As a One Young World Ambassador inspired by the work of so many young people around the globe I was humbled when I was elected to the Office of Vice-Chairperson for inclusion and engagement of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC). As we work to increase the membership of the CYC, my first stop is One Young World Ambassadors.
It was in November 2015 that my fellow executives and I were given the mandate to represent 1.2 billion young people aged between 15 – 29 by the National Youth Delegates of 53 member States. This article is about the Commonwealth Youth Council and why you should join.
The creation of a Commonwealth Youth Council was agreed upon at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) and in 2013 the first elections was held for the executives of the CYC. During the two-year mandate a number of initiatives were realised, such as the Commonwealth Young Achievers Book and a grants initiative to four recipients in the area of youth empowerment and development. They were also able to present to the Heads of States the outcome document and declaration to the Heads of Government following the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
In November 2015 there was an election for the executives and they are as follows:
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
The Commonwealth Youth Council gives you the opportunity to be part of a pan-Commonwealth family where your projects can be given visibility beyond borders and coastlines and encourage partnership or inspire others to do the same. Furthermore if you have ambitions for expanding your initiatives to different countries, the CYC has a network of National Youth Delegates who represent their National Youth Councils in the General Assembly who can assist with connecting you to different youth organisations in their countries. I was very proud when I was approached by the fellow National Youth Delegate who having heard me talk about the “A Seychelles Free from Plastic Bags” campaign it is now being replicated in Cyprus. This is an example of progress made by young people in their countries at grassroots to deal with a global problem. By being part of the Commonwealth Youth Council you would be able to ensure that your voice is being heard at an international level. The CYC often gets opportunities to meet with Heads of States and convey the views of young people but also extend the reach of any campaigns you are leading.
The Commonwealth Youth Council also has a number of other youth networks working with it on peace, sports for development, climate change, education, trade, human rights and democracy, health and the Commonwealth Correspondents for the writers.
If you would like to join the Commonwealth Youth Council please contact me at [email protected]