Ambassador Spotlights: January 2024

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

172 k+

people impacted across the spotlight projects

57 k+

blood pressure measurements taken

6 k

turtle hatchlings

Re-Defined Canada

Meet the Ambassadors

Sophia Papamichalopoulos


Sophia Papamichalopoulos - Cyprus

Sophia is the founder of Winds of Change, a peacebuilding sport initiative in Cyprus with the support of the International Olympic Committee’s Young Leaders Programme. It aims to use sport as a peace catalyst, to bring two communities together that have been divided by conflict and war. The organisation aims to bring together Greek and Turkish Cypriots and has given rise to a bi-communal sailing team. 

On September 21, the International Day of Peace, Winds of Change created history by becoming the first team to sail around Cyprus in half a century. The team took part in a uniquely designed programme throughout the summer months in the lead up to the circumnavigation. The programme consists of four phases: 1) team development 2) sailing skills 3) the challenge of circumnavigating Cyprus itself and 4) outreach. Currently, during the outreach phase, the project ams to reach and inspire a wider audience with the story and journey of this team. A documentary film is being produced to showcase the entire journey, highlighting the power of sport as a catalyst for peace in Cyprus and globally. Winds for Change has reached over 1,100 people directly through presentations and international and national events. 

Marcus McDowell


Marcus McDowell - USA/Germany

Marcus McDowell is a Marketing and Project Consultant at BlackInTech Berlin (BITB), the first professional organisation advancing Black professionals and entrepreneurs in the Berlin tech industry. BITB aims to empower and support 10,000 young professionals and entrepreneurs by 2030 through several impact projects, local and cross-continental. To date, BITB has impacted 5,000 community members, event participants, and program graduates. Their inaugural BlackInTech Europe Summit brought together diverse industry stakeholders and community partners to build an unprecedented full-day summit featuring international speakers and industry leaders.

BITB has expertly co-created mentoring programs, coding boot camps, and various panel discussions. The organization was selected by the German Senate to run the Africa Berlin Tech Network (ABTN) program for 2024. ABTN aims to expedite exchange between Berlin's tech hub and leading African tech ecosystems via delegations, event co-creation, and network building. Marcus is looking to engage more with African One Young World Ambassadors to further the project's aims.



Gabrielle Arruda - Brazil

Gabrielle leads at ImpulsoGov, a nongovernmental organisation that works with municipalities in Brazil in favour of public health through the use of data. Brazil is a country where 44% of their population suffers from non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs), disproportionately affecting those most vulnerable. They aim to create a Brazil where no one suffers or dies by preventable causes.

ImpulsoGov offers free services and products that are focused on primary and mental health care, as well as training healthcare professionals to handle NCDs more efficiently. Additionally, they have created a health campaign programme on Whatsapp.

ImpulsoGov is present in over 100 municipalities in Brazil. They have carried out 57,000 blood pressure measurements, trained over 800 professionals, and provided 177 healthcare professionals with mental health indicator panels. The team has been recognised by MIT Innovators Under 35 and featured in Forbes.

Kamar Suhail


Kamar Suhail - India

Kamar is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Ossus Biorenewables, an energy company that uses wastewater to generate green hydrogen for industrial applications like heating, fuel, and hydrogenation. The bioreactor developed by Ossus uses a hybrid technology, combining microbial breakdown of carbon content with electrochemical production of green hydrogen. These bioreactors are installed on site, therefore eliminating the need for transportation and high pressure compression.

Ossus has worked with oil, gas, steel, food and beverage industries to help them transition away from fossil fuels, using their own waste water as feed stock. Wastewater that is used to generate hydrogen also gets treated in the process and is available for industries to reuse for free. Ossus has successfully been able to generate green hydrogen using only 0.7KWh/kg of hydrogen, emitting 0.5 kg of Carbon dioxide per kg of hydrogen

Rena Tan


Rena Tan - Singapore

City Developments Limited (CDL) is a leading global real estate company with a network spanning 143 locations in 28 countries and regions. Listed on the Singapore Exchange, the Group is one of the largest companies by market capitalisation. Rena currently works at CDL as Senior Manager, Sustainability.

CDL adopts a holistic three-pronged approach that includes designing and developing sustainable and green buildings, managing buildings in an energy and resource-efficient way, and engaging and influencing stakeholders to support CDL’s commitment towards sustainable development. Rena's work recognises that sustainability is not just about conserving the environment, but also about supporting and empowering people across all communities and sectors. Their focus is across several key areas, including: environmental awareness, empowering young people and women and sustainability champions, supporting the arts and education, caring for the less fortunate, and advocacy for sustainable development.

The Conectándote team


Brayan Danilo Guerrero Bastidas - Colombia

Brayan Danilo is the Founder of Conectándote, where he aims to bridge the digital divide by bringing high-quality internet access to rural and underserved communities in Colombia that tend to have limited or zero cellular signal. 

Through their work, Brayan Danilo is also contributing to educational advancement in these communities, enabling rural students to participate in online learning, reducing inequalities and fostering innovation. They have established partnerships with local entities to be able to meet the growing demand for reliable internet across the country.

Conectándote has connected around 500 families in 20 villages in the regions of Nariño and Cauca. Their innovative prepaid Wi-Fi service, offering 15 minutes of free internet daily after a brief ad, makes connectivity inclusive and affordable. Additionally, they offer plans at low prices to ensure that everyone, regardless of their economic background, has access to the digital world.

Fulufhelani Mashapha


Fulufhelani Mashapha - South Africa

Fulufhelani is the author of Mind Your Cents. The book covers the core principles of personal finance such as saving, budgeting, investing, buying a car, buying property, using stokvels as a form of wealth building mechanism, black tax, increasing one’s stream of income via side hustles and how to use insurance to protect one’s assets and loved ones

Fulufhelani is passionate about financial wellness and financial inclusion. She works a Absa Group as an Actuarial Analyst

2,800 young people have benefited from the financial literacy content that Fulufhelani shares on Youtube. Additionally, she is the host of Masheleni Matters, a podcast that also discusses the topic of personal finance.

Juan Fernando Pesántez Muñoz


Juan Fernando Pesántez Muñoz - Ecuador

Juan Fernando is a Marine Biologist, Master in projects and is currently completing his Doctorate in Conservation. He is Founder and CEO of Academia del Oceano, Founder and CEO of Fundación Reina Laúd, President and Ocean Leader of SOA Ecuador Hub Manabí. His mission is to give a voice to the ocean and its species, primarily sea turtles, by conducting research, protection and education through volunteerism to foster ocean awareness, action and leadership.

They generate oceanic education in Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries through webinars, workshops, trainings and courses. They have the first center specialized in Ocean Education in Ecuador and the first Turtle Camp in Ecuador with facilities for volunteering.

With their team they have made an impact by protecting more than 80 clutches, more than 6,000 hatchlings and more than 10 injured turtles, figures for each season, in addition to 4 tons of garbage collected per year and educating more than 20,000 people in 2023 as participating speakers and educators. in national and international events. In addition, they had the first report of successful nesting and hatching of Lepidochelys olivacea in Sucre, Manabí, Ecuador and the first report of successful nesting and hatching of Dermochelys coriacea in Ecuador, a historic event at a global level.



Ritika Saraswat - Canada

Ritika is the founder and CEO of Re-Defined, an NGO that focuses on empowering students from marginalised communities including international students and immigrants in Canada and even underprivileged communities outside of Canada. They do this in three ways: by creating access to education, access to opportunities such as those of mentorship programs, fellowships, and workshops, and finally by providing resources to books, digital classroom equipment, food and clothing.

Re-Defined's workshops cater to topics of social importance like climate & sustainability, menstrual education, STEM, entrepreneurship and english language skills. Through this they have empowered 30,000 people across four countries and 20 regions by collaborating with 25+ organisations. Re-Defined is also building two schools. They have also built a community of 50,000 international students and immigrants, providing them with guidance and resources daily. 

Koga Nakai


Koga Nakai - Japan

Koga is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Medicine Inc., where he has been developing awababy, a crying understanding application that visualises infant cries and provides users with the reasons for crying and coping methods, with the aim of becoming a new parent-child communication tool (patent pending). 

Koga, who is studying to become a doctor, is also working to generate cognitive change in responses to infant crying to reduce loneliness and prevent postpartum depression in Japan.

Cross Medicine Inc. released the Japanese version of its cry visualisation tool in July 2023. Since then, it has amassed over 5,000 users and counting. In 2024, Koga and his team are developing an international version to expand their reach and help new mothers with postpartum depression and parents with their infants.



Demetrio Agustín Fajardo - Mexico

Demetrio Agustín is the Program Coordinator at the Jalisco headquarters of Adopt a Talent Program (PAUTA), a nonprofit initiative that seeks to promote STEM in young people between ages of 4 and 18, through the implementation of workshops and science clubs. Annually, participants develop research projects to resolve issues in their communities. PAUTA is active in 12 states in Mexico and has served over 47,000 users. In Jalisco, between 2022 and 2023, they reached more than 800 children, developing 100 research projects.

Demetrio is also a volunteer at Avem México, a Mexican collective that aims to make the LGBTTTIQ+ community visible through the search and creation of safe spaces.

Demetrio is a designer of programs for children and youth in Living Rivers, an initiative that aims to address the pollution of the Santiago River by creating water committees in the localities around the basin, in which communities are taught to understand and address the problem.