Ambassador Spotlights: July 2022

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.

An Overview of this Month's Featured Projects

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patients provided with healthcare


people educated

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Meet the Ambassadors

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Martin Ignacio Díaz Velásquez

Martin is the CEO and Co-Founder of the European Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies on Human Rights and Sciences - Knowmad Institut, an independent think & do tank advocating for human dignity in public and private policies. Martin's organisation analyzes reliable information comprehensively with a multidisciplinary approach to facilitate knowledge management while educating and disseminating bold and innovative proposals that promote common solutions to global problems. It does this by building bridges across civil society, academia, governments, and the private sector.

The Knowmad Institut is recognised as an international non-governmental organisation with observer status at the World Intellectual Property Organisaton and is also part of the UN Global Compact alliance, Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk, and Rome Consensus 2.0. It is a member of the WhatsOn network to Fostering Partnership against Organized Crime, the Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs and the New York NGO Committee on Drugs.

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Collins Santhanasamy

Collins founded The M Exchange as a pilot project in 2013 whilst at medical school, working alongside vulnerable communities to empower and build resilience. With over a hundred volunteers from ten countries, The M Exchange focuses on identifying refugee, rural, and urban poor communities in need of healthcare and education-related services. The organisation has built a platform which enables healthcare staff to volunteer at medical camps and mobile clinics, with this programme having provided primary healthcare services to over 4,000 patients. The programme places a strong emphasis on building local capacity and the dissemination of public health information through innovative communication strategies.

Schools are a key component of sustainable health. In 2014, The M Exchange established a free school for underprivileged students in a vulnerable community in Chittagong. This primary school, which you can learn more about and support, is the first of its kind in the locality, providing a safe classroom experience for 166 students 6 days a week. The organisation is currently developing a scholarship programme to ensure that every student has the opportunity to graduate high school. 

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South Africa

Dimpho Lekgeu

Dimpho is the Community Manager at Youth Lab, using media platforms to advocate for youth inclusion and working to put forward youth perspectives on pressing issues. Her work plays a supporting role in the implementation of Youth Lab's community programmes, including Lean On Me/Public Achievement, a drug awareness campaign equipping school learners with resources to help drive solutions to substance abuse in their communities. Youth Lab's Community Vaccine Conversations shares important vaccine information across South Africa.

Dimpho also creates educational content and manages an online community of young people on policy and governance-related issues. She was the winner of the 2020 World Bank Blog4Dev competition, an annual writing contest for young people to contribute their thoughts on a topic critical to their country's development. She was recently appointed to the Gauteng Youth Advisory Panel, advising the province's executive council on youth development initiatives and programmes. Dimpho has been recognized by the Mail & Guardian as one of South Africa's Top 200 young people.

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Peru/United Kingdom

Jason Pareja Jauregui

Jason is the Director of the Oxford Latin American Forum, a conference which allowed students in the UK and Latin America to engage with regional leaders at the University of Oxford. Leaders included CEOs, presidents, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. Latin America is the world's third-largest economy, with 644 million consumers and an increasingly interconnected market of goods and services. Jason's goal is to build coalitions between academia, the public sector, and the private sector, to maintain and bolster the growth of the region.

For this reason, the Oxford Latin American Forum took place as a two-day student-led event held on the 10th and 11th of June 2022, at the Said Business School and Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The forum brought together leaders from multiple sectors to discuss topics such as entrepreneurship, sustainability, political polarisation, and to re-imagine the Latin American region.

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

Alen Gudalo

The CSC Petar Barbaric and Youth Centre John Paul II has been working to develop better opportunities for young people in terms of democratic processes across Bosnia & Herzegovina, a country where fewer than 30% of political parties mention youth policies in their agendas.

The country's complicated recent history means that there is no national youth policy bringing together all political forces and ethnic communities, and no formal education about political decision-making processes. Alen serves as a Coordinator and Creator of Activities for Vision is Decision - Youth and Democracy, a project designed to change this, training 50 young people on the functioning of electoral committees and simulating the country's voting procedures. The long-term aim is not only to increase engagement but also the creation of local electoral committees, and finally to support young people in proposing a new political agenda for the country. The project began in 2019 and has since gathered more than 200 newly educated voters and 15 youth trainers, particularly from ethnically divided and rural communities.

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Elvis Martin

Elvis is an active campaigner for social justice, with his own lived experience providing the foundations for his values, beliefs, and activities. In the past few years, he has represented young people in several important roles. He was appointed to the Anti-Racism Taskforce by the Government of Victoria, developing Australia's first Anti-Racism Strategy to build a harmonious community and develop policies and processes to ensure that employers comply with anti-racism standards.

Elvis is also the youngest member of the LGBTQIA+ Taskforce, which recently released the Government of Victoria's first LGBTQIA+ Strategy and 10-Year Action Plan, to advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. He is also on the board of VMIAC, the peak body in the mental health sector, and is active on the Mental Health Complaints Commission Council. He co-founded the Cohealth Youth Action Council to give young people a platform through which to advocate for better mental health policies. Finally, Elvis was also appointed to the Expert Advisory Panel of Safe and Equal, through which he has input on government policy and strategies on domestic violence.

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Rubén Herrera Rodriguez

The United Nations International Federation of Youth (UN1FY) serves as the Official Youth Constituency of the Water and Climate Coalition (WCC) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). UN1FY works to provide young people with an open and inclusive platform to mobilise resources, contribute to evidence-based research and advocacy activities, and harness their potential to influence global policymakers and decision-making processes. Rubén serves as the organisation's Regional Focal Point for The Caribbean.

UN1FY has been endorsed by the Office of the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth and the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation. The UN1FY movement will culminate in the Water and Climate Youth Development Plan and Agenda (YDPA), which serves as one of the major outputs identifying and providing actionable goals for governments, youth, and the private sector. The Water and Climate YDPA serves to collect the inputs of young people for the UN 2023 Water Conference. It contains existing policy documents and reports on water and climate, and young people's perceptions of those issues in their respective regions and across the world.

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Elisa Adler

Elisa is the Director of Government Relations, Networks and People & Management at Ensina Brasil, a non-profit organisation part of a global network called Teach For All. Its purpose is to develop talented young people to act as leaders capable of solving complex problems, such as the lack of quality public education. Around the world, Teach for All network partners are developing leadership in classrooms and communities to ensure all children can fulfil their potential.

Ensina Brasil Network is pluralistic, with more than 600 participants. Of those, 340 are teachers working in classrooms across 16 cities in 5 Brazilian states, and another 293 are alumni who have completed the organisation's Leadership Development Program. Ensina Brasil's 2023 Selection Process is now open, and it is recruiting talented individuals to work for two years in public schools. Throughout the programme, the participant will receive pedagogical monitoring, career mentoring, continued education, and access to exclusive opportunities available only through the network.