15 September 2023

UNICEF Youth Advocates

UNICEF’s Youth Advocates come from every corner of the world, united in their pursuit of universal goals. From creating a more climate-resilient planet to fighting against gender-based violence to championing the rights of children with disabilities, these young people are speaking out and taking action for children’s rights everywhere. Get to…, Advocates in Action, Explore how UNICEF's Youth Advocates are inspiring communities and changing the world., Americas and the Caribbean, Nicole Becker, Youth Advocate in Argentina Argentina: Nicole Becker, 20, Climate activist Nicki Becker is a climate activist advocating for climate and social justice in Argentina. She is one of the co-founders of Jóvenes por el Clima Argentina, an active member of the international Fridays for Future movement and was appointed a UNICEF Argentina Youth Advocate in 2020. Nicki has been advocating for the inclusion of…, Ashley Lashley, UNICEF Youth Advocate Barbados Barbados: Ashley Lashley, 23, Climate, gender equality and child rights advocate Ashley Lashley focuses on social development issues related to health, the environment, children, and women’s rights. She began her youth activist journey at the age of 16 when the Barbados Schools against Non-Communicable Diseases was established. In 2020, Ashley founded HEY (Healthy and…, Maria Marshall, UNICEF Youth Advocate Barbados Barbados: Maria Marshall, 13, Environmental advocate, content creator When Maria Marshall saw someone littering once, it moved her to write about it. She took it a step further and made an award-winning short film titled Little Thoughts on Big Matters, which addresses reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing. Maria also has a YouTube Channel of the same name and an…, a youth advocate from Belize Belize: Alaine Perdomo, 16, Advocate for child protection Alaine is in her last year of high school, and she has many academic achievements including gold medals in both national and international coding and math competitions. She has participated in national and international programmes including collaborating with researchers at the University of Miami analyzing brainwave…, a youth advocate from Belize Belize: Maslin Hanson, 20, Climate Action Advocate Maslin is a youth advocate with UNICEF Belize. She was a member of the National Children’s Parliament in 2021-2022 advocating for a legislation to criminalize the recruitment of children in illegal activities. Continuing her activism, the following year she was the recipient of the Youth Minister’s Award (Leadership) 2022-…, boy smiling Brazil: Erick Patrick Felix Soares, 20, Youth Advocate Erick is a young activist born and raised in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Erick founded the ArterAção Collective to promote democratizing access to culture, education, and health. In three years, the collective has reached approximately 500 young people through community-based workshops, and social actions in underserved…, Girl smiling Brazil: Maria Eduarda Silva, 20, Climate Advocate Maria Eduarda  is originally from Bonito, a small municipality in the Brazilian semi-arid region of Pernambuco State. She is involved in mobilizing adolescents and young people to raise awareness of the impact of the global climate emergency. Maria Eduarda has been an activist with UNICEF's Adolescent Citizenship Group since 2017…, Girl smiling Brazil: Tainara da Costa Cruz, 19, Climate Advocate Tainara is a high-school student at a public school in the Amazonas state, Brazil, located in the Indigenous Community. Tainara is indigenous to the Omagua Kambeba people and is part of the Youth Communicators Network of the Indigenous Women's Network of the State of Amazonas (Makira E'ta). She is a climate activist and was part…, Reeana Tazreean, UNICEF Youth Advocate Canada Canada: Reeana Tazreean, 21, Speaker, researcher and mental health advocate Reeana Tazreean is an undergraduate student from Calgary, Alberta, and is known to be a leader, public speaker, innovator, researcher and philanthropist. She has been involved with UNICEF since 2019, as a U-Report Canada Ambassador as well as a co-facilitator and speaker at numerous events including…, boy smiling Colombia: Francisco Vera Manzanares, 14, Climate Activist Francisco is a 14-year-old activist and defender of the right to a healthy environment and has dedicated himself to education for years through the group “Guardians for Life”. Thanks to his presence on social media and engagement with a virtual environmental activism programme and a network of schools, Francisco amplifies his…, girl smiling Haiti: Samarre Marcelin Tecier, 15, Advocate for Peace and Child Protection Samarre Marcelin Tecier, born and raised in Hinche, Haiti, epitomizes resilience and leadership. At just 15 years old, while attending school in Port-au-Prince, she and her peers were trapped for days during violent clashes, an ordeal that honed her leadership skills and advocacy for children's rights. Her…, Priyanka Lalla, UNICEF Youth Advocate Trinidad and Tobago: Priyanka Lalla, 15, Child rights advocate Priyanka Lalla is strongly passionate about promoting the rights of children and has single-handedly organized several national advocacy campaigns on issues such as child sexual abuse and the environment. One of her most noticeable actions was when she met the Commissioner of Police to sensitize him and other senior officers…, Girl wearing a UNICEF t-shirt Paraguay: Mercedes Montiel, 18, Youth Advocate Mercedes Montiel is a prominent young activist in the Paraguayan education sector. She is 18 years old and currently in her third year of high school in a rural area. In addition to attending school, Mercedes is a leader and spokesperson for the National Union of Student Centers in Paraguay, having been elected by her peers. She is…, Gitanjali Rao, UNICEF Youth Advocate United States: Gitanjali Rao, 17, Activist, author and STEM promoter Gitanjali Rao is a student-innovator who believes in using empathy to advocate for a people-centered approach to invention and problem-solving. Gitanjali was named America's Top Young Scientist of 2017 by the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, for a patent-pending device to detect lead in water…, Kripa, a youth advocate from the US United States: Kripa Kannan, 18, Mental Health Advocate As an active club President and UNICEF advocate, Kripa has been involved in the fight for children's rights for almost four years. She has advocated on behalf of children in underserved communities, spoken on mental health and policy change to legislators in Congressional meetings, and contributed to an International…, PJ, a youth advocate from the US United States: Paul (PJ) Holland-Smith, 15, An Advocate for Children´s rights  PJ is a child rights advocate from the United States where he is a high school junior. He joined the UNICEF USA National Youth Council to fight for the rights of children, both domestically and globally, who have been disenfranchised due to circumstances outside of their control. Outside of UNICEF, he is…, East Asia and Pacific, Girl smiling China: Yin Chuming, 14, Climate Advocate Yin Chuming, is an active advocate on issues related to water and environment, who enthusiastically participated in volunteer services, youth-led research and campus-based advocacy in water-saving irrigation, waste sorting, water resources protection and environmental-friendly public transportation, etc. Chuming participated in…, Yu Xinwei China: Yu Xinwei, 19, Adolescent mental health advocate Yu Xinwei is from Huantai County, Zibo Prefecture of Shandong Province. She is now studying at Beijing Normal University. She was an active participant of school-based advocacy activities under the adolescent mental health programme implemented by UNICEF and National Health Commission (NHC) in 2019. In 2021, she…, Zhao Chen China: Zhao Chen, 21, Digital accessibility and inclusion advocate Zhao Chen is from Beijing and is currently studying in College of Idaho in the United States. At a young age, he lost his eyesight because of congenital myopia. Zhao struggled at first in school, but support at home and from school counselors helped him. These experiences prompted him to speak out about…, Girl smiling with a microphone on her hand Lao PDR: Chanphone Xongchaiyieu, 18, Youth Advocate for Environmental and Climate Action   Chan is a student from Houaphanh province in Lao PDR, with a passion for environmental issues and its impact on young people. Chan's is also part of the Houaphanh Youth Media, a national youth media platform driven by Lao National Radio in association with UNICEF. Chan is also a member of…, Girl smiling Pacific Islands: Aniva Clarke, 17, Environmental and child rights activist  Aniva has been advocating for grassroots climate action since the age of 10, when she founded the “Eco Toa” environment club at her primary school in Samoa. Her passion for the environment grew from her first-hand experience of sea level rise and severe cyclones in the Pacific islands. Aniva’s local…, Eastern and Southern Africa, Catherine Cathy Mantswe Botswana: Catherine (Cathy) Mantswe, 16, Advocate for inclusive education Catherine is a secondary school student and is the current President of the Student Representative Council in Botswana. She was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, an uncurable brittle bone disease that makes it difficult to walk without support. As a young person living with a disability, she is passionate about…, Girl smiling Madagascar: Lova Renee, 13, Children's Rights Advocate Lova Renée started advocating with UNICEF in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, by making videos to raise awareness called "One minute with Lova Renée". Even before teaming up with UNICEF Madagascar, she caught the nation's attention with a rooftop video that highlighted important COVID-19 safety measures. This video…, Boy Madagascar: Tianarivelo Gilardy Totozandry, 20, Tianarivelo Gilardy Totozandry, aged 20, is an activist for the rights of people with albinism. He spoke at a TEDx talk for children, held at Antananarivo City Hall on 20 November 2020 to mark UNICEF's World Children's Day. Entitled "Moving Mountains", this event gave Gilardy the opportunity to share his own story as a person with albinism, and to…, Zakaat Sambo, UNICEF Youth Advocate Malawi Malawi: Zakaat Sambo, 21, Child rights and gender equality advocate  Zakaat is a third-year student at Mzuzu University (MZUNI). Zakaat has been involved in UNICEF-led youth engagement programmes since 2017 where he learned digital story telling skills. He uses his passion for digital storytelling to tell stories about the challenges that children especially girls and the…, Abel, Mozambique Youth Advocate Mozambique: Abel Voabil, 20, Youth Advocate Abel is an active youth advocate from Mozambique. From an early age, he showed leadership and started to join children and youth movements and programs such as the Children's Parliament in his Province, promoting children's rights. Abel was elected as the President of the Children's Parliament and has been the voice of children in…, Andreia, during her appointment as a youth advocate Mozambique: Andreia Hamilton, 14, Youth Advocate Andreia is a 14-year-old advocate who lives in one of the provinces in the north of Mozambique. She has hosted a children's television program called Roda Viva, on the largest television network in Mozambique since she was 11 years old. For Andreia, the most important thing is to transmit information to other children at home to…, Erica, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Erica João, 17, Erica is part of Mozambique TV in her city, she presents a Child-to-Child program since July 2022. In 2021 she was part of Mozambique Radio presenting another programme to children. When she walks around her city, she sees many children on the street who have nowhere to go, she tries to change that by participating in various campaigns to explain…, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Derrick Veiga, 15, Child Rights Advocate Derrick de Boa Ventura, a 15-year-old youth advocate with aspirations to become a successful young lawyer. Beyond academics, Derrick passionately advocates for children's rights as the presenter of "Roda Viva" on TV, displaying a commitment to activism. Beyond traditional media, he has embraced the digital realm, running his…, Gleds, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Gleds Cherutem, 19, Child Rights Advocate Gleds is a 19-year youth advocate who is since a very young age dreamed to be a doctor. She wanted to help people. Today she is studying her first year of medicine and she is very happy. Gleds has supported various causes, being part of different projects focused on disability, she was president of the children's council in…, Hiris speaking at a UNICEF event Mozambique: Hiris Jamal, 19, Education Advocate Hiris Jamal is 19 years old, lives in Nampula and is in the final year of her law degree. She has participated in various projects such as the Children's Parliament and the Girl Move Project. The Right to Education is what fascinates her most, and she considers advocating for the rights of the child with UNICEF is her biggest…, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Mariamo Iahaia Alvaro, 18, An Advocate for Education  Mariamo Iahaia Alvaro, an 18-year-old youth advocate who aspires to bring about positive change. In a bustling home with her father, stepmother, and nine siblings, Mariamo envisions a future focused on education and empowerment. She actively engages in issues related to education and nutrition, aiming to contribute to…, Simao, Mozambique Youth Advocate Mozambique: Simão Junior, 15, Climate Advocate Simao is from Sofala province in Central Mozambique, one of the most affected by cyclone IDAI in 2019. He is one of the young producers of Radio Mozambique and he is very passionate for sharing information to change people's life. Simao raised his voice to raise awareness on harmful behaviors affecting the environment. After…, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Mesthya Muhanaya Monteiro, 17, Mesthya Muhanaya Monteiro, is a 17-year-old youth advocate. She began her career at 13 as a presenter and reporter on Mozambique Television's youth program "Roda Viva," advocating for children's rights. Passionate about learning through human interaction, she enjoys reading books addressing issue of racism and discrimination. Mesthya envisions an…, Weiss, speaking at a UNICEF event Mozambique: Weiss Pambe, 19, Child Right Advocate Weiss Tiago Pambe is 18 years old from Maputo City, he used to be presenter and reporter of the children's programme on the Mozambique Television (TVM) and member of the Children's Parliament at Maputo City level. Weiss joined UNICEF in September 2019 when he was 15 as a Youth Advocate to support spreading the word about…, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Suale Anli, 22, Suale Anli, is a 22-year-old youth advocate. He is a testament to resilience and commitment to positive change. Despite facing displacement and victimization, Suale completed Grade 12, emphasizing his dedication to education. He advocates for polio eradication, his commitment to advocating for child rights. Is outstanding. Suale leads a local…, Yura, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Yura de Cintia, 14, Children's Rights Advocate Yura is 14 years old and lives in northern Mozambique and she is a member of the children's parliament. In the children's parliament she has a space to express children's concerns on various subjects. She delivers sessions in her community on child marriage. Yura does many activities including radio talks, training…, a youth advocate from Mozambique Mozambique: Yumina Nota, 13, Yumina Nota, a 13-year-old youth advocate who embodies a remarkable blend of charisma, positivity, and a dedicated commitment to making a positive impact on the world. As the host of "Roda Viva" on Mozambique TV, she amplifies youth voices, addressing critical issues. In her leisure time, Yumina finds inspiration in books, envisioning a world…, Emmanuel Cosmas Msoka, Tanzania: Emmanuel Cosmas Msoka, 19, Innovator, child rights and youth activist Emmanuel is a young innovator and champion for children’s rights. He is also the vice-chairperson of Arusha Junior Council. As an innovator, Emmanuel designed a simple system to improve security at homes and zoos. During COVID-19 school closure, he spent his time assisting children at Faraja orphanage in…, Godlisten Boniphace Irunde, UNICEF Youth Advocate Tanzania Tanzania: Godlisten Boniphace Irunde, 17, Child rights advocate and young leader Godlisten Boniphace Irunde is a student at Mtoni Secondary School in Mwanza, Tanzania. He is an advocate for fellow children and adolescents, a vice president of the Junior Council in the United Republic of Tanzania and a Chairperson of Mwanza Young Reporters' Network.  Apart from being academically driven,…, Madina Kimar Tanzania: Madina Kimaro,18, Climate activist Madina is UNICEF Tanzania's newly appointed youth advocate for climate change action and resilience. She is a member of the Tanzania Girl Guides Association and is passionate about pursuing Accountancy. As an experienced volunteer with local and international organizations, Madina has participated in climate change workshops and…, Nabiha Kassim, UNICEF Youth Advocate Tanzania Tanzania: Nabiha Kassim, 20, Sexual reproductive health and child rights advocate Nabiha Kassim is a graduate from Lumumba Secondary School and a member of Youth of United Nation Association from Zanzibar. Nabiha volunteers to combat many issues and challenges that face youth, such as HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health and rights. She also works with various…, Maria Vitória “Marvi” da Costa Borges, UNICEF Youth Advocate Timor-Leste: Maria Vitória “Marvi” da Costa Borges, 21, Singer and UNICEF Youth Advocate Maria, popularly known as Marvi, is one of Timor-Leste’s top singers nationally and globally. She has always loved singing and in 2006 took part in a talent competition organized by UNICEF for thousands of Timorese who were living in displacement camps during a political crisis.  She has gone on to complete several…, Nkosilathi (Nkosi) Nyathi, UNICEF Youth Advocate Zimbabwe: Nkosilathi (Nkosi) Nyathi, 18, Climate change and environmental issues advocate Nkosilathi Nyathi, from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, has been a climate change and environmental issues advocate since he was 10 years old when he actively participated in his school’s environmental club. Since 2015, he has been engaged with UNICEF and Greenline Africa, advocating for climate action in…, Europe and Central Asia, Selma De Montgomery Denmark: Selma De Montgomery, 17, Climate activist Selma has been advocating for her right to a livable planet since she was 13. As one of the most influential voices on climate change in Denmark, she has argued for children’s rights and for climate action with politicians, decision makers and the public in media, debates, and demonstrations. She is also a part of The Danish Green…, Effi Zografou Greece: Effie Zografou, 22, Advocate for child protection Effi Zografou is from Athens and is studying to become an occupational therapy assistant. She grew up in an institution herself, so as a Youth Advocate for UNICEF, she wants to work on issues regarding deinstitutionalization for both typically developing children and children with disabilities, as well as on child…, Efi Zafeiropoulou Greece: Εfi Zafeiropoulou, 17, Advocate for youth participation Efi Zafeiropoulou from Athens is a high school student and her goal is to study law. As a youth advocate, she wants to contribute to issues related to the importance of active youth participation in decision-making processes and inclusive education, aiming to provide equal opportunities to all children without…, Panagiotis Raptis Greece: Panagiotis Raptis, 11, Disabilities rights advocate Panagiotis Raptis is the youngest of our youth advocates from Greece. He is a fifth-grade student and would like to become a lawyer or sports journalist. As a UNICEF youth advocate, he wants to be actively involved in inclusion and integration of people with disabilities and rare diseases in society. Panagiotis plays…, Stavros Yiouvannis Greece: Stavros Yiouvannis, 19, Advocate for inclusion Stavros studies economics at the University of Macedonia. As a member of the Roma community, he is particularly interested in issues of inclusion, social exclusion and education and has participated in human rights workshops in several organizations and universities. He also served as a member of UNICEF’s Youth Steering…, Beth Doherty, UNICEF Youth Advocate Ireland Ireland: Beth Doherty, 18, Climate advocate Beth Doherty has been involved in the climate movement since February 2019 as an organizer of the climate strikes. Since then, she has been active in advocacy around policy, education and systemic change. She is driven by a desire to see change coming from the people for a better future. She attended COP26 this year and is…, Ruairí Holohan, UNICEF Youth Advocate Ireland Ireland: Ruairí Holohan, 16, LGBTQI+ rights advocate Ruairí Holohan came out as gay at the age of 13 and is an advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. Ruairí is deeply concerned that young gay people deal with the daily threat of violence – both physical and verbal. His aim is to build respect and disrupt the stigma that young people like him face every day. Ruairí…, Middle East and North Africa, Mujtaba Alshawi Iraq: Mujtaba Alshawi, 20, Climate activist Mujtaba is a member of UNICEF’s Young People Advisory Group and works on climate change issues with UNICEF. He has created content and participated in UNICEF’s annual review in Iraq as a voice of the youth. In September 2021, Mujtaba took part in UNICEF Youth Advocates Mobilization Lab, where he advocated for climate justice on…, Tuqa Mahdi Iraq: Tuqa Mahdi, 20, Youth activist Tuqa is a member of UNICEF’s Young People Advisory Group and has been collaborating with U-Report in Iraq, in partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sports. Tuqa also participated in UNICEF Iraq’s annual review in 2021, as a voice of youth in her city. She was able to discuss the challenges youth are facing in Iraq with…, Girl smiling Libya: Revan Ahmed, 12, Revan Ahmed is fiercely passionate about protecting the environment and fighting climate change. She was driven to take action after learning about the shocking impacts of water scarcity and climate change in Libya.She is a member of the Libyan Scouts and Guides movement and the Amalona Organization for Media and Comprehensive Development. She…, Meriam Amjoune Morocco: Meriam Amjoune, 13, Children's rights advocate Meriam Amjoune won the Arab Reading challenge prize in 2018 when she was only 9 years old, making her the youngest recipient of the award. A lover of reading from an early age and a prolific speaker, Meriam has for years been sharing her passion with children and the general public. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis…, Enas Yousif, UNICEF Youth Advocate Sudan Sudan: Enas Yousif, 22, Disabilities, education and women’s empowerment advocate Enas Yousif is from Port Sudan in Eastern Sudan’s Red Sea State. As a young person who is deaf, she is passionate about raising awareness and advocating for the rights of deaf people, people with disabilities and special needs, the rights to education, and women’s empowerment. As a UNICEF…, Makhtoum Abdalla, UNICEF Youth Advocate Sudan Sudan: Makhtom Abdalla, 20, Advocate for education, child rights and youth Makhtoum Abdalla is passionate about equal access to quality education for all children and young people. From Nyala, South Darfur in the western part of Sudan, Makhtoum believes investment in education is strategic for any country that wishes to progress. While growing up in a camp for internally…, Monzir Mohammed Awad, UNICEF Youth Advocate Sudan Sudan: Monzir Mohammed Awad, 20, Innovator, environmental activist Monzir Mohammed Awad is an environmental activist and innovator from Damazin, capital of Sudan’s Blue Nile State. The 17-year-old founded Future Generations with a group of like-minded and passionate youth, with the collective goal of positively changing their country and future. Monzir and his team are from…, girl smiling Yemen: Areej Essam, 16, Peace and Children's Rights Advocate Areej Essam, from Yemen, promotes for child rights in collaboration with UNICEF Yemen. She started to advocate for the rights of children in Yemen; to have access to water, education, peace and protection since 2019. She visits children and take part in UNICEF events including those advocating for climate…, boy smiling Yemen: Bashar Al-Hussein, 20, Humanitarian, Education and Health Advocate Since 2019, Bashar works as a radio show presenter that raises awareness about topics of interest to children’s health, such as vaccination, with support from UNICEF. He also works as a field volunteer with local organizations to distribute humanitarian aid. As a UNICEF young advocate, he focuses on…, girl smiling Yemen: Mariam Khalid, 19, Peace and Children's Rights Advocate Mariam advocates for children's rights to have access to proper facilities, education and to empower them to be able to build their country in the future. Mariam believes the key to face the world is in resilience. Mariam participated in a creative writing workshop by UNICEF & a local NGO in 2019 and takes…, boy with a mic Yemen: Wesam Munawar, 18, Peace and Children's Rights Advocate  Wesam is an 18-year-old youth advocate from Yemen. He was among the children supported by UNICEF in Yemen through the Prosthetics Center in Aden. Wesam actively contributes to advocating for children's rights, particularly for those who have fallen victim to violence. Having been a victim of the conflict in…, South Asia, Farzana Faruk Bangladesh: Farzana Faruk Jhumu, 24, Climate activist After having witnessed the severe impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, Farzana started advocating for climate action and youth participation in climate decisions. She plays active roles in Fridays for Future, Feminist Action Coalition for Climate Justice and in coordinating the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty with 350.org…, Raba Khan, UNICEF Youth Advocate Bangladesh Bangladesh: Raba Khan, 23, Social media influencer and YouTuber Raba is a multi-platform entertainer, performing primarily in the fields of comedy and music. Raba burst into the internet comedic scene of Bangladesh in 2014 with YouTube channel named “The Jhakanaka Project” and developed her Jhakanaka Raba brand on social media. Since then she has branched into television…, Girl smiling India: Gauranshi Sharma, 16, Advocate for Inclusion Gauranshi Sharma is an inspiring advocate for the universal right to play and follow one's passions, regardless of background or abilities. Overcoming speech and hearing disabilities with unwavering support from her specially-abled parents, she achieved extraordinary success, including becoming a celebrated badminton…, boy smiling India: Kartik Verma, 18, Advocate for Children's Rights, Climate Action and Immunisation Kartik’s journey as a child rights champion began with founding the Knowledge for Nature initiative, through which he has reached over 4,000 children and youth across more than 130 schools. His relentless commitment led him to earn the esteemed role of Child Advisor to the UN…, girl smiling India: Nahid Afrin, 22, Advocate for Mental Health, Ending Child Marriage, and Early Childhood Development Nahid's journey began when her melodious voice got her into the limelight as a runner-up in the reality show Little Champs North-East in 2013. Her talent caught audience attention on national television in 2015 when she participated in Indian Idol Junior signing…, girl smiling India: Vinisha Umashankar, 17, Advocate for Innovation, Climate Action, and Girls in STEM Vinisha Umashankar, at the young age of 17, has emerged as a globally recognised champion for climate action and innovation. Her dedication to environmental sustainability has been recognized with several prestigious awards. Among these, she received the National Youth Award 2020-2021 from…, Nir Bahadur Shrestha Nepal: Nir Bahadur Shrestha, 23, Disability inclusion activist Nir has a background in psychology and is a passionate advocate for inclusive development. He has been the president of the Blind Youth Association Nepal and a member of the Youth Advisory Group for Youth Power 2 Learning and Evaluation at Making Cents International. He has worked as an organiser for the Asian Youth…, Pallavi Karn Nepal: Pallavi Karn, 22, Nutrition activist Pallavi is a keen believer in the transformative power of healthy and nutritious food for children and young people. She is an undergraduate with a major in nutrition and dietetics and has participated in a number of community-based nutrition awareness programmes and campaigns for schools. She recently interned at Tribhuvan…, Prakriti Bhattarai Nepal: Prakriti Bhattarai, 24, Activist against gender-based violence Prakriti is the co-founder and chairperson of Political Literacy for Women, an organization which aims to increase Nepali women's knowledge about politics and is designed to provide learning, networking and leadership spaces for Nepali women and girls. She is also one of the lead campaigners of Ajha Kati…, Prashansha K.C Nepal: Prashansha K.C., 21, Activist against gender-based violence As someone wearing many hats – engineering student, filmmaker, YouTuber and social activist – Prashansha believes education is a key factor in eliminating early marriage. She has initiated different awareness campaigns to educate young people and families about the harms of early marriage and has been…, Shitanshu Dhakal Nepal: Shitanshu Dhakal, 22, Mental health activist Shitanshu advocates for mental health – an area that has taken most of her attention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is one of the co-founders of Aarogya Foundation for the mental well-being of adolescents, the Vice President of Leo Club of Kathmandu Empire and the founder of Kalyaan Foundation which was…, Shree Krishna Nepal: Shree Krishna Thapa, 24, Activist against gender-based violence Shree Krishna was firmly engaged in social issues since he was a member of a UNICEF-supported child club established to create changemakers within communities. Over the years, Shree has been outspoken against gender-based violence. Today, he has 15 years of experience working in gender equality, including as…, Sonika Poudel Nepal: Sonika Poudel, 24, Climate activist Sonika has been engaged in calling for social change from a very young age. She now focuses on raising awareness about climate change, its impacts and highlighting the urgency of climate action. As she pursues a graduate degree in Environmental Science at Oklahoma State University, she hopes to use scientific research to solve…, Girl on a wheelchair smiling with thumbs up Pakistan: Taqwa Ahmed, 16, Advocate for Inclusion Taqwa Ahmad, a 16-year-old youth advocate from Gujranwala, Punjab, overcame spinal paralysis to champion inclusivity, activism, volunteering, and wheelchair sports. She excels in wheelchair karate and engages in activism for child rights, especially girls’ and disability rights. Nominated thrice for the International…, Tharushi Weerasinghe Sri Lanka: Tharushi Weerasinghe, 20, Advocate against child marriage Tharushi is a journalist and law student and is passionate about child rights and climate change issueds. She lobbied against child marriage at UNICEF's Third Parliamentarian's Meeting for Children whereby Parliamentarians from South Asia principally agreed to make 18 the minimum age of marriage across the region.…, West and Central Africa, young girl jumping and smiling with a UNICEF T-shirt Côte d'Ivoire: Aminata Savané, 23, Digital Education Advocate As a young blogger, she has trained over 400 young girls and women in the field of digital and female leadership., young girl jumping and smiling with a UNICEF T-shirt Côte d’Ivoire: Djedje Aurelia Esther, 16, Child rights advocate After completing her training in Life Skills for Peace (CVC), she became the main facilitator of the Human Rights Education and Citizenship club at her school and motivated the creation of a board game on Life Skills for Peace. Since August 2021, Aurélia has been the president of the National Federation of Children's Communal…, young boy with a mic Côte d'Ivoire: Mathieu Kouamé, 19, Social inclusion advocate For a long time, Mathieu was a victim of mockery, which led him to withdraw into himself. In his solitude, he discovered rap as a means of expression.  Today, through his socially conscious lyrics, he amplifies the voices of stigmatized individuals., young boy jumping with a UNICEF t-shirt. Côte d'Ivoire: Nama N'da Jacques, 23, Child rights advocate Nama N'da Jacques is a youth reporter and promoter of the awareness project "1 Month, 1 Village in Côte d'Ivoire," which involves visiting a different village each month to identify challenges and disseminate information through local radios. Finally, his ultimate ambition is to establish UNICEF youth reporter sites in every…, young boy with a UNICEF t-shirt. Côte d'Ivoire: Wenceslas Kouamé, 22, Environment Advocate Committed to protecting our planet through the NGO Green Ivory, he uses his communication skills to serve the environment. He was responsible for the digital communication of the Green Trails program in Côte d'Ivoire., Emmanuel Jidisa Democratic Republic of the Congo: Emmanuel Jidisa, 14, Environmental and child rights activist Emmanuel Jidisa got a chance to defend child rights in the context of global climate issues and to give voice to young people by participating in the documentary Young people and climate change, which reached around 26,540,000 people in eight African countries — Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville,…, Ketsia Passou Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ketsia Passou, 18, Environmental and child rights activist Ketsia Passou also spoke out on global climate issues by participating in the documentary Young people and climate change, which reached around 26,540,000 people in eight African countries. She also contributed to a report featuring concerns around environmental and climate challenges. “In a world where the…, Ebtihal, 10 years old (R), and Mab, 6 years old (L), with their family have been displaced for the second time following the recent clashes in Gezira state. Gabon: Amberly Joelle, 12, Education Advocate Amberly is a 12-year old youth advocate who has a profound passion for education, literature, and the sciences. Since 2022, Amberly has collaborated with UNICEF on various advocacy efforts, notably contributing to initiatives such as the Day of the African Child. She believes that we can combat climate change through the…, A youth advocate from Gabon Gabon: Etia Mode, 10, Environmental Advocate Etia is a dedicated advocate for environmental conservation, viewing it crucial for the well-being of humanity. She has led a project for the National Dialogue aimed at heightening children's awareness of environmental protection, emphasizing the collective responsibility we all share in achieving this crucial objective. she…, girl smiling Gabon: Kessy Smeralda, 17, Child Rights Advocate Kessy is a 17-year-old youth advocate whose journey through the world of poetry began in childhood, steeped in her vibrant culture. Her verses echo with the urgent rhythms of advocacy, particularly for child rights. Themes of parenting, education, and racism, drawn from her own experiences and surroundings, find voice in her…, A youth advocate from Gabon Gabon: Prince, 14, Advocate for inclusive education Prince is deeply engaged and possesses a natural ability to seamlessly integrate into diverse environments. His open-mindedness is evident in his willingness to explore new ideas and perspectives. A passionate advocate for both video games and the sciences, particularly mathematics, he exhibits a high level of…, a youth advocate from Mali Mali: Aminata Doumbia, 16, Mental Health Advocate  Aminata is a youth advocate born with cerebral palsy, she has been enrolled in a special school then the integrated school. Aminata joined the Malian Special Olympics Team in 2020 and participated in many national and international competitions. During the First African Games of Special Olympics in Cairo, Egypt in January…, a youth advocate from Mali Mali: Mama Oumar Sabe, 15, Advocate for Inclusive Education Mama is a student at Malian National Institute for the Blind and a child parliamentarian. Mama dream is to become an English teacher. Mama believes that Inclusive education #ForEveryChild, must be a priority, no matter what., a youth advocate from Mali Mali: Makadidia Sall, 18, Education Advocate  Makadidia is an advocate for the right of girls to education and is committed to the fight against gender-based violence, and child marriage. With the support of UNICEF Mali, Makadidia has benefited from capacity building in advocacy and digital communication for the promotion of children's rights. She participated in the two…, a youth advocate from Mali Mali: Mariam Diabate, 20, Education Advocate  Mariam is a child artist and is currently studying at the National Conservatory of Arts and Digital Studies of Mali. Coming from a Malian traditional singer family “Griot”, with a love for the balafon (African musical instrument, similar to the xylophone), her dream is to become an internationally renowned Malian singer but…, Adama Diallo Senegal: Adama Diallo, 18, Girls’ rights activist Adama is a young educator and the president of the Dabo girls' club in Senegal. She is also the Support Project coordinator for the National Strategy for Equity and Gender Equality and a member of the global consortium to fight against female genital mutilation (FGM). She has become a youth leader whom people go to, to…, Maguette Ba Senegal: Maguette Ba, 20, Environment advocate Maguette is a Young Citizen Reporter, member of the Young Voices of the Sahel and is very active in the protection of the environment as a Young Volunteer for Environment in Senegal. She has represented Senegal’s youth at the AU-EU Head of State Summit, participated in the World Water Forum in Dakar, moderated  Under the…, a youth advocate from Togo Togo: Ablavi Bérénice Hagbegnon, 18, Child Rights Advocate   Ablavi Bérénice Hagbegnon is a youth advocates who contributes to raising awareness in local communities of the importance of birth registration, so that every child has a legal identity. She studies Cybersecurity at the Institute of Technology and serves as the Acting President of the Prefectural Advisory Council for…, a youth advocate from Togo Togo: Damili Francisca Pokanam, 23, Advocate for Inclusive Education  Damili Francisca Pokanam is a youth advocate and an International Relations and Diplomacy graduate with a dedicated focus on education advocacy. Committed to improving access to inclusive, quality education, she specifically champions the cause for children with disabilities. Through her efforts, Damili strives to…, a youth advocate from Togo Togo: Hayathe Ayeva, 23, Gender Equality Advocate  Hayathe Ayeva is a youth advocate from Togo and the President of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) of the Togolese Association for Family Welfare (ATBEF) she is a graduate of Pharmaceutical Science and an activist on issues of sexual and reproductive health of children, adolescents, and youth. Hayathe is contributing to…, a youth advocate from Togo Togo: Komlan Dominique Bocco, 23, Climate Action Advocate  Komlan Dominique Bocco is a youth advocate driven by a passion for creating positive change in the world. Komlan is committed to contributing to a healthier and safer environment for children by reducing pollution, preserving biodiversity, and guaranteeing air and water quality. He is also a young socio-educational…, a youth advocate from Togo Togo: Kossi Dieu-Donné Awolokou-Fiotekpor, 23, Pediatric Health Advocate (Pediatric HIV)  Kossi Dieu-Donné is a youth advocate who has been actively involved in the fight against HIV in Africa. As a peer educator and a youth advocate, he contributes to raising awareness and visibility for young people living with HIV, despite the ongoing stigma surrounding the disease. > Back to top
07 December 2022

Young People’s Participation and Mental Health

Young People’s Participation and Mental Health: A Protocol for Practitioners supports individual and organizational capacities to safeguard the mental health and psychosocial well-being of young people in participation processes, to ensure young people’s meaningful participation across programming, research, advocacy and communications. Developed by UNICEF's Adolescent Development and Participation team, the resource is intended for use by all individuals (including young people themselves) who plan or implement participatory processes with young people -- not only those in the mental health field.  The Protocol takes users through Stepping Stones: Stepping Stone 1: Self-Reflect helps individuals become more aware of power relations, assumptions and biases concerning young people, mental health and diversity. Stepping Stone 2: Assess Resources and Capacities allows users to reflect upon whether sufficient time and resources are allocated for safe and meaningful participation– and how to proceed if not. Stepping Stone 3: Identify Risks, Harms and Benefits of Participation offers questions, a risk assessment format, and an activity to identify and assess risks, harms and benefits Stepping Stone 4: Mitigate Risks and Harms and Strengthen Support Systems provides questions, ideas for risk mitigation actions, and an activity to mitigate risks/harms and strengthen support systems. Stepping Stone 5: Follow Up and Monitor Outcomes supports monitoring of intended and unintended outcomes of participation.                                                                                                                                                                                              The resource is available in digital format, here