August 14, 2018

Global Youth Ambassadors S/Hero Week: meet our youth skills champion Prabhath

Prabhath is on a mission to inspire young people to learn the skills they’ll need for the workplace

Photo credit: Prabhath Mannapperuma

This week we are paying tribute to outstanding young advocates - today it's the award for helping youth get the skills they need to be equipped for the workplace. 

  • We have over 900 passionate young education advocates from across 90 countries, working tirelessly to ensure every child and young person has access to inclusive quality education and training to get the best start in life.
  • They are the Global Youth Ambassadors for Theirworld and our A World at School movement. Every day they are doing truly inspiring work, often at the forefront of Theirworld’s campaigns and key focus areas, from early childhood development to inclusive education - both globally and locally. 
  • Global Youth Ambassadors S/Hero Week is a celebration of their exceptional work both as a network and in recognition of key outstanding individuals as voted by their peers. Each day in our Their News channel we will be highlighting how integral our Global Youth Ambassadors have been in each campaign or focus area and announcing the 2018 Global Youth Ambassadors Campaign S/Heroes.

Today the Youth Skills S/Hero award goes to a Global Youth Ambassador who has shown "outstanding work to ensure young people are being equipped with the relevant skills they need".

He is...

Prabhath Mannapperuma from Sri Lanka

Prabhath started the STEMUp Educational Foundation to bridge the STEM skills gap of Sri Lankan children using technology.

As well as being a Global Youth Ambassador, he is regional lead for Sri Lanka at CoderDojo Foundation, Ireland and Ambassador at Micro:bit Educational Foundation, UK.

Parabath said: "Being a Global Youth Ambassador itself brings opportunities to grow, learn and develop new skills. Winning this award means a lot for me. 

"Thank you Theirworld for trying to change the lives of people who are trying to change the lives of other people." 

Prabath was chosen as the youth skills category winner after comments from his fellow Global Youth Ambassadors that included "impressive work on STEM",  "amazing work using volunteers around the country" and "captures the needs of youth clearly and identifies tangible ways to address these needs".

Every young adult needs to access skills development. All over the world, young adults are missing out on gaining the skills they need to fulfil their potential and succeed in the workplace. That is why youth skills is a key area of focus for Theirworld.

Young people need to acquire the skills for the jobs of today and the future

Photo credit: USAID

As young people themselves, this issue really resonates with our Global Youth Ambassadors who are pioneers when it comes to advocating and finding ways to empower and upskill young people globally. 

From Benedict Joson (USA) talking about learning from Millennials and the future of campaigning on a Better Angels podcast with Sarah Brown to promoting the importance of skills on Theirworld’s Instagram for World Youth Skills Day this year to writing blogs for Theirworld’s Voices page.

They make sure that the voices of young people are represented on a global level, not only by being part of the Global Youth Ambassadors network and adding their voices to Theirworld’s work, but also by being youth representatives at key global meetings. 

Every year Theirworld supports two Global Youth Ambassadors to attend the United Nations General Assembly to represent the network and young people globally. Last year Sylvia Kakyo (Uganda) and Joannes Yimbesalu (Cameroon), were chosen to attend the event on behalf of the network. 

Maisha Reza (Singapore), Solyman Sumon (Malaysia), Nebota Nebota Mukete (Cameroon), Kenneth Gyamerah (Ghana) and Amol Alai, Soham Ghosh, Vinit Malpure and Nehaal Mayur (India) were all selected to attend the Commonwealth Youth Summit in Malaysia last year. 

On a more local level, last year Ahlam Ahmed (Yemen) participated in the National Conference for Education in Yemen, while Ikebunwa Lotanna (Nigeria) participated in the National Youth Council of Nigeria’s Youth Entrepreneurship Roundtable 2017, where the theme was on young people and entrepreneurship. 

In addition, many of our Global Youth Ambassadors are not just participating but shaping global debate around youth skills and employment. 

In January this year, 14 of our Global Youth Ambassadors joined the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative Youth Council set up by the Global Business Coalition for Education. Read their update on the importance of youth skills and the work they are doing with the Youth Council.

Furthermore, many of our Global Youth Ambassadors have also founded or volunteered for brilliant initiatives aimed at empowering young people locally. 

One example is Modou A Njie (Gambia), who has been a design thinker for the Youth Empowerment Project in Gambia, which aims to to train youths across the country.

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