João Kanda Bernardo is 32 years old. He is Alumni of the Transparency International School on Integrity.
Kanda is the Founder and the President of NGO called Humanitarian Organization Kanda-Initiative, based in Angola. He is a former United Nations OHCHR Fellow, and is also running for the Angolan Parliament (national constituency) for the August 2022 elections, in Angola.
He began very early with the Struggle for human rights and his first experiences as a human rights defender were at the Priest Seminary in Angola, where he held the position of dean in 2009. In this position, his job was to promote the spirit of reconciliation and love of neighbour among colleagues in this student community. Students came from different provinces of Angola and also from other continents. This work helped to fight tribalism, xenophobia and racism in the daily lives of students residing in this community.
In 2014, he was a member of the Angolan human rights activists' advocacy group on the occasion of the 20th Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva.
In 2016, he attended the Second International Parliamentary Conference for Freedom of Religion or Belief, which took place in Berlin. Several world personalities participated in this activity, highlighting the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President of the Republic of East Timor, José Ramos Horta.
From 2016 to 2019 he was an Assistant to Member of Parliament, in Saxonian Parliament (Sächsischer Landtag), in Germany.
In September 2019, because of his engagement as a human rights defender, he was appointed Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation, an Organ in General Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC. Ambassadors for Peace are individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the benefit of others and are dedicated to the promotion of universal moral values, dialogue, strong family life, interfaith cooperation, international harmony, United Nations renewal, and are responsible for establishing a global culture of peace.
In October 2020 he was recognized by the MIPAD as one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent under 40 Worldwide, in the Politics & Governance category. MIPAD is an Organization supporting the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by United Nation's General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024. MIPAD identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, it's people on the continent and across it's Diaspora.
In 2021 he received an Honorable Mention from CARITAS of Angola.