Global Youth Ambassadors in Action

Theirworld's work would not be possible without our network of nearly 1000 Global Youth Ambassadors from around the world. Each month, we highlight the work of one or two of them and the amazing work they do to get every child into school.

Yuv Sungkur - June 2021

GYA Yuv Sungkur spoke to us about the work he has been doing supporting communities in his home country of Mauritius and advocating for more collaborative climate change solutions. As a passionate student, his initiative Food Water Hygiene (FWH) Mauritius seeks to support the Mauritian population, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How did you begin your journey into activism? 

I have always been interested in activism and advocacy. I am in complete admiration of the skills of powerful orators like Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and more recently, Alexandria Ocasio - Cortez. In fact, most of my books are about them! The youth have an immense power, and a unique voice to bring to the table - we share a new perspective, and we are not afraid to change the system. Today, I have the chance to put my skills and passion into action. Being an active advocate for better education with TheirWorld as a Global Youth Ambassador, and for climate change as a Country Coordinator for Mauritius with the UNFCCC's Conference of Youth 16 (COY16) is a true honor. Being part of such an active and open-minded  group of young people ready to make a change is a blessing, and I am more than excited to work with them. 

Can you tell us more about your latest project and what inspired you to act? 

My latest project is FWH Mauritius, which aims to support the Mauritian population living in situations of hunger, poverty, and inequality. We distribute packages containing food, water, and essential hygiene products. The pandemic left thousands of people confined in their homes with limited access to primary necessities. We created an initiative based on collaboration and human connection to help our people, and ensure that every man, woman and child have access to resources that satisfy their basic needs.  

What opportunities has the pandemic provided? 

In the past year and half and despite its challenges, the world demonstrated resilience by collectively adapting to a new lifestyle. Whether it was through a complete lockdown, a curfew to respect, or online work, we thought about one another and collaborated to restrain the effects of COVID-19. With the resilience we proved to have during this pandemic, we can only be positive about the future global actions we can take collectively. COVID showed that we can unite and collaborate as one to fight against a global threat - we need to use this momentum to push for further global actions, like increasing education finance or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

On a more personal level, COVID challenged me to think outside of the box and enhance my entrepreneurial skills for the better! Through this pandemic, I saw that people are willing to help one another, and do what is best not only for them, but society in general. This thought motivated me to create an NGO based on collaboration and human connection.  

As a GYA, what issues are you hoping world leaders prioritise for upcoming summits?  

In the context we are living in, global health policy surrounding COVID-19 will always have to be the number one priority. They need to ensure the safety of the population, and the deceleration of the virus.   

However, world leaders also need to start prioritising long-term educational investment while pursuing climate resilient policies. The threat of these issues requires international cooperation on an unprecedented scale. To fight for a climate-resilient future, sustained support from the highest levels of government and international organizations is crucial. World leaders need to invest in the future and pursue policies that enhance an inclusive educational system that promotes the mainstreaming of climate change.

Sarah Boateng - May 2021

A world without period poverty and stigma is possible, but to achieve these goals we need to work together. GYA Sarah Boateng is a passionate social entrepreneur and advocate for quality education working to invest in menstrual health education and hygiene. 

Her organisation IGEA (Investing in Girls Education in Africa) has a mission to support girls in rural communities in Africa to achieve their educational potential. 

Can you tell us more about the work IGEA does? 

Our main mission is to eliminate all barriers blocking girls in Africa from accessing quality education. 

Currently, we are running a programme called Menstruate and Educate. We provide girls with reusable period pads, to ensure they have effective period resources and reducing period poverty as a barrier to receiving a quality education. So far, we have been able to reach over 100 girls and have just fundraised to launch new projects and expand our reach to serve 500 girls spread across Northern Ghana. 

Why is tackling period poverty so important? 

Growing up, my own mother would often tell me about her struggle to remain in education. Born in rural Ghana, she left school early to become a local trader, selling oranges, and was unable to afford the expensive menstrual products. Nearly 60 years later, the same thing continues to happen in similar rural communities. I wanted to do something that could allow girls to finish their education - because I knew that their own experiences could have easily been my own.   

What is your advice to other GYAs hoping to start their own projects? 

I have three top tips for young people who might have a great idea but are stuck on how to get started. Research, network and just trying is my advice! Make sure you know your reasons, understand what motivates you and trust your vision – this will shine through, and know that even if you support one person, you have already made an incredible difference to someone's life. 

How has Covid-19 impacted your work?  

During the pandemic, our work in Ghana was paused. Our biggest strength was that we were able to go into communities and bring them together through our physical workshops. When Covid-19 hit, this stopped so I began volunteering at a local foodbank in London. The importance of community-based initiatives became so clear, as we saw small communities coming together and support each other. IGEA began to fundraise to support foodbanks and distributed over 5,000 period products to services across the UK. 


Jeffrey K. Kosgei - April 2021

One Child One Tree is an initiative that seeks to bring the younger generation to the forefront of the climate change discussion through environmental conservation and tree planting. GYA Jeffrey Kosgei spoke to us about the work he has been doing, educating primary school children in Kenya on environmental issues and the civic responsibility children have towards their community and their planet. 

How did you begin your journey into environmental conservation and activism? 

Living on the coastal region of Kenya, I have seen the first-hand effects of climate change. Our agricultural region heavily depends on rain and as the weather patterns continue to change – I realised climate change threatens all aspects of our society from work to economic prosperity.  

Climate solutions often put the older generation in charge, and I wanted to engage the younger generation properly. It is an important demonstration that young people are not only the future but also present drivers of change that we want to have in our society. 

Why do you think the link between education and the environment is so crucial? 

Education is the critical foundation of any engagement – to addressing both problems and solutions. Through planting trees with school children, we can connect between the impacts of climate change and what they are doing to address this. Whilst educating them, we can increase forest cover, knowledge share and create awareness with practical examples drawn from their immediate surroundings. This empowers the younger generation to take charge and bring forward solutions to climate change. It only takes one child and one tree. 

In celebration of World Earth Day, what can fellow GYAs be doing as activists to take care of the planet? 

The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. This is such an important message, as it encourages people to connect with what they can see. Offering climate solutions can come in different ways – there are so many avenues for engagement. Whilst policy work is helpful, starting small and creating scalable change is key too. Do what is within your reach, whether this be advocating for reuse, reduce, recycle in your local community or the small act of planting trees. If you are doing your part, and someone else across the globe is doing something, our efforts are bound together. Through collaboration, we can all contribute to a cleaner and safer world. 

Nandini Kochar - February 2021

What is your project and how did covid affect it?

Ray of Hope Botswana a youth-led organisation that runs educational classes and programming for children from underprivileged backgrounds. We work in one village in rural Botswana but attract children from surrounding villages. Over five years, our volunteers have been taking classes on a weekly basis that have supported and deepened the education that the children were receiving from their schools. When Covid hit Botswana, we decided to enter the space of e-learning. We ran a fundraiser and raised quite a bit of money that we used to purchase tablets for the children. We also partnered with a startup that has created an educational app for middle school and high school children that runs in line with the national curriculum.

We were very aware that this app had deficiencies. It was targeting a very specific group of children, and children under the age of 7 were once again left behind. Now we’re working on developing our own app that is focused on the cultural, linguistic and economic context of these children. There are very few e-learning apps out there that are suitable for a child from the context we are working in. They are usually very English heavy, and include spaces and objects that these children have never seen. It’s a very different reality from a 5 year old in the US. The hope is that this app will expand beyond the village we are working in and be useful to children across rural Botswana.

What opportunities has covid provided?

Encouraging people to donate. We have always used online funding but when Covid hit and our fundraising response was a direct response to it, we saw a positive response from donors from across the world. Now, it seems easier to reach out to people and ask for help. People want to help! We would never have imagined creating our own app if Covid hadn’t happened. It forces you to be creative. It’s so urgent and immediate that it compels you to act efficiently and effectively. We are pushed to think outside the box. Currently, we have a team of volunteers from around the world who are helping us build an app for children in Botswana in collaboration with our student volunteers here. All this is happening virtually. I would have never imagined this would have happened if it weren’t for the pandemic.

How do we hold people to account to continue to see this progress?

Covid will impact kids in the long run and that in itself is urgent. It is not easy for us, university and high school students, to hold governments accountable. But, in the partnerships and collaborations that we do hold, we recognise that digital learning is an investment for the long run. Technology was not something we prioritised before, but now we are now more aware of how it can be used to address the education gap that has been amplified by Covid. I don’t know what it’s going to look like two years from now, but my hope is that we don’t forget what this time meant for us, as well as for these children.

Sani Emmanuel - GYA of the Year 2020

The campaigner from Nigeria has made a big impact in a short time and has been chosen from among almost 1,000 young activists in 78 countries.

Emmanuel Sani has been a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador for only six months. But in that short time he has made a huge impact with his campaigning - especially on behalf of young children.

That energy and commitment led to the 26-year-old Nigerian being named as our Global Youth Ambassador of the Year for 2020 from among almost 1,000 young activists in 78 countries.

“It’s a dream come true for me. I knew the competition was strong when I saw the names on the list and the amazing work they were doing,” said Emmanuel.

He was one of six finalists nominated by their fellow Global Youth Ambassadors (GYAs), our cohort of young campaigners and social entrepreneurs aged 18 to 29 who are united in their passion for social justice and the right to education.

Emmanuel became a GYA in July and is particularly proud of two achievements since then. He explained:

“Firstly is the 100 days campaign on my social media handles. I was able to broaden the mindsets of individuals on the importance of early childhood education. Secondly, through the collaboration and support of other GYAs, I hosted an international virtual conference on early childhood education and how we can utilise recent technologies to solve child education injustices, especially during the pandemic. This conference had the Minister of Education for Guyana as its keynote speaker, with other important guests and participants from around the globe.”

As well as his work with Theirworld, during an eventful 2020 Emmanuel became a Justice Trainer for the Global Institute of Peace, Justice and Liberty. He also volunteered to help supply stationery and other educational materials to young children in orphanages and schools. 

In collaboration with fellow GYAs, he aims to run a programme next year that teaches ICT skills to children displaced from their homes.

Emmanuel, who is from the capital Abuja, is studying to become a lawyer.

“It will help me to be able to advocate fully for children’s rights to education. This right to education is the fundamental right of a young child.”

The other finalists for Global Youth Ambassador of the Year 2020 were Ahmed Oueslati from Tunisia, Bushra Farooq from India, Fontoh Desmond Abinwi Fontoh from Cameroon, Iswat Badmus from Nigeria and Simbiat Oladoja from Nigeria. We will feature them and their achievements in a Their News article in January.

Emmanuel paid tribute to them, saying:

“We are a great set of people and are doing so well in our respective fields. We are all winners because the goal is to ensure we keep fighting for quality education and everyone who is pursuing this is a winner.”

The Global Youth Ambassador programme, which has more than doubled in size this year, turns passion into power and unites a network of young people facing education challenges all over the world. 

Despite the challenges of 2020, this amazing group of campaigners have demonstrated their resilience by adapting to online working, shown the strength of their collaborations by organising virtual international conferences and proved their versatility by contributing to community projects, national policies and global events. 

Dawn Humphreys, Senior Youth Engagement Manager at Theirworld, said: “The Global Youth Ambassadors continue to be an incredible source of inspiration. They have demonstrated how the demand for quality education cannot be forgotten while we face growing challenges around the world. 

"I’m so pleased that Emmanuel has been recognised by his peers for his outstanding efforts and I congratulate all the nominees and GYAs who work tirelessly to ensure the right to education for all.”

Leon Juma - November 2020

John Leon Juma is a GYA living in Kenya with spina bifida. He shares his experiences on inclusive education and the importance of speaking up and using your voice.

Leon first spoke up when he started college and realised he wasn’t comfortable studying in a place where he wasn’t understood. The college wasn't that accessible and the number of students with disabilities was very low. But the day he decided to talk to the administration and tell them about himself and what would be ok for him and the rest of the students like him who would come in the future turned out to be a success. The college made reforms and as we speak the school is disability friendly and has more students with disabilities who enjoy studying there.

“I learnt a lot about the importance of inclusive Education and also quality health and this gave me a lot of knowledge on the importance of advocacy and using my voice as a tool to fight for change in order to leave no one behind. I am happy that I joined Theirworld early this year to continue with my passion on Inclusive Education.”

“My mission is to give hope and encourage my fellow youth and mostly students with disabilities to speak up and also to emphasise to our governments that when it comes to Inclusive Education it's a matter that needs to be taken seriously. When we live in a world where all children study together we will eradicate discrimination and also negativity and everyone will be treated equally and a lot of children will have access to quality Education. I will never rest until my message is received and Inclusive Education implemented thank you.”

Nina Mbah - October 2020

How did you get into entrepreneurship and employment skills training? How did you discover the need?

My peers were job hunting but I was focused on personal development training. Personal development programs seemed to be more valued than academic qualifications for businesses. A lot of people focus on their academics, thereby neglecting skills and experiences. You leave school, and the job you thought was waiting for you is not there. I started training my siblings and then more students any skills I thought they would use in the future. For me that is how the journey started. 

How are the challenges different for young people living in urban or rural areas?

For most young people, after going to school, they don’t want to live in rural areas because they feel what they've learnt at school is not needed there. There are so many rural opportunities yet untapped but a lot of young people are not aware of them.

In urban areas, the resources to accommodate the population coming in is not enough: the major problem now is resources versus the people. The opportunities are there but the challenges are too.

What do you think businesses and companies should do to help young people develop their skills?

First of all, we need to start getting creative with how businesses and companies make their investment. We need to develop sustainable options like sponsoring organisations who focus on training youth skills. Businesses should also invest in venture capital firms that invest in young people’s businesses. These two options are not explored adequately yet.

What are the unique challenges that young people are facing in the time of covid?

So many businesses, institutions weren’t prepared for drastic change. We are used to gradual change. Most of those infrastructures were not in place to cope with covid-19. So many young people don't even have access to a computer or to a phone that would help their businesses or even learn. Economy of the individual, economy of business, economy of the nation has been affected. Young people make up the workforce. So when we say job losses, we are talking about young people.

You mentioned helping to reduce and prevent the adverse effects of Covid-19 on business and work opportunities for young people - what does this look like? What steps can be taken?

Two major things that have to be put in check, economy and education, I don't think we can easily separate these two any more. For most people going to school the goal is knowledge and economic benefit. It is already a challenge to get a job after school and covid is an added hardship. When it comes to education we need to look outside normal, traditional education systems to solve the present needs of the people. 

Jeremiah Ebeleme - September 2020

Tell me a bit about yourself and your project?

My name is Jeremiah Ebeleme and I am the Project Manager of Sparkle Foundation. We have been working with under-served communities for 5 years bringing scholarships to those who need it most, providing materials and engaging children and parents about the importance of education.

Why is your project so important at the moment?

Education is a key to the path out of poverty and ignorance but every year we see the figures of out of school children go up. By going directly into communities, the Back to School project gives children the opportunity to access education.

Education is a tool you can give to a child to help them make informed decisions in life, whether we are talking about climate change, corruption or our own views. Education has a role to play, once we are aware, we can change patterns and behaviours and give different perspectives.

You’ve been working on this project for 5 years. What changes has COVID had on education and your work in the community?

The economy is suffering and education is dependent on the parents or guardian. Businesses are collapsing and what you make in a day is what you have to put food on the table that night. Parents no longer have the money to sustain their child’s education. They no longer have the money to feed them. At this point, the priority is bringing more money into the household, not education. This means children are now being forced to work, to hawk, to bring in that little bit more money every day.

But, these problems existed before the pandemic. Now, we must look at people who are struggling, look at people who have been worse affected by COVID and look at how we can create a scholarship scheme. If we cannot completely eliminate the number of children out of school, at least we can control the increase. Our scholarship scheme gives parents time to relaunch themselves and their businesses and takes off the pressure financially.

So it is very much about engaging the whole community, not just the children?

The world is changing, even those with jobs are not getting as much money as they were before, education is dependent on the parents or guardian and in some places school fees are going up.

So, we engage the parents. As much as we want to support the children, we cannot ignore that the parents have a role to play and we want to bring them on the journey. Getting the parents to value education is the only way we can guarantee sustainability for the scholarships we put in place for them. We are also helping parents upskill themselves in their business.

What needs to happen for your project to no longer be needed?

We will still keep fighting for reforms, advocating for good learning environments and improving different areas of education. It is a joy to know that the things we are asking for are then put in place. If we can have a society where every child can have access to quality education without having to beg for it, irrespective of who they are, where they are, what their background is, it’s a 100% win for us. We can keep getting better.

What advice do you have for your fellow GYAs?

We as GYAs we need to start thinking about getting ourselves more involved. We have to be involved in real issues affecting education. We need to start pushing for funding. The whole world is complaining that there is no money, we need to start looking how we can make the case for education and find a solution, find a way to change policies if they need to change, tweak it if we need to tweak it, if they need to be put aside, put them aside. The world is changing, we need education to change too.

Wendy Aura Obel - September 2020

We have a responsibility to be the voice of the children

In a sentence, could you tell me what education means to you?

Education is an endless process of acquiring knowledge and skills that are necessary and valuable in our day-to-day life.

That’s a great answer. What education focussed projects are you working on at the moment?

I run an organization called Young Women Leaders Connect YWLC in Kenya. Last month, we joined other youth focused organizations in Kenya and led a campaign dubbed #JusticeForEveryChildKe, which identified four key issues affecting children and young people during the covid-19 pandemic, and which is inspired by the Global Justice For Children campaign. Among the key issues we advocated for is Education.

What exactly did you do to spread awareness of your campaign? How did you get your voice heard?

We had a full month of online campaigns running on Twitter, Facebook live and webinars. The online campaign ended last week by a press release, highlighting the key demands of young people in Kenya.

It sounds like you ended on a strong note. How do you think COVID-19 has affected education?

Under education, we realised that even before the pandemic, there were thousands of learners that dropped out of school that were not mentioned in the 100% primary to secondary school transition. For this reason, we demanded that the government deliver its commitment to quality, public education for every child and in light of covid-19 pandemic, now that schools are closed, to take actions to reduce the digital divide and ensure equal access to resources, opportunities for vulnerable Children.

So what’s the next step?

Currently we're working on a letter to the president which we hope to follow up government commitment.

Finally, what message would you like to share with your fellow GYAs?

Education forms a core sector in our community, hence every child has a full right to quality education. With the challenges facing our education systems daily, we have a responsibility to be the voice of the children. Let's do it with love because our children deserve better.

Sara Pan Algarra - July 2020

Could you tell me who you are and how long you have been a GYA?

My name is Sara Pan Algarra. I am a Venezuelan student at New York University Abu Dhabi pursuing a double major in Social Research and Public Policy, and Theatre, specializing in Political Science. I have been a GYA since March 2018. 

That sounds like an exciting mix of subjects. Could you tell me another interesting fact about yourself?

One interesting fact about myself is that I have worked in five projects on arts and sports education for social impact in three countries, India, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Wow, do you think the skills you’ve developed as a GYA change the way you approach these projects?

As a GYA, I have become more aware of the multidimensional challenges that exist regarding education and development worldwide, and therefore, about the diverse opinions that people working in the field have of these challenges. 

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your campaigning?

I don’t know how to respond to this question. I haven’t done much campaigning. For me, it has been more about supporting things that are already out there, instead of reinventing the wheel. 

That’s a very sensible way of looking at things. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a GYA?

To always remain open to learning about new perspectives and opinions. They will better-inform what you do. 

How important is it that we have a day celebrating and recognizing Youth Skills?

I think it serves as a reminder for policymakers worldwide that investing in youth skills is important for integral development. It is hard to promote sustainable development without putting an emphasis on giving youth spaces to acquire a wide range of skills that will prepare us to enter the workforce and contribute to our nations.

Erick Ombija - June 2020

Erick Ombija is a Global Youth Ambassador from Kenya. He is a youth advocate with over six years’ experience in community volunteering and service.  He is the founder the Grassroots Transforming Network C.B.O (GTN) – a youth and children owned voluntary organization in Kisumu County, Western part of Kenya that equips young people with the skills, knowledge, resources and urgency they need to lead social change at the grassroots level. GTN operates within five areas of focus: youth employment and livelihoods; childhood development; HIV/AIDS mitigation, climate change and environmental enhancement; and democracy and governance. Erick is a member of a number of youth movements and networks championing for youth voice across the leadership spectrum including the Young African Leadership Initiative.

The unrelenting commitment by Theirworld to advance the global SDG 4 inspired Erick to be part of the GYA network. Erick is a staunch youth and children advocate on quality education at the grassroots. He wanted to be part of this global network of dedicated education advocates so as to learn varied perspectives on how best we can advance the implementation of the global SDG 4 and its attainment by the year 2030. Erick, through the GYA network, hopes to amplify the voice of the vulnerable children in Western Kenya and other parts of the world so as to attain quality education. Erick remains resolute to add his voice to the Theirworld’s mission on quality education and lifelong learning for every child.

Erick commits to translate the mission of Theirworld to the grassroots part of Western Kenya. He longs to gain needed support, network and expertise in advancing the right to quality education for every child. Through research, he hopes to initiate a number of education programs in Kisumu County. Erick is currently leading a peer-to-peer research using Human Centered Design, though is on hold due to the COVID- 19, in investigating: HMW (How Might We) improve the academic performance of primary schools in rural areas (using Kabonyo/Kanyagwal ward in Kisumu County as case study). Through his role as a GYA, Erick is hopeful to bring the plight of children at the grassroots the global radar for needed action.

Dineo Phala - May 2020

I AM PULLING UP & I AM READY TO GET MY HANDS DIRTY!

Dineo, pronounced as (Dee-Neo) is plural for Gift or Bearer of many gifts in Sepedi/Setswana which is one of the official native languages in South Africa.

I grew up under my grandmother’s wing, while my parents were working. The key attributes that were instilled in me from my upbringing are; humility, love and self-reliance. I was afforded the opportunity to go to primary, secondary & tertiary school. I completed my bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and currently work as a marketer in an IT/Telecommunications company. 

Attending a catholic school taught me to become appreciative and selfless, I was involved in numerous initiatives that fed into the bigger picture of community spirit and relief. In my final year of my undergrad, I began trying to unravel and understand the root cause of many injustices and domestic violence crimes. I found the most common denominator in most cases was the victim’s dependence on the perpetrator. It was at that point in time that I had an epiphany, that I should work towards enabling people to become self-reliant. 

I understood that education is a form of empowerment that cannot be taken away and as such I took some time to research foundations that supported and promoted education. I came across Theirworld and immediately was drawn to their advocacy for quality education.

I am looking forward to learning and exploring all avenues that are presented with the opportunity of being a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld. It will bring a priceless feeling of fulfilment to know that I have contributed to the global community by enabling the younger generations to have access to quality education and for them to become a somebody in the world.

Sarah Mwikali - May 2020

Sarah joined the first cohort of GYAs back in 2014.  She has been involved in various TheirWorld campaigns both internationally and nationally. She is particularly proud of using the #WritetheWrong campaign to focus on children with disabilities. Thanks to the activism of Sarah and others, inclusive education is now taking shape in Kenya and there are education policies and regulations in place that recognise the importance of access to education for every child with and without disability. Currently, not all mainstream schools can absorb children with disabilities, but there has  been a robust discussion in the country on elimination of special schools which can socially exclude and stigmatise children with disabilities. Through this campaign Sarah has engaged with a range of stakeholders and she has learnt that the most effective impact occurs when a holistic approach is taken, involving governments and citizens. 

During this Covid season, Sarah is involved in Theirworld’s GYA Advisory Group where she is supporting the development of the GYA’s advocacy toolkit. She is performing this role at home, as she continues with her other duties. She is the co-founder and Programs Director at Gifted Community Centre that advocates for the rights of youth with disabilities in Nairobi, with one of the programmes being education and information. During this time, the organization is educating some of its members through social media such as Whatsapp, with awareness sessions taking place on Twitter and Facebook. 

Sarah is passionate about access to equal and quality education. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Diplomacy and International Affairs and has previously worked with the UN and British High Commission, among others. She serves on numerous boards such as Global Business Coalition for Education Youth innovation and skills council and the Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network.

April 2020 - Danielle Green

As someone who has had to overcome educational disadvantages herself, Danielle has for a long time appreciated the importance of empowering others to overcome barriers to achieve their goals. It is for this reason she was excited to apply to become a GYA ambassador – it was an opportunity to tackle educational inequality while connecting with others who have the same challenging mission.

Danielle has gained a lot in her nearly two and a half years as a GYA for Theirworld: learning why Early Childhood Development is crucial, keeping healthy while working on a cause and understanding the complexities involved in making educational change sustainable. She has also had the opportunities to listen and be inspired by the work and stories of other people linked to Theirworld, encouraging her to maintain her ambition and determination to make positive changes.

These positive changes can be seen through the impact of the projects Danielle has been involved in so far. She led the Awareness-Raising Team on a project to highlight the importance of education in the community of Sambour, Cambodia, where they gained insights into the barriers to accessing schooling. She has chaired a panel discussion on Quality Education at the Oxford Forum for International Development, where they touched on ECD, education in fragile contexts and intersectionality. Finally, for the Ditchley Foundation, Danielle identified key players in Lifelong Learning in the UK to invite to the Ditchley Summit, and discussed with them ways to promote education for all in group debates at the event.

Recently Danielle has been working as a member of the Advisory Board for the GYA toolkit, which involves using insights and experience to provide feedback and recommendations on the content and structure of the resource. This toolkit will advise GYAs on methods they can use to have an even higher level of impact when tackling educational disadvantage in their own context.

April 2020 - Saket Mani

During his seven years as a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld, Saket has been involved in several high profile, high impact projects. Each has presented him with a unique set of challenges and opportunities to innovate. He personally mobilised 15,000 young people to pledge their support for #EducationForAll and facilitated workshops advocating, gender justice, climate change and education in India. Saket later achieved over 210,000 pledges for supporting the global HeForShe movement through the power of volunteering and creative outreach. Saket has also represented Theirworld at the G20 YouthSummit where he delivered a powerful speech on education supporting the establishment of the International Finance Facility for Education.

When asked what his advice for prospective Global Youth Ambassadors would be, Saket encourages you to treat the ‘role and experience as a masterclass’ in education advocacy. Not only has he made a difference through taking advantage of opportunities, he has also created many more opportunities for himself and for others. Saket also recognises how his own understanding of education advocacy has deepened and been refined through his experience as a GYA. 

As one of Theirworld’s first GYAs, Saket has made global contributions to policy, advocacy and strategy including through his contributions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. At a local level, he has been proactive in engaging with his community and building grassroots campaigns focusing on education, equality and justice. Saket also praises the network of amazing advocates he has met over the years who have ‘excelled in their work and inspired us’. 

February 2020 - Sayeda Nazmun

Sayeda Nazmun is a GYA from Bangladesh focused on bringing education to children in marginalised communities; “Education is a right not a privilege, as a GYA I believe everyone is entitled to Quality Education”. 

Sayeda works as the main supervisor on the ‘Project Altruism’ initiative, a local community based project which builds Computer Labs for street children in three schools in Bangladesh. Sayeda also co-founded “Education Against Tobacco Bangladesh”, an organisation focused on teaching young people about the harmful effects of smoking. 

Currently employed by Save the Children International, Sayeda works in midwifery education on a project designed to reduce maternal and newborn infant mortality. She has also hosted a number of talks aimed at empowering and educating young people about menstrual hygiene and sexual and reproductive health. In recognition of her work and abilities Sayeda was previously selected to be a judge in The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

In her role as a Global Youth Ambassador Sayeda has participated as an online campaigner for #WriteTheWrong and has taken part in a number of digital campaign actions. Sayeda has also written for Theirworld voices in honour of International Day for Street Children, where she discusses her own work with young children living on the street; “Their education must be a way of showing them a new path to fulfil their potential and build their own positive future”. 

January 2020 - Iyanuoluwa Ayodele

Iyanuoluwa is a GYA from Nigeria passionate about climate activism and universal equitable education; “Being a GYA has placed me in a position where I am able to create change and has given me the platform to call for quality and accessible education for all”.

In his capacity as a GYA, Iyanuoluwa has worked as an active social media campaigner for our #WriteTheWrong, #YouPromised and #5for5 campaigns. He has also used the messaging and language of Theirworld campaigns to pressure local leaders and push for change in Nigeria.

In his work as an education campaigner Iyanuoluwa co-founded the Achievers Innovative Advocates International Foundation (AIA), a youth led organisation aimed at promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the Africa agenda 2063 for growth and development. 

Through his AIA organisation he initiated the ‘global goals and talents lab super school program’ which aims to encourage the nurturing of innovative ideas in schools in support of achieving the SDG’s, which has been rolled out in 5 schools across Nigeria, with over 700 participants. In August 2019 Iyanuoluwa was also selected to participate in the Sozo Networks leadership & Mentorship fellowship programme sponsored by US embassy Abuja.

In recognition of his work as a youth advocate, Iyanuoluwa was selected as a mentor for 2019 Kectil leadership program where he was invited to Atlanta in the United States for a Youth leadership Gathering. In his work as an education campaigner Iyanuoluwa also attended the last Osun state economic development summit in Nigeria, where he used this platform to stress the importance of education for the economic development of the state. 

In November 2019 Iyanuoluwa attended the Paris Peace Forum where he addressed over 8000 participants on the need for quality education in order to achieve sustainable peace across the world.

In 2018 Iyanuoluwa hosted an event with AIA ‘Climate Action For Sustainable Development; Our Collective Responsibilities’. In aid of his work as a climate activist Iyanuoluwa has gained a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Injustice at University Of East Anglia (UEA). In 2019 in his capacity as a climate activist, Iyanuoluwa was chosen to join the Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN).

Global Youth Ambassador of the Year 2019 - Samuel Adewumi

Samuel Adewumi from Nigeria has been nominated by his fellow ambassadors as GYA of The Year for his commitment to education as a tool to prevent conflict and improve conditions in his community; “Education is for improving the lives of others, and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Samuel’s work is rooted in his own experience as a child, being forced to drop out of school due to his family’s financial instability - this inspired him to use his skills to help marginalised children access education.

In addition to his own work with his agricultural biofuel startup, Samuel has worked as a Teaching Fellow with Teach For Nigeria, an organisation committed to connecting promising future leaders with some of the most underserved schools in the country. In his teaching, Samuel focuses on a learner-centred approach, and creates 21st century tech-toolkits for his students.

In addition to traditional teaching methods, Samuel has also been an advocate of mindfulness in schools, a psychological process which focuses on bringing one's attention to the present moment as a means to reduce symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. 

Samuel has organised mindfulness workshops through his organisation ‘Constructive Peace Initiative’, a project that has trained 210 learners in four communities across the country in communication, dialogue, and mediation skills.

With his Teen4peaceEducation (T4PE) project, Samuel has targeted children in underserved community schools who have been displaced by violent extremism in Nigeria. In addition to this, through his own organisations, Samuel has provided financial support to a health facility and training centre in Lagos aimed at curbing maternal mortality.

Samuel wrote a blog in support of Theirworld’s #SafeSchools campaign, in which he discussed his own initiatives aimed at fostering an environment of inclusiveness in schools as a means to prevent attacks on schools and school chidren. This involved meeting and liaising with key stakeholders and students to create workshops aimed at fostering mutual inclusiveness and empathy to curb attacks on schools.

Samuel also supported Theirworld’s work by providing feedback on a letter to the German Development Minister in 2017 about the proposed ‘Marshal Plan for Africa’, and contributed photographs for the #RewritingTheCode campaign.

November 2019 - Julius Fieve

Julius Karl D. Fieve is a Global Youth Ambassador from Ghana, who is committed to the idea of quality education as a crucial way to overcome hardship; "Quality education is the only way to change the circumstances of people and make individuals become global citizens”

Born into a large polygamous family in rural Ghana Julius grew up in a subsistence farming community, something which brought him into direct contact with the devastating impact of

poverty: “This made me understand that access to quality education is the surest bet to eradicating poverty”.

Julius has worked closely as a campaigner for education in his local community. Serving as an elected Local Government Assembly Member in Ghana, he has advocated for the building of school and library facilities and has supported programmes which have helped over 1500 children gain access to new books, footwear and other materials.

In 2018 Julius also voluntarily assisted the Royal Commonwealth Society, Africa in organizing the 2018 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition awards ceremony which was attended by the Duchess of Cornwall and Mrs. Rebecca Akufo Addo, the First Lady of Ghana. In the same year Julius attended the One Young World Summit in the Hague, Netherlands as a delegate speaker for Ghana and wrote a Theirworld blog detailing his role.

In his capacity as a Global Youth Ambassador, Julius has publicly expressed support for #WriteTheWrong and has contributed to an article explaining how the IFFEd financing initiative hopes to bring education to a wider number of children. Julius has also contributed to a Theirworld blog which pays tribute to the late Kofi Anan.

Julius is the recipient of the prestigious Mastercard Foundation Scholarship which is supporting his MSc in Africa and International Development Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He is also one of the sixty Changemakers worldwide of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and was at the 2019 Trust Conference in London. Julius is now working on his Master’s thesis, exploring sustainable finance models as a means for female entrepreneurship and development in Ghana.

October 2019 - Palak Sharma

Palak Sharma is a GYA from India who is currently studying for a postgraduate degree in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). 

Palak is a passionate education campaigner who believes strongly in equal access to opportunities and skills development. Palak is particularly passionate about girls’ education; “I consider myself very privileged to come from a family that thought of education for girls at par with boys [...} that is a gift I can share with others”. 

Palak has worked as Policy Intern for Indian Minister of State, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. In her role Palak worked as a part of a seven member core team on ‘Mission Antyodaya’ which involved finding links between current government policies through data research and analysis of best practice. Palak was also involved with a project aimed at aligning Hindu inheritance law with domestic violence policy. This resulted in a new clause which disinherits male perpetrators of domestic violence, who would have otherwise automatically inherited the entirety of a deceased relative's estate. 

As a Policy Intern, Palak’s main focus was on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and sanitation. She was involved in the creation of a public education sanitation campaign, which included adverts on the Delhi Metro. 

Palak is the founder of her own organisation, the Green Governance Initiative, a non-partisan policy research think-tank that works to ensure the effective implementation of development policies. With her organisation Palak has been involved in the establishment of digital libraries across India. She has also been involved in the implementation of a ‘remote teaching centre’ in Delhi which targets children in remote communities in Kashmir. 

Palak has worked as an educator for ‘Unacademy’, India’s largest online learning platform. She has worked helping to prepare prospective applicants for the civil service exam, which is regarded amongst one of the most difficult in the country. 

In the UK, Palak works with the ‘Food For All’ foundation which offers free meals to everyone, regardless of background. In addition to this, Palak works as a volunteer with Debate Mate, a UK based organisation aimed at developing communication skills for kids too young to read books. 

In addition to her work as an education campaigner, Palak has also been recognised for her written work, having won a competition with ‘Delhi Poetry Slam’. She has written a published poetry anthology entitled; ‘This is how I die of wandering’ which includes a collection of her work.

September 2019 - Archana Vijau Kumar

Archana Vijau Kumar (Malaysia) is interested in promoting youth skills and helping to inspire future leaders. Archana is an Law Graduate from the University of London, who in between working as a legal intern, is an active Theirworld advocate and campaigner.

Archana organised the ‘Future Youth Summit’, a conference that focuses on the role of young people in bringing about universal access to holistic education. The conference brought together over 500 young leaders, government officials, field experts and youth development stakeholders to discuss the topic; ‘The Future of Tomorrow’. The summit also focused on sustainability and the challenges facing young people in a digital future. Archana used the summit as an opportunity to promote Theirworld campaigns and discuss the role of a GYA and activities of other GYAs. See what Archana said about the event in a blog for Theirworld here.

Archana attended the Telangana Jagruthi International Youth Leadership Conference in Hyderabad, India. The conference was aimed at promoting sustainability and innovation based on Gandhian principles and was attended by high profile figures like Governor of the Telangana State and olympic medalists. The event gave Achana the chance to further spread the word of the GYA programme.

In addition to their work as a GYA, Archana is a Malaysian ambassador to Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA), an organisation aimed at promoting humanitarian causes around the world.

Archana is also the Malaysian delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Dialogue. This saw Archana attending a delegation in April 2019, taking the chance to build connections with other young leaders to discuss and promote the GYA programme. Archana also works in the Commonwealth Youth Council as the Asian Regional Representative, working to combat issues faced by young people in Asian countries.

In addition to this, Archana is an experienced TEDx speaker having organised talks on a range of issues – How to be a Childlike Leader and Spirituality in the 211 Century.

August 2019 - Harriet Kamashanyu

Harriet Kamashanyu from Uganda has worked with Theirworld representing the GYA network since 2014. She is the head and founder of Rhythm of life, an organisation aimed at keeping the daughters of sex workers in school and breaking the cycle of sex work in vulnerable communities. 

Harriet grew up in the Kabalagala neighbourhood in Kampala close to the biggest red light district in the country. Growing up she noticed that many of her peers dropped out of school and ended up engaging in sex work. Through her organisation Harriet aims to counter this and change the lives of women who have often been ignored by mainstream society. 

Through her organisation Harriet participated in the national dissemination meeting on induced abortion and post-abortion care in Uganda. This meeting aimed to bring together key partners and stakeholders in health and government agencies to discuss adolescent post-abortion care. With Girls Not Brides Harriet was also involved in the organisation of the first National Girls’ summit in Uganda in November 2018. The summit aimed to gather stakeholders ranging from civil society organisations, government ministries and UN bodies to address issues facing girls in Uganda.

Harriet is a fellow of the German NGO KAS, with whom she is developing a public policy paper on the “Financial inclusion of marginalised girls and women in Uganda”. Harriet is also involved with the ‘Visualize’ project for Youth Arts Movement in Uganda which aims to equip young girls with professional media skills and direct them in using these skills in the fight for equality, human rights, good governance and democracy.

Harriet has received public recognition for her work as the recipient of the Uganda Youth Adolescents Heath Forum (UYAHF) ‘She decides Gender Equality Award’. She has also been selected as a 2019 fellow for Youth4policy, which aims to develop youth leaders and conduct public policy research from a youth perspective. She was also chosen in 2018 to be part of the YALI Nairobi regional centre leadership Academy and in 2017 was selected as one of the nine female African entrepreneurs to be part of the Y-her programme in South Africa.

July 2019 - Yaya Dama

Yaya Dama is a Global Youth Ambassador from Burkina Faso focused on fighting for equal education. Yaya believes that a good quality education is the best solution to provide a stable future. As the first child of 7 in his family to go to school, Yaya sees fighting for education as a moral obligation and a way to build better conditions in his community and around the world.

Yaya was the President of The Burkina Muslim Pupils and Students Association from 2016-2018, where he was involved in recent activity targeting more than 10,000 youths for civic education aimed at creating collaboration between teachers and pupils. He has also appeared on radio programmes on behalf of his organisation, where he has discussed topics ranging from education, peacebuilding and inter religious dialogue. 

Yaya is the founder and current CEO of Talk for Education, which is an initiative aimed at bringing quality education to all in Burkina Faso. The organisation creates English clubs and libraries in schools as well as raising literacy among young people and finding scholarships for vulnerable children. The organisation has already created English clubs and a library, with more than 100 pupils and university students already benefitting.

In recognition of his work, Yaya was selected by The African Union International Center of Girls and Women Education to attend a three-day workshop at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia aimed at tackling barriers to education for women. He has also been declared a 2018 leader for the Obama foundation Africa program, following his completion of a year’s training. Yaya also represented Burkina Faso at the 2nd Model OIC For High Schools International Summit in Istanbul in April 2018. Yaya has been appointed to the Organization of Muslim Youth of West Africa, an organization composed of 20 national Muslim youth organisations from 8 countries in West Africa.

Yaya has worked closely with Theirworld on a number of campaigns including International Mother Language day and signing a letter which was sent to the government of Burkina Faso at meeting calling for investment in Early Childhood Education in Norway. Yaya has written a blog on the Theirworld website discussing his efforts to build inter-community cohesion and speak out against violent extremism. 

June 2019 - Pavel Sawar

Pavel Sawar (Bangladesh) is a social entrepreneur and community leader based in Malaysia currently working within tech entrepreneurship, public service innovation, tech education and community development. He is a committed education campaigner with a particular focus on providing girls access to ICT education. He is committed to using education as a tool to combat gender equality and making Sustainable Development Goal 4 a reality.

Pavel is the co-founder of Youth Hub, a global platform for young people focused on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. Youth Hub has run a number of schemes including the recent ‘School Coders’ initiative, aimed at familiarising students with computer programming and coding skills. Youth Hub also implemented the ‘Girls in ICT’ scheme which targets girls in education with an interest in ICT and STEM learning with computer technology skills, and the ‘Schoolpreneur’ initiative which aims to bring school students, academics, entrepreneurs, industry experts and Government officials together to promote the teaching of entrepreneurial skills.

Pavel is also the founder and Director of Codex Software Solution, an organisation which works to solve social and community problems with technological solutions in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Nepal. 

Pavel is also the Director of Information Technology at The Commonwealth Youth Innovation Hub, an organisation aimed at developing human capital, driving economic and societal innovation, fostering unity and transforming societies through sustainable impact. He has contributed to Google Crowdsource Community as a Community Representative for Malaysia, and is a Google Street View trusted Photographer, featuring on a Google Official Blog and Local Guide channels, attending the Google Local Guides Summit 2017 at Google HQ in California.

In recognition of his work, Pavel was presented with the Young Entrepreneur Award 2015 by Bangladesh Open source Network (BdOSN).

Pavel has worked closely with Theirworld contributing to a number of our campaigns. This includes supporting our #WriteTheWrong, Message to Macron and International Women’s Day social media campaigns. Pavel created a video for our Mother Language Day day, organised an event and created online content for Menstrual Hygiene Day, and organised a school coding sessions for our #RewritingTheCode campaign. Pavel is also one of the most active contributors to the GYA facebook group and shares regular updates with the network about his work and activities.

Pavel recently represented his organisation Youth Hub at the future city summit Bangkok. He also chaired the session on 'The role of CSOs and NGOs on media literacy at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY)' dialogue: ‘Youth Deconstructing Fake News’ in Malacca City, Malaysia where he spoke publicly about the role of CSOs and NGOs in media literacy. 

May 2019 - Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan

Kainat and Shazia are active education campaigners from Pakistan, who at the age of 21 have already devoted huge efforts battling for the rights of children to access education around the world. Kainat and Shazia were both injured in the bus attack on their friend and global education advocate Malala Yousafzai, and since then have been key advocates for equitable education, whilst also both undertaking degrees in nursing from the University of Edinburgh.

Along with other GYA’s, Kainat and Shazia attended the Theirworld 2019 International Women's Day event in london where they spoke about the importance of education as a right, as well as their own experiences in overcoming extreme odds to access education. They both received past recognition for their work in the form of the ‘Hammer Award’ at the Garaji Gujurart 2 Leadership Awards’ for influential South Asians living in the UK, and worked with Theirworld as a guest editors for the ‘A World at School’ website (the past alias to the GYA program).

They have both devoted particular efforts to campaigning for girls right to education, with Kainat saying at Theirworld’s recent International Women’s Day event;  "Girls and women have a special role. They can choose whatever they want to be. Please support those people who cannot speak for themselves”. On a recent trip to Georgia, Kainat and Shazia also met with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, where they shared their work on girls education in Pakistan. They also met with girls in rural areas of the country, many of whom have faced obstacles in accessing education.

Whilst in Georgia they both attended the 'Youth 2250' event hosted by Georgia's UN youth delegate in Tbilisi. The event was based on UN Security Council Resolution 2250 which emphasises the role of youth in peace building and negotiations. The event provided Kainat with the opportunity to meet with young people from Georgia, Israel, Pakistan, Malaysia and Panama, and aimed to unite representatives who shared a belief in the importance of enacting change on a community based level.

Congratulations Kainat and Shazia, keep up the interesting and inspiring work.

April 2019 - Gideon Olanrewaju

Gideon is an education advocate from Nigeria focusing on gender and Early Childhood Development. His passion for education stems from being raised in a rural community where limited finances and learning opportunities hindered access to quality education.

Since joining the Global Youth Ambassador programme in June 2016, Gideon has been active in supporting Theirworld on our Early Childhood Development, #YouPromised and #WriteTheWrong campaigns. He has used his voice to help amplify ours by drafting, co-signing and sharing petitions and writing blogs on the need for psychosocial support at pre-primary level.

Gideon represented the Global Youth Ambassador programme at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly. Representing the youth perspective in high-level meetings with business executives and dignitaries, including Amina Mohammed (United Nations Deputy Secretary-General), Gordon Brown (United Nations Special Envoy for Global EducIation) and Graca Maçhel (former Minister of Education and Culture, Republic of Mozambique). Gideon advocated for young people at the Global Business Coalition for Education Breakfast meeting, stressing the need for multilateral agencies to engage young people in global policy-making processes. Speaking at the live launch of the Deloitte-Global Business Coalition for Education Youth Skills Report, Gideon shared his perspective on better support for educational systems from businesses and the necessary youth skills needed to thrive and survive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Gideon has been involved in programs facilitating access to quality education for low-income and marginalized communities in Nigeria, South Africa and the UK, since 2012. He is also part of the Commonwealth Students Association and a member of the Africa Regional Working Group. At the 2018 Education World Forum in London he represented the Chevening Scholarships and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, spearheading the delivery of youth voices to over 62 Ministers of Education. Gideon highlighted innovative improvements aimed at high quality and effective education systems and state based mechanisms to finance education.

Gideon is the Founder of the International Youth Coalition for Education (www.iyceducation.org). It’s aim is to develop the largest community of youth leaders and organisations which effectively improve educational and livelihood outcomes for children around the world.

No doubt, it’s the responsibility of young people to not only DEMAND but act to ensure that the right of all children and young people, to equal and quality educational opportunities, is ensured. As Youth, we must ALWAYS follow up with ACTIONS.

March 2019 - Taha Khan

Taha Khan is a fervent child rights advocate and campaigner from India. She is the founder and CEO of Child Awareness Project (CAP), an award-winning is a youth-led nonprofit organisation that believes in the power of youth engagement and the spirit of activism to harness positive change, advocating for children’s rights worldwide.

Taha attended the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 as part of the Theirworld delegation, representing her fellow Global Youth Ambassadors. Taha was chosen due to the quality of her campaigning and advocacy work from the date she joined the network. In New York, Taha helped convene our #SafeSchools event, meeting and speaking to some of the most influential figures in international development, including Baela Jamil (Education Commissioner), Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), David Miliband (International Rescue Committee), Kailash Satyarthi (children’s education campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner), Sarah Brown (Founder and former President of Theirworld) and Julia Gillard (former Prime Minister of Australia).

Taha has also acted as an information conduit for her fellow Global Youth Ambassadors, writing daily journals published for Theirworld, and gathering content for our social media channels, including highlighting the launch of the eagerly awaited Learning Generation report which spearheaded the proposal of the International Finance Facility for Education, which Theirworld is now campaigning for major government figures to support.

Taha has supported Theirworld’s #5for5, #SafeSchools and #YouPromised campaigns and has written articles for our website, including, “Education is not just a need but a tool to alleviate poverty”.

As a medical student with a particular interest in child development and neurology, Taha has been able to observe the positive and powerful impact of early intervention and early learning on children’s wellbeing and attainment in her work and in deepening her understanding of early childhood education. Taha adopts a holistic approach to education, believing that hostile environments can and do prove to have a counterproductive effect on children. Having witnessed the limited aspirations for girls and women in particular within her community, Taha finds herself compelled to quash the barriers to education.

Aware of the many children who are unable to access quality education, Taha created an initiative at CAP to tackle bullying and supporting young disadvantaged people through the development of their soft skills, converting them into life skills. Taha and her organisation have been featured on the Inspiration page of The Queen’s Commonwealth website.

Young people need to be seen, heard and have a seat at the table, where decisions pertaining to them are made. The Global Youth Ambassador network has made this possible.

February 2019 - Nyugah Innocent Fomusoh

Nyugah, 29, is a passionate and dedicated advocate for children’s education based in Cameroon. His activism is shaped by personal experience and recognises the hardships children face when tasked with an uncertain future and compounded by even more uncertain education provision.

Nyugah grew up in the English speaking part of Cameroon, where he attended and completed his education. “All I have that I achieved today is thanks to education,” he says, recognising the gifts that education can bring to any child’s future.”

He uses his gifts to fight for others right to free, quality education and is a passionate and active supporter of Theirworld’s WriteTheWrong campaign. He states “It’s painful knowing that so many others in this part of Cameroon and other parts of the world are unable to achieve their dreams because of lack of access to affordable and quality education.”

His activism comes in many forms from being a speaker and facilitator for several youth events, to motivating and building the next generation of volunteers and encouraging young students and graduates to embrace a culture of volunteerism.

Last year, Nyugah worked with NSESA Africa to provide school supplies to 21 street children in the Assin Foso community in Ghana. He also volunteered with JEC, a programme that seeks out to promote ethical entrepreneurship for youth.

Nyugah also spoke at “Talk on GBV” organized by Leap Girl Africa, a non-governmental organisation headed by fellow Global Youth Ambassador, Pertulla Ezigha, and volunteered on the walk against Gender Based Violence.

When not contributing to education activism, Nyugah took time out to showcase one of the four languages he speaks for International Mother Language Day.

Nyugah recognises the importance of personal stories in education narratives and has contributed content on Day of the African Child focused on a personal take on   'Leave no child behind for Africa's development'.

Advocating for quality education for all is my own way of fighting to give everyone a chance to their dreams, to a better future. It’s also a chance to enforce my passionate commitment to making the world a better place.

January 2019 - Daniella Akellot

Daniella, 30, is a committed and dedicated disability and education campaigner and advocate of invisible disabilities. Since joining the network in 2017, Daniella has taken part in some of Theirworld’s major campaigns, such as #YouPromised, #RewritingTheCode and #5for5. Daniella believes through education, children are empowered with the knowledge and skills that will help them grow sustainable futures, become employed, provide for their families and access appropriate healthcare. Education can propel individuals out of poverty hence its importance for everyone. Daniella is a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala Ssese Islands, Uganda, and has given career guidance talks to primary school pupils located in rural Ssese Islands.

Daniella has written powerful blogs on education for the Voices page and has utilised the platform to highlight barriers faced by children in Uganda.

Daniella says “quality education for all is important, because I believe every child deserves a chance to attend good schools and receive the best education possible.” Daniella’s interest in equitable education stems from childhood, growing up she felt she was different from many of her friends. In school, she was ridiculed for having poor handwriting by her teachers and classmates. Teachers could not understand why an intelligent child with a promising future received poor marks in written exams. She was often asked why she was not like her friends. She was eventually diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disorder characterised by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal) and tissue fragility amongst other complications.

Since then she has worked to ensure no child is left behind - she has this personal experience and become the focal person for the 5th Inclusive Sports Festival, where she led a committee and a team of fifty volunteers in organizing a sports event aimed at promoting inclusion of children with disability in sports and recreation. This was a USAID funded project organized by BlazeSports International, Uganda Paralympic Committee and CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital.

Educate a child, empower a nation.

Global Youth Ambassador of the Year 2018 - Musa Olatunji

Musa Olatunji is our Global Youth Ambassador of the Year 2018, as voted for by his peers

The Global Youth Ambassador of the Year is a special annual award given to a member of the youth network who has been doing outstanding work both within the network and outside it to break down the barriers to education, as voted for by their peers.

With equal access to quality education irrespective of backgrounds, a lot will be achieved that will be sustainable

Musa Olatunji

Musa Olatunji is a driven youth advocate from Nigeria who is passionate about education and youth empowerment, especially for underprivileged children and those caught in conflict areas. Inspired from a young age to educate himself, and frustrated by the barriers that still exist in many societies which continue to deprive children and young people from doing the same, Musa works tirelessly to improve access to free, quality education for every child.

Musa has been a formidable Global Youth Ambassador since he joined the network in 2017. He has consistently campaigned with Theirworld: from helping to raise awareness of the global education crisis with WriteTheWrong campaign; to campaigning to prioritise Early Childhood Development (ECD) by sharing our report and telling donors that they need to commit 10% of their education budgets to pre-primary education; to making sure no child is denied an education by spreading Dynamo’s - a world-famous magician and Theirworld Ambassador, powerful message on broken promises for Syrian refugee children!

With a fundamental belief in collaboration to improve impact, Musa has worked with a number of his fellow Global Youth Ambassadors over the years. Musa contributed to and participated in fellow youth Ambassador Omotoke Olowo’s Autism Awareness walk and Abdulbasith Sijuade Akinyemi-Eshilokun’s health education outreach. He has also helped his peers Ifeanyi Ohaju Obed and Ndubuisi Precious launch their respective books this year. Plus, this year Musa became a World Young Leader for Humanity - an initiative, founded by a fellow Global Youth Ambassador Shahidul Islam Dinar (Bangladesh), which honours and connects young leaders all over the world who are working towards achieving the SDGs.

In addition, Musa is the co-founder of MORE Global Outreach Initiative (MGOI), which focuses on education, health, leadership, youth empowerment and community development. In the last year MGOI has been able to reach over 1,400 school children in Nigeria and Tanzania teaching them about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the importance of quality education and health and wellbeing.

November 2018 - Sylvia Kakyo

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