in different areas of health and youth development issues in Nepal. Prabesh is a medical student at the Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Rakesh Ayer

Country: Nepal
Organization: The University of Tokyo

Rakesh has worked at the Nepal Health Research Council under the Ministry of Health and Population. He is interested in conducting research in global and public health and believes in using evidence to formulate appropriate policies and interventions to improve the lives of marginalized and disadvantaged young people and women. Previously, Rakesh has been involved in studies targeting young people affected by HIV/AIDS. Rakesh is studying global health at The University of Tokyo in Japan.

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Ruby Shakya

Country: Nepal
Organization: Beyond Beijing Committee

Ruby is a Program Manager for the Beyond Beijing Committee, a national feminist organization that facilitates the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. She is a youth advocate on the Steering Committee formed by UN Women Nepal for the national review process of Beijing+20. Ruby has been involved in advocacy and lobbying efforts for the integration of women and youth needs, especially regarding the importance of sexual and reproductive rights. Her experience with the Women's Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership project has equipped her with skills in designing and implementing participatory programs related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ruby participated in the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York as well as in the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing+20 in Thailand. After participating in the Asian and Pacific Conference, she helped formed a Young Women’s Caucus in Nepal. Ruby has presented a paper at the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR) in the Philippines. Ruby holds a Masters in Development Studies.

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Martha Sanchez

Country: Nicaragua
Organization: Oxfam

Martha is a young feminist committed to the defense of women's rights. She has been working with Oxfam in its Active Citizenship of Women and Youth Program since 2011, which works to guarantee that women recognize and exercise of their economic, sexual and reproductive rights, and their right to live free from violence.She has participated in multiple Global Youth Forums and the Latin-American Feminist Congress. Martha has a degree on International Affairs from the National University of Nicaragua.

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Aissa Laouan Wandarama

Country: Niger
Organization: Marie Stopes International-Niger

Aissa is a Program Manager at Marie Stopes International-Niger. She manages a team of 20 volunteer peer educators and four community health workers who endeavor to improve the quality and accessibility to Family Planning services to women in Niamey, Niger. Aissa was nominated one of Africa’s Most Outstanding Emerging Women Leaders as a MILEAD Fellow, she is a Girls Not Bride youth advocate, and a member of the National Youth Council of Niger. She is also a One Young World Ambassador. Aissa served on the Board of Directors of the Nigerien Association of Michigan and was elected as a Cultural and Social Affairs Officer for this non-profit which conducts annual projects in Niger. In 2013, she raised $26,000 for the shipment of a 40 foot container of medical supplies and medicine to the National Center of Reference for Sickle Cell Disease in Niamey, Niger. Aissa is a passionate advocate and is dedicate to helping others.

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Salissou Isaak

Country: Niger
Organization: Recup

After studying law, with a focus on human rights, Salissou started his career by advocating for girls’ education and fighting against child marriage and violence against women. He organized mentorship programs for girls and women in rural areas and hosted trainings in sexual and reproductive health, including family planning and female genital mutilation. Currently, Salissou serves as Secretary General of the NGO-Recup, an organization that works to integrate impoverished girls and women into the socioeconomic development of Niger. Salissou has received several awards and prizes locally and regionally, as he is committed to improving maternal death rates and women’s marginalization in society.

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Adebisi Adenipekun

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Lighthouse Global Health Initiative

Adebisi is a passionate youth advocate committed to improving the health and well-being of young people, especially girls and rural/slum dwellers. He is the leader of Lighthouse Global Health Initiative (LGHI), formerly known as Health and Peace for All Initiative, a growing initiative with a mission to encourage and empower vulnerable populations to lead productive and healthy lives. Through this platform, Adebisi and his team have implemented successful public health campaigns which include the “Rural Empowerment and Health Promotion Project” (REHP-Project) for rural dwellers, and “Your Health First Campaign” targeted at empowering domestic workers. Adebisi’s commitment was recognized by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health/Bill and Melinda Gates Institute in 2013 through a scholarship to attend the Third International Conference on Family Planning. He was also invited to join the National Technical Working Group on Adolescent Health and Development in Nigeria. As a member of the working group, he was part of the team that developed the “National Training Manual on Peer-To-Peer Youth Health Education” and he was a facilitator on the Federal Ministry of Health’s G-WIN Peer-to-Peer Project. Adebisi trained as a pharmacist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

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Boris Nwachukwu

Country: Nigeria

Born at a time of civil upheaval in Southern Nigeria, Boris is passionate about protecting the health rights and welfare of women and girls after hearing stories from his mother, including of her near escape for harm when heavily pregnant. He actively volunteers with local and international organizations and is vocal in youth activities in Nigeria. Boris is a medical student at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. At his University, he works to improve the educational experience of his peers through organizing activities. Boris is passionate about protecting the environment and ensuring the health, civil liberty, and welfare of African youth. He works hard to ensure that people’s stories are told so that they may inspire change.

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Cecilia Aransiola

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Steps to Life Nigeria

Cecilia is currently a Programs Manager at Steps to Life Nigeria, a human rights NGO. She has worked with African Women and Youth Organization (AWYO) during her time with the National Youth Service Corps. As a development worker, feminist, and humanitarian, Cecilia’s focuses on advocating for the rights of women and children in Nigeria. She has over nine years of experience in human rights and advocacy work in the non-profit and media sectors. Cecilia earned a LL.B Hons in Common Law from the University of Ilorin and a B.L from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. She is passionate about ensuring all women and children can have access to the health care they need and live without the fear of violence.

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Chiamaka Uzomba

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Population Council Nigeria

Chiamaka works with Population Council Nigeria on projects to improving adolescents’ and young people’s sexual and reproductive health and HIV-related issues. She has been involved in advocacy campaigns which aim to contribute and influence the Post-2015 development agenda. Chiamaka has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Madonna University, Elele, Rivers State – Nigeria, where she was student-body representative for two years. She mentors several adolescents on HIV/AIDS and SRH issues to achieve increased awareness and promote behavioral change. Chiamaka is also a Global Youth Ambassador for a World at School, contributing to their efforts to ensure that all children are in school and learning. She also advocates on the elimination of Child Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation through her work and through her blog, http://healthndevt.blogspot.com/. Chiamaka aspires to be a health ambassador and contribute to the development of her home country, Nigeria.

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Isaac Oriafo Ejakhegbe

Country: Nigeria

Isaac has over five years of experience working in health promotion, maternal and child health care provision, and family planning. He currently volunteers as a program officer at the Women Health and Action Research Centre doing monitoring and evaluation. He also works as the Assistant Managing Editor at the African Journal of Reproductive Health. Isaac holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Physiology from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He also completed his Masters of Science degree in Applied Health Social Science from the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, where he was named the top student in his graduating cohort. While working as a Medical Secretary for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the Medical Department of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC/NNPC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation after graduation, he volunteered as UNICEF Peer Educator under the National Reproductive Health HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project in Northern Nigerian. He then worked as a community health officer at Joy Maternity Clinic, Edo state, Nigeria where he played an active role in providing community members with health education and social support. During this period, he enrolled in an online program and earned a Clinical Research and Public Health Certificate from the Harvard School of Public Health and then a certificate in the Challenges of Global Poverty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Jennifer Chinoye Amadi

Country: Nigeria
Organization: DKT Nigeria

Jennifer is passionate about promoting healthy behavior through advocacy and community engagement. She is a social media executive at DKT Nigeria, creating and sharing content about family planning including how to access it and proper use. Jennifer volunteers for Ipas-Nigeria as a Youth Advocate. She also supports Ipas in their work on sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender based violence in Nigeria. Jennifer was a vocal advocate for the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill, hosting an online contest and utilizing new media to galvanize support for the passage of a bill including the hashtag #VAPPBill. She also planned and championed an advocacy campaign, aimed at creating visibility for the need to act on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS concerns. This advocacy campaign was focused on gaining buy-in from policy makers and civil society organizations in Nigeria on behalf of the Population Council, Nigeria. As a National Youth Corps member, Jennifer trained and mentored 47 peer educators on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. A graduate of Health Education with second class upper credit division, Jennifer also interned with the Traffina Foundation, providing clean birth kits to pregnant mothers and training to traditional birth attendants on safe delivery methods in an effort to improve maternal and child health.

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Kelechukwu Nwachukwu

Country: Nigeria

Kelechukwu is passionate about engaging young people in making their communities better places for women and girls. At the age of 19, Kelechukwu was elected the chairperson of the Abuja chapter of the International Youth Council. He is serves a Strategic Advisor to Girl Generation, a five year communications and advocacy program funded by UK DFID with the goals of ending FGM/C in 10 African countries. Kelechukwu is also the Co-Founder of the Youth Network Against FGM/C based in Nigeria. He has also been named an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, UK. Kelechukwu founded the Gender Encouragement and Empowerment Project (GEEP), which seeks to mobilize adolescents to fight for women’s rights and advocate for more women to hold governmental positions and be elected to office. He was nominated for the Nigeria Youth Merit Award in 2013. Kelechukwu is passionate about fighting for gender equality, particularly ending Female Genital Mutilation within one generation and he has taken part in several consultations and conferences on gender, including the Youth For Change event and the Girl Summit in London in 2014.

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Nnamdi Eseme John

Country: Nigeria
Organization: International AIDS Alliance

Nnamdi is a Key Correspondent for the International AIDS Alliance, a nonprofit organization fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and discouraging discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. He is also volunteers as a Zonal Coordinator for the Life Skills Initiative for Youth Empowerment and Development, a nonprofit organization committed to the development and empowerment of young people in Nigeria. Nnamdia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology, Second Class Upper Honours, from the University of Uyo, Nigeria. A passionate youth leader and reporter, Nnamdi works to advocate for increased medical research, efficient health-care delivery, and improved health outcomes in Nigeria through the empowerment of women and youths. He hopes to ensure equal participation of women and youths in leadership, government and policy making across Africa.

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Olaoluwa Abagun

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Girl Pride Circle

Olaoluwa is an unapologetic feminist and vocal advocate for girls’ rights in Africa. She is also the Founder of the Girl Pride Circle, a Nigerian-based non-profit initiative which aims to advocate for girls' rights and to empower girls. Olaoluwa received her LLB from the Faculty of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria in 2015. Starting at the age of 13, Olaoluwa served for four years as a Child Senator in the Nigerian Children’s Parliament which gave her the opportunity to begin engaging in child rights advocacy work. As an undergraduate, Olaoluwa also volunteered for two years with the Talent Management Unit of AIESEC in Nigeria and Panama. She views writing as an ideal way to communicate impactful narratives. Her essay entitled "Policies on the Empowerment of Young Women in Africa: The Missing Piece in the African Jigsaw," was a 2014 finalist in the Africa Youth Day Essay Competition, hosted by the African Union Commission. Olaoluwa hopes to empower other young girls to tell their stories and advocate for their rights in an effort help realize the potential of Nigerian girls.

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Onyeka Akunna

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center

Growing up in a typical African society, where the rights of women and girls are frequently trampled upon, Onyeka became passionate about issues surrounding the protection and enforcement of the rights of children and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and women. To that end, she has volunteered as a peer educator trainer for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where she trained adolescents as peer educators on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care at Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area in Delta State of Nigeria. Currently, Onyeka work with the NGO Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center (CIRDDOC) in Enugu, Nigeria, which focuses on protecting the rights of women and children. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in French Language and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies. Onyeka strives to be a strong advocate for the rights of women and girls, working with community members, other social activists, and organizations in order to empower women and girls to live to their full potential.

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Blessing Digha

Country: Nigeria

Blessing is passionate about improving the lives of girls and ensuring that young people have the sexual and reproductive knowledge and health care they need. Having had her first daughter as a teen, Blessing understands the obstacles adolescent parenthood can bring. She has worked in Sexuality Education, SRHR, and HIV/AIDS in the Nigerian. Blessing currently works with young girls, female sex workers, organizations and parents to improve the lives of young people. She is also active in advocating for the rights of girls to policy makers. Blessing holds a Bachelor of Technology in Food Science and Engineering.

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Gbemisola Osadua

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Dynamics Impact

Gbemisola is a youth and children advocate who uses her social entrepreneurial skills to empower youth and women. Gbemisola is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynamics Impact Limited, a social enterprise in Nigeria committed development through empowerment. Dynamics Impact was recognized this year, along with its partner organization the Copenhagen Consensus Centre in Hungary, as a pioneer in the field of development by the Post-2015 Consensus Youth Forum in Nigeria. She is also the Director of Students Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development at the National Association of Nigerian Students. Gbemisola holds an LL.B (Honours) degree. She has worked as an Administrative Assistance at the leading youth organization in Nigeria, Rise Interactive Global Link Ltd, and as an Intern at the Olujimi and Akeredolu Chambers (Legal Practitioners and Notaries Public).

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Georgeleen Ekon

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Evergreen Initiative for Women’s Health and Rights

Georgeleen is the Executive Director of Evergreen Initiative for Women’s Health and Rights, an organization she founded in 2013 along with five other young women. In 2009, Georgeleen started volunteering at the Empowerment Foundation Outreach, a sexual health education outreach program. She has also volunteered with the Initiative for Improved Male Health as a peer educator. Georgeleen worked with Heartland Alliance International, Nigeria as the Cross River State cohort coordinator supervising Healthy Relationship educational sessions for marginalized women. Georgeleen holds a Diploma in Environmental Education from the University of Calabar, Nigeria and has attended trainings and workshops organized by Heartland Alliance International in Nigeria and International Centre for Sexual Reproductive Rights, Minna in Nigeria. Georgeleen believes in the equality of all sexes and works to ensure all people in Nigeria know and can exercise their rights.

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Anayat Baig

Country: Pakistan
Organization: National Students Federation - Gilgit-Baltistan

Anayat is a nursing student, a vocalist, and a social activist. Anayat is from Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory disputed between Pakistan and India as per the January 1949 UNCIP Resolution. He is a pursing his BSc in Nursing at Aga Khan University in Karachi. At his university, Anayat founded, in conjecture with the university’s Arts and Culture Committee, a literary society which aims to increase gender consciousness through use of poetry and literature. An active member of his village’s youth organizations, Anayat works to improve the lives of villagers, with a focus on women. Anayat is the General Secretary of the National Students Federation, Gilgit-Baltistan. This youth led organization advocates for access to basic education for every young person regardless of affiliation. As a central part of its mission, the federation attempts to question gender norms. To this end, Anayat organizes seminars for young people on gender and human rights. Anayat is the founder of “Harmony Theater Group” which involves marginalized groups in theater, art, and music as means of improving community cohesion. Anayat plans to pursue a career in social mobilization which will allow him to use his medical knowledge to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of members of his community and country.

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Fsahat UI Hassan

Country: Pakistan
Organization: Youth Advocacy Network (YAN)

Fsahat is the Chairperson of the Youth Advocacy Network in Pakistan, a national youth-led democratic and volunteer-based organization. He has been a regional council member of Rahnuma-FPAP (member association of IPPF) since 2009. He is also the National Focal Point of Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA). Fsahat has received a Youth Excellence Award from the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for his work for the young people of Pakistan in 2014. He was the chair of the first youth-led regional level conference, the South Asian Regional Youth Conference 2014 (SARYC’14). Fsahat has been an official youth delegate to the 47th and 48th meeting of Commission on Population Development (CPD), the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV held by UNESCAP in 2015, the 6th Asia Pacific Population Conference, and the Global Youth Forum on ICPD Bali. He also attended the Melbourne Youth Force of International AIDS Conference 2014 as a Country Focal Point and the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and Pacific (ICAAP) as Country Focal Point and Youth Task Force member organizing and facilitating the youth forum. Fsahat recently completed his M.Sc. in Gender Studies from University of the Punjab, Lahore. With over 12 years working with youth-led organizations, Fsahat is passionate about ensuring young people’s voices are heard.

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Tanzila Khan

Country: Pakistan
Organization: Creative Alley

Tanzila is committed to ensuring that everyone has a meaningful life and access to an education. She also passionately beliefs that the rights of those with disabilities must be respected. She has worked with British Council, Global Changemakers, Oxfam, and Y-peer as a trainer and resource person for youth. Tanzila founded her own production company, Creative Alley, which provides youth a platform to share their artistic works. Creative Alley’s signature program, taught by Tanzila, is a youth capacity building workshop called Let’s Get M.A.D (Make a Difference). Tanzila is also a published author, having penned her first novelette, “A Story of Mexico”, at the age of 16. She donated the proceeds to the victims of the Pakistani earthquake. She has since written another novel entitled The Perfect Situation. She advocates peace and has spoken at international forums about leadership and women's empowerment.

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Umair Mushtaq

Country: Pakistan
Organization: The Little Art

Umair believes strongly that every child in Pakistan should be enrolled in school. To this end, he is an Education Youth Ambassador, a program A World at School, working to promote the importance of education in communities throughout his country. He has also volunteered for five years with The Little Art, a Lahore based non-profit which promotes education through the arts. He now works for them doing their communications and outreach as well as managing their national volunteer network. Umair is deeply interested in history and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in History at Government College Lahore. He has been named to the GCU “Role of Honor,” a prestigious award which recognized his outstanding achievements as a student as well as his service to the college and his community. Umair volunteers as an interviewer for the 1947 Partition Archive Organization, volunteer organization which records and archives eyewitness accounts of the 1947 Partition for educational and historical purposes.

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Muhammad Khalid Rao

Country: Pakistan
Organization: Dance4Life Pakistan

Muhammad is Member of the National Youth Council at Dance4Life Pakistan. He works to engage young people in advocacy work to ensure the sexual and reproductive health of young people in Pakistan. He received a British Council's National Social Action Project Award in 2013. Muhammad enjoys using theater as a tool to mobilize and engage young people in discussions about sexual and reproductive health and rights. His primary areas of interests are the promotion of SRHR and ending early marriages in South Asia.

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Shughla Ismail

Country: Pakistan
Organization: Young Feminist Movement

Shughla is a young activist working to promote activism among young girls, empowering them to be the leaders of their communities. She is the Founder and Chairperson of the Young Feminists Movement, a group of young girls working to promote activism among adolescent girls to create a world where all human beings are treated equally. Shughla is currently working in different thematic areas including girl’s education, peacebuilding among young people, and building leadership skills among young girls. At the age of 15, she started working as a volunteer with Aware Girls which is an organization led by young women working towards the empowerment of young girls, peace, and gender equality in Pakistan. Through this organization, she participated in an 8 weeks online course run by “Taking It Global” to develop and design a project entitled “Advocacy for Accessing Quality Education to Young Girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.” Shughla was an Earth Charter Initiative Youth Contest in 2013 in celebration of Human Rights Day. She is also a member of the Red Elephant Foundation, working on a peacebuilding program with the goal of fostering peace between India and Pakistan.

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Laraib Abid

Country: Pakistan
Organization: Channan Development Association

Laraib works with the Channan Development Association as a program manager for the “My Rights, My Voice” project by Oxfam Novib. She was awarded the title “Hero of Pakistan” by Sama TV in 2013 and also received the “Star of the Nation” title by the Development Dimension Society. Laraib completed an honors degree in Social and Socio-cultural Studies from University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan and the Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA under a Global UGRAD program. Laraib interned with the Citizen Commission for Human Development. She also led a project entitle “Smart Youth” for Under Development Dimension Society, which focused on raising awareness about gender norms and why female voting rates are low. Laraib was selected to attend a peace festival in India as a representative of Pakistan, a role she was honored to hold.

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Hamza Moghari

Country: Palestine
Organization: International Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Palestine

Hamza Moghari is a current underdgraduate at the Palestine College of Nursing. He is also a peer educator with the international youth peer education network (Y-PEER) and a peer educator with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA). As a community advocate in Palestine, he has participated a youth serving programs including Future Generation, supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Ost-Jerusalem, and We Are Not Numbers - a one year project, supported by the Euro-Mid Observer For Human Rights. Hamza has volunteered with many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) since the age of thirteen, and will be attending the 2015 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) as a youth scholarship recipient.

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Rand Jarallah

Country: Palestine
Organization: Youth to End Sexual Violence

Rand is a young and passionate activist and artist with more than five years of experience in the subjects of youth education, health, and rights. She is the co-founder and Deputy Director of Youth to End Sexual Violence and has worked as a Youth Consultant for the UNDP on the Arab Human Development Report published an article in the 2011 UN Chronicle Youth Issue on Adolescent Marriage at the age of 19. She is currently the Focal Point in Charge and an active trainer in the Y-PEER International Network. Rand holds a Master’s degree in Global Health and Sustainable Development.

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Andrew Tabel

Country: Papua New Guinea
Organization: FHI 360

Andrew works for FHI 360 as the Senior Project Officer for the Malaria Action Program for States (MARPS) in Papua New Guinea, which is funded by USAID. Andrew worked with the Papua New Guinea Youth Alliance on HIV and AIDS (YAHA), a youth organization which coordinates youth HIV prevention programs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for four years. In 2012, was he named the President and Coordinator of YAHA. In this role, Andrew worked to organize HIV Youth Networks around PNG and he has advocated for government assistance and involvement in the ongoing Youth HIV Campaign. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Management from Divine Word University in PNG. He has also participated in courses on HIV and he is a certified Trainer of Trainers for Gender-Based Violence prevention in PNG. Andrew was a participant in a mentorship program on the legal aspects of HIV in PNG which was a collaboration between the International Law Organization and the PNG Development Law Association. He previously served as a Youth Networks Representative on the board of the Papua New Guinea Alliance of Civil Society. Andrew is also a youth representative to the PNG Country Coordinating Mechanism and was a PNG Youth Delegate to the Small Island Developing State Forum in Apia, Samoa in September of 2014.

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Fiona Fandim

Country: Papua New Guinea
Organization: Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea

Fiona has six years of experience in program development and management. She currently works for Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea, where she ensures that projects are achieving their targets and services are delivered in accordance with project and organizational requirements. Her role with Marie Stopes has exposed her to the importance of family planning for those with limited resources in terms of land, education, and money, as well as for the general well-being of women and children in rural communities. Fiona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Papau New Guinea and a post-graduate diploma in Leadership in Development from Divine Word University in Papau New Guinea.

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Luciana Amarilla

Country: Paraguay
Organization: Kuña Aty

Luciana is a current member of the board of directors of Kuña Aty, a foundation focused on women and families, and she is a member of the Youth of Banderas Blancas, a civil organization that promotes peace in Paraguay. She is majoring in Business Management and has been a member of her University's student council for the past two years. She has also taught English as Ssecond Language, citizenship, debate and writing in high school.

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Anthony Lopez

Country: Philippines

Anthony is the official social media committee chair for ACT!2015 and a member of the ACT!2015 Youth Alliance in the Philippines. In January of 2014, Anthony was part of the International Youth Steering Committee as the Chairman of the Volunteer Committee for the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights held the PICC in Manila. A member of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders’ Initiative, Anthony is a peer educator on reproductive and sexual health and rights with a focus on HIV/AIDS. Anthony works with BALUTI, Batang Laging Umiiwas sa Tiyak na Impeksyon (Young People Who Avoid Infections) as well as Y-PEER Pilipinas. Anthony is also a member of the Youth Consortium for the Passage of the Reproductive Health Bill, the Cavite Integrated STI and HIV Council, and the National Committee for Children and Young People on HIV. Anthony currently works for TaskUs, Inc. and took an online course from the University of Manchester on Global Health and Humanitarianism and a course on International Women's Health and Human Rights from Stanford University Online. Anthony served as a junior reporter at the Kabataan News Network, a youth-oriented news program funded by UNICEF and Probe Media Foundation, Inc. Anthony also writes for mulatpinoy.ph about young people’s health and rights issues.

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Bryan Eric Mallari

Country: Philippines
Organization: Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)

Bryan Eric Mallari is from San Luis, Pampanga, Philippines. Inspired by one of their friends, Bryan started volunteering with the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) and has been a peer educator for 5 years now. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Secondary Education, is a licensed teacher, and works as an English teacher, Public School, Department of Education, Philippines. Volunteering with FPOP has expanded Bryan's knowledge and awareness on social issues such as GBV, teenage pregnancy, VAWC, and HIV/AIDS concerning the poor and the vulnerable and is motivated to share that awareness with others. As a grass root volunteer and as a teacher, he is committed in pushing and advocating for the comprehensive sexuality education inclusion in the curriculum.

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Jonathan Monis

Country: Philippines
Organization: Bureau of International Health Cooperation Philippines

Jonathan (Nathan) is a nurse by profession and a public health servant by heart. He is currently working as Senior Health Program Officer at the Bureau of International Health Cooperation in the Department of Health – Philippines, where he is a liaison between the Department of Health and UN agencies. Jonathan has also assisted in organizing international events at global health diplomacy forums in the Philippines. Prior to joining the government, Nathan worked at an NGO on a policy advocacy and project that tracked the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) provisions included in the then-divisive national Reproductive Health Bill. He is also an active member of the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates (AYNLA) to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly MDG 4,5 and 6.

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Danica Shahana Magtubo

Country: Philippines
Organization: Youth Peer Education Network of the Philippines

Danica started her career as an HIV advocate at the age of 14, when she was trained to be a peer educator by Y-PEER Philippines. During college, she became active in advocating for the passage of the Reproductive Health Law in her country. She has also served as a member of the youth parliament in the Philippines. Danica has a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology.

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Anna Rebeka Szczegielniak

Country: Poland

Anna is a medical doctor and has worked in the areas of comprehensive sexuality, youth leadership, sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS, and access to services and treatment for young people from key affected populations. Anna is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations as well as the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. For the last two years, Anna has also been an active member of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA), serving as Regional Focal Point for Eastern Europe & Central Asia. She represented GYCA at the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, where she was a member of the Melbourne Youth Force. Anna graduated from Medical School at the Medical University of Silesia and hold a MSc in Physiotherapy from Opole University of Technology.

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Kinga Wisniewska

Country: Poland

Kinga Wisniewska has volunteered for various international organizations in the field of women´s empowerment and development. Her interests include maternal health, human rights, international development and political participation. She is currently based in Spain.

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Małgorzata Kot

Country: Poland
Organization: Astra youth

Malgorzata is the coordinator of ASTRA Youth - a network of young advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights from Central and Eastern Europe and Balkan countries. Malgorzata has been an an activist for youth sexual and reproductive health and rights for 5 years, working particularly for the right of young people's access to comprehensive sexuality education in Poland. She has gained grassroots experience in the provision of counselling for young people and management of projects regarding youth access to SRH services and CSE as a volunteer with the Ponton Group of Sex Educators. She's also worked as advocate for youth rights on the national, regional and international level as a member of YouAct-European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Youth Leadership Working Group. Malgorzata is currently pursuing her PhD in the social sciences, with a specific interest in queer sociology, non-heteronormative identities and relationships,queer motherhood.

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Brindusa Luciana Grosu

Country: Romania

Brindusa Luciana Grosu is a psychologist, journalist and activist passionate about women rights and combating gender-based violence. She is an active member of YouAct, the youth-led SRHR European Network. She is particularly interested in girl child rights, FGM, violence against women and early forced marriage issues. Luciana has a diverse background, with experience in media and reporting, advocacy, psychological counseling , creativity-orientated training and group facilitation. She loves working with people, listening to their stories and struggling to find the right words in order to transmit their voices to the world. Luciana is also passionate about innovative engaged art projects and indigenous women rights.

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Georgiana Epure

Country: Romania
Organization: Association of Liberty and Gender Equality

Georgiana Epure is an International Relations undergraduate student at University of Leeds, UK. She is passionate about feminist theories, gender and conflict studies, gender and violence and human rights. She has been involved in fighting violence against women and advocating for gender equality since 2010 as a member of the Association of Liberty and Gender Equality in her hometown. Since January 2014, she has been a member of the Practical Initiatives Network, a worldwide platform for international development-oriented NGOs. She is also a blogger for one of the biggest news websites in Romania, Adevarul.ro, where she writes about gender equality and international development topics. Currently, she is working as a research assistant with the Intervention and International Society, focusing on the Responsibility to Protect with regards to the Central African Republic humanitarian crisis. Her areas of interest include: women’s education, human rights, violence against women, gender based violence in armed conflict, FGM, reproductive health, child marriage, HIV/AIDS, education and youth participation.

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Adriana Radu

Country: Romania

Adriana founded and manages SEXUL vs BARZA (www.sexulvsbarza.ro), a Romania feminist and inclusive sexual education video web series. Adriana currently works at the German Bundestag as an international fellow and blogs for the national Romanian paper, Adevarul.ro. Adriana directed a Romanian-German short documentary called FEMEI | FRAUEN. Fluent in English, French, Spanish, and German, she has studied in Lyon, France and Berlin, Germany.

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Jean Paul Ndayizeye

Country: Rwanda
Organization: Rwandan Youth Voice for Change

Jean Paul Ndayiyeze is a practicing medical doctor from Southern Rwanda. He has been working in the field of public health since his first year at the National University of Rwanda, where he volunteered in community outreach organized by the Medical Students’ Association of Rwanda (MEDSAR) and was nominated as their National Officer in the Standing Committee on Public Health in his second year. Jean Paul has been member of other youth/community based organizations like Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP) and where he was the President of the Supervising Council and a fundraising officer in 2011. He is now volunteering with Rwanda Youth Voice for Change (RYVC) coordinating their fundraising team.

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Appoline Nyirarwasa

Country: Rwanda
Organization: Rwanda Women Coalition for Development

Appoline is passionate about women and young people’s health. She is the founder of the Rwanda Women Coalition for Development (RWCOD), a woman led organization dedicated to empowering women and improving their health through the delivery public health services. At RWCOD, she has been involved in the distribution of health services and implementation of public health programs. Appoline has also participated in conferences and trainings at the national, regional and international levels. Appoline holds a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering. She hope to continue her work with women in the hopes of improving best practices and improving the lives of the women with whom she works.

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Amadou (Moctar) Sidibe

Country: Senegal

Amadou is young activist, passionate about social change. He was the national focal point of Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS for two years and now is the National Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change and the Network of African Youth for Development. Amadou has managed over 15 projects in the last 7 years and has recently begun mentoring other young people on project management, leadership, and communication. He is also the Founder and President of People Initiative and Impact on Society (PIIS), a community based organization which aims to empower youth and civil society actors to have a positive impact on society. Amadou is passionate about improving the lives of young people through ensuring access to family planning, health services, and an enabling environment. He also see the need to ensuring the marginalized, such as domestic workers and people with disabilities, have access to services to ensure they are protected from violence and exploitation.

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Solange Mbaye

Country: Senegal
Organization: Youth Empowerment Alliance

Solange is the National Program Coordinator for the ASK Program, a member of the Youth Empowerment Alliance in Senegal. The ASK Program seeks to enhance young people’s uptake of sexual and reproductive health services. Previously, she had been a Research Assistant for the program. For the last seven years, Solange has been a leader in the International Scouts, where she is responsible for training children and young people in order to help them integrate into the movement. Solange holds a Master’s degree in Sociology with a specialization in Health Anthropology.

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Francis Kamara

Country: Sierra Leone
Organization: Youth Action Movement Sierra Leone

Francis is an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning. He started his work as an advocate with Youth Action Movement in 2006. Currently, Francis is the Regional Coordinator Western Area for Sierra Leone Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS. He also serves as a volunteer as the National Youth President and West Africa Anglophone Chairperson for Youth Action Movement (YAM) and the Country Focal Point for ROJALNU. Francis holds a diploma in Accounting and Finance in Business and Management from Cambridge International College as well as a certificate in Adolescent Health and Sexuality.

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Bernard Lim

Country: Singapore

Bernard Lim has been a community advocate since age 12. A former Constituency Assistant for a Member of Parliament, he was instrumental in connecting residents to services, including the National Community Health Assist Scheme. Bernard also has extensive experience in human rights and youth participation issues in South East Asia. In 2014, he was part of a team of human rights researchers in Bali that drafted a comprehensive human rights report on Singapore and was slated for submission to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). He has also represented Singapore in many global conferences, including the United Nations ICPD Global Youth Forum 2012 in Bali and the World Forum for Democracy 2014 in Strasbourg. Currently, Bernard is a Youth Environment Envoy, representing the National Environment Agency, and had organized the Youth for the Environment Day 2015. For his efforts, he was awarded the Young Community Leader Award in 2010 and 2013 by the former Prime Minister of Singapore, Goh Chok Tong.

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Natasha Eddie

Country: Solomon Islands
Organization: MaiLife Magazine

Natasha has been interested in youth leadership since she was in high school. When she was younger, she attended and participated in youth leadership workshops. She has done internships at Mailaif Magazine Company, working as a Television news reporter, and at the Hope FM broadcasting channel, as an announcer. She is currently part of group of young students who are advocating for the human rights of people in West Papua and across the Pacific. Natasha has contributed to writing news articles and features for the Universities Journalism Newspaper, the Wansolwara. Natasha is pursuing a degree at the University of South Pacific in Fiji in Journalism and Law. After she graduates, she would like to work in the Solomon islands so she can help her beloved people.

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Ahmed Abdirizack

Country: Somalia
Organization: YPEER Somalia

Ahmed is member of YPEER Somalia and he is the Gender Based Violence Coordinator at Somalia YPEER. He is member of Puntland GBV case management team and the GBV Working Group. Ahmed has a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies and is currently completing a post graduate degree in NGO Management. He is a dedicated, multi-sectorial, humanitarian worker with 6 years of experience. Ahmed has worked on projects in the areas of education, GBV, community mobilization, and human rights. As a humanitarian activist, Ahmed is focused on youth issues and marginalized women in Somalia.

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Nsovo Mayimele

Country: South Africa
Organization: Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

Nsovo is a pharmacist and part-time lecturer at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria, South Africa. She currently serves as Secretary of the Junior Public Health Association of South Africa (JuPHASA), Social Development Officer of the International Youth Council South Africa (IYCSA), and a health advisor for the Pan African Youth Union (PYU). She is involved with Chrovon Dreams, an organization that promotes and advocates for education for marginalized youth in South Africa. Nsovo is interested in current affairs, politics, and policy. She strongly believes in gender equality and thinks that women, too, are able to lead households, communities, economies and countries. Nsovo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and is currently pursuing a Masters of Pharmacy, with a focus on Public Health and Management.

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Dakshitha Wickremarathne

Country: Sri Lanka
Organization: Lancet Commissioner on Adolescent Health and Well Being

Dakshitha is a social worker with experience in human rights, education, and sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS. He is a youth representative on the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well Being and serves as an Adviser to UN Women’s Global Civil Society Advisory Group. Dakshitha has a strong background in designing and conducting training programs and advocacy campaigns within Sri Lanka and across the Asia-Pacific region. He has worked as a Regional Master Trainer for Y-PEER International, the Secretary of the Youth Technical Committee of Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, and a volunteer for the South Asian Regional Youth Network of IPPF South Asia. Dakshitha has a special focus on building innovative initiatives for marginalized young people - especially girls, young women, and youth with hearing disabilities - while building partnerships with government institutions and faith-based organizations. Dakshitha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a post-graduate diploma in Diplomacy and Global Affairs. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Studies.

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Sarah Soysa

Country: Sri Lanka
Organization: LFRIDA Feminist Fund

Sarah Soysa is a passionate feminist in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on gender. She has been working and volunteering with national and regional organizations, such as IPPF, Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, South Asia Regional Youth Network, and Y-PEER Sri Lanka, among others. She is an advisor for FRIDA Feminist Fund and a founding member and coordinator of the Commonwealth Gender Equality Network. She also initiated the first ever youth review of Beijing+20 has launched a medical abortion hotline in Sri Lanka. Sarah hopes to work in the development sector, building capacities of youth and advocating for rights and political participation of young women and other marginalized groups. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and completed her Master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2015.

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Mohammed Ali

Country: Sudan
Organization: Lancet Commissioner on Adolescent Health and Well Being

Mohammed is a Sudanese medical student at the University of Khartoum, where he is a member of the Khartoum Medical Students' Association (KMSA), the Medical Students’ International Network-Sudan (MedSIN-Sudan) and the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). Throughout that period, Mohammed developed a passion for human rights and peace and held many leadership position locally, nationally and regionally in Africa. As a trainer on soft skills and non-formal education, Mohammed has conducted more than 150 hours of capacity-building training for medical students all over the world. Currently, he is a Learner at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Learners’ Voice Program, an initiative of Qatar Foundation that brings the perspectives of young people to the challenge of rethinking education, and equips them to take on leading roles in their fields and in the world of education. Mohammed was Sudan’s ambassador at Tunza Eco Generation, an environmental networking platform for children and youth by Samsung Engineering and the UNEP, and coordinated a project called Water the World. He is a 2015 Fellow of the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford (AMENDS), a collaborative student-led initiative that promotes understanding and respecting the Middle East, and works to ignite concrete social and economic development in the MENA region. Mohammed believes in humanity, human potential and hopes to be the change he wants to see in the world!

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William Otuku

Country: Tanzania
Organization: Young And Alive Initiative

William is the cofounder and chair of Young And Alive Initiative, a SRHR Youth-led organization in Tanzania, and well as is a clinical officer at Mzumbe University in Tanzania. Previously, he worked for three years with PaLM, a non-governmental organization based in London that does work focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Tanzania. Through his work, he was selected as the Evaluation Chair for the Alliance on Family Planning during the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa. He works with young people daily, focusing on their needs for sexual health services, particularly family planning. William studied clinical medicine at the Clinical Officer Training College (COTC) Mtwara.

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Ebrima Ceesay

Country: The Gambia
Organization: He for She Campaign - Youth Platform Gambia

Ebrima is a social justice activist. Through his experience working for youth organizations focused on child rights, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, hunger, and poverty, he has gained a solid background in advocacy, community mobilization, and campaigns. Ebrima holds a diploma in International Relations and is currently pursuing an advanced diploma.

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Rara Santoso Sudiro Dethan

Country: Timor-Leste
Organization: Health Alliance International

Rara is a midwife and Quality Improvement Coordinator for Health Alliance International, an organization that supports policies and programs that strengthen government primary health care and fosters social, economic, and health equity for all. Rara has a strong background in advocacy. She has lobbied the Ministry of Health to improve health provider skills in clinical settings and worked to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights in her community. Through her work, she hopes to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of Timorese girls and women and contribute to their overall well-being.

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Kizanne James

Country: Trinidad And Tobago
Organization: Caribbean Youth for Philanthropy

Kizanne James is a medical student, at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, with over 15 years experience in youth leadership and volunteerism. She is currently the Vice President of the Jamaica Medical Students’ Association and Founder of Caribbean Youth for Philanthropy, an organization geared to develop leadership skills in Caribbean youth and to create a network of Caribbean Youth Leaders. Her personal interests include philanthropy and strategic planning, global women’s health, writing poetry, swimming, singing. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Andrews University.

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Emna Chebbi

Country: Tunisia
Organization: Arab Institute for Democracy

Emna is a Project Manager with the Arab Institute for Democracy. She has participated in many organizational committees that work on a variety of issue areas, including culture, entrepreneurship, politics, democracy, and youth. As a human rights activist, Elma has organized national and international conferences on different topics related to human rights and politics. She is the head of the environmental club at the US Embassy-sponsored American Corner Program, where she does activities and projects to raise awareness on environmental issues in Tunisia.

Emna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the Higher Institute for Applied Science of Tunis.

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Alaeddine (Ala) Oueslati

Country: Tunisia

Alaeddine founded the “NASH Initiative,” which aims to improve literacy in Tunisia and support women and the elderly in rural Tunisia. He also founded “Voice of Youth Initiative Ukraine,” which promotes freedom of expression in Ukraine and beyond. Alaeddine is an active member of Yala Young Leaders and has volunteered tutoring English and French to middle school students in his home country. In 2014, Alaeddine was honored with an invitation by President Barack Obama of the United States and ex-Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa of Tunisia to discuss his social projects and the state of higher education at the White House. Alaeddine is an active blogger and a freelance writer having written on youth issues as well as political, social, and cultural topics for Youth Time magazine and Voices of Youth, a UNICEF online platform. While studying Business Administration and Management, he spent a year at Nazareth College in the United States where he worked for the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue. He also worked at Caux Initiatives of Change in Switzerland, taking part in meetings and lectures with international politicians. In Tunisia, he has worked for the Ministry of Tourism and has worked for the UNDP in Mauritania. Fluent in seven languages, Alaeddine is a Human Rights activist with a passion for youth issues.

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Mohamed Amri

Country: Tunisia

Mohamed Ali Amri is a Tunisian civil society and human rights activist and a graduate of the MEPI student leaders program 2014 in leadership and social innovation organized by the University of Delaware (USA) and the U.S Department of State. He is an experienced advanced peer education trainer and has been a Y-PEER network focal point since 2011, in addition to being a member of the drafting committee of the global call to action on ASRHR. Mohamed is also a member of several youth initiatives and Tunisian NGOs, including the Tunisian Red Crescent Society, the National Young Leaders Council, and the Tunisian Association for the Right to the Difference. Mohamed is an experienced activist in youth and women empowerment and capacity building . He is pursuing his bachelor's degree in public law in Tunis.

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Roua Seghaier

Country: Tunisia
Organization: Beyond Reform and Development

Roua has experience in journalism, education, and development. She works for Beyond Reform and Development, a consultancy firm based in Lebanon. As a junior consultant, her focus is on capacity-building within various governments in the MENA region as well as private and public sector partnerships. She has worked on a bill to the Lebanese government for the protection of women from domestic violence and spousal rape. Roua has also created a social entrepreneurship course for university students in Tunisia, which involved modules on research, a course creation, and training of trainers. She was a member of the Tunisian Youth Parliament in 2014. Roua’s volunteer experience includes teaching at a camp in Siberia, founding and leading a drama therapy club at a local orphanage in Tunisia, and coordinating the Migrant Workers Task Force, a group that advocates for migrant workers’ rights and gives free language and computer classes. Roua holds a degree in Political Science, Transitional Justice, and Human Rights from the American University of Beirut. She published her first novel when she was in university.

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Ali Kaviri

Country: Uganda
Organization: Youth Equality Center

Ali is the founder of the Youth Equality Center (YEC), http://yecuganda.org/, a youth led non-profit community enhancement organization that empowers young people, especially young girls, through enhancing their communication, technology, entrepreneurship, and life skills and educating them on sexual and reproductive health and gender issues. Ali also works the Uganda Youth Network (UYONET), a leading umbrella youth CSO network that works to mainstream young peoples’ engagement in development and governance processes. At UYONET, Ali serves as the Gender point-person and as a Program Assistant for the Youth Advocacy and Engagement program. Ali was President of the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) Young Leaders Alumni Association (FYLAA), a youth non-profit with a membership of over 500 that grew out of the larger FOWODE. He has previously worked with Digital Opportunity Trust International where he taught technology, business, and life skills to grassroots youth and women groups. Ali runs an online blog, http://kaviriali.wordpress.com/, where he writes about youth and women’s rights and issues as well as pro-poor values, gender equality, good governance, and social justice in Uganda. Ali holds a Bachelor’s degree in Community Based Rehabilitation from Kyambogo University and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree in Local Governance and Human Rights from Uganda Martyrs University.

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Ephraim Kisangala

Country: Uganda
Organization: Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA)

Ephraim is a medical Doctor who is very passionate about youth health. He is the president of the Federation of African Medical Students' Associations (FAMSA) 2014/2015 and a Board Member of Irise Uganda, a non-profit which works to ensure all girls have the sanitary pads they need to continue their education while also empowering women through employment in the production of the pads. Ephraim is also currently volunteering with Irise international as Assistant Projects and Research Coordinator. He also volunteers with the China Uganda Friendship Hospital (CUFH) as a medical doctor. He is a member of the National Menstrual Hygiene Steering Committee, a committee set up to formulate policies and program around menstrual hygiene management in Uganda.

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Evelyn Anyiko

Country: Uganda
Organization: Center for Alternative Development in Amuria

Evelyn is passionate about ensuring women and girls can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and live without fear of violence. To this end, she works as a Program Officer at the Center for Alternative Development in Amuria which serves a region which has seen violence from armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Karamojong Cattle Raiders as well as flooding. Evelyn a social science graduate student at Makerere University, Kampala, studying gender and development, public health, and social policy. Evelyn is a certificated in Peace Building and Governance in East Africa and attended a Conference on Leadership and Conflict Resolution. Evelyn worked with the Gulu Women Economic Development & Globalization as a Program Coordinator, focusing on peace building and human rights concerns of women and people returning to their local communities after displacement. She was responsible for identifying, researching and coordinating development projects, and mobilizing the rural poor ownership of development projects. In this role, Evelyn was tasked with ensuring all of the rights of people who have returned home after spending time in IDP camps. She has also worked on women’s peace building projects in which she has taught mediation and negotiation skills as well as forgiveness. Evelyn has also worked on international development projects which allowed her to appreciate the need for transparency and gender sensitivity in development work. Evelyn strives to improve the lives of vulnerable women and girls through empowerment.

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Patrick Segawa

Country: Uganda
Organization: Public Health Ambassadors Uganda

Patrick is a SRHR advocate, public health practitioner, and social entrepreneur who strives to use information technology to improve the health of his community. He is the Founder and Program Manager of the Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) where he works on youth and community empowerment projects. PHAU endeavors to develop working relationships between communities and local leaders in order to secure the prioritization of the health needs of young people. Patrick also conducts health education and promotion activities, including edutainment – an informative performance arts approach to education. He mentors other youth activists in the use of creative and performance arts, such as poetry, narrative dance, and flash mobs, as a means of educating young people about HIV/AIDS, STIs, and unplanned teenage pregnancy.

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Steven Twinomugisha

Country: Uganda
Organization: Woman Foundation

Steven is deeply passionate about using technology to create innovate health solutions and social interventions to change people’s lives. He is a graduate of Alagappa University in India with a degree in information technology. Steven has used his graphics and video editing skills to produce media projects to help tell the stories of women and girls in an effort to empower them. Steven believes that it is necessary to have men actively engaged in the movement to improve the lives of women and girls. He was a director of a play called “The Twist” which was written and co-directed by Nargis Shirazi. In this play, gender roles are switched and the status quo was questioned when a man falls pregnant. Steven found it rewarding that men’s attitudes towards certain issues like family planning and gender had changed after the play and this experience further motivated him to pursue work which aims to question gender norms. He is part of SEMA, team of young people working under the Woman Foundation, who aim to create a platform to promote girls’ and women’s health and rights through the use of film. SEMA has produced a short video entitled JUMP based on myths about contraception and is currently working on film about child marriage in collaboration with UReport Uganda, an affiliate of UNICEF.

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Florence Nabweteme

Country: Uganda
Organization: Public Health Ambassadors Uganda

Florence is a lawyer with an interest in health law, intellectual property and human rights. She has contributed to legal reform processes, open access initiatives, and advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting access to comprehensive sexual reproductive health rights for young people through legal and policy reform and research. She aspires to become a leading mind as a health rights advocate to promote and protect women’s reproductive health and human rights in Uganda.

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Carmen Little

Country: United Kingdon
Organization: AMAR Foundation

Carmen works as a Project Officer with the AMAR Foundation, a Middle East-focused humanitarian organisation, managing development and humanitarian projects in Iraq focusing on education and healthcare. Before joining AMAR, she worked on campaigns to end FGM with Equality Now and FORWARD UK. She has a First Class degree in International Development Studies, where she focused on the the rights of women and girls. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, dancing, learning French, and dreaming about the Middle East.

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Delaine Powerful

Country: United States
Organization: The National Institute for Reproductive Health

Delaine currently works with the TORCH Program at the National Institute for Reproductive Health/NARAL Pro Choice-NY, focusing on sexual and reproductive health education, youth advocacy, and youth leadership development. She is a member of the New York City Healthy Teen Relationship Coalition, which raises awareness about teen dating violence and services available in NYC. Delaine is also the organizing co-chair of Black Youth Project 100 - NYC (BYP100) and a part of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. Interested in working globally, Delaine is a co-founder of P.R.O.M.O. (Protecting the Rights of the Marginalized and Oppressed), a developing non-profit based in Accra, Ghana for women of reproductive age and older living with HIV/AIDS. The organization is focused on three core values: self-sustainability, self-actualization, and educational programming and resources, all of which allow women to focus on their talents, well-being, and inner peace. Delaine graduated from New York University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. She seeks to fulfill her passions in sexuality, reproductive health, racial justice, and gender studies by developing a career path that exercises her social activism and works to eliminate health disparities across all social identifiers.

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Lucía Berro Pizzarossa

Country: Uruguay

Lucía Berro Pizzarossa is a PhD Candidate at the International Law Department at the University of Groningen, where she is researching on the intersection of gender, law and reproductive health in the Global South. She studied Law and International Relations at the Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay, having also studied in Argentina (ESCALA Student Exchange Program) and Brazil (Teixeira de Freitas Award). Lucía holds a Magister Juris from the University of Oxford where she took part in the Weidenfeld Scholarship and Leadership Programme. Lucía is currently a legal and advocacy advisor for MYSU (Women & Health in Uruguay). She has previously worked for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, as a clerk for the Brazilian Constitutional Court, and at the Law Clinics Programme in underprivileged areas of Montevideo. Lucía also worked as a researcher for Oxford Pro Bono Publico and has collaborated with Oxford Lawyers without Borders (OxLWOB). She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

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Sevara Khamidova

Country: Uzbekistan
Organization: PETRI - Sofia

Sevara is a peer educator and member of the Youth Peer Education International Network (Y-PEER). She is currently participating in a fellowship at the Peer Education Training and Research Institute, under the National Center of Public Health and Analysis in Bulgaria. Sevara has been volunteering for different youth- and sustainable development-related projects since 2005, including serving as a UN Volunteer for the UNDP/UNV project Social Innovation and Volunteerism in Uzbekistan.

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Génesis Luigi

Country: Venezuela
Organization: International Planned Parenthood Federation - Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR)

Génesis Luigi studies Psychology at the Central University of Venezuela, where she conducts research on sexuality and intellectual disability. She has been passionate about sexual and reproductive health since high school. As a result of her experience with conservative and incomplete sex education, Génesis started volunteering at PLAFAM with the intention of making a difference in how sexuality is addressed at schools, communities and peer groups. She also started a project called “La Pastilla” —the pill—, a videoblog focused on sexuality and gender issues, where she discusses topics she would have liked to learn about in her high school sex-ed classes. Génesis is a Youth Member on the PLAFAM General Assembly and the current IPPF/WHR Youth Network Coordinator.

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Trang Le

Country: Vietnam
Organization: Vietnam Trade Union University

Trang is a lecturer for the Faculty of Social Work at the Vietnam Trade Union University. Previously, Trang was a social worker, providing direct support services for survivors of domestic violence, lesbians, and children who have been bullied. She recently turned her interest to research, focusing mostly on gender-based violence, sexual orientation discrimination, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Trang is a gender activist who believes in advocacy through an evidence-based approach. Trang holds both a Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Social Work.

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Chibuye (Angel) Chelwa

Country: Zambia
Organization: Global Health Corps

Angel is currently a Global Health Corps Fellow, working at Population Council Zambia on sexual, reproductive and maternal health research. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Zambia as a Sociology major with a minor in Psychology. While at university, Angel volunteered with Youth Alive Zambia, an organization that works to encourage behavior change for young people in the face of the AIDS pandemic, and was also involved with the university's HIV/AIDS Response Program. In her final year at university she conducted a study of the factors that affect reintegration of users of mental health services in her city. Angel went on to intern with Churches Health Association of Zambia, where she handled the organization's social networking sites and helped monitor partner projects all over Zambia. In her free time Angel enjoys reading, cooking, baking and engaging in intellectual debate.

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Jessie Nalungwe

Country: Zambia
Organization: Center for Reproductive Health and Education

Jessie Nalungwe is passionate about human rights, with a special interest in youth and women's rights. Jessie currently serves young people at the Centre for Reproductive Health and Education, a non profit organization that works to promote, defend and advocate for sexual reproductive health and rights for young people in Zambia. In particular, she co-ordinates the school outreach project in addition to youth corner and peer education initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Studies and Development Studies from the University of Zambia. In her free time, Jessie enjoys listening to music, volunteering with organizations, reading and spending time with family and friends.

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Namakando Simamuna

Country: Zambia
Organization: Youth Vision Zambia

Namakando is the Gender Programs Officer at Youth Vision Zambia and the Vice President of the National Youth Network on Population and Development. She has been an advocate for sexual and reproductive health since 2009, working on community-based and national-level SRHR programs with the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia. She has also worked with the International Planned Parenthood Federation - Africa Regional Office, planning, implementing, and monitoring member associations across Africa with a focus on youth. Namakando has a strong understanding of international policy processes from her work with the Global Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Young Women’s Feminist Network in Southern Africa, and the Youth Action Movement, where she is involved with youth programs and advocacy initiatives. Namakando holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and is pursuing a Masters in Population Studies at The University of Zambia.

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Vincent Nacidze

Country: Zambia
Organization: Center for Reproductive Health and Education

Vincent’s interest in advocacy began in high school when he became involved in various youth clubs, such as Youth Alive Zambia (YVZ) and Anti-AIDS. He previously interned for YVZ where he was a peer educator. At YVZ, he developed his skills in peer education through visiting different schools to teach students. His interests lie in advocacy and information dissemination in sexual reproductive health and rights, including governance. In 2014, Vincent graduated from Copperbelt University and proceeded to join the Center for Reproductive Health and Education.

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Angeline (Angel) Makore

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: SparkRead

Angeline spent her childhood in rural areas of her native Zimbabwe, this was where her passion for humanitarian and advocacy work began. In 2012, she founded SparkRead, an organization which addresses and redresses the challenges faced by young people in marginalized communities with a particular focus on the empowerment of girls and women. Angeline's passion for social change also led her to volunteer with various non-profit organizations including the Girl Child Network Zimbabwe and Young Women Christian Association Zimbabwe. At these organizations, she has focused on combating child trafficking, child abuse, and early, forced marriages and she has worked to ensure young women's participation in conversations about socio-economic issues. In addition, she is also a member of the board of SistaAct Zimbabwe, a youth led community organization which fights for women's sexual reproductive health rights, the youth empowerment, and gender equity and works to combat HIV/AIDS. Due to her advocacy work Angeline has been recognized by various international organizations including Vital Voices, where she was a VVLead 2013 Fellow, and Voices of Women World Wide, where she is a youth ambassador and served as an ambassador to the International Student Festival in Trondheim. Angeline is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology. Above all, Angeline believes in harnessing the potential of young people in underprivileged communities and enabling these young people to be agents of social change.

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Annah Sango

Country: Zimbabwe

Annah is currently studying Community Development and aspires to empower youth in remote, inaccessible regions of Zimbabwe to improve their lives and communities. She has been part of the Young Women Leaders program with Safaids, which strives to help young women starting small businesses through offering grants. Annah has also worked with Youth Engage on ACT2015 and the Post2015 Agenda. She is also a motivational speaker and life coach. In her talks, Annah focuses on the importance of young people maintaining their health and wellbeing as well as the need for young people to know about their sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS. Annah serves on the HIV Young Leaders Fund Board and the Y+ Advisory Board.

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Maximina Jokonya

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: University of Zimbabwe – University of California San Francisco (UZ-UCSF) Collaborative Research Programme

Maximinia was born HIV positive, and in 2004 her health deteriorated to a point where she could not even walk. In 2006, Maximinia commenced taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) her health has since greatly improved. The disease, her family and her community have inspired her passion for working with adolescents and young women who are infected and affected by HIV, and encourages the adoption of interventions that eliminate stigma and discrimination. Through her desire to learn about HIV and find ways to help young women, she was invited to join the University of Zimbabwe – University of California San Francisco (UZ-UCSF) Collaborative Research Programme as a Community Advisory Board (CAB) member. She is currently a CAB member with the International Maternal Paediatric Adolescents AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group and the HIV Vaccines Trials Network (HVTN) CAB in Zimbabwe. In both CABs  she represent the interests of adolescents and young women by making sure that their voices are heard and their research priorities in HIV and TB are considered.  Maximinia is also a qualified Professional Counsellor at Africaid and national advocate. She has presented on national television shows, where she has had the opportunity to disclose her status. She is also a professional counselor, working on child protection issues such as neglect, rights violations, and stigma and discrimination of children and young people living with HIV.

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Melody Gwenyambira

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: Zimpapers

Melody Gwenyambira is a reporter at Zimpapers and a regular contributor to H-Metro, The Herald and Star FM. She is also a trained master trainer with the PAN African Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Information project, piloted by Save the Children International, where she offers peer educator training and engages parents in accurate reproductive health education. Melody also works with nongovernmental organisations on advocacy projects. In 2013-14 she took part in the Zimbabwe Women Journalists Programme hosted by the American Embassy, which is designed to build leadership and media skills for participants to become editors, publishers and confident role models in Zimbabwe’s expanding and challenging media environment. She is also launching a radio and TV talk show called "Health Talk with Melody," that will discuss a range of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Melody holds a degree in Communication from the British College of Professional Management and a certificate in French from the Alliance Française de Harare.

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Nozipho Moyo

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: Zypo Zone Academy of Leadership

Nozipho is passionate about development work, particularly the role of women in achieving a just global society. She has been involved with women and gender issues relating to sexual and reproductive health, child marriage, family planning, and women’s economic empowerment. Nozipho hopes to enroll in policy studies in an attempt to correct poor policies in her country. She is motivated by Margaret Thatcher who said "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Nozipho is an aspiring politician who would like to be a voice for the women in her country.

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Onward Chironda

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: My Age Zimbabwe Trust

Onward is the Executive Director of My Age Zimbabwe Trust, a youth-led organization committed to using volunteerism and youth-friendly communication strategies to enhance youth participation and youth empowerment in developmental processes. He is currently the National Facilitator of the Young People's Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS (YPNSRHHA). Through the network, with support from UNFPA Zimbabwe and the National AIDS Council, he has been trained in using advocacy and using social media to raise awareness on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS issues. Onward represented young people at the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Forum, where he witnessed the introduction of comprehensive sexuality education in schools and the development of the parent to child communication package, supported by UNFPA. He has represented Zimbabwe in various local and regional platforms including the 2015 Global Fund Partnership Forum and the 2015 Girls Not Brides Global Members Meeting, among others. Onward is part of the Youth Engage ACT2015 Alliance, a group advocating for youth issues to be part of the post-2015 agenda. His vision is to see a community where young people have access to comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health, including comprehensive sexuality education.

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Tinashe Nyoni

Country: Zimbabwe
Organization: Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment Trust

Tinashe works as the Programs Manager for Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment Trust. He has a strong passion for youth issues and believes that the future of a national lies within its youth. Tinashe holds a diploma in HIV/AIDS counseling, care, and support. He also holds a certificate in Sustainable Leadership, Informational Technology, and Entrepreneurial Skills Development.

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YOUTH GUIDE TO ACTION ON MATERNAL HEALTH

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