Theirworld's work would not be possible without our network of 800 Global Youth Ambassadors from around the world. Each month, we highlight the work of one of them and the amazing work they do to get every child into school.
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
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 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
Sylvia Kakyo is a prominent and committed youth campaigner for education and youth skills from Uganda. As a result of her own personal experiences, Sylvia is passionate about human rights and education, especially girls’ education, understanding that education plays a key role in achieving gender equality as well as fighting poverty by giving poorer children the opportunity of learning skills which will allow them to enter the workforce.
Sylvia has been an informal leader within the Global Youth Ambassador network since she joined in June 2016, supporting and gaining the respect of her peers easily. She has earnestly participated in many of Theirworld’s campaigns including #SafeSchools and #5for5 campaign. In 2017, Sylvia was selected as one of two Global Youth Ambassador network representatives to attend the United Nations General Assembly with Theirworld, where she continued to campaign for early childhood development and girls education. She has also written multiple blogs on both topics. More recently, Sylvia was selected as one of five Global Youth Ambassadors to be part of the inaugural cohort of GYA Influencers, where she completed a 6 month training programme to increase for influencing and campaigning skills. Sylvia was voted by her peers on the programme as ‘the most likeable’ - a key trait in effective influencing!
Sylvia’s passion for education continues outside the the network as well; she founded Safe Schools Uganda (SSU), an NGO that aims to improve children’s access to quality education. They focus on a community based approach by raising awareness in small communities of the importance of education while working actively with young people. Over the past year she has been running the Keep me in School project, as part of her organisation, which focuses on improving girl’s enrolment in education. Furthermore, Sylvia has previously partnered with the Government of Uganda to ensure the integration of early childhood development across the country and she partnered with Aga Khan University Hospital in Kampala to provide free medical services for over 300 children as part of the Day of the African Child in 2017. Sylvia continues to be recognised as a young leader of today through her attendance at key meetings like the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Uganda to being named one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans by Africa Youth Awards!
Being a GYA has illuminated me towards thinking outside the box!
October 2018 - Diksha Dinde
Diksha Dinde is an inspiring youth campaigner from India. She has been an integral part of the Global Youth Ambassador network since she joined in 2016. As a person with a disability herself, she has been advocating for the rights of disabled children, specifically their right to inclusive education, as well as trying to dismantle the stereotypes around disability and eliminate widespread inequalities in society.
Diksha has avidly blogged for Theirworld on inclusive education, including taking part in Theirworld’s Disability Week earlier this year ahead of the first Global Disability Summit that was held in the UK. Diksha was also shortlisted for GYA Disability S/Hero earlier this year as well. Diksha has also taken part in many of Theirworld’s campaigns including Theirworld’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) campaign.
In 2016, Diskha launched a small mobile school in Pune, India with the aim of allowing child labourers and underprivileged children to access mainstream education and schooling. The initiative aims to look at ECD as a whole and through this initiative Diksha and her team engage marginalised children and provide them with activity-based learning programmes and daily meals.
Over the past year, while continuing with the development of his project, Diksha has been engaging in a wide number of activities herself from conducting seminars to break taboos related to menstruation to recently attending the Youth Exchange Programme in South Korea as part of the Indian Youth Delegation. Diska was also named the ‘Best Delegate’ in December last year at the Asia Pacific Future Leader Conference in Malaysia.
Education is the only key to social change. I have a dream to reach to those who are ignored by the society just because they do not fit in. I feel that there will be a day when people adapt the values of inclusiveness, tolerance and acceptance irrespective of their caste, sex, or religion.
September 2018 - Kakar Hayat Hamandzai
Kakar Hayat Hamandzai is an inspirational teacher and youth campaigner from Pakistan. He has dedicated himself to campaigning for education and girls’ education in particular since 2011 and has achieved - with the support of Pakistan’s Department of Education to open many closed schools in his district with the aim of giving every child the right to education.
As an extremely engaged education campaigner, Kakar has organised enrolment walks, seminars and sessions in the past to raise awareness and ensure communities knew to enrol their children in school. He has also written articles on education and collected over 13,000 signatures in 2016 in favour of child rights, which were later presented by the pop superstar turned activist, Shakira at the G20 summit.
This year Kakar worked relentlessly on the ground to collect 20,000 signatures towards 1.5 million signatures which were delivered to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, calling for a new international funding plan for education. He said: "I have travelled from city to city, district to district, community to community to collect the signatures and carry our message of education for every child."
Kakar believes that everyone should be able to access education, not only to gain knowledge but to also learn about their basic human rights as well as to develop a future career. He believes that “no one should be denied the right to education”, stressing the importance of girls’ access to education as he believes that by educating women the whole world will see a positive change.
Over the last year, Kakar has worked with the United States Agency for International Development - Property Rights Program (USAID-PRP) in the Education department training teachers, head teachers and district officials from the Department of Education on reading components as well as learning techniques and strategies. He has also completed his Masters in Political Science. Kakar is currently visiting schools daily in order to follow up with teachers, monitor progress and provide as much support as needed.
Education is the way toward a progressive world
August 2018 - Javita Nauth
Javita Nauth is a prominent American-Guyanese youth campaigner on Early Childhood Development (ECD). Javita has been inspired to work towards breaking down the barriers for the girls, because as Javita says “every girl child can set herself free and education is the key to unlocking that freedom.”
As a passionate ECD campaigner she played an important part in helping the launch of Theirworld’s report on ECD funding released in April this year advocating for the US to take action in re-balancing and filling in the financial gap for pre-primary education. As a proud Global Youth Ambassador, Javita also utilises the strong network of fellow Global Youth Ambassadors to connect and spread ideas. She is currently collaborating with fellow Global Youth Ambassadors to support her own project of developing a school in Nepal that was destroyed by the earthquake in 2015.
Over the last year, they, Javita has been spearheading the redevelopment of the Parijat Vidyakunja Primary School in Bhaktapur in Nepal. Through collaboration with her team in the Global Futures Network as well, Javita has been working internationally to build up partnerships and foster bilateral communications between youth activists in Nepal and New York. These integral actions will ensure that children in the area have a place to come together, learn, and nurture skills required for the future.
Education is my superpower. Can you imagine if all the young girls in the world, particularly young girls who have faced adversities were able to set themselves free and activate their superpower? What a world that would be!
July 2018 - Ousmane Ba
Ousmane Ba, 25, is a champion for girls’ education and children's rights. Originally from Sierra Leone, Ousmane grew up in the midst of war and uncertainty until his family moved to Guinea. Growing up and attending school in Sierra Leone during the 1990s, Ousmane has had first-hand experience of the impact of conflict on education - his own primary school was one of many destroyed in Freetown. In total, Ousmane was out of school for 3 full years. He says, “Education defines me today and it has led me into an incredible journey to bring about change and make the world a better place.”
Ousmane has lived his passion for education in many ways, not least of all by being an integral and active part of the Global Youth Ambassador network for over 3 years. He has taken part in all Theirworld’s major campaigns over the past 3 years, such as Theirworld’s Safe Schools, #YouPromised, #RewritingTheCode and #5for5 campaigns. He has also written a number of blogs on education for the Voices page and was selected to represent the network at United Nations General Assembly in 2016. Most recently, Ousmane has been campaigning with Theirworld to establish an International Finance Facility for Education. In May this year, he was one of 3 Global Youth Ambassadors representing over 1.5 million young people globally at a high level meeting with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, and the UN Special Envoy on Education, Gordon Brown.
Ousmane’s dedication to girls’ education in particular stems from the beliefs and experiences of his mother who was denied an education. He has founded an education project to raise awareness about girls’ education and provide ways for girls to go to school in Guinea - The Girl Child Project. The Girl Child Project are now sponsoring 147 girls through primary and secondary school in Guinea. Plus, through their Co-Exist program, Ousmane is ensuring that men and boys are also being advocates for girls’ education and they currently have more than 20 male ambassadors advocating for girls education and gender equality in local communities in Guinea.
Ousmane currently works as a Community Outreach Officer at the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness, as well as leading peace-building initiatives in Guinea to promote youth engagement and civil duties in Guinea. He is also a One Young World Ambassador, and he gave a keynote speech at the One Young World Summit in 2017. As part of the Summit, Ousmane was also awarded the Resolution Project award by One Young World.
The statistics of children and girls out of school are often use as a mild tool to forge a political debate. Being a GYA is recognizing that these children and girls are not just mere numbers; they are the light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a better day.
June 2018 - Sarah Mwikali Musau
Sarah Mwikali Musau is a 25 year old female activist from Kenya who is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to quality inclusive education for all, focusing especially on people with disabilities. Sarah has been a key member of the Global Youth Ambassador network for over 4 years now. She has actively taken action with Theirworld’s campaigns from signing petitions to online advocacy. Sarah has also been selected to be part of the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative Youth Council, where she is involved in providing advice and input on quality education, as well as the role the private sector can play both in education and providing job and training opportunities afterwards.
Sarah’s passion for education is fuelled from her personal experience of disability and of gaining her own voice through being educated. It is this voice that Sarah has been using to articulate the exclusion of certain groups like girls and people with disabilities and bring forward solutions. She has previously worked with Leonard Cheshire Disability International and Action Network for the Disabled on Inclusive Education. Sarah is currently the Advocacy Officer for the United Disabled Persons of Kenya which works for the rights of all persons with disabilities (both young and old) across Kenya. She has been involved in policy making in Kenya both in terms of education and Kenya’s policy for mainstreaming disability into existing institutions.
Sarah has also founded her own initiative called the Gifted Community Centre, which aims to create awareness on inclusive education, disability and the Sustainable Development Goals through activities like live Twitter chats. The advocacy activities have also been a platform we can involve other organisations to create a stigma free environment for persons with disabilities. Recent achievements include partnering with an organization to donate sanitary pads to children with intellectual disabilities in Kibera, Kenya to enable them to stay in schools; and partnering with another organisation to mentor children with and without disabilities in school.
Being a GYA has been such an elevating platform for me, personally and professionally. It has created opportunities for me, amplified my voice, and made me appreciate even more the role of education in my life. It has been a position that has enabled me to face duty bearers and demand for quality and inclusive education. Education is a prerequisite to inclusive development.
May 2018 - Petrider Paul
Petrider Paul is an outstanding Global Youth Ambassador and a champion for girls education whose passion for education comes from having personally witnessing the barriers to education on her country such as poverty, discrimination, disability and violence.
Petrider became an activist when she was 15 through a girls’ club at school. Since then she has worked with United Nations Youth Associations (UNYAs), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) Tanzania, Youth for Change Tanzania as well as being a Girls Not Brides advocate.
As a Global Youth Ambassador, Petrider has continued her focus on girls in regards to education by inputting into and promoting our #ChangeTheCulture campaign around International Women’s Day. She has also consistently highlighted the issue of access to education for young mothers in Tanzania from gender based violence in schools to being banned from returning to school. In fact, Petrider led a petition calling on the President of Tanzania to let teenage mothers return to school collecting over 83,000 signatures! She has also managed to fundraise over $10,000 to support 5 teenage mothers for 4 years of secondary school. Her goal is to raise $70,000 to put 20 teenage mothers through secondary school.
She has also founded her own NGO called Voice Out Against Gender Based Violence Initiative, which is an all young women's Initiative working to advocate an end of Gender-based Violence by empowering adolescent girls to make change! Earlier this year, Petrider was awarded Commonwealth Point of Light for her amazing work for gender equality.
“We all have a role to play to ensure all barriers to quality education are eradicated and creating a safe , friendly environment for girls and boys to access education.”
April 2018 - Harshit Gupta
Harshit Gupta, from India, has been an inspiring Global Youth Ambassador since he joined the network in January 2017. He is a passionate education campaigner, women’s rights activist and a social entrepreneur.
Harshit has been actively promoting the Theirworld’s campaigns both online and offline. In 2017, Harshit collected over 2,700 signatures for a petition ahead of the G20 Summit calling for the establishment of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) - a bold new funding plan which aims to mobile $10 billion annually for education.
Harshit is also the founder of Womenite, which aims to create an equal society through education, love and empowerment. Started in 2015, they have conducted over 100 campaigns with over 20,000 women and young people on issues such as child abuse, gender and menstrual hygiene. Recently, Harshit gave his first TEDx talk on “Why women’s issues are not just women’s issues” - highlighting a crucial issue in a very accessible way!
Harshit has also been part of Global Action on Poverty since 2015 and a Queens Young Leader, having just completed a 1 year course on Leading Change from the University of Cambridge. As of this year, he is now an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, where he will be working to build stronger networks between him and his fellow young people across the Commonwealth. Finally, Harshit has been nationally recognised for his work in India by winning the National Youth Award by India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in January this year.
Education is the most powerful tool that can bring change in this society and help us to fight any issues. If given the proper education at the right time...that will lay a better foundation for the future.
March 2018 - Tauseef Rasheq Ahad
Tauseef Rasheq Ahad has been a real asset as a Global Youth Ambassador since he joined the network in November 2017. Originally from Bangladesh, Tauseef has been determinedly working in Malaysia over the last four years to create real impact for young people both at a local and global level.
Tauseef was involved in organising the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Summit in Malaysia with Prince Charles and the Deputy Secretary General of The Commonwealth last year.
He is also the National and Regional Director of the Hult Prize Foundation, which is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit startups emerging from a university with a truly global reach. Tauseef is currently fundraising to start the Hult Prize in Malaysia as well.
He has been truly engaged within the network from day one. He has been a keen advocate about the network and collaboration, helping to bring new members on board and bringing forward new opportunities to increase the network’s impact.
Tauseef has also been selected as one of five Global Youth Ambassadors to be part of the first cohort of GYA Influencers, where he is using his brilliant influencing skills to help develop the network further.
Tauseef will be competing in the Commonwealth Youth Council elections to be the first Bangladeshi regional representative. If successful, he will be one of nine youths impacting 1.2 billion others in 53 countries for the next two years.
Being a Global Youth Ambassador allows me to meet some of the brightest young leaders around the world, to watch and learn from their work, to unite together and collaborate on great projects - while at the same time loving what we do and enjoying every moment of it. This platform has given me some amazing memories and opportunities - and I can't wait to see all of us GYAs growing together to help millions around us.
February 2018 - Fideline Mboringong
Fideline Mboringong from Cameroon has been an active and focused Global Youth Ambassador since 2014.
Growing up in an environment where the reality and challenges of poverty, teenage pregnancy and school dropouts were part of everyday life, Fideline says: “All that I am and have been able to achieve and do is because I got quality education.
"Seeing the benefits in my life has been a drive for me in ensuring that all children in world have access to quality education.”
Fideline has proudly supported Theirworld’s campaigns from collecting signatures for our #UpForSchool petition in 2015, to highlighting the importance of Safe Schools ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. She was also a keen advocate for our #RewritingtheCode campaign, which focused on getting women and girls into coding.
Fuelled by her own experiences and environment, Fideline has a particular passion for women and girls education. She has been working with the HerStory Initiative, which helps girls build life skills through offering girls safe space and structured settings to read, write and raise their voices in their LitClubs. In 2017, Fideline attended the HerStory Summit in New York and, earlier this month, she organised an exhibition of children’s work who attended the LitClub as a fundraiser. Thanks to the funds raised from the exhibition, the LitClub has been able to sponsor two vulnerable girls to receive an education.
Being a GYA has given me the platform to speak up on the importance of education for every child. Quality education should be provide for all children regardless of gender, culture or race.
January 2018 - Naveed Wassan
Naveed Ahmed Wassan is from Pakistan. He has been a part of the network since August 2017, in which time he has been a valued member committed to education, human rights and youth activism.
Naveed completed Teacher Education at Smi University, Karachi, and has recently started his Masters in the subject. In 2016, he organised and presented at a seminar on human rights at the university.
Naveed has also written blogs and opinion pieces on child development and quality education to raise awareness of the issues.
Previously, he worked as a youth trainer with the School of Leadership, training young people about social change and how to use their voice for social good. He was also a mentor and career counsellor in slum areas in Sindh as part of the National Volunteer Programme.
As a Global Youth Ambassador, Naveed founded the initiative Young Leaders, which is an online community connecting young advocates working towards the SDGs. The project already has 200 youth involved who are working for social change.
He has organised seminars as part of International Peace Day, Human Rights Day and Rural Women Day to teach and train young girls and boys.
Now he is an ambassador for child cancer patients and an active volunteer with Amnesty International as well.
“[Being is GYA] is a great opportunity for me which makes me a better person and gives me a platform where I have learned lots. It has changed my life and gives me a path to serve people.”
December 2017 - Musarrat Maisha Reza
Musarrat Maisha Reza is from Singapore and has been an integral member of the Global Youth Ambassador network since August 2017. She is a skeletal muscle biologist, having obtained her Ph.D, and is currently a research fellow at Karolinska Institute.
Born in Bangladesh, Maisha was heavily influenced by her regular visits back there. Together with her family, she helped to establish a school in Rangpur, Northern Bangladesh, to enable greater access to education for children in the village, which they fund personally.
With the help of local leaders, they have now approximately 40% enrolment of girls in the school and have also provided a boat and rower for children living across the river to access the school.
Fuelled by a belief in paying it forward as a leader in her own right and by her passion for women’s leadership, Maisha undertook a pilot project, Leading Ladies in their Queendom.
The interview series explores micro-narratives of outstanding young women who speak about pertinent issues such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, narrow beauty standards and women’s leadership in companies and parliaments. Within two months, her campaign to raise awareness had reached over 70 countries globally.
As a Global Youth Ambassador, Maisha has actively participated in Theirworld campaigns, such as International Literacy Day and #5for5, advocating passionately to the people in her community, specifically about early childhood education.
Maisha is also working to create a creative science curriculum for underprivileged children who do not have access to the opportunities that she had. Her mission is to integrate science into the daily lives of children through art and interactive activities.
She hopes that these children can experience the beauty of science and gain appreciation for STEM subjects as she believes that STEM is what will drive global progress in the near future.
“When we, as local leaders turn our privileges into platforms for action, a revolutionary change will soon follow”
November 2017 - Nematullah Ahangosh
Nematullah Ahangosh from Afghanistan has been a Global Youth Ambassador since June 2016. He is a peace activist and a staunch advocate of education, having been forced to work as a street vendor for a period of time as a child to help provide for his family.
Nematullah was able to complete his education and now teaches children of Afghan returnees and children in camps for Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs). Fuelled by his own past, he started teaching street children about non-violence since 2014 as part of the Afghan Peace Volunteers.
In 2015, he participated in AghazGar Entrepreneurship Summer Camp and the 3rd Annual Afghan Social Media Summit. Nematullah also started a project called Street Kids Afghanistan. The purpose of this movement is "to prevent the use of children for suicide attacks, human trafficking and misusing by extremists through education".
Nematullah is an active member of the Rotary Club in Kabul and in July this year he, along with five other volunteers, organised the first cultural diversity summer camp for school students in Afghanistan.
The Rainbow Summer Program’s mission was to "nurture cultural diversity and the tolerance of diversity through authentic projects including dialogue and conversation". Thirty students were selected to take part and they discussed multiculturalism and the impact of social media, education and war.
“I was illiterate but became literate, was poor but became better off, was a street kid but became a student, teacher, peace activist. I want to help other street children to change their lives, because I know, more than anyone else, what they face.”
October 2017 - Kirthi Jayakumar
Kirthi Jayakumar, a Global Youth Ambassador from India, joined the network in April this year, and has been working tirelessly to advocate for education, peacebuilding and gender equality. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, bullying and racist violence, Kirthi founded The Red Elephant Foundation, which works for civilian peacebuilding and gender equality through storytelling, training programs and workshops, digital advocacy and tech-for-good. Kirthi also trains children on child sexual abuse awareness, as well as fostering a mentality of peer-to-peer education amongst the children so that those who cannot afford to go to school may still be reached.
Recently Kirthi published her book “Doodler of Dimashq” and launched the app “Sahaas”. The “Doodler of Dimashq” is inspired by a young Syrian girl who Kirthi befriended online, but who unfortunately passed away. The book tells the story of a young fictional child bride Ameenah in Syria. It is both a moving tribute to Kirthi’s young Syrian friend and important in humanising the Syrian conflict. Plus Kirthi is donating the royalties from the book to the Karma Foundation to support children affected by war.
“Sahaas” is an app created by Kirthi to address gender based violence. Saahas offers medical, legal, education / employment, resources (food, shelter, clothing, emergency support), consular and refugee-specific support, police and ambulance services for women who have faced violence from over 20,000 organisations across 196 countries. It is an even bigger accomplishment because as Kirthi tells us, "I worked on putting Saahas together, myself - without a background in coding and in science." The app is currently available on Google Play Store and soon will be available on Apple iStore too.
Currently, Kirthi is working on an educational project to revive women in History through an instagram-based project called Femcyclopaedia. It is “a curation of doodled portraits of women offering rarely mentioned herstories”.
Being a GYA is easily the greatest opportunity I have had; I am able to learn from other young people, and to be part of a movement that is making a huge difference to the world. As a firm believer in the principle of "collaborate and not compete" I am touched by the impactful collaboration of Theirworld and A World At School!
September 2017 - Tshwanelo Fokazi
Tshwanelo, from South Africa, is one of our new Global Youth Ambassadors having been part of the network since February 2017. During this time she has been an active ambassador for A World At School Movement focusing on Early Childhood Development (ECD). In particular, Tshwanelo wrote a powerful open letter to the G20 earlier this year urging leaders not to overlook the need for ECD.
Tshwanelo is a junior leader at FCB Africa having been selected as part of the Deputy Management Council for the company. As part of her role, Tshwanelo is also involved with the FCB Foundation, which facilitates the donation of talent from FCB Africa for social good.
Recently, Tshwanelo took a group of 26 interns to Ga-Dikgale “to teach them about giving back and the importance of partnering their professional skills with society's needs.” They taught the local villagers how to build a daycare centre and the interns all used their professional skills to decorate the centre. The group also taught the grade 8 students how to make toys from reusable waste at a school in Johannesburg. These toys, along with others, were donated to the day centre in Ga-Dikgale.
Don't prepare the path for the child, prepare the child for the path.
August 2017 - Naglaa Fathy Lithy
Naglaa has been part of the network since 2014 championing education and girls in Egypt. She has been honoured by the Prime Minister, Cairo University, and Afro-Asian Association for her work.
She says, “ Since I was selected to be a Global Youth ambassador , I insisted to make a change ..., it was challenging... but I fought harder and created a team to help me to achieve my mission and address AWAS vision too.”
Naglaa managed a project called ‘AID to Educate’ which helped hundreds of children from slum areas to reach a good level of basic education. Naglaa’s motivation stems from her belief that, “A generation with no education is a life with no future.” She has also been very active in promoting international days such as International Women’s Day this year and has been a key advocate in our #5For5 and #RewritingTheCode campaigns.
Since January, Naglaa has been addressing the elimination of violence against women with refugee women in Egypt. And over the coming months, Naglaa will be turning her attention back to youth through the project ‘Skills Cafe’ which is a summer camp aimed at upskilling young people and the fourth international youth camp promoting culture exchange, diversity and leadership. She will also be participating in the celebration of International Youth Day with embassies.
"Every young leader is the milestone for a better future and every child can be a leader with the proper education.
July 2017 - Isaac Omoyele
Isaac has been part of the network since October 2015. He is based in Nigeria and has been a key participant in the #SafeSchools and #RewritingTheCode campaigns.
Isaac is a social activist, child advocate and founder of Dreams from the Slum, an initiative committed to making the dreams of vulnerable persons a reality through access to quality education, empowerment and mentoring.
With his organisation, Isaac ensures that children living in the slum are in school and learning. He also organises a book drive that gives orphans and vulnerable children the opportunity to read and borrow books.
Isaac was recently featured by the German television broadcaster Deutsche Welle for his commitment to ensuring vulnerable children living in the slum are in school and learning. Watch the video Nigerian slum children reach for the stars.
We asked Isaac: what does being a GYA mean to you? He replied: “Being selected to be a GYA gave me the awesome privilege of being a champion for the right of every child to be in school, meeting and networking with other young people, learning best practices and making my voice heard globally through my participation in campaigns.”
If we educate a child today, we will create a better future tomorrow.
June 2017 - Benedict Joson
Benedict, who is from the Philippines, has worked tirelessly for children's right to an education and is always looking for opportunities to drive the campaign forward.
As well as being a Global Youth Ambassador, he is a member of the Partner Engagement team at Teach For All, Youth Panellist at the Education Commission, and a Global Citizen Youth Advocate. He also serves on the boards of V.O.Y.C.E. and the Hope Reichbach Fund.
Benedeict said: "Children and youth are at the frontline of the global education crisis. The Global Youth Ambassadors network is a testament that we are also at the forefront of change.
"Knowing this - seeing my peers working at all levels and across sectors and issue areas for children's right to an education - inspires my activism and life's purpose.
"Ensuring education opportunity for our generation - the learning generation -and future generations, is the civil rights and social justice issue of our time."
Let's continue to advocate for educational equity, activate our communities, and encourage leaders to stand up for school.
May 2017 - Gulwali Passarlay
Gulwali is an Afghan political refugee currently residing in the United Kingdom. He left Afghanistan in 2006 and recently graduated with a degree in Politics from the University of Manchester.
Gulwali has a long history of campaigning and leadership roles - including being the President of the United Afghan Peace Movement, Chairperson of the Afghan Youth Movement, Patron of the Separated Child Foundation, Commissioner of The Children's Society, a member of the Bolton Youth and Children in Care Councils and heavily involved with the Northwest Youth Forum "Youthforia".
He has told his story of life as a refugee in his autobiography The Lightless Sky A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half The World.
He has appeared on TV channels such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Channel 4 News, itv and Russia Today, as well as in print media such as The Guardian, Time Magazine, The Independent and The Scotsman, and at events such as TEDx.
As a fervent advocate for many social justice issues and causes, Gulwali was nominated for the 2016 Nansen Refugee Award by the United Nations refugees agency UNHCR.
Today he continues to advocate for education and social justice, and to make a positive impact in the community, locally and abroad. More information can be found at gulwalipassarlay.wordpress.com.
Life is a great river full of opportunities and possibilities but we have to make the efforts to find them.