Six young activists changing the world
These young people are taking things into their own hands
Young people have often been at the forefront of social movements but over the past few years, more and more youth activists have made their way onto our screens and social media.
With the likes of Malala Yousafzai, Amika George and Greta Thunberg hitting the headlines, the power of young voices to influence, inspire and encourage action has become powerfully clear.
We’ve seen this first hand in our youth activism projects around the world. From fighting female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sierra Leone to taking on climate change in Bangladesh, the young people we work with are fuelled by making change and accelerating progress in their communities.
Yasmira is fighting gender inequality
“Girls and women are not taken seriously here. They are laughed at and abused for coming forward with their stories. It’s a disgrace that this is how they are treated. My goal is to become a lawyer, and my aim is to defend women who have survived sexual abuse.
"To me, the best solution to get out of the situation I am in is education. To get prepared for life and to help my community by changing the male chauvinistic and outdated ideas that exist here, so that we all get a better future.
"As women, we have to do what we can to empower each other."
Sohagi is finding solutions to climate change
“The monsoon season comes every year, but it’s falling earlier, it lasts longer, and it is more unpredictable. Our community is getting waterlogged, sometimes for weeks.
"We, the next generation, are part of the solution. We want to be a partner to policy makers in finding sustainable solutions.
"The future depends on us.”
Klever is teaching his community about teenage pregnancy
“I tell other young men that it may seem hard to put ourselves in girls’ shoes, but actually, we know what their lives are like, what they want to achieve with their lives, what kind of futures they want – and we have a role to play in ensuring they get them,” says Klever.
A crucial part of the teenage pregnancy project in Ecuador involves working with boys between 10 and 17 years old, to encourage them to take on more healthy masculine roles in society and challenge harmful social norms which limit girls’ rights.
Jess is speaking out about street harassment
Marie is fighting female genital mutilation (FGM)
"I am totally against the practice of FGM. I only learnt about its negative effects when I went to school. Before that, I thought it was ok.
"I’ve been a mentor in my school for the past year and I really enjoy what I do.
"Previously, it was people from the big towns like Kabala who would come to our village and talk to us about FGM, whereas now we are the ones taking the lead and raising awareness ourselves."
Gift is taking a stand against trafficking
Together with other youth advocates, Gift is championing a girl-led movement to say no to the trafficking of girls and young women in Nigeria, and demanding action from federal and state government departments.
“Let’s everybody stand up and say ‘no more’ to human trafficking. Enough is enough.
"This is our fight, especially as women. Nobody can fight it for us more than we can do for ourselves."
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