Ambassador Spotlights: January 2023

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.

This Month's Featured Projects in Numbers 

346 k+

people impacted


refugee girls enrolled in schools


educational projects and trainings were implemented

Ambassador Spotlight January 2023

Meet the Ambassadors

Image of Iodine Deficiency Project Beneficiaries

Papua New Guinea

Peter Mabin

Peter Mabin is the initiator and coordinator of the Iodine Deficiency Project, which aims to eliminate iodine deficiency in rural communities in Papua New Guinea. The work started in his home province of Simbu. Iodine deficiency affects thousands of paediatric aged population in Papua New Guinea, especially those living in remote areas. The project was granted funding by UNICEF and the Iodine Global Network.

The Iodine Deficiency Project ‘s purpose is to identify the affected rural communities, raise awareness and provide education about the importance of iodine in a person’s diet for their health, and supply school aged children as well as women of child-bearing age with iodine supplements. Additionally, information is shared relating to addressing other important health issues relating to primary health care, and supplements such as vitamin A and albendazole to avoid blindness, hookworm infection or anaemia in the population.

An image of Adriana

United States

Adriana Maria Cordon Cruz

Adriana Maria Cordón Cruz is a research fellow at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), a coalition of over 100 women’s organisations from countries around the world that are experiencing humanitarian crises or conflict aiming to bridge the gap between global policies on women’s rights and peace and security and local action. The GNWP enables the creation of equal, resilient and peaceful communities. Adriana was the first Latin American woman chosen as a fellow to work with the GNWP at the UN Headquarters in NYC to promote the execution of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 2250 on women’s rights, peacebuilding and security.

She is developing a project with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), focusing on peacebuilding and women’s empowerment in Guatemala. This project seeks to implement a series of capacity-building workshops on leadership and gender-based violence to put indigenous women in a position to make their own communities aware of the social injustices and political limitations that women encounter.

An image of Santiago

United States

Santiago Rocha

Santiago Rocha is the Global Co-Impact Officer at YPO Next Generation (YNG), an organisation that aims to develop a generation of conscious international leaders. YNG provides its members with tools, opportunities, and networks for them to become future leaders.Around 23,000 YNG members have been impacted by opportunities to become impactful leaders.

Santiago currently serves in the Global Board, where he was the first Latin American to be part of it as well as the youngest member at 20 years. Previously, he worked in YNG LatAm, where he worked on employment opportunities for 75 YNG members as part of a program to face COVID-19 with impact-based job forces. Over 30 potential impact start-ups were managed in their Global Incubator, where Santiago was part of the leadership team.

An image of Akola


Akola Thompson

Akola Thompson is the Managing Director of Tamùkke Feminists, a public education group that was born to offer intersectional information with a community-centred approach towards feminist advocacy and about women’s issues in Guyana. Tamùkke Feminists aims to create a safe and supportive space for education around issues such as abortion, rape, anti-Blackness and economic inequality.

In 2017 and 2018, they led women's day marches attracting hundreds of participants and providing access to essential health services. They facilitated training around abortion rights, education and advocacy around child sexual grooming. In 2021, they co-created with UNFPA Guyana the iMatter app, which provides information on relevant resources for survivors of violence to access services in their region.Their two main programmes currently are the Mind Fund, and WorkReady programme. The former economically supports women's access to therapy. The latter programme equips women new to the job sector. Through our Mind Fund programme, 38 LBT+ women accessed mental health services. Our WorkReady programme has provided 60 women with two clothing drives.

Erika with students of the Somos CaPAZes programme


Erika Cortes Acosta

Erika Cortes Acosta is the Project Director of Somos CaPAZes, an organisation working to promote the construction of peace in Colombia, both in cities and in rural areas. Somos CaPAZes was born because a group of young people who, aware of the violence and insensitivity generated by the armed conflict in Colombia, decided to educate for peace in order to empower communities and promote peaceful environments where values, rights, conflict resolution and commitment are central axes for coexistence and democracy in the country. More than 40,000 people have been impacted by their work since 2007.

Their programs seek to encourage a culture of peace, through dynamic and experiential activities around the promotion of human rights, non-violent conflict resolution, leadership and innovation; These topics involve managing emotions, communication techniques for families, and child and youth empowerment. In this way, it seeks to promote coexistence based on the construction of communities of peace.

Girls with Tools Event


Jamila Mayanja

Jamila Mayanja is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Girls Uganda, a social enterprise that aims to empower and mentor young women to develop their confidence, life skills and economically improve their ability to achieve their dreams and to contribute positive social transformation.

Smart Girls Uganda has programmes such as the “Girls with Tools Business Skilling”, which has equipped more than 300 young women with hands-on non-traditional STEM and business skill sets through a blended finance approach. This entails that Smart Girls invests in the businesses created by the young women. Additionally, they have managed to aid around 20,000 teen-aged girls to stay in school during their menstruation periods, giving them access to clean energy lighting after dark and having the environment cleaned from plastic waste. The funding for this achievement has been covered by their recycled solar smart bag.

Image of CEWS Beneficiaries


Izat Ullah

Izat Ullah is the founder and Chairman of Chiragh Educational Welfare Society-(CEWS), a non-governmental, non-political and non-religious organisation. CEWS has aimed since 2017 to support children and people in vulnerable communities that have been denied access to education by providing them with life changing opportunities through access to education, workshops and training. Throughout his work, Izat has trained more than 25,000 people in career counselling, parenting counselling, peace building, youth leadership, etc.

More than 5,000 children residing in Pakistan have been enrolled into education thanks to the work of CEWS. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they ran the "Every home Classroom" campaign, which benefited more than 20,000 childrens across Pakistan who couldn’t attend school due to lockdowns. Izat hosted COVID-19 awareness sessions with 40,000school aged children and community 45,000members. Additionally, they had the "Back to School" project, which enrolled 1000 Afghan refugee girls in schools.

Ivana and her students at a workshop


Ivana Feldfeber

Ivana Feldfeber is the co-founder and executive director of the Observatorio de Datos con Perspectiva de Género DataGénero, a non-profit organisation with the aim of achieving gender equality in Latin America. Their work centres around collecting missing and erased data, as well as creating better data, on cis women and LGBTIQ+ people regarding health, economy, access to justice, education, and power in Latin America.

DataGénero uses AI to help governments and organisations in Latin America to collect and publish better data. Their AI programme, called aymurAi (that means "harvest" in Quechua), focuses on reading documents and creating datasets by identifying entities in the text. Additionally, they want to bring awareness regarding the possible problematic implementation of AI by the private and public sector. In 2022, Ivana and her team were selected by A+ Alliance to do research on AI tools for Criminal Courts working with gender-based violence data in Argentina and Mexico.

Francisco speaking at a conference


Francisco Cavalcante

Francisco Cavalcante is the founder of Jaguaribara em Foco, a community platform for young people that offers local news and fact-checking, to combat misinformation through education. Since 2020, their mission has been to train low-income youth to become leaders in the semi-arid region and inform the community. The initiative has already reached more than 200 thousand people and was recognized by SaferNet and FactCheckLab.

Additionally, Francisco coordinates the +Conexões Program, which brings together more than 100 young leaders from the five regions of Brazil and offers more than 30 training and 400 mentoring sessions, in addition to a high-impact network of contacts for people and Brazilian social organisations. Within the Legal Grounds Institute, he is the co-lead of projects related to digital law, media education and data protection in comparative law.

Wahid at a Public Dialogue

United Arab Emirates

Wahid A. Kamalian

Wahid A. Kamalian is a partner and Managing Director of Amaly Legacy, a social enterprise whose purpose is to help charitable organisations as well rural communities access funds and address sustainable challenges and deliver social impact where they are. Amaly’s work is divided into three main streams.

The first one helps Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) through technology with fundraising and maintaining the relationship with funders. The second is their asset management platform focused on long-term funding for NGOs and indigenous communities. This stream is also responsible for the sale of the carbon credits obtained through their large-scale nature conservation and restoration projects. The sales from these projects in turn is invested into rural communities with the aid of NGOs. The third one aims to help NGOs with identifying social and underlying causes of climate change in rural communities to tackle the root causes.

Farida at the Sustainability Awards


Farida Bensadoun

Farida Bensadoun is a Global Packaging Innovation Engineer for AB InBev. Within her work, she collaborated on the Barley Straw Pack, a new packaging solution for a six-pack box of Corona beer. It was launched in Colombia on World Recycling Day 2021 with an initial 10,000-unit pilot run. Following its launch success, the packs have also been piloted in Argentina, Canada and France and other cereal straw sources investigated.

The Straw Pack is a more sustainable alternative that can use surplus straw to create strong packaging. The novel pulping process for the straw, in combination with fully recycled fibers, was developed by Sustainable Fiber Technologies (SFT). In addition to the circularity benefits, this pack could potentially create a new opportunity. Farmers in markets where the pack exists might sell the straw for the packaging formulation and thus help create a micro-economy. This technology won the Sustainability Award by Packaging Europe in 2022.