Ambassador Spotlights: November 2021

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.

Bangladesh

Awsaf Karim

Founded by Awsaf Karim, Oroddho Health is Bangladesh's fastest growing mental health initiative, offering free mental health support for young adults and adolescents through a peer-support counselling system. This counselling system is structured around the Psychological First Aid (PFA) model developed by John Hopkins University, and has helped over 800 people since 2019 with their mental health recovery.

Oroddho Health's operation is flexible, organised primarily through Facebook where anyone can message the organisation's page, register and then avail of the mental health services on offer. Counselling sessions are not designed around the conventional one hour a week model, but instead last as long as necessary within Oroddho Health's operating hours, though appointments are often scheduled outside of this timeframe as well.

The organisation has partnered with other mental health platforms and professional mental health service providers, offering clients discounted prices. Oroddho Health also operates its own podcast series, and has published the first mental health guidebook in Bangladesh. Their education campaigns have received widespread coverage from national news syndicates in the country and they have also held workshops for young people and students in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health. Awsaf was awarded the Johnson & Johnson One Young World scholarship in 2021 for his work with Oroddho Health.

800

people helped with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues

8500

people reached through social media campaigns on mental health education

Colombia

Nevis Cadena Obando

Frutichar is a social enterprise operating in the Nariño region of Colombia, co-founded by its General Director, Nevis Cadena Obando. Created in 2014, its focus is to build community resilience against illegal and socially harmful activities in marginalised rural areas, and amongst indigenous communities and people of African descent. It does this by producing, buying, transforming and marketing exotic fruits native to the region, such as açaí, arazá and borojó, helping to rejuvenate local market centres and economic enterprises. The result is a strengthening of governance, human development and the protection of rights, the maintaining of cultural identities and the strengthening of the regional ecosystem in a sustainable and inclusive manner. By contributing to the food sovereignty of the communities it works with, Frutichar helps to consolidate Colombia's peace and makes illicit alternatives less attractive.

Frutichar is made up of three key elements; productive, social and environmental. It has partnered with the Government of Colombia to support and fortify native crops through the sustainable management of 2,800 hectares of land belonging to community and indigenous councils. The initiative has helped to consolidate the agroecological use of the açaí (naidí) fruit for production and marketing, as well as producing high-quality pulp of this fruit for the benefit of local, regional and national businesses. Socially, 700 Afro-Colombian and indigenous families have been helped, generating an average profit return of 50%, and the organisation has also worked with young victims of the armed conflict in the country. Environmentally the initiative contributes to the sustainable maintenance of forests and local ecosystems.

700

Afro-Colombian and Indigenous families helped

2800

hectares of communal land managed

Japan

Miharu Akagi

NTT DATA's International Network of NextGEN (NINGEN) is an employee-led forum for talented young people across the world. Having launched in 2020, the community seeks to develop employee networks between diverse departments of NTT DATA group companies in all locations where it operates. With around 150 members from more than 20 countries, this new community helps to facilitate important connections within the NTT DATA brand, enhancing the communication and team-building necessary for growth and impact. Miharu Akagi currently serves as the co-head of the group's organising committee.

NINGEN fosters such links across people, business, and culture by hosting webinars with presentations from experts and short informal discussions to allow the spread of important knowledge, ideas, and experiences across the forum. These are often related to the sustainable development goals and personal, professional and social growth. The community also promotes new or emerging business opportunities to its members, facilitating career progression and new pathways for its contributors, positively impacting their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and learn, accelerating remote work and postponing traditional in-person training programs and opportunities. NINGEN contributes to the well-being of employees and fosters a vibrant corporate culture by stepping in and providing a workable alternative in the midst of all these challenges, raising employee spirits and strengthening community wellness.

150

active members

20

countries are represented

Malaysia

Adeline Ng Kai Wen

Founded by Adeline Ng Kai Wen, Revofa is a social enterprise which seeks to promote sustainable fashion consumption with the goal of reducing unnecessary textile wastage and advocating a culture of recycling in the fashion space. It does this by functioning as an online marketplace where members can resell, rent or even fix items of clothing so as to increase the longevity of fashion pieces. The enterprise also encompasses a social aspect, supporting single mothers in Malaysia through training opportunities related to sewing and similar marketable skills. The end-goal of Revofa is seeing through to completion Sustainable Development Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production. To aid in this objective, it has created a circular fashion economy, hoping to replace traditional and wasteful fashion business models for the good of the industry, local communities and the world. As a result of the pandemic, Revofa also provides followers with guides on how to repair clothing easily and from home through an education hub.

Before founding Revofa, Adeline founded a for-profit organisation in 2018 called Bumi & Co., an ecommerce web store providing people with the means to start their zero-waste journey. Revofa developed out of a determination to change fashion after she realised the enormous environmental cost of the industry as it currently exists. Revofa has grown to a community of 200 people, with the education hub and workshops alone attracting 150 people.
 

200

community members

Canada

Bradley Amir

This year marked the 17th annual Novartis Ride for Life™ to raise funds for breast cancer research. Although the 2021 event took place virtually with riders participating over the course of a week in their local communities, replacing the more traditional 600 kilometre group cycle by Novartis employees from Toronto to Montreal, Bradley Amir still joined in. By doing so he became one of more than 1000 riders to have taken part since the initiative's founding, raising over $1.4 million for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation (QBCF) after a few passionate Novartis employees got the ride off the ground in 2005. This year alone, 80 people cycled 17,800 kilometres and raised over $82,000 for cancer research, an all-time high.

 

The QBCF, to which the money is donated, provides funding for research, support and education exclusively in Quebec, helping thousands of people since its inception. Bradley has participated in the event before, as a coordinating volunteer, but this was his first year undertaking the journey as a cyclist. Over the course of a single week, he joined 80 others virtually and managed to cycle a gruelling 500 kilometres, raising an impressive $1,645 in the process and exceeding his original goal of $1,200 by a significant margin.

$ 1645

raised

500

kilometres cycled

The Bahamas

Kirkland Macintosh

Young Life is a non-profit organisation with a presence in over 90 countries around the world. The organisation has been active in the Bahamas for more than 20 years, supporting and impacting hundreds of children and teenage mothers in middle and high schools throughout the country. Kirkland acts as the club director for the initiative in the Bahamas, and also serves the community as a mentor. Through these roles he oversees Young Life's operations and actively participates in its programmes, such as the annual camp involving over 70 kids.

 

These kids are often from impoverished, neglected communities and so are at-risk, growing up in difficult contexts like single parent homes, poverty, depression and suicidal ideation, as well as other factors negatively impacting their mental health. Their situations are also detrimental to the development of their social skills, hampering their progression into adulthood as functioning members of Bahamian society. The camp lasts a week during which time the children receive beneficial mentorship and counselling services, with over 280 kids having passed through the Young Life camp programme over the last 4 years. The goal of the operation is developing a relationship with the children so as to ensure a degree of stability in their lives. Young Life also trains community leaders and committee members in the Bahamas, an operation with which Kirkland is deeply involved as Club Director.

70

kids attend the camp annually

25

leaders and committee members trained

Luxembourg

Jana Degrott

We Belong is a forum co-founded by Jana Degrott, one of the youngest elected politicians in the EU, which features young women breaking stereotypes, navigating multiple identities and challenging conventional wisdom around belonging, with the aim to show the diversity that exists in multicultural Europe. It does this by allowing guests to share their personal experiences and spark conversations they believe are necessary in a safe, healing space which legitimises their voices as the daughters of immigrants. Guests have come from over 13 European countries from a wide array of industries and ways of life, including entrepreneurs, artists, elected representatives, musicians and others. The goal of We Belong is to inspire leadership in the next generation in order to create a future pool of role models.

We Belong also offers diversity audits to uncover the inclusivity of a company's workplace through a customised consultancy service and research case studies with recommendations for action, as well as gender pay gap analyses and an Equality Impact Assessment. The initiative has organised online and in-person events and panels, featuring notable guests on how best to work for social change. The most recent events were held in partnership with the European Youth Parliament and Free Humanitarians. Jana has also founded her own podcast called Wat leeft, a platform for marginalised communities and people to broach taboo subjects, with a reach of 25,000 people across Luxembourg.

25 K

people reached through the Wat leeft podcast

Colombia

Laura Calle Escobar

Antivirus Para la Deserción (ATV) is a project co-founded by Laura Calle Escobar to address the gap between the number of people with adequate training in technological fields and the needs of companies in Colombia, a gap which the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce estimates to be around 150,000 people. ATV uses artifical intelligence technology to produce predictive models of which students suffer from the highest probability of prematurely leaving school, based on empirical data from university administrations. Once this information has been collated, the project uses personalised strategies which include specialised academic tutors, academic workshops, sponsorship plans, counselling, motivational meetings, and the provision of equipment. 3,500 students have been impacted by these programmes in total, with the project working with 36 sponsors to give 338 tutorials, more than 500 counselling sessions, and donate over 70 computers to students in need.

ATV is in the process of designing sustainable financing instruments between companies and students, and is also developing a new service to immerse students in STEM educational fields. The goal of the project is to reduce social inequality and to promote women in STEM careers in Colombia. To these ends, ATV visits schools and conducts interviews to help students self-reflect and progress through the educational system.

3500

students impacted

531

counselling sessions provided

338

specialised tutorials given

Morocco

Saad Uakkas

Saad sits on the supervising board of the Moroccan Federation of Medical Students, an organisation that seeks to promote social development and access to much-needed services in remote areas of the country. With one third of the Moroccan population living in isolated and hard to reach places, operations centred on medical-social caravans began 7 years ago. These mobile caravans offer free access to health, social services, and vital information, bringing healthcare professionals directly into isolated regions to provide check-ups, screenings, treatments and follow-up medical care where needed.

 

The project also includes an educational component to raise awareness of healthcare and nutrition in order to better the lifestyle choices of the population and halt preventable future illness and diseases. In partnership with other student bodies and youth movements, the Moroccan Federation of Medical Students also offers advice and education on sustainable farming techniques, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship skills for young people and women, aiding the formation of local cooperatives. They also work to renovate schools, giving equipment and supporting students and teachers with technology that can be used to further education. 5 caravans travel every year, including to provide humanitarian support during the harsh winter months. 33,000 people have received free health check-ups so far, with 2,200 children receiving school equipment and 12,000 receiving winter clothes. The project received the Best Activity by Medical Students award in 2019, and the Best Arab Voluntary Project award in the same year.

33 K

have received free health check-ups so far

2200

children received school equipment

12 K

received winter clothing

Nigeria

Ngozi Ekong

ConqueringBPI is a group founded by Ngozi Ekong to support mothers who have children suffering from brachial plexus injury emotionally, financially, and physically. It does this through both online and in-person programmes, with the overarching aim of increasing awareness through media campaigns of the injury, which can cause debilitating weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand, even rendering these muscles unusable and leading to extreme pain. Over the last 2 years, ConqueringBPI has successfully collaborated with physical therapists in the United States and Turkey to provide pro-bono healthcare to affected children.

The support system maintained by ConqueringBPI also includes an educational component, with the organisation training 260 physical therapists on how best to manage brachial plexus injury in 2020 alone through its partnership with US-based physiotherapists. The group also raised funds for one impacted child to receive life-changing surgery in India in 2021, and in the same year partnered with the Rotaract Club with support from One Young World to train more than 50 traditional mid-wives and bone-setters on the management of the injury, while continuing its community outreach and assessment programme. 25 mothers are regularly supported through the initiative.

260

physical therapists trained

25

mothers supported

50

traditional mid-wives trained

Cyprus

Christiana Xenofontos

During the 2021 European Youth Event in Strasbourg, young people had the opportunity to discuss the future of Europe with key policy-makers like Othmar Karas, the Vice President of the European Parliament, Helmut Scholz (MEP), and Josianne Cutajar (MEP) on the Rhine River. The European Youth Forum organised and facilitated the event and the discussion, with Christiana (Board Member) and Anna (Member of the Secretariat), playing a significant role in overseeing the implementation of the initiative. Christiana was also responsible for fostering discussion around the chosen topics, including the European Year of Youth and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The event gave young people the opportunity to engage in productive peer-to-peer discussion, as well as the chance to explore pressing issues alongside senior figures in the European political scene, especially those involved with the Executive Board responsible for the Conference on the Future of Europe. During the activity, two sessions took place on a boat, with approximately 200 people directly impacted by the event. These individuals then multiplied the impact of the discussion through their own networks and organisations with 2000 people impacted indirectly. The European Youth Forum, including Christiana, also runs a parallel project called The 25 Percent, aiming to collect 15,000 ideas for the future of Europe. Ideas can be submitted through the above link, where further information on the initiative can also be found.

200

impacted by the event

2000

people impacted indirectly

South Africa

Cyan Brown

The TuksRes Women in Leadership Academy was founded by Cyan Brown 7 years ago in order to assist women with developing their lives, businesses and leadership skills. It has become the largest student-led women in leadership academy in South Africa since then, with over 1500 women graduating from the programme since its inception. As part of the project, university students mentor biweekly at underprivileged high schools on a wide range of skills, from self-defence, to sexual education, tertiary educational opportunities, and CV writing. Schoolgirls who attend enough sessions by the end of the year receive a certificate of accomplishment.

TuksRes Women in Leadership Academy also includes a monthly networking programme for university students on essential topics such as campus gender-based violence and gender equality, as well as connections to the world of work. They also receive monthly training on leadership skills, communication, community change advocacy and feminism. To graduate from the Academy students must partake in all components of the programme, before they can join the organisation's alumni branch. The TuksRes Women in Leadership Academy seeks to equip young women with the tools they need to create positive change in their localities and in South Africa more broadly.

1500

women have graduate from the Academy

Serbia

Janko Ignjatović

Janko's project seeks to promote inclusive and equitable education of a high quality and with life-long learning opportunities, in order for individuals to develop alongside the fast-paced, changing nature of the world. He does this through open discussions, lectures, presentations, workshops, and mentorship programmes to instil in young people the idea that knowledge acquisition, and personal and professional development do not end after the completion of formal education. Young people are also encouraged to act as examples and role models who strive to deliver a positive impact, adapt to change, while leading on and providing solutions to pressing global challenges.

The open nature of the discussions and talks, coupled with the fact that the workshops and mentoring are tailored to the specific needs of the young people Janko works with, allows them to enhance their ability to serve their local communities in the long-run. They accomplish this through their own personal and professional growth and the positive impact of their applied knowledge, experience, and work on wider society. So far, more than 500 have engaged with Janko's work directly, with a wider impact being generated through his TV appearances and social media.

500

young people impacted directly

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