Angelique Pouponneau is a One Young World Ambassador from the Seychelles. She is passionate about youth inclusion and participation in decision-making, with a focus on education and climate change. Angelique currently serves as the Vice-Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement at the Commonwealth Youth Council.
As a One Young World Ambassador, I am very inspired to see so many young people from all around the world doing amazing work for positive change. At the 2014 One Young World Summit in Dublin, I gave a speech on the threat that climate change poses to small island nations, and I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to share my story with so many other young change-makers. Now, I would like to use my experience as a change-maker and invite Ambassadors from the Commonwealth to join the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) and offer possibilities to increase their outreach.
The CYC gives young leaders the opportunity to be part of a pan-Commonwealth family where their projects can be given visibility beyond borders and coastlines. For those with ambitions to extend their initiatives to different countries, the CYC has a network of National Youth Delegates who can assist with connecting you to the different youth organisations in their countries. By being part of the CYC, you would thus be able to ensure that your voice is being heard at an international level. We work with a number of other youth networks that are active in different fields, including peace, sports for development, climate change, education, trade, human rights and democracy and health. The CYC also regularly gets opportunities to meet with Heads of States.
I was filled with pride when I was approached by a fellow National Youth Delegate who had heard me talk about the “A Seychelles Free from Plastic Bags” campaign. This campaign is now being replicated in Cyprus. It is a clear example of how progress made by young people in their countries at a grassroots level can address with a global problem.
The CYC has been part of my world since November 2015, when the National Youth Delegates of 53 Member States gave my fellow executives and me the mandate to represent 1.2 billion young people between 15 and 29 years old. I was humbled when I was elected as Vice-Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement.
The Youth Council was formed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and the first elections for the executives of the CYC were held in 2013. The first executives were able to realise a number of initiatives, such as the Commonwealth Young Achievers Book and a grants initiative to four recipients in the area of youth empowerment and development. Following the Commonwealth Youth Forum, the former executives were able to present the outcome document to the Heads of States and a declaration to the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth.
In November 2015, the following persons were elected to become the second board of executives:
Chairperson: Kishva Ambigapathy
Vice-Chairperson for Partnership and Resources: Faith Manthi
Vice-Chairperson for Advocacy, Policy and Projects: Nikoli Edwards
Vice-Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement: Angelique Pouponneau
Special Interest Groups Representative: David Rupa
Africa: Sharonice Busch
Asia: Pravin Nikram
Caribbean: Sujae Boswell
Pacific: Christina Giwe
If you would like to join the Commonwealth Youth Council please contact me via [email protected]