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Every two years, the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth It elects young changemakers who are at the forefront of efforts to combat the world’s most pressing problems and whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the SDGs.
The current cohort of leaders was chosen following an open call for applications earlier this year, which resulted in more than 5,400 applications from more than 190 countries. Since its launch in 2016, the initiative has collectively reached millions of young people around the world.
The 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a diverse and highly successful group, all between the ages of 17 and 29, who hail from all corners of the world and work across all pillars of the UN, including sustainable development, human rights and peace. and security.
Among them are an aspiring astronaut, a poet and a Paralympic medalist. Others range from artists to climate entrepreneurs to education innovators.
“The 2022 class of Young Leaders for the SDGs represents an incredibly diverse, intersectional and inspiring group of young people who reflect the best of global youth activism and advocacy when it comes to challenging the status quo and creating a better world for all.” said Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth.
“Even in the midst of the current pandemic, climate crisis, and global instability, these young people demonstrate immense resilience, ingenuity, and leadership in finding innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.”
A safe space for women
In 2016, Ronelle King, a multi-award-winning gender justice activist from Barbados, founded the hashtag #LifeInLeggings. Created as a safe space for women who had experienced sexual violence to express themselves, it evolved into a grassroots organization: women, spurred on by solidarity, were empowered to speak on their social media platforms about their experiences.
Ms King went on to play a major role in the Reclaim Our Streets and Pink Parliament women’s solidarity march, which seeks to increase women’s participation in decision-making spaces, which received the Nelson Mandela-Graca Innovation Award Machel 2021 in the category ‘Democratization of governance processes and systems’.
His other awards include the 2017 Youth Hero Award, the 2018 Queen’s Young Leader Award by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, the 2022 Future Island Leader Award and the 2022 Ignite Caribbean 30 under 30 Changemaker Award.
Jamal Hill represented the USA as a swimmer at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and won a bronze medal. He is dedicated to helping others learn to swim and reducing the number of people who drown each year.
Mr. Hill uses his global platform to bring swimming education resources, opportunities and inspiration to millions of people around the world, including young people with disabilities.
Mr. Hill is the founder of the Swim Up Hill Foundation, which focuses on reaching low- and middle-income communities of color, both nationally and internationally, who are most at risk of drowning. To date, the organization has established partnerships in the United States, as well as international programs in Colombia, Portugal, and within North African countries.
Health, fashion and human rights
Mayada Adil is a Sudanese physician, fashion designer, women’s rights advocate for health equity, and refugee rights activist. Based in France, she has worked on campaigns focused on ending gender-based violence, specifically against female genital mutilation in Sudan and Mali.
Ms. Adil was selected by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Sudanese youth at the Paris Conference for Sudan in 2021, and represented Sudanese women at the Generation Equality Forum, where she addressed the importance of integrating refugee women in societies and communities throughout France. .
The LaLoupeCreative arts platform, co-founded by Ms. Adil, supports refugee artists around the world by giving them the opportunity to participate in a training program that can help them develop their skills and create ‘art clinics’.