One Young World Ambassadors are leading projects in every country of the world, creating substantial social impact across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Every month our Coordinating Ambassadors select someone from their region who has created significant social impact locally, regionally or even worldwide. We are delighted to feature a selection of these exceptional young leaders below. If you would like to be considered, please reach out directly to your Coordinating Ambassador. Unsure who is your Coordinating Ambassador? See the breakdown of countries here
María del Pilar Aristizábal Pineda, Colombia - Life Academy
Maria founded the Life Academy in March 2019, an organisation offering a reliable leadership programme for children in Colombia, aged 12 to 18, to support their mental wellbeing. The project is training 300 students in its leadership workshops in two cities through a digital platform, built in response to Covid-19. It has delivered leadership conferences to 1,500 students from an underprivileged socioeconomic background. At-risk participants have registered a 50% decrease in suicidal thoughts. Additionally, 80% of the children report feeling more confident, or healthier, and 55% of young people believe they are or can be leaders.
Salvemos Vidas is a movement within Life Academy where young people can join to volunteer to call other young people to talk every week. The movement was created one month ago and 100 people have joined.
Funmilola Awosanya, Nigeria - Oppourtunities World
Funmilola founded the “Oppourtunities” website to create simple access to quality education, and equip young people (especially female) with innovative vocational skills as a means of creating jobs for a sustainable future. The organisation has connected over 38,000 young people to both local and international opportunities, provided over 6,000 children with educational materials, and equipped over 6,000 young people (60% female) with innovative entrepreneurial skills.
Funimola has partnered with fellow One Young World Ambassadors in West Africa to execute a Food Aid project during the Covid-19 outbreak. The group are providing hand gloves, sanitisers and food to people living in Ajegunle Apapa in Lagos state.
Aushim Merchant, Australia/Thailand - Florence Energy Limited
Aushim is Founder and Operations Lead of Florence Energy Limited, operating in Australia, Thailand and India. It designs, builds and operates state-of-the-art “plastic to fuel” energy facilities, with the aim of improving accessibility to clean and renewable energy. Additionally, the company is in the process of implementing a biomass-to-ethanol facility.
An estimated 40,000 families have benefited directly and indirectly, as each site mitigates the prevalence of plastic waste in the local neighbourhood, and improves waste management practices.
Pankaj Kumar, India - Being Green
Being Green is an NGO based in Delhi, which was founded by Pankaj in 2014 to promote sustainable living and create a ‘green society’. It works to achieve this goal with three pillars: environment, education and empowerment.
Initiatives include the installation of solar street lights and water pumps to empower remote, and disadvantaged communities in rural villages. Besides this infrastructural investment, the organisation has enrolled 12 children in the schools, who were previously forced into child labour, and provided basic education to over 30 children. To tackle air quality and emissions, Being Green has planted around 10,000 trees in Delhi-NCR to counteract the 10,000 cars sold daily in the area.
Kadri Sirkas, Estonia - Novartis
Kadri has dedicated her professional and personal life to a healthcare mission. As a regulatory affairs specialist at Novartis, Kadri collaborates with health authorities and uses her pharmaceutical expertise to ensure information about medicinal products reach high quality and patient safety standards. She supports the small Baltic markets to maintain and gain access to innovative, lifesaving medicines.
Through the One Young World Healthcare Working Group, Kadri has connected with other like-minded healthcare enthusiasts, using their collaboration to pursue impact in their industry and field. She has contributed to the group’s blog with an article titled “The Essentials of a Home Pharmacy”, which you can read here.
Torin Perez, USA - #Move4Justice
Torin Perez is a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant who has been featured by Culture Amp as a D&I Influencer You Should Know and in Forbes as an Anti-Racism Educator Your Company Needs Now. He believes that this moment in time can serve as a catalyst for companies to move beyond company statements denouncing systemic racism and police brutality, to elevating the cause of racial justice to both an urgent and sustained priority at home, work, school, and in life.
On June 1st, Torin created the #Move4Justice challenge to build awareness of antiracism and inspire new allies in the fight for racial justice. As a symbol of breaking their silence, people can simply post themselves ‘doing movement’ on social media and tag a few friends to do the same. The challenge also asks allies to sign a pledge to honor the commitment to themselves to stand in solidarity for justice.
Matthew Rosenberg, South Africa - Hout Bay Volunteer EMS
Matthew is the Chief Liaison Officer at Hout Bay Volunteer EMS, a community emergency ambulance service which was established back in 1994. The organisation and its volunteers are committed to improving the access to emergency healthcare and training community members in first aid. It achieves this by running an emergency ambulance over weekends and public holidays, in conjunction with the Western Cape Dept. Health Emergency Medical Service.
In the past 5 years the organisation has responded to over 3000 emergency medical incidents, and 95% of recipients to their service are significantly socio-economically disadvantaged. Each call attended to by the organisation's volunteers allows the provincial EMS ambulances to respond to other pending calls.
Priya Achaibar, USA - People vs Pandemics
Priya set up the People vs Pandemics initiative alongside a group of fellow volunteers, in March 2020. The website contains easy-to-navigate resource pages to support people who are unemployed, in need of mental health support, or vulnerable from food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a simple, fast way to find local support in these challenging times..
The team also put together the Take Action! Challenge, with curated actions to take every week supporting a different part of the community. People find ways they can make an impact and volunteer from home, which have a lower barrier to entry than they previously believed. The campaign aims to inspire people to support their community and share the initiative through the challenge concept.
Mary Mogana, Kenya - My Community My Concern
My Community My Concern is an initiative born in March 2019, when the first Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Kenya, and people were asked to observe essential, safety measures to prevent the spread, including a lockdown.
The initiative is built around sensitising the local community about Covid-19, and supporting them to deal with the pandemic. Mary and the team have helped over 100 households with this vital awareness, provided protective face masks to at least 50 households, and distributed food to over 62 families.
Mariana Carvalho, Brazil - Brazilians in Tech
Mariana is the co-founder of Brazilians in Tech, a platform which collects relevant information for women working and studying in the STEM field. It hopes to connect, empower and support women in this academic and professional area which is traditionally less accessible for women.
Women and girls starting their studies and careers in tech have access to opportunities (jobs, scholarships, internships, and study-abroad placements), mentors, and connections with other women in technology to build a supportive network in the industry. It also serves as the bridge between candidates and organisations that want to attract diverse talents.
Fay de Waal, Netherland - Librae
Librae is the network for female students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), with the goal to promote gender equality and stimulate diversity by supporting female students.
To ensure female students get the most out of their time at university, are confident and well prepared when they enter the job market, the organisation has set up a network to support female students in STEM. In November 2019, the Librae organised its first event for 50 students and 18 role models, facilitating social and professional connections between the young, female students and the role models.
Adan Ramirez Sanchez, Mexico - GREENfluidics
GREENfluidics is a startup aiming to improve planetary health by exploring new energy sources, co-founded by Adan in 2018. Its solution is to use the microalgae and carbon nanoparticles in order to help regenerate the environmental health. The ‘Intelligent Solar Biopanel’ is a technological tool capable of absorbing CO2, generating oxygen and producing affordable and non-polluting electricity. It allows users to obtain additional benefits, by being able to reuse the biomass generated by microalgae as a high-quality fertilizer in urban agriculture, in addition to being a candidate for carbon credits.
In recent months, as part of GREENfluidics adaptation to the pandemic in Mexico, the team created an algorithm called "Llevando un Respiro" to offer smart recommendations to associations and companies seeking to donate to in-need hospitals. It has helped 11 hospitals in 4 states of Mexico.
Stefan Raicevic, Serbia - Movement for Cooperation and Development of Youth
Stefan is the President of the Movement for Cooperation and Development of Youth (MCDY). It uses three primary channels to generate impact. It offers 60 hour training programmes. It offers lectures and career support. It organises small community development projects with participants from these programmes..
MCDY uses these programmes to develop socially responsible young leaders with practical knowledge to continue spreading impact in their communities. Participants of the lectures have received offers from prestigious multinationals on salaries which are on average 70% higher than the average salary in their countries.
LaTrenda Sherrill, USA - Common Cause Consultants
LaTrenda is a Lead Consultant for Common Cause Consultants. She works with her clients to explore internal issues which contribute to a lack of equity, a lack of connection with their community, and any outcomes that disproportionately affect certain groups. LaTrenda has produced reports specifically on racial equity work for a local philanthropic institution, and is working on a report on Juvenile Justice and the racial and ethnic disparities within the courts processes for youth.
LaTrenda has led a working group to develop a classroom observation protocol for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for cultural responsiveness in the classroom. That work group has also helped to garner a $10 million grant to help college admissions in the US to become more open and less culturally biased. These examples are just a snapshot of the highly impactful work LaTrenda is leading in the USA.
Gonzalo Roiffe, Argentina - Bristol Meyers Squibb
Gonzalo is the LATAM Regulatory Affairs Manager at Bristol Myers Squibb. To promote inclusion in the workplace to people with intellectual disabilities, he has led a partnership with the Down Syndrome Association in Argentina (ASDRA).
The company has established a programme to include people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace, and BMS Argentina has hired a person that was trained by the association. This has helped to make the company environment more diverse, and in collaboration with training sessions for employees it has also helped to create a more inclusive environment in the workplace.
Diana Nazemian Pour, Australia - Bristol Myers Squibb
Diana, alongside her role in Bristol Myers Squibb, formed a global mental health project team within the company. With endorsement from the leadership team, it is shaping the organisation’s wellbeing strategy, and conducting research into the current environment. Diana personally created a video for Mental Health Awareness Week, sharing her own experience, and discussing everyone’s entitlement to take Mental Health Days.
In addition to this vital work, Diana has taken on an additional role in Bristol Myers Squibb as the Regional APAC Lead for the Network of Women. This role entails connecting with employees across the company to drive gender diversity as a means to improve business performance.
Gasore Emmanuel, Malawi - JulieCare Social Enterprise
Gasore is co-founder and CEO of JulieCare Social Enterprise, and organisaiton which seeks to simultaneously produce personal protective equipment in African countries while providing jobs for jobless Africans. Gasoree credits the OYW Summit in 2016 with directing his attention to social entrepreneurship as a solution to put “Africans on the map”.
JulieCare aims to empower people in remote communities by helping them use their skills and talents to generate income and support their own families. Currently, the organisation works with more than 30 tailors in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi producing reusable protective masks. To date, the team has produced 4,000 masks for the United Development Program in Malawi, and produced 6,000 masks for the Malawi Muslim Association.
João Figueirinhas Costa, Portugal - tech4COVID19
João set up tech4COVID19 to design and launch solutions to problems driven by the context of the covid19 pandemic. It was created as an incubation and acceleration platform with more than 5,000 volunteers, offering services ranging from email credits to consultancy.
From this platform, the collaborative has launched over 40 projects tackling various issues. For example, this includes a project for hospital equipment procurement which has crowdfunded and shipped 300,000 FFP2 masks from Portugal. Another initiative includes “RoomsAgainstCovid”, a booking platform connecting front-line professionals with property/hotel owners who have their rooms or entire properties available. To date, over 15,000 nights have been booked and over 800 professionals hosted.