GPE provides a platform and support for young people to realize their own ambitions for education transformation and to harness their passion to drive real change in global education.
The GPE Secretariat engages GPE youth leaders from our partner and donor countries around the world to help drive global change on education issues.
We work with young people as partners to: amplify their voices to decision-makers and the broader public; raise greater awareness of barriers to education and their solutions; increase the overall ambition of world leaders for financing education and supporting youth leaders to take action to influence governments, their own networks, and other decision-makers towards a better future for all in and through education.
GPE youth leaders are young education activists based in GPE partner and donor countries. They are raising awareness of the barriers to education and aiming to increase the ambition of leaders for financing education and development. They are supporting GPE’s financing campaign to transform education systems in their countries and around the world.
Ayesha is a 27-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Bangladesh. After completing her Bachelor's and master's in public administration with a focus on higher distinction, she joined Teach For Bangladesh (TFB) as a Fellow. TFB is a partner of Teach For All, a global network of 60+ independent partner organizations. As a Fellow at Teach For Bangladesh, she supports and leads community-service projects focused on addressing challenges such as learning gaps, improving the mental well-being of adolescents, providing career guidance and gender-based violence.
Ayesha also co-leads a capstone project called "Uttoron" to create awareness build momentum to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) among adolescents. Ayesha has a keen interest in public policy. She understands the power of advocacy in forming public policies as well as bringing about social change. Ayesha roots for an education system that promotes equal access to learning, nurtures students’ full potential and is capable of facilitating every child to be a lifelong learner. She envisions a society where every child will have access to education, every adolescent will be aware of their potential and will make their own future.
Amani Espérance Amani Espérance is a 29-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Burundi. She is a young multitalented dancer, singer, motivational speaker, and spoken word artist from Burundi. Amani won the 1st prize in 2015 of the speech contest organized by International Youth Fellowship Burundi.
Her passion for the education of vulnerable kids and women empowerment started when she was in high school after which she volunteered with Burundi Friends International (2013-2019) as an English teacher. She was able to reach 20,000 people (between 10-45 years old) who were able to create opportunities for themselves through improving their literacy. As an Alumnae of YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa and the Executive Secretary of Tabitha Community in Action Burundi, she believes that education is the key to sustainable development.
She dreams to see all kids getting opportunities to education and every woman being sustainably financially independent. She uses her talents to raise awareness of mental health because she strongly believes that education requires a peaceful mind.
Sovanvotey Hok is a 27-year-old GPE Youth Leader and Cambodian menstrual health and climate activist. In December 2016, she encountered washable pads in her sustainable learning course in Thailand for the first time which inspired her to launch a cross border project called Green Lady. The purpose of Green Lady Cambodia is to introduce period products, create more choices, and initiate Menstrual Health Classroom with sewing washable pads for girls and women in Cambodia especially the girls that need to prepare for their first periods.
She introduces the washable pads as a bridge to talk about period shaming, menstrual health awareness and choices for girls in public school classroom especially for the girls who about to start their secondary school in the hope that it can help them feel less scary and anxious as they wait for their first period. These activities lead to a more expansive topic like Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and shed light on comprehensive sexuality education that is not well incorporated in the class, deemed as sensitive and suppressed by culture.
Her passion is to bring this life skill into a simple local context based on diverse experiences to develop a book, lesson plan, curriculum or program for the students in school and out of school to make learning inclusive, safe, beautiful and friendly. She believes in improving quality life skills in an unconventional way because it is the key for re-generation for a better future for us all. She wants to see the next generation grow up empowered.
Ngimou Victorine Nchokuno
Ngimou Victorine Nchokuno, popularly known as Ngimou is a 23-year-old youth leader from Cameroon. She is a fierce Cameroonian feminist Activist with over eight years of experience. She is passionate about fighting for girls’ rights, women empowerment, leadership, clean water, sanitation and hygienic environment for young women and girls in and out of schools. She is twenty-three years old and currently holds an HND (Higher National Diploma) in Human Resource Management at a professional University in Douala. In 2014, she created and established a school club called Development fighters coached by Women for a Change, Cameroon (WFAC).
Ngimou belongs to movements such as FEMNET adolescents and young women forum, Nala Femnist Collective Delegation and The Ali forum. She is very skilled in communication, inclusivity, coordination, conflict resolution, Human Resource Management and basic computer software programming. Ngimou aside from being a sports lover, also enjoys dancing and debates which has accredited her many trophies.
Ayesha Khan is a 20-year-old gender and health equality advocate, researcher, and Global Health and Nutrition student at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about eliminating the structural barriers to healthy living and is fascinated by schools’ potential to be a place where generational cycles of disease are broken due to quality education, adequate sanitation facilities and in-school nutrition programs. She is currently a public health nutrition researcher at the University of Toronto studying the impact of Canadian health policies on nutrition equity. She has also conducted research as part of The MNR Foundation’s global advocacy initiative, Feminae Carta, where she reviewed the girls’ education crisis in South Asia and highlighted progress and future policy directions. As an advocate, she works with various non-profit organizations to build a world in which women and girls’ full potential is unlocked. Since 2020, she has led a storytelling program with a female mentorship program called Girlz, FTW, that provides a platform for women and girls from over 15 countries to creatively share their lived experiences with gender (in)equality and their ideas and dreams for a brighter future. Through this program, she hopes that women and girls leverage the transformative power of storytelling to imagine and enact solutions to grand problems. She strongly believes everyone - no matter their age, role, sector or location - has a role to play in removing the complex barriers to education access and quality.
Dhieu Mayom Deng
Dhieu Mayom Deng a 27-year-old old GPE Youth Leader based in Canada. He is an alumnus of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) from Uganda (2020 cohort) and currently studying at York University. He actively advocates for girl-child education and believes that every child deserves an opportunity to access an equipped classroom. Prior to his arrival in Canada, he taught at various schools in refugee camps in Uganda where he mentored many students. He realized that the poor conditions under which he studied as a refugee in high school had not changed. This encouraged him to co-found a student-led Community Based Organization- Dongriin Foundation that brings together university students to execute mentorship programs and foster the love for education among refugee communities in Uganda. It also provides scholastic materials to pupils and students, and it has recorded many students receiving scholarships from within Uganda, Windle International Uganda, Mastercard Foundation or WUSC. Dhieu is an active alumnus with Windle International Uganda (WIU), serving as a panellist in their community events and WUSC where he coordinates the Student Refugee Program activities on campus.
He strongly believes that education has the power to bring people together to build more resilient communities. Well educated children often become active and engaged citizens who work towards achieving peaceful, sustainable and prosperous societies. Education is also a key factor in promoting gender equality as it provides boys and girls with equal opportunities to learn and succeed. He believes that educating children and youth from low-income countries would create an economic balance in the world and eradicate poverty.
Nagin Ravand is a 23-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Denmark. She is a Danish-Afghan football coach and director who fled to Denmark from Afghanistan at the age of three. Nagin has played football her entire life on an elite- and amateur level. She has created and directed several girls- and women’s football departments in the rural areas of Denmark to secure equal access to the playing field. Today, she fights discrimination inside the world and structure of sports through her own organization GLOBALL that educates female football ambassadors from minority communities. She is a city-representative in the Committee of Diversity & Equality in her municipality and also an ambassador of the Danish Football Federation. Nagin is studying a Master's degree in Criminology and has a Bachelor's degree in Education Science. She is a UEFA licensed football coach, a member of the Think-Tank for Youth Culture in the Danish Ministry of Culture, and an ambassador for Plan Denmark. Her work on and off the football pitch has been recognized with multiple awards nationally and internationally and she aspires to become a leader inside the international football structure as she believes representation is key to securing equality. Nagin believes education is crucial to understanding and acting on fundamental human rights.
Neha is a 23-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Denmark. She is an electrical engineering student at the Technical University of Denmark. She is passionate about working towards giving every child the right to an education, but specifically, she has been working to get more young girls interested in STEM; a field where women are heavily underrepresented around the globe. She is the founder of an organisation called, Nordic Women in STEM, where she has played a part in teaching 400+ girls coding in the Copenhagen region. For her work, she has won the Girls Prize 2022 given by Plan International Denmark, and the Agnes and Betzy Prize 2022 given by IDA, the Danish Association of Engineers. In 2022, she was also chosen as one of the top 10 Nordic Pioneers by Nordic Safe Cities. Alongside her work at Nordic Women in STEM, she is an advisory board member for the Girls Guiding and Scouting organisation in Denmark, and volunteers as a Youth Ambassador for Plan International Denmark.
She believes education is important as it is a tool that can open many doors. It transforms one's own life, but also allows one to transform the societies we live in. Education is a fundamental right, and the foundation to solve many of the problems that we face around the globe today.
Omar is an 18-year-old GPE Youth Leader based in Germany. He is active in his City Youth Parliament and serves as a Youth Advisor for the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), YoupaN , a network for development in education, BrandNewBundestag and other political and cultural programs.
His motivation is his own story. As a Syrian young immigrant in Germany, he has many experiences about integration and being new in education systems. At the same time, it is also very important for him that young people in crisis areas still get access to education.
Jess Mukeba is a 20-year-old GPE Youth Leader studying political science and philosophy in Germany. He is a spokesperson for the Youth Council for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and youth advisor for The Children Governance Project. In 2022, Jess was part of the German delegation for the UN Transforming Education Summit in New York City. He is passionate about equal opportunities, youth participation, education, and feminist development policy. He is currently a freelance actor and also works for the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe.
His engagement advocating for child rights started in 2017 with projects for UNICEF Germany. Jess was elected to be part of UNICEF Germany’s Youth Council and joined a UNICEF Child and Youth Advisory Board for planning the International Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne in 2019. Jess was also part of the Child and Youth Advisory Board guiding children’s consultations on the first European Union Strategy on the Rights of the Child.
Alisha is a 22-year-old GPE Youth Leader based in Germany. She is a medical and PhD student with Pakistani roots. She is a firm believer that education is the key to making autonomous choices and living an independent life. Having Pakistani roots, she witnessed differences between the German and Pakistani education system at a very early age, which led to her becoming a strong advocate for girls' education. She has been a human rights advocate for over 10 years and has been giving free tutoring to girls who fled from Syria or Afghanistan in subjects such as English and German. Alisha has also volunteered with numerous organizations such as UNICEF, Plan, ONE Campaign, Bundesvertretung der Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland (bvmd) and most currently the "Deutscher Frauenring" where she is a representative for the group "INTEGRA" fighting against female genital mutilation.
She is a passionate writer, focused on inequalities within the healthcare system and signed to the publishing company "thieme" for over four years. Alisha believes that education is interlinked with many sectors such as health, evident in the COVID-19 pandemic and access to vaccinations and hopes to keep advocating for bridging the education-health inequality gap.
Asimawu, 24, hails from and resides in the Northern part of Ghana. She is currently studying Basic Education at the University for Development Studies. Asimawu has in-depth knowledge and work experience in social work, specifically youth development and reproductive health education, capacity building, and reporting. She is also keen on social entrepreneurship and established Asmi Ultimate Care, an initiative that focuses on training individuals to produce soaps and detergents. As a beneficiary of CAMFED’s support to attend secondary school and university, Asimawu is also a member of the CAMFED Association (CAMA), where she passes on learning and expertise to girls and young women in her community. She believes that education is the tool that breaks down all barriers and it is part of the foundation of all progress and growth, both as an individual and as a society. All things are possible because anything can be learned.
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María José Carranza Padilla
María José is a 28-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Guatemala. She is a psychologist, paralympic and motivational speaker. She wrote an autobiographical book called "La Vida Sobre Ruedas" - Life on Wheels. She advocates for guaranteed human rights for people with disabilities, based on the premise of leaving no one behind and from the perspective of being a wheelchair user as a disabled person.
She is part of the youth advisory group of the United Nations Population Fund in Guatemala as a representative of the National Association of Productive People with disabilities "ASODISPRO" that works for the inclusion of people with disabilities in different areas, mainly in the workplace. She also collaborates with "Miss Wheelchair Guatemala," working in favor of the Rights of women with disabilities through empowerment and the dissemination of information. María José has worked on several research projects on the inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education, generating changes that have a positive impact on the training of people with disabilities, where their rights are respected, and their needs are met to create inclusive environments.
She firmly believes that sport is a tool to create a better world and empower people about their rights. She is a para-archer, and the first woman who uses a wheelchair to practice archery in her country. In addition to that, she was named as one of the two mentors of the "I'm possible" developed by the Agitos Foundation, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) development arm, to spread the Paralympic values and the vision of the Paralympic Movement to young people program in Guatemala. She likes to describe herself as an unstoppable dreamer and a dream liver who works so that the dreams of others can also come true.
Amara Thaecy Perdomo Aguilar
Amara Aguilar is a 22-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Honduras. Currently, she is a student of the Bachelor of Foreign languages and the Bachelor of Business and International Commerce at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (UNAH), Tegucigalpa. She is an activist for women’s rights and people with disabilities’ rights in her country with Foro Dakar Honduras and FENAPAPEDISH.
When she turned 18 years old, she began to be interested in learning about her rights which led to her she co-founding an NGO with women with disabilities and their families called Colectiva Mariposa 88 HN in 2019.
She is very passionate about education because while growing up, she realized that education is not accessible to all, she witnessed the discrimination by social class and disability and decided to advocate for thriving inclusive education systems.
Miyo is a university student majoring in architecture. She was born in and grew up in Hiroshima, known as one of the most famous Peace Cities. Her grandparents are hibakusha and she has a lot of opportunities to learn, think about and discuss peace. She took lessons called “Peace Education” which is particular to residents of Hiroshima. She thinks education, especially peace education, is necessary to realize a peaceful world.
Through her advocacy journey, she discovered that inadequate infrastructure not only makes it impossible to live comfortably but also prevents children from going to school, so she decided to study architecture.
In addition, Miyo belongs to Plan International Japan’s Youth Group where she advocates for and proffers solutions to promote gender equality in Japan.
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Mizuki is a 27-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Japan. He approaches education from the fields of business and academia. He is the Founder and CEO of fust Inc, a company that provides Edtech services, especially in the area of coaching. In academia, he is a visiting professor at the University of Information Management Innovation in Tokyo, Japan.
In graduate school, he studied how Edtech (especially Artificial Intelligence) will impact the future of education, which has strengthened his belief in the importance of seeking solutions to the challenges faced by education around the world by combining advanced technology and academic evidence in a way that has never been done before.
Jun Ogawa is a 22-year-old fourth-year economics student and GPE Youth Leader from Japan.
Through his experience helping to run a children's cafeteria which offers free food to children in need and working as an after-school teacher at a public junior high school in Tokyo, he has witnessed the education gap and is eager to work on rectifying this situation.
As a president of International Week Tokyo in his university, a volunteer at Erasmus Student Network Tartu, as well as a Japanese representative of Hack the innovative Future in India, he has exchanged opinions with people from different backgrounds about the educational situation and discussed educational issues in various countries from the perspective of equality of educational opportunity. He also launched a startup called Join in Estonia in September 2021, which offers an app that suggests the best process for young students to achieve their academic goals. From his experience of witnessing the educational disparities among students in Japan and abroad, he has a strong passion for advocating for a robust and quality education system for all children and believes this is the key to securing many other rights for children.
Marina is a 28-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Japan. She is an education activist with Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese roots. She realized the power of education through her experience growing up as a minority in Japan. While pursuing a bachelor's degree in international politics, Marina interned at Results Educational Fund in Washington D.C. to advocate for free primary education in Africa. She was also a youth delegate to the UN High-Level Political Forum as a Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability member to promote youth participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Marina started her career as a consultant at PwC then joined an educational non-profit organization called e-Education. She oversees projects aimed at delivering quality education to children in remote areas in developing countries such as Nepal and the Philippines. Marina is based in Tokyo and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in human security studies at the University of Tokyo. She believes that education is the base of human dignity for all children and youth and has the power to eradicate poverty and make a society with compassion.
Valentine Mugun Chepkoech
Valentine Chepkoech is a 26-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Kenya. She is an advocate passionate about transformative leadership, accountability and governance. She believes that Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world as Nelson Mandela always said. Valentine is a current student in Kenyatta University studying a master’s degree in public policy and administration and holds a degree in Finance from Multimedia University of Kenya.
In 2017, she spearheaded “The Barrier Breakers,” a mentorship organization that has been to over thirty schools in Kericho County, offering practical mentorship to students and distributing sanitary pads. After the Covid-19 pandemic, she narrowed her focus to “The Second Chances Initiative” that helps teenage mothers go back to school. The organization received its first funding from Jumuiya Women Fund in 2022 to guide the teenage mothers.
She has always been at the forefront of education advocacy and served as the Vice Chairperson of Multimedia University Student Council. Additionally, she is a currently part of the International Republican Institute’s program on Accountability Mechanisms for Youth Inclusion in Kenya. She serves as Ms. President Kericho and a Young African Leadership Initiative Cohort 44 Alumni.
Her motivation for being a GPE Youth Leader is to strengthen the call for financing education, help in education policy formulation and bridge educational gaps between countries, especially those in Africa.
Eliza Chikoti is a 26-year-old GPE Youth Leader from rural Malawi. She is an education activist and philanthropist that promotes girls' and boys' education through advocacy, the provision of learning materials and social support to marginalized and vulnerable children, investing the benefits of her education to her community. She belongs to Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) Association (CAMA)-a peer support and leadership network of young women who were supported through school by CAMFED through which she gives back to her community by supporting other vulnerable school going children through mentoring, career guidance, motivational sessions and SRHR sessions. She works with CAMFED to promote girls’ education and young women empowerment through the multiplication of education opportunities to marginalized girls and provision of further education support and enterprise development support to young women. She believes that girls’ education is the key to development because she is a practical example of the fact that when a girl is educated, everything changes.
Francine Niyomuhoza is a 21-year-old GPE Youth Leader originally from Rwanda, living in a Refugee Camp in Malawi. She is a pending graduate of the Catholic University of Malawi where she recently earned a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Administration. Prior to attending college, she has worked as a community social worker for the Jesuits Refugee Services (JRS) on the Naweza Project. Her work centered on facilitating extracurricular Girl's clubs of the Naweza Project. She also worked as an assistant administrative at the JRS country office in Malawi. Growing up as a refugee, she knows that the most effective way to overcome the many problems experienced in a refugee camp is to get educated because education allows refugees and youths to attain knowledge and skills that can be used in different aspects of their lives. She strongly believes that education empowers youth to raise voices for the realization of their rights. She is confident that she can bring about change through helping other refugees become all that they aspire to become in the future and advocating for education policy globally that allows refugees and other youth around the world to get educated and have access to employment.
Nir Shrestha is a 23-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Nepal. He is an inclusive development enthusiast and a youth and disability rights campaigner. He is a 23-year-old visually impaired youth from Kathmandu, Nepal, President of Blind Youth Association Nepal, Kathmandu Valley Chapter and a member of the UNESCO SDG 4 Youth Network. Professionally, he has been working as a Program Officer in Diverse Patterns Pvt. Ltd and is a UNICEF Youth Advocate for Disability Inclusion in Nepal. He is also a Youth Advisory Group Member at Youth Power 2 Learning and Evaluation (YP2LE) project led by Making Cents International. Mr. Shrestha is currently pursuing a master's degree in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His field of interests include disability inclusive development, Inclusive education, digital accessibility, youth leadership, mental health and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Nir strongly believes in the principle of “Nothing About Us Without Us” and that "the cost of exclusion is much higher than the cost of inclusion". Thus, he has actively been advocating for disability rights and inclusion including inclusive and quality education for children with disabilities. As a visually impaired person, he is very familiar with the situation of inclusive education in countries like Nepal and he has worked as a consultant on several inclusive education projects to which he has provided his knowledge and expertise.
As a GPE Youth Leader, he says- "I want to amplify the voice of children and young people with disabilities at the global level. I want to make people aware of the importance of inclusive education and advocate for the required intervention in this sector.”
Lalita Tamang is a 19-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Nepal. She is a Girls Not Brides youth leader in her 12th grade of High School. Since childhood, she has been involved in extracurricular activities in her school organizing programs and campaigns on leadership, education, environment, safety, self-defense, mensuration, child marriage, COVID-19, and other diseases through the Tri Padma Child Club. During her tenure as a leader in the club, they achieved great recognition and awards for their innovative programs. In grade 10th grade, she became the president of the National Adolescent Girls Network where she collaborated with girls from the 7 provinces of Nepal to highlight and address burning issues faced by girls in their communities. She worked with Civil societies and the government to include girls' issues in policymaking and leveraged on the election season to mobilize political leaders to include children’s rights in their manifestos.
Gabriella Akyea is a 21-year-old GPE Youth Leader of Ghanaian decent, currently studying a bachelor's degree in communications in the Netherlands.
She is a spokesperson for Open Up, where she organizes programs about internship discrimination, providing platforms for student interns to engage with the very companies that could help stop discrimination. She is also a member of the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries (FDMCI) district council at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), the communication group and young district council branch, where she gets the chance to discuss policy within her school faculty.
Since childhood, Gabriella has witnessed how students could not attend school due to learning challenges and financial constraints. This inspired her interest in advocating for access to education. As a GPE Youth Leader, Gabriella aims to help to create awareness about education because "every young person has the full right to learn despite their language, income, or origin", she says.
Kevin Eustatia-Palm is a 22-year-old youth engagement expert from The Netherlands. He has spent his entire career working with governments, NGOs, and companies to help them incorporate meaningful youth participation into their policies.
Kevin was born and raised on the small Caribbean Island of Curaçao, where he saw first-hand how some students were systematically being left behind. This made him realize that we simply cannot fight for quality education without explicitly focusing on marginalized groups within our communities.
He is a member of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Youth Advisory Committee, where he spends his time focusing on education on a policy level. He now brings this valuable experience into the field of advocacy. Throughout the years, he has worked with countless organizations to help make the world a better place. In his new role as a GPE Youth Leader, he is extremely happy to continue with his passion for making the world a better place, one step at a time.
Rosalie is a 23-year-old GPE Youth Leader from The Netherlands. She is a student who strives to become a learning expert with a comprehensive understanding of education systems worldwide. After obtaining a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Educational Sciences with a minor in International Perspectives on Youth and Education, she is currently enrolled in an International Development Studies program. Next to academics, she has gained practical experience through working in primary and secondary schools, and through volunteering with children from a migrant background. Rosalie is interested in governance and has applied the knowledge she has gained during her internship at the Dutch Education Council. She has taken the first steps to advocate for inclusive school environments as a member of the Dutch UNESCO Youth committee, where she has initiated a campaign to provide free menstrual products in educational institutions across the country.
Rosalie believes that education is crucial for individuals, communities and regions to flourish and she dreams of a world where everyone has access to quality education. Rosalie is determined to make a valuable contribution to realizing this for many children. As a Youth Leader for the Netherlands, she is motivated to discover ways to use her voice and amplify those of others, in order to collectively raise awareness about the importance of education up to the highest levels of decision-making.
Motunrayo is a 24-year-old GPE Youth Leader and development professional with over 4 years of experience championing access to quality education in marginalized communities in Nigeria. She currently works with the education partnership (TEP) Centre, a pioneer in the emerging field of Education Partnership, specializing in research, design, implementation, support, and evaluation of education programs, projects, and initiatives across the public, private and non-profit sectors in Africa.
She designs projects focused on improving access to STEM education for girls and young women in Nigeria and co-plans the Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS), which has a core focus on bridging skill gaps to improve innovation in Africa. One of the projects, Koya, sponsored by Google.org is a low-tech remedial program that enables children, particularly girls who are more vulnerable, to acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills critical for building other relevant skills.
She has also helped build sustainable frameworks for corporate organizations like Oando Foundation to integrate in-demand digital and green skills for girls and women in marginalized communities in their strategic objectives.
Temilade Salami is a 25-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Nigeria. She is the founder and Executive Director of “EcoChampions”, one of Africa’s largest networks of young environmentalists and activists, leading environmental change through climate education, leadership and advocacy. She has spent the past five years leading a group of over 200 young environmentalists across Africa. In this capacity, she has designed and developed various Climate change programs and projects across 26 African countries. Her work supports the integration of Climate Education into Nigeria's education system, and she has authored two environmental books to bridge the climate education gap in Africa. She holds a master's degree in Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex. She also launched the Climate Education Leaders Fellowship in Africa, a program that combines knowledge, expertise, and mentorship to prepare and educate the now and next generation of climate leaders. Her work has been featured multiple times on local and international news platforms such as BBC, TVC, and SKY news. She is currently a member of the UNESCO SDG4Youth network, and the climate education coalition. Temilade believes that education is the bedrock of development in any nation.
Anzal Abbas is a 24-year-old GPE Youth Leader and Social Development & Policy graduate from Pakistan. He works in the Education & Public Health sector as an advocate of youth empowerment. He is a member of known National Youth Advocacy Platforms in Pakistan such as the National Youth Assembly and the National Youth Parliament of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).
In the pursuit of achieving the goal of empowering youth in Pakistan, Anzal founded Bagh-e-Sakina (a youth-based Social Enterprise) which is currently part of the Young Cities Fellowship Program. Bagh-e-Sakina is a social enterprise that improves the living standard of children and youth in Pakistan through innovative social programs. One of the projects of Bagh-e-Sakina is a capacity-building training for primary caregivers and children in civic engagement (children’s rights awareness, inclusivity, gender sensitivity & public health). The aim is to improve children’s learning objectives by enabling more learning-friendly environments in middle and low-income schools.
As a content creator dedicated to improving people’s awareness of social issues, he also has a YouTube channel (@anzalabbas) and has published two publications & several conference papers on development subjects.
Ken Paolo is a 21-year-old student leader, activist, and advocate of quality and accessible education, social democracy, and good governance based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Phillipines. He serves as the National Chairperson of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) — the largest formation of student councils, organizations, political parties, and leaders in the country that organize and train students to be frontliners in championing key reforms in the education sector. Under his leadership, SCAP centered on the campaign for safe reopening of schools, accessible mental health services, increase of budget in education, and passage of the Students Rights and Welfare Bill to address the country’s education crisis.
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Alice Mukashyaka is a 28-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Rwanda. She led the UN Foundation’s mobilization for the Transforming Education Summit over the last year, uniting the Unlock Coalition with almost 800 million people in reach into action. She is also the Advocacy Manager for Livelihoods and Education at Restless Development, where she coordinated the biggest youth-led study on global education since the pandemic hit, the ‘By Us, For Us’ publication and convened the #MakeEducationWork campaign in partnership with the RewirED Summit, reaching nearly 13 million young people. Alice is also the co-founder of Starlight, a Rwandan Ed-tech social enterprise that makes STEM learning kits and introduces high school students to STEM careers, mentorship, and role models. She is currently supporting the office of the Africa Union envoy on youth in elaborating plans of action to achieve the Africa we want.
Billan Ahmed is a 26-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Somalia and Ethiopia. She is an African Leadership University graduate, where she studied Global Challenges and focused on education. She works as a program officer with WAAPO, an NGO that supports women and children by providing protection, economic empowerment, and education for women and youth in Somaliland.
Billan is passionate about creating lifelong solutions for youth and women and also promotes climate actions through education. She works with development practitioners, the government, and local communities to instill resilience and educate vulnerable communities on how climate change adversely impacts their livelihoods. In addition, Billan is involved in the implementation of UPSHIFT- a program funded by UNICEF, that supports women and youth through education and business funding. She conducts workshops and training sessions for social innovation bootcamps, social ventures and business, and innovation competitions for youth. She helps youth to write business plans and build high-fidelity prototypes to pitch their ideas to investors to receive seed funding.
Seme Luate Cons Lomoro
Seme Luate Cons Lomoro is a 22-year-old GPE Youth Leader based in Uganda. He is based in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in the Yumbe District in Uganda, after fleeing his hometown of Yei in South Sudan in 2016 as an unaccompanied minor. In BidiBidi, he enrolled in the projects of I CAN South Sudan, a youth- and refugee-led organisation founded in 2017, which aims to advance the rights and wellbeing of displaced children and women. After graduating from the children’s group, Seme began volunteering with I CAN South Sudan to support fellow unaccompanied minors. Promoted to Project Officer, he recently managed a project called Disability is not a Burden that aims to identify, assess and enroll refugee children in school, train teachers and parents and provide assistive learning devices to children with disabilities.
He recently participated in the High-Level Financing Conference for Education Cannot Wait, representing the ECW Youth- and Student-led Subgroup where he spoke passionately about the need to include young people, especially those with lived experience of displacement, in solutions to education in emergencies at the local, national and global level. Seme is passionate about access to quality education and demanding real commitment and funding from decision-makers for his right to education, and the rights of other children and young people forced to flee their homes.
Salha Aziz is a 28-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Tanzania. She is the Founder and Executive Director for Binti Salha Foundation. She is an SDGs champion and advocate for adolescent girls’ and young women’s rights to quality Education, economic freedom and good health. She has a passion for education, holding a Bachelor Degree of Arts with education (BAED). She believes that when a young girl is empowered, a community is also empowered.
She is a sexual and reproductive health rights consultant that creates awareness to a target audience of youth in urban and rural areas. She has been excelling her volunteerism spirit as a member of different youth-led organizations and platforms such as Youth of United Nations Association, Tanzania Youth Vision Association, Action Aid Global Platform Tanzania, Activista Tanzania and Youth Action Movement under UMATI Tanzania.
Salha was recognized by the African Union International Centre for Girls and Women’s Education (AU/CIEFFA) as an Ambassador for Girls’ rights to Education representing Tanzania and East Africa from 2017 to date. In 2019 during the commemoration of youth day, Commonwealth Youth Council recognized her as a Tanzanian Education youth champion.
Salha enjoys connecting with new people. She also likes interacting, influencing and raising awareness on different social issues concerning youth, especially adolescent girls and young Women on social media, mostly on Twitter where she has more than 16,300 engaging Followers.
Oussema Sahnoun is a 25-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Tunisia. He is an active member of the National Association for the Right to Education for All, a member of the Tunisian Educational Coalition, and a member of the Educational Youth Academy of the Arab Campaign for Education for All.
He graduated from the Institute of Journalism and News Sciences in Manouba, Tunisia, in 2019, majoring in journalism and communication sciences. He has also obtained a Tunisia license in private law from the Central Private University of Law in 2022. He is currently studying a master’s degree in corporate and business law at the Central Private University.
His interest in education is focused on climate education and equitable access to education for refugees which stems from his belief that education is a human right that can lead to a decent and dignified life as stipulated in international treaties.
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye is a GPE Youth Leader, climate and environmental rights activist and the founder of Uganda's Fridays for Future movement. She is a Girl Rising Fellow and a recipient of the Women Have Wings Human Rights and the Joke Waller Hunter Award. She advocates for greater gender equality and racial diversity in the climate change movement. One of her environmental concerns is saving Lake Victoria, which connects Uganda to neighboring countries. As part of her activism, Nakabuye visits schools and communities to talk about climate education and empower more women to join the fight against climate change because she believes that the climate crisis has no borders.
Nakabuye's climate activism has received international attention, having been featured as one of the prominent young women striving for climate change in various news outlets, including BBC News, Guardian, Vox, and Time. She has also featured in documentaries, including "Dear Future Children" and "Uncertainty Experts."
She is often invited to give speeches at events and has participated actively in key international platforms such as COP27, the United Nations General Assembly, International Conference of Museums and the Berlin Energy Transition Conference to demand urgent action from the leaders of the world's largest cities. Recently she led and coordinated the project ""Young Ugandan Voices for COP26, together with the French Embassy in Uganda to ensure youth perspectives from across Uganda would be heard in the Conference of Parties meetings. She is part of the Stop EACOP coalition.
Oleksii is a 27-year-old Ukranian GPE Youth Leader living in Romania. He was forced to flee to Romania as a result of the war in Ukraine. He now works with the National Youth Foundation (FNT) in Romania, one of the Norwegian Refugee Council's youth partner organizations. He serves as a Youth Project Coordinator working alongside Romanian youth to identify Ukrainian youth in the local communities and design and deliver projects which meet their needs and priorities. This is done through the youth centres which FNT run for Ukrainian and host community youth. Projects include education, social engagement and livelihood for Ukrainian refugees. He supported a national youth wellbeing assessment of Ukrainian refugees including a focus on education requirements of Ukrainian youth.
Zubair is a GPE Youth Leader based in the UK and the founder of ZNotes, a global student movement fighting educational inequality which exists in standardized high-school exams. To date, they have reached over 4 million students (1.6M+ last year) and 30 million hits from 190+ countries. He started this as a 16-year-old after witnessing the deep inequalities as an expatriate living in the Middle East. Since then, hundreds have joined this movement collectively volunteering thousands of hours by co-creating high-quality resources and supporting the organization's running.
Recipient of the Diana Legacy Award, Zubair is the National Youth Leader for the UK at the Global Partnership for Education, advisory board member of DEFI at Cambridge University and the EY Foundation as well as a One Young World ambassador. An SDG advocate, he has been published and spoken internationally including at the 74th UN General Assembly, ITU Regional Innovation Forum and TEDx. Zubair was the first-ever youth moderator at the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum and has delivered workshops on social entrepreneurship at universities including King’s College London and the University of Cambridge. Zubair holds a Master’s in Mathematics from UCL.
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Michelle is a GPE Youth Leader based in the UK, and a law student who is passionate about women's empowerment and gender equality. She serves as a National Youth Leader for GPE, where she is dedicated to advocating for the transformation of education systems in lower-income countries. She is especially focused on reaching and empowering young girls through equitable access to education. Michelle is also currently a Youth Ambassador at the ONE Campaign, where she advocates to policy-makers on issues such as girls’ education and vaccine equity, and was actively involved in campaigning for The Global Fund replenishment. She was also a member of the Africa-Europe Youth Task-Force, where she is involved in drafting policy proposals and engaging with ministers to advise on youth inclusion and global health. Having grown up in South Africa and with Ghanaian heritage, central to her work as an activist is the belief that everyone should use their voice to speak up against injustice.
Vee (Varaidzo) Kativhu
Vee (Varaidzo) Kativhu GPE Youth Leader from the United Kingdom. She is a 24-year-old YouTuber and Girls’ Education Activist. She uses her online platforms to support over 300,000 underrepresented youth to reach their full academic potential. She provides academic empowerment skills to students who feel unsupported by workshops in schools and universities around the world through her non-profit organisation, Empowered By Vee. She holds two degrees, a Bachelors degree from Oxford University in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History and a Masters’ degree from Harvard University in International Education Policy. As recognition for her efforts to bridge the gap of inequality in education, she has been named a Diana Award Legacy Award Recipient by Prince Harry and Prince William, a United Kingdom Rare Rising Star by executive members of British parliament, and A Diversity Champion by the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University. She is a Young Leader for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and an Advisory Board Member for the Born This Way Foundation.
She recently published a self-help book “EMPOWERED” Live your life with passion and purpose’, a practical and motivational self-help book for young people. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and fundraising for education-focused charities. She is currently an active ambassador for United World Schools, CAMFED and GirlUp Zimbabwe. In the near future, She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and work alongside other change makers to address the pressing issue of the 130 million girls who are currently out of school.
Heela Yoon is a 24-year-old peace and educational activist based in Leeds, United Kingdom. She Is the Founder of Afghan Youth Ambassadors for Peace Organization (AYAPO), a grassroots NGO working in the Eastern provinces of Afghanistan focusing on UNSCR 1325 and 2250 and local peacebuilding. Through AYAPO, Heela has trained more than 100 young girls and boys in Nangarhar, Laghman, and Kabul on gender equality, leadership, and being first responders to a humanitarian crisis. With her NGO, she has engaged with religious and tribal leaders through community peacebuilding dialogues in the Eastern zone to advocate for Afghan girls' education.
She has more than five years of experience working with humanitarian and human rights organizations. She has worked with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) as a Cora Weiss peacebuilding fellow focusing on localizing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and The Philippines. Before joining GNWP, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan as a program coordinator for UNFPA.
Heela Graduated from Kabul University with a bachelor's in political science and a bachelor's in business finance from the American University of Afghanistan. She completed her Master's in international Trade and Finance from Leeds Beckett University as a Chevening Scholar. She is a Research consultant with Amnesty International focusing on the human rights situation in Afghanistan and works as a trainee with Oxfam Great Britain. She is a member of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. The Office of the Secretary-General Envoy has recently recognized her as one of the Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals focusing on SDGs 4 and 9.
Clement Kaponda is passionate about Climate Change and education, He is the co-Founder of Alliance for World Change-AWC; a non-profit organization led by youths formed to champion Climate change advocacy focused on marginalized groups in Zambia. Through AWC, he has initiated various projects, including the formation of “Twikatane Clubs” meaning UNITY. Members of these clubs receive training from AWC on basic climate change education and go on to sensitize fellow pupils and their communities on the importance of promoting behaviors that mitigate climate change such as tree planting and environmental protection. Clement is currently in his final year of Master of Science in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution from the University of Zambia.
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Tendai Kunyelesa is a 22-year-old GPE Youth Leader from Zimbabwe. She is an evolving and highly dynamic emerging young leader that is passionate about advancing the leadership of girls and young women in SRHR, HIV prevention, Gender Equality and Education. Tendai is action-focused, with experience in managing and implementing HIV prevention, youth participation and advocacy programs at local and regional level. She is a persuasive leader and excellent trainer with the ability to cultivate long-term relationships with stakeholders and partners.
Tendai is the Co-founder and Advocacy and networking Coordinator for Development Agenda for Girls and Women in Africa Network. She is currently part of Generation Unlimited’s Young people's Action Team (YPAT).