About the Young Advocates

Buya, 24, Sierra Leone

Buya is 24, he is a Youth advocate from Sierra Leone and is a Pharmacist, and the National and Western Region President of the Youth Action Movement Sierra Leone. As an SRHR champion, Buya is a Youth Coordinator at the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health +Nutrition Coalition in Sierra Leone. He is a vocal advocate for the incorporation of comprehensive sexuality education in the schools’ curriculum and for the enactment of the Gender Equality and Empowerment Act, to name just a few.

He is a passionate young advocate, known for his passion and selflessness for the welfare of others, especially children and young people and is known popularly as D-Optimistic Wan, because of his unending positive mindset.

Dameli, 19, Kazakhstan

Dameli is a 19 years old young advocate from Kazakhstan. She has been a volunteer and trainer for KMPA (Kazakhstan Association on Sexual and Reproductive Health) since 2020 and a member of the YSAFE Network. She conducts training for adolescents of different age groups on reproductive health, and protection of personal boundaries as part of the Territory of Creativity project. She also leads digital sexed projects and creates inclusive creative content.

Dameli has a strong interest in public policy, SRHR of women with socio-economic difficulties, and access to reproductive healthcare. In particular, Dameli plans on doing research on sex workers’ rights within the Central Asian context.  For her, meaningful youth engagement is a crucial part of problem-solving and achieving SRHR for all. She calls for better involvement of young people and global, regional, and local efforts to engage young people in decision-making processes that affect their lives and rights.

Ehitemedhin, 18, Ethiopia

Ehitemedhin is an 18-year-old grade 12 student from Ethiopia. She is a disciplined, positive, and inspiring young advocate who is committed to making a difference in her community. As Vice Chairwoman of the Ethiopian National Child Parliament and Chairwoman of the Amhara Regional Child Parliament, she is using her leadership skills to raise awareness about children’s rights and advocate for policies that will benefit young people.

Ehitemedhin believes that young people have the power to shape their own future. She is committed to empowering young people to participate in decision-making processes and to hold governments accountable for the well-being of their citizens. She is also a strong advocate for gender equality and is working to create a more just and equitable world for all young people. 

Ehitemedhin is an inspiration to young people all over Ethiopia. She is a role model for what it means to be a responsible and engaged citizen. She is committed to making the world a better place for all young people, and she is an example of the power that youth can have to shape their own future. As a young advocate, Ehitemedhin hopes to discuss with European guests about gender equality, the challenges of girls and young women meaningfully participating in leadership and decision-making, and the transformation of gender and social norms.

Imtinan, 25, Spain

Imtinan is a Youth ambassador with Save a girl Save a Generation focusing on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from Madrid, Spain and a Youth Ambassador at the End FGM European Network. Born and raised in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, she moved with her family to Spain at the age of 17 to pursue her future studies after high school. Currently she’s studying her bachelor’s degree in Civil and Territorial Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Originally from Yemen, her ambition is to end FGM on young girls and women through advocacy and education, preventing future generations, from having to go through this harmful practise, also raising awareness in regions where it is still practised.

Laura, 34, UK/France

Laura, 34, is a dual French and British national who grew up in the UK and now lives in Belgium, where she has been a Youth Ambassador for the ONE Campaign for 4 years running. She has a Masters in European Studies with a focus on human rights and currently works in foreign policy and development.

Her goal is to advocate for a better world where everyone has full enjoyment of their human rights and can fully participate in all parts of society, regardless of location, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Her main interests are gender equality, inclusion of women, girls and minority groups in sustainable development, and women empowerment.

Mana, 20, Belgium

Mana is a 20-year-old student currently starting her final Bachelor year in Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. She grew up in Belgium and recently started her activism journey with ONE as a Youth Ambassador. She wants to advocate equal opportunities around the world as everyone deserves to be given the chance for self-development and growth.  

As a future sociologist, Mana studies how women and girls are often disadvantaged in numerous fields of society, such as education and poverty, as a consequence of gender inequality often combined with intersectionality.  

Mana wants to highlight that including women and girls in decision-making is an urgent matter to create equal opportunities and most of all maintain them. 

Natanim, 20, Ethiopia

Natanim is 20 years old and comes from the beautiful country of Ethiopia. She is pursuing her dreams as a University medical student, immersing herself in medicine to contribute to the health and well-being of her community and beyond. With a passion for promoting equality and justice, she has actively sought different opportunities to educate herself and others about gender equality and combat gender-based violence. She has had a chance to participate in different pieces of training focusing on girls’ empowerment and SRHR. Her recent experience was at the 39th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Plan International, with the Break Free program, sponsored her to attend this important event. This meeting provided her with an opportunity to engage with experts and her peers in discussions and initiatives focused on promoting gender equality and empowering women across the African continent. Her participation in this meeting undoubtedly allowed her to gain valuable insights.

Natanim is dedicated to empowering girls and promoting their well-being. Her knowledge as a medical student contributes to raising awareness about critical issues and implementing effective strategies to create positive change. She is a youth herself with a strong passion for addressing gender-based violence and advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Peppi, 20, Finland

Peppi is a 20-year-old from Finland, but she currently lives in the Netherlands. She started her journey as a Plan Children’s Board member in 2019 and has since worked with Plan International Finland as a volunteer. Inspired by Plan, She is currently doing a degree in International Relations and specifically paying attention to the role of women in global affairs.

Peppi believes that every girl should have access to education to get the chance to pursue their dreams like she has been able to. In the future she wants to work with NGOs to help secure a good future for girls worldwide.

Prekshya, 17, Nepal

Prekshya is a young advocate dedicated to championing children’s rights and empowerment. Born in Nepal, she possesses an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on her community. From an early age, Prekshya displayed innate leadership qualities, actively engaging in various initiatives. She became an integral member of her local child club, where she honed her skills in teamwork, communication, and advocacy. Her focus within the club included creating safe spaces for children, organizing educational workshops, and fostering camaraderie among her peers. Furthermore, Prekshya actively contributed ideas to her ward’s Chairperson for inclusion in the annual plan, with a keen emphasis on addressing children’s issues.

In 2020, Prekshya served as a vital member of the report write-up team for the Child-led Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report. Her contributions were instrumental in finalizing and submitting the report to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR), representing the voices of Nepalese children. She also played a pivotal role in leading the report write-up committee for the Child-led report to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) committee, successfully submitting the report on behalf of children’s rights advocates in 2023.

At the age of 17, Prekshya is a passionate advocate for children’s rights. Her unwavering dedication led her to join the National Child Advocates Council (NCAC), a platform empowering child to voice their concerns and participate in policy discussions at local and national levels.

Sanskruti, 29, Belgium

Sanskruti is a passionate advocate for the global goals, and currently works at an international organization that promotes peace and sustainable development. Motivated to create a positive impact in the community, she joined the ONE Youth Ambassadors programme, campaigning to end poverty and preventable diseases.  

She recognizes that women and girls experience the disproportionate impact of environmental and humanitarian crises, and are more vulnerable in the absence of social, political or economic empowerment.  Her passion to build just and equitable societies, by amplifying the voices of women, inspires her to participate in EWAG 2023. 

Shamsa, 23, Tanzania

Shamsa is a passionate advocate for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), volunteering as a youth champion with DSW Tanzania. She has also been seconded to different youth organisations to gain experience on advocacy on sexual and reproductive health, girls’ empowerment and entrepreneurship. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and is well versed in public speaking. She actively engages in volunteer work as an SRHR champion, being dedicated to raising awareness in communities on crucial topics such as HIV/AIDS, family planning and life skills.

She has had the opportunity to work in different regions of Tanzania and through this she has effectively addressed the pressing issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health and gender equality. She is driven by a deep commitment to making a positive impact on individuals’ lives, and continues to explore opportunities to contribute to the betterment of communities in Tanzania and beyond.

Sherifat, 23 , UK

Sherifat is a MSc International Development with Economics graduate and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Sherifat has experience in the UK civil service, non-governmental organisations and is currently a Research and Project Associate at The Better Org., an organisational development consultancy that work with charities and social impact organisations. 

Sherifat has been actively volunteering in her local community since she was 16, engaging with youth empowerment charities and local art galleries. Originally from Nigeria, Sherifat is extremely passionate about social causes within the Global South and African diaspora across the globe. Given Sherifat’s background in Economics and International Development, she is extremely interested in economic empowerment of women and girls and promoting gender equality.  In more recent years, Sherifat has engaged in activism and advocacy against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Sexual, Gender Based Violence (SGBV). Sherifat is dedicated to destigmatizing conversations about FGM and has notably contributed to research published by FORWARD UK and is a Youth Ambassador for End FGM European Network.

Sofia, 23, Colombia

Sofia was born in Colombia and raised in Panama. She is an actress, dancer, singer and dance teacher in Brussels, Belgium. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and is passionate about volunteering and giving a voice to those who don’t have one. Sofia has been a Youth Ambassador for the ONE Campaign in Belgium for two years now and she enjoys meeting new people from everywhere in the world.

In 2022, inclusive and quality education was one of the topics she strongly advocated for in EWAG. She is thrilled to be back this year and will continue to advocate for this topic as she believes everyone has the right to receive a high-quality education and be able to dream big.

Vinnie, 23, Belgium

Vinnie (he/him) is a student in conflict and development studies and a social worker with people with disabilities. He is very passionate about gender and sexual health, and active as a youth representative for Plan International Belgium and the Flemish UNESCO Commission. He is also co-founder of Ask for Consent, an initiative committed to mutual consent, sex education and prevention of sexual violence in Belgium.

He designed a campaign on the link between sexual health, gender equality and climate change, conducted research on gender and decolonisation, and co-wrote advice for various organisations and governments. Through his belief in youth participation, he seeks to engage in structural and intersectional change at the local, federal and international levels.