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2009 global Fellows

2009 YouthActionNet® global fellows

africa »2

latin america »14

Donald Bodzo, Zimbabwe

Bernardo Alayza, Peru

Naadiya Moosajee, South Africa

Alejandro Zapata Arango, Colombia

Gertrude Namuwonge, Uganda

Dina Buchbinder Auron, Mexico

Emmanuel Odiase, Nigeria

Cecília Mendes Barros, Brazil

Fredrick Ouko, Kenya

José Sarasola, Argentina

asia »7

middle east »19

Gulalai Ismail, Pakistan

Mohammed Zaid Al-Kilany, Palestine

Muhammad Shahzad, Pakistan

north america »20

Deepika Singh, India

Joshua Arnold, United States

europe »10

Sarah Gogel, United States

Eugeniu Graur, Moldova

Nick Martin, United States

José Miguel Pavão, Portugal

Alia Whitney-Johnson, United States


Printed on paper using recycled post-consumer content and wind generated electricity.



uided by a sense of possibility, today’s young social entrepreneurs are pioneering innovative solutions to daunting global challenges. Consider 23-year-old Donald Bodzo who developed a low-cost approach to boosting agricultural productivity in Zimbabwe. “An important part of what we teach farmers is living in possibility, as opposed to viewing problems as insurmountable,” he says. This spirit of optimism, combined with a powerful vision and the will to make it happen, enables young activists such as Donald to serve as community catalysts. They are the spark that mobilizes their peers and others to take action. Donald is among twenty young leaders selected as 2009 YouthActionNet® Global Fellows. Launched by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Nokia, this unique leadership program supports a new generation of socially-conscious, global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries, and our world. In pursuit of their goals, today’s young social entrepreneurs are pursuing increasingly sophisticated approaches. Cecília Mendes Barros of Brazil trains disadvantaged youth to rehabilitate historic buildings. The youth benefit from developing hard skills they can use to secure jobs. Society benefits from the beautification of decaying urban spaces, which now attract more visitors — and increased revenue. By renovating existing structures, Cecília’s project also conserves precious resources.

This win-win orientation is a hallmark of today’s young social innovators. Having experienced first-hand the struggle Palestinian youth face in securing jobs, Mohammed Zaid Al-Kilany co-founded Souktel. Through this mobile phonebased, job-matching service, youth access vital information about employment opportunities. This innovative use of a widely-accessible technology helps to reduce poverty, while stimulating economic growth. And finally, these 2009 YouthActionNet® Global Fellows teach us that social change, while serious business, can also be creative and fun. Recognizing that most young people in her native Mexico had never heard of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dina Buchbinder Auron began teaching children about the MDGs by engaging them in games and sporting activities. Since 2007, her initiative has reached 12,500 young people. “A key goal,” says Dina, “is engaging youth as active citizens and instilling in them the belief that they can solve problems by working together.” There’s that optimism again, mixed with tangible results. Kirsi Sormunen Vice President, Sustainability Nokia William S. Reese President and CEO International Youth Foundation

“In pursuit of their goals, today’s young social entrepreneurs are pursuing increasingly sophisticated approaches.”

zimbabwe Donald Bodzo Harare, Zimbabwe Age: 23

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Improve agricultural productivity in poor, rural communities through training farmers how to produce, apply, and sell low-cost, enriched cattle manure.

“An important part of what we teach farmers is living in possibility, as opposed to viewing problems as insurmountable.”


“It’s a vicious cycle,” says 23-year-old Donald Bodzo. “Most of the soil available to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe lacks essential nutrients, resulting in low crop production, hunger, poor nutrition, and the perpetuation of poverty.” At the same time, farmers can’t afford to purchase chemical fertilizers to boost farm productivity. To address this need, Donald launched c-Manure Technology, based on research he conducted while studying environmental and soil science at the University of Zimbabwe. Through the initiative, farmers in the Buhera District of eastern Zimbabwe receive training and technical assistance in how to produce Pelletized Phosphate Blends (PPB) which, when mixed with cattle manure and applied to farmlands, can dramatically increase crop yields. Why the need to ‘enrich’ manure? “Poor grazing lands mean that the manure produced by domestic cattle is insufficient to use as fertilizer,” Donald explains. “Farmers have to apply thirty to forty tons of cattle manure per hectare for good crop results.” PPB can be inexpensively manufactured by blending dry phosphates with water in a pelletizing machine to produce lowcost fertilizer pellets that can be easily mixed with manure.

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Farmers who enroll in the project initially receive the phosphate rocks for free; those already participating buy the rocks at a subsidized rate or obtain them on credit. In areas of extreme poverty, c-Manure Technology provides loans of US$200 to US$1,000 to kick-start the project. Participating farmers also receive training in financial literacy, business ethics, and marketing. With these skills, c-Manure Technology is mobilizing farmers to establish an income-generating PPB-cattle manure manufacturing enterprise in Buhera. Already c-Manure Technology is impacting the lives of farmers in a region where per capita income is less than US$2 a day. According to an assessment carried out in early 2009, farmers involved in the project had increased their earnings by 70 percent to a minimum of US$200 per month. In addition to feeding their families and generating additional income, farmers can now afford to send their children to school. “An important part of what we teach farmers is living in possibility, as opposed to viewing problems as insurmountable,” says Donald. Over the next five years, he seeks to strengthen c-Manure Technology’s viability as a largescale commercial venture and expand its reach to rural areas throughout Zimbabwe.

south africa Naadiya Moosajee Cape Town, South Africa Age: 25

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Promote the study of engineering among female students, especially those from rural and disadvantaged communities.

If more women were trained as engineers, more solutions would likely emerge for a host of development challenges, including water quality and availability, sanitation, and resource efficiency, according to Naadiya Moosajee. “Women bring a different skill set to the industry and a sensitivity to environmental and human development needs.” To promote the study of engineering among female students in South Africa, Naadiya co-founded SAWomEng (South African Women in Engineering) in 2005. From its beginnings as a student-run entity at the University of Cape Town, SAWomEng is now a national body working to “ignite the engineering flame” among young women and promote their retention in the field. Among its activities, SAWomEng hosts workshops at high schools that bring together top female students and encourage them to pursue engineering careers. Through partnerships established with corporations, SAWomEng secures loans for disadvantaged students to enable them to continue their education at the university level. SAWomEng also establishes mentorships between university students and practicing engineers to help female students overcome obstacles in this male-dominated field.

“Women are a minority globally in engineering and face various challenges,” says Naadiya, adding that women entering the field often experience gender bias and glass ceilings. SAWomEng works to break down barriers between old and young engineers, while contributing to new gender attitudes within the industry as a whole. SAWomEng’s annual conference brings together the top female engineering students in South Africa, industry representatives, and senior government officials. During the conference, delegates take on a technical project. In 2009, they were tasked with improving the quality of life in disadvantaged communities through integrating sustainable development and green engineering techniques. Since 2005, SAWomEng has reached 650 female students, ages 18 to 25, doubling the number of young women seeking to enter the field. While completely volunteer-driven, SAWomEng receives support for its activities from major international companies, including BHP Billiton, Unilever, Volkswagon, Siemens, and Sasol Petroleum, among others.

“Women bring a different skill set to the [engineering] industry and a sensitivity to environmental and human development needs.”

For further information, visit:


uganda gertrude namuwonge Masaka, Uganda Age: 26

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Promote health and healing among poor and elderly women through the use of reflexology as a complementary therapy.

“The challenges of

the elderly.”

An estimated 1.2 million children in Uganda are AIDS orphans, many now living with their grandparents. “The challenges of caring for these children, coupled with poverty, poor nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and stress, contribute to a variety of ailments among the elderly,” says Gertrude Namuwonge, who founded the Masaka Reflexology Center in 2007 to address their needs. A social worker by training, Gertrude was first introduced to reflexology in 2003. Through massaging or applying pressure to the feet, reflexology seeks to promote health benefits and relaxation in other parts of the body. Gertrude was intrigued by research demonstrating the use of reflexology as a complementary therapy for treating a host of health issues, including asthma, insomnia, high blood pressure, and stroke. After six years as a reflexology practitioner, Gertrude is convinced of its ability to promote improved health and wellbeing among patients. At the same time, she recognizes the importance of holistic approaches. Center clients also receive medical checkups, nutrition counseling, and psychosocial support to help them deal with the pressures of caring for orphaned children. To date, the center has treated more than 780 women. One of those, 68-year-old Nalubega Bernadette, suffered a stroke in 2003 leaving


2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

caring for these children [AIDS orphans]… contribute to a variety of ailments among

her partially paralyzed and unable to walk. With five grandchildren to care for, Nalubega sought support through the center and is now able to walk on her own. Her grandchildren also benefited from referrals to other organizations that provided them with educational support and school supplies. “The center has become a source of hope and inspiration for poor women,” says Gertrude, “with seventy percent of grandmothers reporting an improved ability to cope with family challenges.” The ripple effect of the center’s work is also being felt throughout neighboring communities, with increased awareness of the needs of grandparents caring for AIDS orphans and reduced stigma against such families. In addition to her role as a healer, Gertrude trains other community health workers and organizations in the use of reflexology in their work. While proud of her successes, Gertrude struggles to maintain balance in her own life as she strives to keep up with increasing demand for the center’s services.

nigeria emmanuel odiase Abuja, Nigeria Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Educate youth about the dangers of tobacco smoking, while advocating for laws to protect non-smokers from Environmental Tobacco Smoke.

On the morning of May 31, 2009, residents of Benin City, Nigeria marveled over how a giant cigarette came to grace King’s Square, a prominent landmark. That is, until the forty-foot high novelty all but disappeared in a carefullyexecuted explosion. Following the symbolic blowing up of the cigarette, bystanders were handed flyers, caps, and t-shirts displaying antismoking messages. “This was our way of celebrating World No Tobacco Day and sensitizing people to the deadly nature of cigarettes,” says Emmanuel Odiase, founder of the SmokeFreeNigeria Initiative. When Emmanuel was just a boy, his uncle died of lung cancer. “My uncle started smoking in his youth and even after being advised by doctors to quit, he simply couldn’t overcome the strong addiction to nicotine.” Emmanuel’s sense of loss translated into a passion for preventing others — especially young people — from experiencing the same fate. A motivational speaker, writer, and singer, Emmanuel now devotes himself full-time to creating a tobacco free society. Among its activities, SmokeFreeNigeria hosts workshops and seminars in schools, educates children and adolescents about the dangers of smoking tobacco, and offers support to smokers who intend to

quit. A network of 500 trained volunteers delivers its message in schools. With tobacco use considered a gateway for drug use, Emmanuel is quick to underscore the importance of education and prevention. “Big tobacco targets young people in Africa, with over 2,000 teenagers becoming addicted to smoking each day,” says Emmanuel, who authored Who’s the Target?: The Unfiltered Truth, a book now being used to educate children in schools against the use of tobacco. Proceeds from the book help support SmokeFreeNigeria’s activities. In an effort to influence policies and legislation, SmokeFreeNigeria pursues a strong advocacy agenda, conducting campaigns, working to establish smoke free zones, and creatively harnessing the power of electronic and print media to educate audiences. Since SmokeFreeNigeria was founded in 2007, Emmanuel estimates that its anti-smoking message has reached nearly 500,000 young men and women in six states of Nigeria.

“Big tobacco targets young people in Africa, with over 2,000 teenagers becoming addicted to smoking each day.”

For further information, visit:


kenya fredrick ouko Nairobi, Kenya Age: 26

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Train youth with disabilities with the knowledge and skills needed to access jobs and/or start up their own businesses, while advocating for their rights.

“We’ve seen a considerable shift in attitudes related to persons with disabilities. People no longer view them as simply objects of charity, but as capable of doing things on their own.”


As founder of the Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY, formerly Kenya Disabled Action Network), Fredrick Ouko set out to increase opportunities for youth with disabilities, while changing how mainstream society views those who are differently-abled. Fredrick knew well the challenges youth with disabilities face. After applying for a job at a major IT company in Nairobi, he was invited for an interview based on his resume. “When I arrived, I could tell the review panel was surprised to see I was physically-challenged,” he says. “While everyone else’s interview lasted fifteen minutes, mine took only three. I knew my fate was sealed as a result of my disability.” To address the needs of youth with disabilities — especially those growing up in rural and slum areas — ANDY provides life skills education, entrepreneurship training, and start up capital. The organization also develops relationships with employers who offer internships and the potential for long-term jobs. Trainings are carried out over the course of a month: five hours a day, five days a week. Participants acquire life and computer skills and develop their self-confidence. Each learns how to write a resume, explore job opportunities, and conduct a successful interview.

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

ANDY-trained youth are now working for international organizations, telecommunications companies, government ministries, and IT companies. Others have started successful enterprises. Stella, who is physically challenged, opened a beauty supply shop. Stephen, who also has a physical disability, started an IT business that offers computer repair services, installs software, and conducts regular maintenance for organizations, including ANDY. Rather than focus exclusively on the needs of those with a particular disability (e.g., the blind or the deaf), ANDY advocates for and supports youth no matter what their disability. It also engages mainstream youth organizations in an effort to breakdown barriers and increase understanding of the needs and issues facing youth with disabilities. Since 2003, ANDY has reached 650 young people. Says Fredrick, “We’ve seen a considerable shift in attitudes related to persons with disabilities. People no longer view them as simply objects of charity, but as capable of doing things on their own.”

For further information, visit:

pakistan Gulalai Ismail Peshawar, Pakistan Age: 23

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Empower young women living in a conservative, rural culture with knowledge about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and prevention measures.

Through Aware Girls, Gulalai Ismail works to raise awareness among young women living in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and prevention measures. “Women living in rural areas of Pakistan generally have lower socio-economic status, less mobility, and lack decision-making power and access to information,” says Gulalai, who was motivated to take action after learning about the low level of HIV/AIDS awareness among female students enrolled at local universities. “All of these factors contribute to their HIV vulnerability.” Gulalai’s journey as a women’s rights advocate began at the age of 16 when she joined with seven of her peers in establishing Aware Girls. While a number of organizations in Pakistan promote women’s rights, few involve young women directly in decision-making, she says, adding that Aware Girls was created as a platform for young women to serve as agents of change. The exclusively womenrun organization undertakes programs that promote equal access to education, address reproductive health issues, prevent violence, and strengthen women’s entrepreneurship skills and decision-making powers.

Gulalai is all too familiar with the inequalities and discrimination experienced by women and girls in her community. Early forced marriage and domestic violence are commonplace, she explains, with women rarely allowed to leave their homes without the permission of a man. Such cultural norms contribute to an atmosphere in which women have limited knowledge and information about reproductive health and are not empowered to assert themselves when it comes to practicing safe sex. “Many males leave their villages to pursue work in big cities and foreign countries,” Gulalai explains. “This can lead to high-risk behaviors, such as unsafe sex, which put them and their wives at risk of HIV infection.” In 2008, more than 1,000 young women, ages 13 to 20, participated in HIV/AIDS awareness training carried out by Aware Girls at ten schools and five colleges across the North West Frontier Province. Says Gulalai, “This work has impacted me in many ways, allowing me to see how we all reinforce unjust systems through our daily actions. Change begins with ourselves.”

“Women living in rural areas of Pakistan generally have lower socioeconomic status, less mobility, and lack decisionmaking power and access to information.”


pakistan Muhammad Shahzad Lahore, Pakistan Age: 24

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Utilize the arts to empower young people, educate audiences, and influence policies aimed at promoting youth voices and protecting women’s rights.

“My community was deeply immersed in tribal customs and traditions. The man with the most wives was the most honored.”


At the age of 12, Muhammad Shahzad went on a hunger strike to protest the arranged marriage of his 15-year-old sister to a landowner in his fifties, a common practice in the rural area of central Pakistan where he grew up. “My community was deeply immersed in tribal customs and traditions,” he explains. “The man with the most wives was the most honored.” Early marriage and violence against women were commonplace, he adds. Denied an education, women and girls were forced to work in the fields and rarely given the chance to express their views or exercise their rights. Shahzad’s act of defiance inspired his mother, brothers, and sisters to do the same, leaving his father little choice but to call the marriage off. The family moved to Lahore, where Shahzad dedicated himself to learning all he could to be an effective agent of change. In 2004, at the age of 19, he launched a theater group to educate audiences about critical social issues. Two years later, he founded the Chanan Development Association (CDA). Its goal: to empower youth, particularly young women, to combat violence, discrimination, and social injustice. Among its activities, CDA uses the arts — theater, photography, puppetry, and films

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

— to raise public awareness of human rights issues. Since 2006, CDA has staged more than 500 plays that explore issues ranging from early forced marriage to gender violence. The Chanan Media Group examines human rights issues through the production of documentary films aired on local television. Proceeds from its film and theater events help support CDA’s activities. In 2008, CDA launched a campaign aimed at reducing religious extremism through promoting interactive dialogues among different communities, religions, and sects. CDA also trains youth throughout Pakistan in the use of participatory media techniques. Now 24, Shahzad has witnessed a profound difference in attitudes toward women and youth — beginning with his own family and extending to the village where he grew up and other communities where CDA is active. “We’re seeing a greater acceptance of young people’s views and reduced violence against women,” he says, adding that CDA has contributed to increased tolerance of other people’s religious beliefs and the value of girls’ education.

india Deepika Singh Ahmedabad, India Age: 29

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Use technology and other creative strategies to extend educational opportunities to underserved children living in remote, rural areas.

It was while visiting the Kutch District of western India that Deepika Singh decided she wanted to do something to create educational opportunities for the area’s poor, rural children. “The children worked making coal and hardly attended school,” she says. “Many of the villages didn’t have a functional school.” Contributing to widespread poverty and social isolation in the region is a history of communal violence, which culminated in riots in 2002 in which hundreds of people, mostly Muslims, died. Believing that education is a powerful tool to bring about social change, Deepika co-founded Udaan in 2005. Its mission: to improve access to and the quality of primary education in rural villages and slum communities throughout the state of Gujarat — and soon, other parts of India. Udaan is an initiative of Janvikas, a grassroots organization that for twenty years has promoted human rights, social justice, and the development of marginalized populations. Working in collaboration with diverse partners, Udaan seeks to reduce the growing influence of fundamentalist influences in Indian society. “The goals of education need to be guided by the kind of society a nation wants to build,” says Deepika, adding that “it’s important

to incorporate values that foster respect for diversity, open minds, and rational thinking.” Tailoring its approach to meet the needs of the region’s children, Udaan offers both formal and nonformal education, to children living in areas where schools do not exist. Among its activities, Udaan develops curricula, trains teachers, hosts residential camps, and taps the power of technology to deliver educational content and engage youth. Through its Videoshala initiative, for example, Udaan creates and distributes teaching kits consisting of videos, activity sheets for children, and an instruction manual with modules devoted to math, science, and environmental issues. The content of the kits is presented to marginalized children in public and private schools. As with Udaan’s other programs, Videoshala integrates the values of diversity, democracy, and citizenship. Another Udaan program, Meghdhanush (meaning rainbow), carried out in areas most affected by communal violence, brings together children from diverse backgrounds and equips them with reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Since 2005, Udaan has reached more than 250 villages, impacting 12,000 children.

“The goals of education need to be guided by the kind of society a nation wants to build.”

For further information, visit:


moldova EUGENIU Graur Balti, Moldova Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Contribute to economic and social development through equipping youth with the skills and knowledge to get jobs or create successful enterprises.

“Our goal is to establish a new paradigm for the young generation — inspiring them to be more creative, more proactive, and more engaged in their communities.”


How do you foster a culture of entrepreneurship — and possibility — in a country where success is often equated with leaving to live elsewhere? If you’re Eugeniu Graur, you start with transforming how young people view their present and future. You then equip them with the confidence, knowledge, and skills needed to get jobs or create successful enterprises. Eugeniu grew up in a rural village in northern Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, where he witnessed the apathy and negative behaviors that emerge when young people are denied the chance to dream, to hope for a better future. Youth with ambitions to pursue would set their sights on opportunities in other countries. Eugeniu founded NGO CERTITUDE to change this mindset. “Our goal is to establish a new paradigm for the young generation — inspiring them to be more creative, more proactive, and more engaged in their communities,” he says. NGO CERTITUDE began as a studentfocused organization at Eugeniu’s university and is now a youth-run NGO supporting social entrepreneurship and business development. Recognizing that teachers schooled in the ‘old ways’ were part of what was holding young people back, Eugeniu sought to diversify how students learned about economics, business,

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

and politics. He began by partnering with U.S. Peace Corps volunteers who led training programs for youth in business planning, ethics, financial management, and marketing. Building on this model, Eugeniu engaged local university graduates with business expertise to provide similar volunteer services. Since its establishment in 2005, NGO CERTITUDE has reached over 5,000 youth in Balti, the nation’s second city, and five surrounding districts. More than eighty youth have started their own enterprises, with NGO CERTITUDE providing assistance with securing bank loans and start-up capital. For example, Sergiu Gutuleac now runs his own advertising agency serving more than 200 corporate clients and generating US$50,000 annually. To achieve its goals, NGO CERTITUDE relies on a network of partner organizations. For example, the Rishard Ivey School of Business in Canada sends four of its students to Moldova for three weeks annually to share their knowledge with young entrepreneurs. In the future, Eugeniu seeks to expand NGO CERTITUDE to other parts of the country and to establish an exchange program enabling Moldovan youth to share experiences and ideas with their peers across Europe.

portugal JosÉ miguel pavÃo Oporto, Portugal Age: 28

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Promote oral health as a universal human right and provide dental services to underprivileged populations.

After being trained as a dentist, José Miguel Pavão spent a month volunteering with a hospital in Cape Verde. “There were no dentists on the island where I worked,” he recalls. “I’d spend as much time as I could treating patients, knowing it would be several months before the next volunteer would arrive.” The experience was life changing. Upon returning to his native Portugal, Miguel founded Mundo a Sorrir (The World Smiles) with the goal of promoting oral health among underprivileged populations around the world. “Oral health is a universal right that should be accessible to everyone regardless of their economic, cultural, or social circumstances,” he affirms. Mundo a Sorrir currently operates in Portugal, Cape Verde, and Guinea Bissau. Within Portugal, 360 dental volunteers have signed on. Volunteers visit schools in disadvantaged rural communities where they teach children about proper oral hygiene and preventive measures. Children who lack access to dental care benefit from a thorough exam, and if treatment is needed, receive free services. Surveys of students at participating schools find that young people who attend Mundo a Sorrir briefings are more apt to regularly brush their teeth.

Mundo a Sorrir volunteers also reach out to low-income adults who are intellectually challenged or socially marginalized (e.g., convicts, HIV/AIDS patients, drug addicts). Recently, Miguel raised the resources needed to open a dental clinic to treat the poor and/or unemployed at a hospital in Oporto, Portugal’s second largest city. Internationally, Mundo a Sorrir sends volunteers to Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau for a minimum of two weeks. The volunteers treat patients and brief the local dental community on the use of new technologies. As a result of Mundo a Sorrir’s work in both countries, more oral health services use effective sterilization techniques and disposable materials, thereby reducing the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis. Since 2005, Mundo a Sorrir has provided services to 4,300 low-income children and adults. In the future, Miguel seeks to expand the organization’s reach nationally and internationally and to create a foundation to enable low-income youth to pursue dental careers.

“Oral health is a universal right that should be accessible to everyone regardless of their economic, cultural, or social circumstances.”

For further information, visit:









1. Bernardo Alayza, founder of the Warming of Andean Homes initiative in Peru, interviews a community member. 2. Deepika Singh, founder of Udaan. 3. Global Potential volunteers conduct service activities in the Dominican Republic. 4. T hrough Oficina-Escola de Artes e Oficios in Brazil, disadvantaged youth gain marketable skills. 5. Dina Buchbinder Auron (left) plays with a child participant of Deportes para Compartir in Mexico. 6. Students in Washington, DC engage in peace-building activities through DCPEACE. 7. Alia Whitney-Johnson models bracelets made through Emerge Global.

peru Bernardo Alayza Lima, Peru Age: 29

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Develop low-cost, appropriate technologies to improve the health and quality of life of marginalized inhabitants of remote, mountainous regions.

“To stay warm at night, residents often sleep beside indoor fire pits. This practice results in respiratory, skin, and eye problems.”


The Langui District of Cusco is among the poorest in Peru with a per capita income of US$60 per month. With temperatures in the winter months averaging minus three degrees Celsius, inhabitants of this high altitude area often suffer from acute respiratory ailments and skin problems. Cold temperatures are one of the biggest contributors to child mortality in the region. To address local needs, Bernardo Alayza launched the Warming of Andean Homes initiative through the Rural Support Group of Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru. “To stay warm at night, residents often sleep beside indoor fire pits,” explains Bernardo. “This practice — the equivalent of smoking twenty packs of cigarettes a day — results in respiratory, skin, and eye problems.” Through the initiative, homes are equipped with solar heating systems, insulation, refurbished doors and windows, and improved cooking stoves to enhance indoor air quality. Simply insulating the area’s rudimentary homes with a layer of plaster and reducing heat loss from doors and windows can raise temperatures indoors by eight to ten degrees Celsius. “Such an increase can mean the difference between life and death,” Bernardo affirms. A key to the group’s work is the development of appropriate technologies that can be inex-

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

pensively built from local materials, are durable, and can be easily maintained by beneficiaries. Also important is ensuring that beneficiaries recognize their own role — and contribution — to the project’s success. “We teach people that new technologies are not free but require the support of local volunteers who donate their time and materials,” says Bernardo. Also critical is generating local buy-in for lifestyle changes. Bernardo, who specializes in communications for social change, works closely with local Yachachiqs, or community leaders, to educate residents about the importance of making modest home improvements and altering cooking and heating habits. Since the initiative was launched in 2007, a school, a medical center, and 45 homes have been refurbished, benefiting more than 300 people. With climate change contributing to a lowering of temperatures in the region, Bernardo and his colleagues are exploring ways of expanding the initiative’s reach. To boost local incomes overall, the group is working to promote tourism in the region, which boasts abundant wildlife and pristine mountain scenery.

For further information, visit:

colombia alejandro zapata arango Medellín, Colombia Age: 29

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Design and implement innovative strategies that enable businesses to operate sustainably.

Alejandro Zapata Arango was in eighth grade when he conceived of his first solution to an environmental challenge. He and his peers developed a plan for saving the Sabaleta, an endangered species of freshwater fish, long threatened by pollution and over-fishing. His team won first prize at the school science fair. Alejandro pursued his passion, obtaining a degree in environmental engineering, and in 2005 co-founded Portafolio Verde, an environmental and social enterprise. Structured as a consulting service, Portafolio Verde designs innovative strategies to enable national and international businesses to operate sustainably. For example, Alejandro and his Portafolio Verde co-founder, Juan Esteban, developed a marketing plan and finance structure for an association of twenty Colombian honey producers. Now, with a more sustainable, competitive business model, the association is poised to apply for fair trade certification to export its products. Outside Colombia, Alejandro supported an Ecuadorian NGO in producing a manual to make the tagua industry more sustainable. A nut harvested from palm trees, tagua is widely used to manufacture buttons and jewelry. The exploitation of palm trees for this purpose had placed the future of local producers at risk. The

tagua project is typical of how Portafolio Verde’s operates — through partnering with organizations to raise the resources needed to achieve a sustainability goal. “Almost all of our work targets low-income communities,” says Alejandro. “ I realize I have a responsibility to contribute to sustainable development in a country like Colombia that has suffered the consequences of violence and drug trafficking, and where environmental awareness is not very strong.” Currently, Portafolio Verde is working with the Mayor’s office of Medellín to carry out the Ecohuertas Urbanas (Urban Ecogardens) Project. Through the project, low-income community members develop vegetable gardens designed to both feed themselves and generate muchneeded revenue. Project beneficiaries include families who were displaced from their rural communities as a result of the country’s internal armed conflict. Since 2005, Portafolio Verde has provided support to more than a thousand farmers and internally displaced people.

“I realize I have a responsibility to contribute to sustainable development in a country like Colombia … where environmental awareness is not very strong.”

For further information, visit:


mexico dina buchbinder auron Mexico City, Mexico Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Eductate young people about critical global issues through games and sporting activities.

“DpC promotes values such as teamwork, fairness, and respect for differences while also using sports to teach children the importance of healthy lifestyles.”


In 2000, Mexico, along with 188 other nations, committed to work toward eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by the United Nations. The MDGs outlined an ambitious agenda for ending poverty, ensuring universal education, improving health, and promoting environmental sustainability and gender equality — all by a target date of 2015. Recognizing that most young people in her native Mexico had never heard of the MDGs, Dina Buchbinder Auron took action. Her solution: use play and sporting activities as a way of educating children and youth, ages 6 to 14, about critical issues facing their local and global communities. In 2007, Dina co-founded Deport-es para Compartir (DpC), which in English means “Sharing the Joy of Sports.” Its work rests on three pillars: thinking, acting, and sharing. Participants are encouraged to think about the relevance of sports and physical activity to their daily lives. Next, each acts out what physical activity means to them through a series of interactive workshops. And lastly, each contributes symbols (e.g., artwork and letters) representing his or her culture and beliefs to a treasure box that they share with youth in other communities. “DpC promotes values such as teamwork, fairness, and respect for differences,” says Dina,

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

“while also using sports to teach children the importance of healthy lifestyles. A key goal is engaging youth as active citizens and instilling in them the belief that they can solve problems by working together.” One DpC game, “Doctor Tag,” explores the MDG related to preventing HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases. The game begins with players being educated about health issues facing young people in Brazil. Following, participants separate into two teams, with each assigning a captain to serve as doctor. The object of the game is for players to avoid being hit by a ball symbolizing a disease. As the game progresses, players share their thoughts and feelings about their experience and how it relates to global health. As of early 2009, DpC had reached over 12,500 children living in marginalized rural and urban communities. Participants have been found to demonstrate greater teamwork, healthier behaviors, and increased awareness of the challenges that children, as global citizens, face as well as their role in developing solutions.

For more information, visit:

brazil cecÍlia Mendes Barros São Paulo, Brazil Age: 24

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Equip youth with practical job skills while rehabilitating historic buildings and nurturing community pride.

On the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil is Santana de Parnaíba, an historic city with buildings dating back to the 16th century. Not long ago, visitors to the city center would find crumbling facades and a faded glory. Today, its cultural wealth stands carefully preserved through the efforts of low-income youth who meticulously repaired plasterwork, replaced hinges, stenciled walls, and restored ironwork — all using artisanal techniques designed to retain the city’s colonial heritage. Transforming neglected spaces — and young lives — is the goal of Oficina-Escola de Artes e Oficios (POEAO), an innovative professional school that has as its patron, Mayor Silvio Peccioli. Through POEAO, Cecília Mendes Barros and her ´ Barros equip disadvantaged father, Prof. Julio youth with the skills needed to rehabilitate historic buildings and build a positive future. “The number of young people living without hope and opportunity in Brazil is a major drain on society — leading to increased drug dependency, crime, and early pregnancy,” says Cecília, a lawyer by training. POEAO targets youth, ages 14 to 24, who have been largely forgotten by society. Many of its beneficiaries are school dropouts, former juvenile offenders, or young people with intellectual dis-

abilities. Through the initiative, youth acquire specialized skills in carpentry, masonry, painting, and metalwork — skills they can use to support themselves in the future. Over time, POEAO has achieved quadruple bottom-line impacts — reaping lasting social, environmental, cultural, and economic benefits. Participating youth develop marketable skills and a greater connection to their communities. Local citizens gain a renewed sense of civic pride and responsibility. They also benefit from increased revenue as a result of more people visiting their neighborhoods. And by renovating existing structures, POEAO conserves precious resources. Says Cecília, “[Through POEAO,] city neighborhoods are becoming more beautiful, tourism is increasing, and young people are actively engaged in historic preservation.” To date, POEAO has reached more than 2,000 youth in 40 towns and 5 states in Brazil, with 86 percent of program graduates having obtained jobs. In 2008, Cecília was honored as a local YouthActionNet® National Fellow in Brazil by the Anhembi Morumbi Youth Initiative (Iam), created with support from the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation.

“[Through POEAO,] city neighborhoods are becoming more beautiful, tourism is increasing, and young people are actively engaged in historic preservation.”


argentina JosÉ Sarasola Bella Vista, Argentina Age: 29

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Train low-income women to produce environmentally-friendly clothing, while educating the public about the importance of sustainable development.

“We seek to build an enterprise that is motivated, not by the pursuit of profit, but by contributing to the development of a sustainable society that promotes basic human rights.”


In 2005, José Sarasola returned home after six years of studying in Australia to find his native Argentina struggling to recover from an economic crisis that had sent poverty levels soaring. Deeply disturbed by the number of people left jobless and homeless, José used his life savings to purchase six industrial sewing machines and enrolled in a crash course in how to produce t-shirts. Soon afterward, the Mediapila Foundation was born. Its mission: to help lift low-income mothers and their children out of poverty. Mediapila (which translates into “Do Something About it”) provides women, most of whom have been abandoned by their husbands, with skills training, sewing machines, and marketing outlets, enabling them to make a living through producing hand-painted clothing. To date, Mediapila has trained more than 35 women in five low-income neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, establishing local workshops where the women access the necessary tools and machinery to pursue their new careers. Each earns an average of $100 pesos (US$26) per day, roughly seven times what they previously earned as cardboard collectors. “We seek to build an enterprise that is motivated, not by the pursuit of profit, but by contributing to the development of a sustainable society that promotes basic human rights,” says José.

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

To achieve its aims, Mediapila pursues a threepronged strategy: reducing poverty, promoting environmental sustainability, and strengthening public awareness of critical social issues. Its sales force is comprised of a network of student volunteers at 150 schools and 20 universities. Mediapila representatives also teach seminars on sustainable business principles, which have reached over 450,000 students. The organization has successfully garnered partnerships with NGOs, multinationals, local government agencies, and a marketing firm to strengthen its work. Large companies, including Procter & Gamble, Accenture, and Telefonica, now source products through Mediapila. Profits from sales are reinvested in purchasing machinery, providing training, and covering the Foundation’s day-to-day operations. Mediapila is now a recognized brand in Argentina, according to José, who seeks to expand the initiative to the country’s second largest city and engage well know actors and athletes in spreading Mediapila’s sustainability message through wearing its products.

For further information, visit:

palestine mohammed ZAID al-kilany Ramallah, Palestine Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Match job seekers to employers through the use of mobile technology.

Mohammed Zaid Al-Kilany knows what it’s like to be unemployed and struggle to find a job. After obtaining an information technology degree from Arab American University, Mohammed searched for months to find a job in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. “The pressure on me was huge,” he says. “I knew my family’s savings were gone. I had an IT degree but no future, no options, and no way to link up with employers.” Mohammed’s experience is far from unique. Unemployment in the West Bank stands at 20 percent, with that figure even higher among young people. Eventually Mohammed landed a job at a small telecommunications company, but the memory of his job search travails remained. Soon he teamed up with a colleague from Canada to design a simple job-matching service that works on mobile phones. Since 2006, Souktel, the nonprofit they created, has helped 9,000 Palestinian job seekers and 250 employers. How does it work? Through Souktel, job seekers create “mini CVs” that include basic data on their skills and location. These are sent via text message to Souktel’s central database, searched by hundred of employers daily. From their side, employers create similar mini job ads and post them on the same database.

“The main advantage of our innovation is that it works on the simplest or oldest mobile phone,” says Mohammed. “We’re seeking to save time, effort, and money, while offering equal opportunities — anywhere — 24/7.” Souktel is based on the belief that unemployment, poverty, and social unrest can all be traced to a lack of good resources to help young people find work. “In the Middle East, a young person’s best hope for survival (and a brighter future) hinges on his/her ability to find a job, earn income, and save money,” says Mohammed. “But in most Arab countries labor markets are in chaos — not because there’s a lack of job opportunities, but because there are no good information networks to help job seekers and employers find each other.” To achieve its goals, Souktel cooperates with corporate partners, universities, government ministries, and NGOs. In addition to its job-matching service, Souktel uses the same model of information sharing to facilitate communication among aid agencies and those they serve. Mohammed and his team are currently working to expand Souktel’s services to Egypt, Jordan, and Somalia.

“The main advantage of our innovation is that it works on the simplest or oldest mobile phone. We’re seeking to save time, effort, and money, while offering equal opportunities.”

For more information, visit:


united states Joshua Arnold Wolfeboro, United States Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Pursue a community-wide, systems-based approach to local sustainability.

“There’s no blanket solution for sustainability, rather it’s a creative process defined by one’s local culture, economy, environment, and history.”


Concerned about the global environment and planetary sustainability, Josh Arnold took action in his own community of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, USA. In 2006, Josh mobilized local residents to explore the meaning of Gandhi’s oftquoted phase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world“ and its relevance to protecting the earth’s fragile resources. What resulted was the creation of Global Awareness Local Action, or G.A.L.A., a network and resource hub that facilitates learning and the practice of sustainability in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. “We came to the conclusion that the current global economy is designed in such a way that economic growth is often achieved at the expense of society and the biosphere on which it depends,” says Josh. To reverse this trend, G.A.L.A. pursues local solutions that strengthen community ties and restore ecological integrity. G.A.L.A.-sponsored activities include study circles, film screenings, homesteading workshops, local ‘buy wise’ campaigns, and a community garden project and farmers’ market. To help support its efforts, G.A.L.A. collaborates with like-minded organizations to sell green products, such as compost bins and rainwater catchment barrels. Says Josh, “There’s no blanket solution for sustainability, rather it’s a creative process defined

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

by one’s local culture, economy, environment, and history.” Given this reality, G.A.L.A. pursues a systems approach in its work — identifying the decisions and actions at the local level that can increase the probability of a sustainable global society. Celebration and community-building lie at the heart of G.A.L.A.’s approach. Volunteers organize potluck dinners and events that explore sustainability themes like cost-efficient ways of producing clean energy. Over three years, G.A.L.A. has reached more than 300 local residents through its events and outreach activities. As a result, more families are composting leftover foods, collecting rainwater, shopping for locally-produced goods, and growing vegetables in their backyard. Josh is currently raising funds to revitalize an historic building to house G.A.L.A.’s activities, including a year-round local foods market and green jobs incubator. While people used to associate sustainable living with sacrificing their quality of life, G.A.L.A. demonstrates how an earth-friendly lifestyle can help save money and enhance the wellbeing of the entire community.

For further information, visit:

united states sarah gogel New York, United States Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Empower low-income urban youth with the skills and international exposure to create positive change in their local and global communities.

Sarah Gogel knows well the transformative effect of volunteering in another culture. Originally from Paris, Sarah came to the U.S. when she was 20. By age 25, she had volunteered with individuals affected by tuberculosis and leprosy in India, with women groups in Nicaragua, and with refugee youth in Israel. Such experiences fueled her desire to create opportunities for less privileged youth to travel and be inspired by global community work. “It is extremely rare that minority youth are given the chance to step out of their daily reality and confront privilege, power, and impoverishment in a global context,” says Sarah. “Without such opportunities, the cycles of poverty, violence, substance abuse, and lack of training and education, are hard to break. By helping communities, youth help themselves.” In 2007, Sarah and Frank Cohn co-founded Global Potential (GP), a program of Globalhood, Inc., that empowers low-income youth with the skills and perspective to be leaders of positive change. GP targets ethnically and racially-diverse youth, ages 16 to 25, from marginalized, urban neighborhoods where resources are few, and poverty, crime, and drugs are common. The program begins with a 16-week training in global awareness, social entrepreneurship, and

leadership. Following, GP participants volunteer for six weeks in a rural village in a developing country. This experience takes them out of their urban context, where they face pervasive challenges, and gives them the chance to be part of a cohesive group and contribute to a community. Upon their return home, the youth develop a social enterprise in their neighborhood or participate in existing community service initiatives over nine months. In the summer of 2008, ten GP youth traveled to the Dominican Republic where they lived and worked in a rural community. In addition to building a classroom, the group facilitated town hall meetings on topics such as comparative experiences of racism and poverty. Upon their return to the U.S., the youth launched a cross-cultural afterschool program designed to give inner-city youth a positive alternative to hanging out on the streets. To date, GP has facilitated leadership trainings for over 70 young people, and provided an international travel and living experience for 43 youth.

“It is extremely rare that minority youth are given the chance to step out of their daily reality and confront privilege, power, and impoverishment in a global context.”

For further information, visit:


united states nick martin Washington DC, United States Age: 27

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Prevent violence in low-income communities through delivering a comprehensive peace education program in primary schools.

“Peace is often seen as illusive, something done in remote parts of the world by governments.”


“To change the way a community deals with violence, one has to begin with students and schools,” says Nick Martin, who founded DCPEACE to equip teachers, youth, school administrators, and families in Washington, DC with the skills and knowledge to be peace-builders. Motivating Nick to take action were some startling statistics. In 2007, 21% of DC students were found to carry a weapon, 43% had experienced a physical fight, and 14% did not go to school because they felt unsafe. A program of the U.S. Association for the University for Peace (UPEACE/US), DCPEACE pursues a holistic approach, including teacher training, curriculum development, and the hosting of theater and peace-building workshops. Central to its efforts is the creation of PeaceRooms in schools that enable students to explore themes related to social justice and global citizenship, while engaging in online dialogue with their peers in other countries. Delivered during dedicated computer classroom time, the PeaceRooms teach digital literacy skills (e.g., typing, Internet research, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and basic media production) within the context of a peace curriculum. To foster intercultural understanding, DCPEACE has formed virtual partnerships with schools in rural Wisconsin

2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows

and Costa Rica, with plans to expand to Ethiopia, Sudan, and Timor-Leste. Convincing donors and others to support peace education efforts can be challenging, explains Nick, who has worked with teachers and students in such diverse locales as Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and X’ian, China. “Peace is often seen as illusive, something done in remote parts of the world by governments,” he says. Nonetheless, DCPEACE has established successful partnerships with popular restaurants such as Pizza Hut, California Tortilla, and Chipotle, all of which have donated a percentage of their profits from a given day to support its efforts. Since 2007, the program has reached 250 low-income students in prekindergarten through grade five. Based on data collected in 2008-09, 100% of participating teachers reported improvements in student behavior and decreases in classroom conflict. Whereas 46% of students surveyed said they used violence (pushing or hitting) to address conflict prior to the program, only 13% pursued such behaviors after six months of participating.

For further information, visit:

united states Alia Whitney-Johnson Cambridge, United States Age: 23

INNOVATIVE IDEA: Empower young women who have survived sexual violence through the making and selling of beaded jewelry.

Alia Whitney-Johnson first traveled to Sri Lanka as a freshman in college studying environmental engineering. While there, she visited a shelter for teenage mothers who were survivors of sexual abuse. “I’ll never forget the day I met these girls,” says Alia. “Most had been raped by a relative, a tourist, a neighbor. They had no families, no money, and no support network.” The experience changed her life. Looking for a way to connect with the girls, Alia shared a childhood hobby: beading. Through teaching the girls how to bead necklaces and bracelets, Alia formed a lasting bond. “They went from being scared to opening up,” she recalls. Upon her return home, Alia founded the Emerge Bead Program to continue her work with the shelter and connect the girls to training, supplies, and international markets. In 2008, she launched Emerge Global, a not-for-profit organization. Its goal: to empower young women, ages 11 to 18, who have survived abuse to rediscover and celebrate their personal beauty, develop their selfsufficiency, and become leaders within their own communities. Emerge Global has developed a simple five-step program to build participants’ self-confidence, heal their past, develop essential life skills, and inspire entrepreneurship. Initially, the girls are taught

beading techniques and engage in art therapy. Each sets up a budget and a bank account. Over time, each plays a greater role in managing the program and designing their own business. Jewelry created through Emerge Global is sold both in Sri Lanka and the United States. In the U.S., Emerge Global relies on university sales and ‘jewelry parties’ to market its products. Revenue generated from sales is returned to a community fund that the girls direct. Profits are reinvested in materials to sustain the program and contributed to each participant’s personal savings account, which she is able to access upon turning 18. One participant is saving money to support her son’s education; another dreams of opening her own bakery. Emerge Global supports these girls, and others, in identifying their goals and taking the steps needed to reach them. To date, more than ninety girls have benefited from Emerge Global’s Bead Program, with jewelry sales in 2008 totaling US$25,000 — more than double that of the previous year.

“I’ll never forget the day I met these girls. Most had been raped by a relative, a tourist, a neighbor. They had no families, no money, and no support network.”

For further information, visit:



Launched in 2001, YouthActionNet速 seeks to develop a new generation of socially-conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries, and the world. Through its global and national fellowship programs, dynamic website, networking, and peer-topeer learning opportunities, YouthActionNet速 offers young change makers ideas, resources, and connections to like minds around the world. YouthActionNet速 is in the process of building a global network of national youth leadership institutes in select countries. For more information, please visit:


Nokia is committed to having a positive impact on society that extends beyond the advanced technology, products, and services it creates. It has invested in community projects supporting young people and education in over 30 countries, benefiting more than one million young people. The company has an active employee volunteering program which last year saw its employees give almost 32,100 hours to local community projects. Nokia is also supporting innovative technology projects designed to bridge the digital divide and bring the benefits of mobile technology to communities around the world. For more information, please visit:

International Youth Foundation

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. For more information, please visit:

IYF accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies resulting from the anecdotal nature of the information provided in this publication.

YouthActionNet® GLOBAL PROGRAM GOES LOCAL Capitalizing on the growing global movement of young people taking action in their communities, YouthActionNet® is taking root at the local level. National and regional programs offer skill-building, networking, recognition, and often financial support. Their goal: to support young leaders and their innovative approaches to solving critical challenges and strengthen the youth leadership sector within individual countries/regions.


Young Social Pioneers (YSP) An initiative of The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Young Social Pioneers seeks to promote youth-led social innovation across the country. In 2009, the program honored its first 14 young social entrepreneurs. The Young Social Pioneers benefit from professional mentoring, training, networking opportunities, skill building, and recognition for their work over the yearlong program. Such activities strengthen the capacity of these youth leaders to address such vital issues as refugee settlements, climate change, and challenges facing Indigenous peoples. To learn more, visit:


Iniciativa Jovem Anhembi Morumbi (Iam) Launched in 2008, Iniciativa Jovem Anhembi Morumbi (Anhembi Morumbi Youth Initative) celebrates and supports young Brazilian social entrepreneurs who have developed innovative solutions to persistent problems in the São Paulo metro area. The program is housed at the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi. The Iam fellowship centers around a four-month certificate course led by Anhembi Morumbi professors and local experts, coupled with experiential learning opportunities and access to project funding. To learn more, visit:


Chaine de Solidarité des Jeunes (CSJ) Youth in Haiti face enormous challenges and have limited opportunities to develop the skills needed to transform their social change visions into reality. Launched in early 2009, the Chaine de Solidarité des Jeunes (Haitian Youth Solidarity Network), a YouthActionNet® initiative, selected 25 Haitian youth to receive leadership and entrepreneurship training to enable them to positively shape their nation’s present — and future. The program was hosted by the Institute for Personal and Professional Development (IDEO).


Zinuk Lamahar Launched in 2009, Zinuk Lamahar is an initiative of Kav Hazinuk, an Israeli nonprofit organization that has worked to strengthen youth leadership in the country since 2002. Based on the YouthActionNet® model, Zinuk Lamahar seeks to strengthen, support, and celebrate young social entrepreneurs in Israel. Following a competitive application process, selected young leaders take part in a professional seminar, participate in a virtual study program and

become part of a growing network of youth leading change globally. The first Zinuk Lamahar Fellows will be selected in November 2009. To learn more, visit:


King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA) In 2008-09, YouthActionNet® provided technical assistance to the King Abdullah II Fund for Development to design and launch the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA). The KAAYIA celebrates and supports young men and women, ages 18 to 29, throughout the Arab region who have pioneered innovative solutions to urgent social, economic, and environmental challenges. This year’s winners received recognition for their work at the awards ceremony held during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in May 2009. Winners receive a monetary award of US$50,000 to expand the scope and impact of their work. To learn more, visit:


Premio UVM por el Desarrollo Social (Premio UVM) From creating eco-tourism opportunities to developing a national hotline to combat domestic abuse, young people in Mexico are using their energy and creativity to improve their communities — and country. Launched in 2006, this national program is housed at the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM). In addition to project funding, Premio UVM por el Desarrollo Social (UVM Prize for Social Development) provides Fellows with training in project management and communications and connects them to their peers and experts to create a national network of youth leaders affecting positive change. To learn more, visit:


Premios Universidad Europea de Madrid Jóvenes Emprendedores Sociales Housed at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, this innovative program celebrates and supports young social entrepreneurs across Spain who have developed innovative solutions to community challenges. The Premios Universidad Europea de Madrid Jóvenes Emprendedores Sociales (Universidad Europea de Madrid Prize for Young Social Entrepreneurs) fellowship centers around two intensive learning and leadership development sessions, coupled with networking with key Spanish youth development organizations. The fellowship provides access to university academic and human resources and offers project funding. The second class of Fellows will be announced in December 2009. To learn more, visit:


Young Social Pioneers Alissa Phillips, 25 Initiative: Specialized Programs and Community Endeavors (S.P.A.C.E) Focus: Human rights Location: Kenmore, Brisbane Catherine Sweeney, 26 Initiative: Jungle City Massive Focus: Education Location: Footscray, Victoria

Darren Mathew Lomman, 26 Initiative: Dreamfit Foundation Focus: Human rights Location: Cloverdale, Washington Edwin Kemp Attrill, 19 Initiative: ActNow Theatre for Social Change Focus: Civic participation Location: Adelaide, South Australia Jack Hegarty, 19 Initiative: Whatever Youth Diversity Project

and the OUTthere Rural Victorian Youth Council for Sexual Diversity Focus: GLBTQ issues Location: Traralgon, Victoria Kathryn Etwell, 25 Initiative: OUTthere Rural Victorian Council for

Sexual Diversity Focus: GLBTQ issues Location: Lancefield, Victoria Larissa Brown, 28 Initiative: Centre for Sustainable Leadership Focus: Environment Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Laura Iles, 25

Shona Cools, 25

Initiative: Linkz, Inc. Focus: Volunteerism Location: Thirroul, New South Wales

Tim Kenworthy, 20

Initiative: Youth Tree Focus: Volunteerism Location: Freemantle, Western Australia


Iniciativa Jovem Anhembi Morumbi* Anhembi Morumbi Youth Initiative*

João Roberto Pineda Fava, 28 Initiative: Dedo Verde na Escola (Green Finger at School) Focus: Environment Katya Aparecida Gonçalves, 24

Initiative: Desatando nós, formando laços

(Untying the Knots, Forming Links) Focus: Health

Luciana Mendes Maia, 26

Initiative: Jornal Espaço Alana (Alana Space Journal) Focus: Communication

Luiz Felipe Godói Costa dos Santos, 21

Alessandra Aparecida de Melo, 28 Initiative: Cine Vila (Village Cinema) Focus: Culture

Initiative: Em Comunidade Saet (Saet Community) Focus: Culture

Alexandre Fisberg, 22 Initiative: Grupo Yad (Yad Group) Focus: Education

Initiative: Vinyl Video TV (TV Video Vinyl) Focus: Culture

Ana Paula Ferreira de Carvalho, 24 Initiative: Borboleteando — Arte e Artesanato para todos (Borboleteando — Arts and Crafts for All) Focus: Income generation

Initiative: Artes Cênicas (Scenic Arts) Focus: Culture

Ana Paula Valadares, 29

Initiative: Projeto 10 de A a Z — Exercendo o direito

de saber (10 from A to Z Project — Exercising the Right to Know) Focus: Education André Roberto Estavaringo, 29 Initiative: Projeto Azu (Azu Project) Focus: Culture Christina Poliana Castro, 27

Initiative: Projeto Xadrez sem Muros (Chess

Without Walls Project) Focus: Culture

Danielle Greco Puin, 26

Luiz Lobato da Silva, 27

Mauricélia Magalhães Ribeiro, 26

Ridson Mariano da Paixão, 26

Initiative: Edições Toró (Toro Editions) Focus: Culture

Rodrigo Mendes Carvalho Silva, 23

Initiative: Bicho Verde Água (Animal – Green – Water) Focus: Environment *All Iam Fellows located in São Paulo metro area.


Chenn Solidarite Jèn Chaine de Solidarité des Jeunes Youth Solidarity Network Conceptia Justine Legros, 20 Location: Gonaïves David Celestin, 20

Initiative: Choose your Path (Save a Life) Focus: Education Location: Warwick, Queensland

Initiative: GodLuv&Dance Focus: Culture

Lucinda Hartley, 27 Initiative: Design Leadership Project Focus: Environment Location: Surrey Hills, Victoria

Initiative: Escola da Africa (Africa School) Focus: Education

Location: Port-au-Prince

Diogo Alves, 21 Initiative: Cia. Teatral Paraisópolis (Paraisopolis Theater Co.) Focus: Culture

Location: Gonaïves

Jefferson Adriano Valladares, 23 Initiative: Jeito Jovem (Young Way)

Location: Saint-Marc

Mark Robertson, 28 Initiative: One Vision Productions Focus: Education Location: Coopers Shoot, New South Wales Roxanne Moore, 23 Initiative: ARTillery Focus: Human rights Location: North Perth, Western Australia Sarah Williams, 25 Initiative: The Grounded Project Focus: Culture Location: Doveton, Victoria

Dimas Reis Gonçalves, 21

Focus: Education

Jéssica Christiene L. Pereira da Silva, 20 Initiative: Integrando as Artes (Integrating Arts) Focus: Culture João Alves Filho, 19

Initiative: Sacando com Efeito — Tenis de Mesa

(Serving with Effect — Table Tennis) Focus: Sports

Location: Port-au-Prince

David Desrosiers, 24 Ercile Fenelus, 25

Erickson Charles, 20

Location: Saint-Marc

Evens Felix, 22

Francesca Gustave, 24

Location: Saint-Marc

Fritza Vanessa Placide, 18

Location: Port-au-Prince

Gemael Gabriel, 23

Location: Gonaïves

Jeff Charles, 24

Location: Gonaïves

Jimmy Registre, 18 Location: Saint-Marc J.J. Gilbert Ormeus, 20

Location: Port-au-Prince

Linda Joseph, 25

Location: Port-au-Prince

Louida Louidor, 20

Location: Petit Goâve

Marie Françoise Morilus, 18

Location: Port-au-Prince

Markendy Lebrun, 23

Location: Saint Marc

Myriam Israel, 24 Location: Port-au-Prince Naika Thenor, 20 Location: Port-au-Prince Nicodème Georges, 22

Location: Petit Goâve

Pierre Nerlande, 23

Location: Saint-Marc

Ritchy Antoine, 21

Location: Port-au-Prince

Sandy Martine Jules, 20 Location: Port-au-Prince Stephanie Delma, 20

Location: Port-au-Prince

Wilkenson Cesar, 21

Location: Port-au-Prince

Youseline Moise, 24

Location: Gonaïves


King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA) Abdelkareem Bedri, 22 Initiative: Speaking Gloves: Arabic Deaf Sign Language Focus: Human rights Location: Sudan Abdinasir Nur, 29

Initiative: Somali Youth for Peace and Development

(SYPD) Focus: Economic empowerment Location: Somalia

Lana Hijazi, 27 Initiative: Souktel Focus: Economic empowerment Location: Palestine Motaz Gendia, 21

Initiative: Life Free of Smoke Association Focus: Health Location: Egypt

Nadia Al Ghadiri, 24 Initiative: Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LoYAC) Focus: Civic participation Location: Kuwait

Pierre Daher, 23 Initiative: Craft Focus: Environment Location: Lebanon

Rabee’ Zureikat, 29 Initiative: Zikra Focus: Economic empowerment Location: Jordan Raghda El Ebrashi, 26 Initiative: Alashanek Ya Balady Association for

Sustainable Development (AYB-SD) Focus: Economic empowerment Location: Egypt Rawan Abu Al Failat, 23 Initiative: Raneen: Audio Library for Children Focus: Education Location: Jordan

Yorgui Teyrouz, 23 Initiative: Donner Sang Compter Focus: Health Location: Lebanon


Premio UVM por el Desarrollo Social UVM Prize for Social Development Alfonso Hernández Olvera, 28 Initiative: Jóvenes Indígenas Aprendiendo a Ser, Conocer y Convivir (Indigenous Youth Living and Learning Together) Focus: Education Location: Puebla Alterio Ramos Pérez Pérez, 28 Initiative: Fondo Regional de Tacotalpa A.C. (Tacotalpa Regional Fund, A.C) Focus: Income generation Location: Tabasco Anabel Lorenzo Robles, 20 Initiative: Bi weya’a Focus: Cultural Location: Oaxaca Andrés Lelo de Larrea y Andrés Champion, 23 Initiative: Proyecto Alfa (Alfa Project) Focus: Education Location: Chihuahua

Carlos López Carrillo, 23 Initiative: INFEMED Focus: Education Location: Jalisco

Daniel Estrada Sánchez, 29 Initiative: Proyecto Atoyamej (Atoyamej Project)

Focus: Environment Location: D.F. y Estado de México

Héctor Eduardo Martínez Riva, 28 Initiative: Banda Filarmónica Infantil Indígena

(Indigenous Youth Phiharmonic Band) Focus: Cultural Location: Distrito Federal Mariano Gómez Hernández, 26 Initiative: Comercialización y Producción de Tapetes

Anudados a Mano (Production and Distribution of Handmade Carpets) Focus: Income generation Location: Chiapas Oscar Cortés Palma, 25 Initiative: La Casa de la Cultura Axochiapan ONPP

(Axochiapan Cultural Center, ONPP) Focus: Cultural Location: Morelos Piedad Lorenzo Pérez, 23 Initiative: Que la Cultura sea a Favor de la Mujer

Totonaca (In Favor of the Totonaca Woman) Focus: Rights promotion Location: Puebla Raúl Armando López Garcés, 24 Initiative: Transformación Artesanal de Cacao

Orgánico en Chocolate (Artisanal Organic Chocolate) Focus: Income generation Location: Tabasco Raúl Mendoza Azpiri, 29 Initiative: Centro de Aprendizaje y Desarrollo de la

Creatividad (The Center for Learning and Creativity Development) Focus: Education Location: Chiapas Said Emmanuel Dokins Milián, 25 Initiative: Sociedad Dokins para las Nuevas Prácticas

Artísticas (Dokins Society for New Artistic Practices) Focus: Cultural Location: Distrito Federal Samuel Romano Feinholz, 23 Initiative: Brigadas Médicas ASUA (ASUA Medical

Brigades) Focus: Health Location: Estado de México Sergio Jhovanni Flores Raga, 22 Initiative: Suplementos Editoriales (Editorial

Supplements) Focus: Cultural Location: Tamaulipas

International Youth Foundation 32 South Street Baltimore, MD 21202 USA tel +1 410 951 1500 fax +1 410 347 1188

2009 YouthActionNet Fellows  

Profiles of 20 young social entrepreneurs selected as YouthActionNet Fellows in 2009