March 2020: Ambassadors of the Month

 

 

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

 

 

Madhav Datt, India - Green the Gene

Image of Madhav's project.

On a global scale billions of people lack access to safe water, Madhav grew up in a region chronically affected by this issue. Since 2004 Madhav has been actively fighting to reduce the number of people facing this scarcity worldwide through the organisation Green the Gene.

Green the Gene developed a technologically innovative solution at the intersection of machine learning and chemical-free purification. This has led to the creation of extremely low-cost, portable, point-of-use water purification devices. Each of these devices is extremely low cost, costing less than $8 to build, completely energy self-sufficient and not requiring any electricity,  ensuring water quality and safety through on-device sensors and machine learning algorithms, and highly durable and usable in disaster/conflict affected areas.

This completely youth-led and volunteer run organisation has made 8000 of these devices available in three rural areas in Tanzania. These 8000 devices have brought safe and usable water access to 40,000 people. With this technology 14.4 million litres of water have been filtered annually, and women from these communities have been saved a cumulative of 15,000 hours of walking every day.

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Lyubov Artemenko, USA/Ukraine - Go To-U

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Go To-U, was co-founded by Lyubov in 2017 to make the experience of driving and charging an electric vehicle (EV) simpler, more comfortable and more accessible. Finding a charging spot and services near that spot becomes a smooth experience with the Go To-U application.

Transitioning to new modes of transport is essential to reduce carbon emissions. By simplifying the process these vehicles go through for charging the  transition to EV becomes more attractive for users. Go To U connects 40,000 EV chargers, with users in over 25 countries. With the Go To-U mobile application drivers can book the charging station at the times that suit them, while also booking and paying for the services at the charging spot (such as a table at the restaurant, hotel room, SPA services). Go To-U is a one-stop-shop for EV drivers who want to secure a smooth journey.

Go To-U is also attractive for businesses as the cloud-based EV charging management system is combined with marketing and PR tools for services near charging stations. Because of this it becomes more attractive to place chargers, and connect to these EV networks. Businesses get the opportunity to both attract more guests and boost their environmental credentials. One of Go To-U’s business partners, over the past year, for instance saved 16104 litres of fuel through their partnerships, reducing their emissions by 37523 kg of CO2.

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YULKENDY VALDEZ, USA - FOREFRONT

Ambassador Project introducing Carmen AI to learn more go to bit.ly/carmenchallenge.

In 2014 Yulkendy founded Forefront, a youth leadership development programme in Latin America. Training programmes ran successfully in the Dominican Republic, Mexicó and Chili. When Forefronts’ founders graduated from college in 2017, the organisation took on new tasks; as a corporate training company, providing diversity and inclusivity workshops. From March 2020 Forefront has started to provide a personal careers assistant in the form of Carmen AI, a Facebook Messenger AI bot who can assist Latinx college students in their search for a job.

Carmen AI offers a variety of trainings to users. From mock interviews and tips on salary negotiations, to lessons on soft skills, Carmen AI assists students to the various steps involved in the job search process. These students get access to excellent job opportunities through Forefront’s business partners. Moreover, the skills gained by working with Carmen AI do not just help Latinx students in their search for a job, these skills also help them excel at their jobs.

The personalized services that Forefront manages to support Latinx students with through Carmen AI help build sustainable, fitted and successful careers.

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Fons Janssen, Netherlands - GreenDeal4Youth

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Fons founded GreenDeal4Youth in September of 2018 to ensure that young people have a place at the table during discussions on the European Green Deal. By engaging young people with the European Climate Pact now, this generation can carry these important regulations into the future.

On the 11th of December 2019, Fons, with GreenDeal4Youth published an open letter to Ursala von Leyen (president European Committee) and Frans Timmermans (vice-president European Committee) arguing for the importance of youth involvement in a green deal. This letter was published in major news publications in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. To ensure such involvement can be realized GreenDeal4Youth empowers youth coalitions in various European countries, facilitates international cooperation between these organisations through international discussions and summits. GreenDeal4Youth also supported Generation Climate Europe’s statement pleading for increased youth involvement in climate decision making.

After attending the OYW Summit in The Hague in 2018 Fons was increasingly convinced that the young generation is capable of achieving the Paris Agreement goals and that young professionals in organisations can become a driving force for leadership in policy, politics, NGO's and companies. This confidence is reflected in GreenDeal4Youth Mission.

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NÉSTOR EDUARDO GÓMEZ ALARCÓN, MÉXICO/COLOMBIA - FUNDACIÓN PUENTE DIGITAL

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Online access and skills have been able to transform lives, however, these opportunities are not equally available. Néstor Eduardo founded Fundación Puente Digital to make digital skills more accessible to groups that have been neglected so far. Fundación Puente Digital aims to inspire a new generation of digital leaders who can create change in their communities with technological solutions.

Since 2018 Fundación Puente Digital has been operating in Colombia, in 2020 the foundation has expanded its operations to México. Néstor Eduardo, with co-founders, the team, employees and volunteers, provides digital skills workshops to young people in rural areas. These workshops develop digital soft skills by focussing on practical skills such as programming and robotics.  So far the foundation has provided this education to over 120 students, also offering scholarship opportunities. In addition to this, over 25 volunteers in the organisation have been provided with workshops in various digital skills.

This year Fundación Puente Digital is trying to establish partnerships in México to provide these workshops to students of rural public schools in Sierra Norte, Puebla, México.

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Yeung Stanley Mo, Hong Kong and China - China Hope School Project

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Yeung Stanley is a founding member of the China Hope School Project. This project provides education and food to children in the Guangxi Province. The Hope School was built as part of this project to establish a stable space for education and development.

Every year 200 children from Rong Village enroll in the school to receive free education. These children otherwise would not have had access to education. In a very direct sense the Hope School does not only help these children by giving them a quality education, they also provide free meals to students to combat hunger. The Hope School Project aims to help these children develop into stable and educated adults with plans for their future, helping them lift themselves out of poverty.

Over 800 children have had access to a free education through the Hope School, and the school will continue to take in large numbers of children every year.

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MEG ZEENAT WAMITHI, UNITED KINGDOM, "MY MIND MATTERS TOO"

Meg Zeenat

“My Mind Matters Too”, was started as a university mental health campaign by Meg in 2018. After attending The 2018 The Hague Summit, Meg decided to create a company from this very successful campaign. “My Mind Matters Too” assists and trains young people and educational institutions to create mentally healthy environments.

“My Mind Matters Too” does things a little differently, by involving all aspects of educational institutions in the design and research of mental health interventions. The organisation empowers people to help themselves through a whole community approach. In creating mentally healthy educational institutions it involves students, educators and organisations. This way it is ensured that the measures taken are fitted and sustainable.

Through creative workshops students are equipped with skills that help them get ahead in life and navigate the key decisions and transitions they face. In these workshops mental health and wellbeing are absolutely central. In addition to this “My Mind Matters Too” also provides consulting services for organisations to empower both students and staff.

Since its days as a mental health campaign “My Mind Matters Too” has hosted a roundtable discussion at the House of Commons, produced three policy papers, advised the cabinet office and has impacted over 35,000 students in the UK.

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Miganoush Magarian, Germany - TeachSurfing

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TeachSurfing has experienced a true One Young World journey. Miganoush together with her fellow OYW Ambassador Gretta Hohl came up with the idea at the 2012 Pittsburgh Summit, after this it was presented on the stage at the Johannesburg Summit in 2013, and the final product was showcased in Dublin at the 2014 Summit.

With the world facing a global pandemic and one-third of the world’s population in lockdown, the dissemination of knowledge and facts is extremely important. TeachSurfing is launching a series of virtual workshops from specialists in research, medicine, and biotech to share their expert knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic. They will discuss the facts and the pandemic’s implications at present and for the future. In one of the first virtual workshops on the 4th of April, TeachSurfing will invite Dr. Dieter Tröster, a general surgeon and public health specialist to share his knowledge based on his work, research, and analysis of the world’s past pandemics. This workshop can be found online here. TeachSurfing encourages everyone to check back for the next release of TeachSurfing virtual workshops in the coming days on eventbrite.

Additionally, TeachSurfing is also calling specialists in the COVID-19 pandemic or current TeachSurfers who are keen on sharing their knowledge in virtual format, to make a positive impact - send your workshop idea at [email protected] to connect!

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HARRIET KAMASHANYU, UGANDA - RHYTHM OF LIFE

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Harriet is the founder and executive director of Rhythm of Life, a non-profit organisation that provides sexworkers with access to free, stigma free, non-discriminatory, healthcare in Kampala. In addition the organisation is also actively breaking the cycle of mother-to-daughter prostitution in Uganda.

By establishing and running health cafes in red light areas Rhythm of Life works towards improving the health of sex workers in Uganda. Moreover, the organisation is providing access to education for sexworkers’ daughters in an effort to break the vicious cycle of mother-to-daughter prostitution. 6365 sexworkers have been reached through Rhytm of Life’s outreach efforts. These women have been given options for free health services in community clinics and hospitals near them.

After the 2019 London OYW Summit Harriet has been able to spread the message of the amazing work the organisation is involved in. Networking from ambassadors from all over the world has also helped Harriet succeed at her work even more.

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Imsouchivy Suos, Cambodia - Trade Negotiation Course (Royal University of Phnom Penh)

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In February 2020, Suos started to teach a Trade Negotiation Course at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. This course was designed by Suos and a team of experienced trade negotiators to share their knowledge and experiences with senior university students in Cambodia.

While other university level courses mostly follow existing textbooks, Imsouchivy and his team have designed their course materials based on their personal negotiating approaches and strategies. By doing so, the students are expected to absorb more hands-on experiences through the course. Currently, over 100 students have been enrolled in this course; all receiving a total of 45 hours of this specialized training. In addition, by understanding the nature of Cambodian trade negotiators’ work, Suos and his team hope to inspire their students to pursue future careers in the public sector, especially in international trade.

This practice inspired and hands-on course is sure to provide students with lessons not generally found in a text book.

CARLOS MADRIGAL-IBERRI, MÉXICO - SALVANDO LATIDOS

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Cardo-vascular conditions are a leading cause of death globally, Salvando Latidos actively saves lives through its work on healthcare in México. Carlos is the Medical Leader of Salvando Latidos, a medical charity that was established in 2018.

Salvando Latidos strengthens the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in children and adults. Doing this the organization targets vulnerable individuals by providing diagnosis and treatments free of charge. Since 2018 Salvando Latidos has provided medication, pacemakers implantation and cardiac surgery to over 200 vulnerable Mexicans, greatly improving their health and life expectancy. Alongside this, the organization is also actively saving lives by training civilians life-saving first aid. 2500 people have been taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and the Heimlich maneuver through the organisation.

Carlos and Salvando Latidos are helping to diminish preventable deaths by taking care of vulnerable populations.

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Victor Brichi, Brazil - Dulocal

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After being inspired to enter into the world of impactful entrepreneurship at the Bogotá 2017 OYW Summit, Victor founded Dulocal in 2018. Dulocal connects local cooks, farmers and consumers to stimulate the local production and employment cycle.

Dulocal has a positive impact on all involved in its process. Organic farmers face less risks as they can rely on Dulocal to buy their products year round, as Dulocal fits its menu to produce that is harvested with various seasonality. Cooks, often previously unemployed adults living in the outskirts of the city are trained by Dulocal and start making a living by producing meals with local farmers’ produce. Finally, consumers benefit by being provided with a locally produced, organic and healthy meal.

The environment, local economy and local community all benefit from the meals provided through Dulocal.

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MARIA KOLA, CYPRUS - #FERTO MAZI SOU

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In 2018, as a national Earth Hour coordinating team "#Ferto Mazi Sou" launched to end the waste of single-use cups in Cyprus. The main aim of the initiative Maria coordinates is to transform the mentality and consumption patterns in Cyprus to be more environmentally conscious.

Maria observed that single-use plastic cups are used widely, while they are relatively easy to replace with a more sustainable option. Since 2018 "#Ferto Mazi Sou" (Bring it with you) has been producing and distributing reusable cups. The cup, made from bamboo, is made available to the people of Cyprus at a very low cost and is produced in an environmentally-friendly manner. Through partnerships with local coffee shops people are offered attractive incentives (such as discounts for bringing their own cup) to switch to the #Ferto Mazi Sou cup or any other reusable cup.

So far, over 1000 people have switched to the sustainable cup, also switching their mindsets to be more environmentally aware.

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IBUN HIRAHARA, JAPAN - WORLD ROAD

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After attending the OYW Summit in The Hague in 2018 Ibun started World Road, an enterprise partnering with businesses to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and raise awareness about these SDGs.

Ibun is working towards the SDGs in Japan through various strategies. World Road does not only create educational content about the goals for schools in Japan, it also partners with companies to help them implement SDGs into their strategies.

So far World Road has established partnerships with 10 companies, through this the SDGs are placed into the centre of the business’ strategies. Moreover, World Road has conducted 24 workshops on the SDGs and how to work on them so far. By raising awareness of these goals Ibun hopes to inspire a generation of Japanese leaders that will work on the improvement of society on a global level.

Next month, Ibun is launching another exciting project on the SDGs. For the publication of a collection of SDGs hopes and dreams Ibun is gathering personal SDGs dreams from young leaders all around the world. If you would like to contribute your dream make sure you keep your eye out for announcements and check out the link below!

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