Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu

Country representing





  • University of British Columbia
  • International Development - 2016
  • Medical College of Wisconsin - Cert Public Health

Current organisation

A World At School

Current role

Global Youth Ambassador

Skills and Expertise

Food security

Areas of interest

Peace and Conflict
Sustainable Development
Youth Unemployment

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

Growing up was very challenging coupled with the fact that my mother was never given the opportunity to complete her education since no one believed in her. She believed education was the only weapon for a brighter future. Being able to go to school, I felt like paying it forward to other kids in my community who will never have the opportunity to go to school. In 2008 while carrying out a study on the prevalence of malaria and stool parasites among children of school going age I came across children mostly orphans and those with disabilities most of who were not in school and learning. Their basic rights had being violated, exploited; they looked malnourished and desolated. Today, 57 million children are still not in school and learning while over 1.1 billion people globally still practice open defecation especially women and girls. As a global youth Ambassador for a World at School, I have spent most of my youthful life advocating for access to quality education and working with children living with disabilities and communities orphaned by HIV/AIDS while ensuring that the rights of women and girls globally are protected. I have also published articles that critically assess the educational challenges the worlds’ poorest children face through the lens of Hope for Children Cameroon, an organization I founded in 2011 with the goal of educating every child one school, one village at a time. Our organization provides tuition assistance and educational materials in primary schools in rural Cameroon, constructs clean and safe pit toilets in schools which is currently serving over 1300 children. Our work on gender equality was featured by UN Women as one of the first IMPACT stories since the launch of the UN Women “HeForShe” Campaign, a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally and also strengthen the support for Women's rights


With newly constructed toilets in 5 schools, girls now can feel safe in schools and their self-esteem restored. Open defecation practice is almost non-existent while school absenteeism from diarrhea illness has decreased significantly. School retention rate has increased and more teachers and children stay in school. Children are becoming aware of their sexuality and privacy as the toilets are designed to meet their needs. Teachers stay longer in school to prepare lesson notes while children remain in school for longer periods in order to complete their homework just because they have access to toilets. Joannes' work was honored as one of the 2014 Youth Courage Award recipient by the office of the UN Envoy on Global Education Gordon Brown which recognizes and honor youth who have personally demonstrated courage and leadership and acted as agents of change for universal education. In May 2015, he was named one of the 200 Young Leaders by Women Deliver who are working to build a world where the health and well-being of girls and women is a priority. Last June, Joannes was among 60 young people across the Commonwealth selected to receive the first ever Queen's Young Leaders Award from her Majesty the Queen of England for his exemplary leadership and commitment in transforming the lives of others while making a lasting difference in his community. Joannes has also been named recipient of the African Youth Excellence Award for Public Service and currently serves on the Global Citizenship Education Working Group on Policy, Advocacy and Communication by the Learning Metrics Task Force of the Brooking Institute convened by the UN Youth Advocacy Group, the Center for Universal Education and UNESCO. Joannes recently joined the Youth Advisory Team, a select group within the Emerging Catalysts Network that directly impacts research on how organizations and foundations can better support youth. Joannes was actively involved in drafting the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals