Ana Cecilia Fajaro
APROFAM

Let Girls Lead


Ana Cecilia has worked at the Association for the well-being of Guatemalan Families (APROFAM) since 2004. She coordinates the financial and programmatic implementation of adolescent and youth services in the Guatemala City metropolitan area. Her work with adolescents prioritizes three goals: access to comprehensive sexual education; access to youth-friendly and gender specific services for adolescents and youth; and advocacy for comprehensive sexual education at a national level.  Ana Cecilia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of San Carlos.


Angelina Gonzalez
Women and Peace Network

Let Girls Lead


Angelina is an active member of the Women and Peace Network, where her work for adolescent girl’s rights includes advocating for comprehensive sexual education to teachers and parents. She trains young people and women on sexual and reproductive rights and political advocacy, including promoting comprehensive and gender specific attention for adolescents at health centers and designing media campaigns for reproductive health. Angelina has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of San Carlo and has a Masters Degree.


Arnaldo Tacam Batz
Catholic Relief Services

Let Girls Lead


Arnaldo works for Catholic Relief Services coordinating educational projects for children and adolescents in Quetzaltenango. He also coordinates a citizen involvement and community organization in a food safety program where he works to strengthen the leadership of young people. Arnaldo studied Judicial and Social Science at the University of San Carlos and has studied development issues in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Spain.


Berta Cumez Garcia
Ixpiyakik Women’s Association

Let Girls Lead


Berta is a project coordinator for the Ixpiyakik Women’s Association (ADEMI), which works to improve the lives of low-income Mayan women through health, education and microfinance programs in Chimaltenango.  She is dedicated to serving marginalized populations, especially Mayan women.  She has been working with low-resource Mayan women improve their situation through education, health, and micro-credit programs for over ten years.


Claudia Isabel Ruiz Loarca
Judicial and Social Services (SERJUS)

Let Girls Lead


Claudia works with Judicial and Social Services (SERJUS), where she became interested in contributing to society and to indigenous women in rural areas. She has coordinated community organization and socioeconomic development programs, towards strengthening the political, technical and methodological abilities for women and people in rural areas to advocate for their rights through policy change. Claudia has a degree in Agronomy from the University of San Carlos.


Ernesto Guadalupe Pos Sacalxot
Street School

Let Girls Lead


Guadalupe is the founder and Director of the Street School, an internationally-recognized organization that has worked for 18-years educating and providing social services to street children and working with youth in the city of Quetzaltenango.  He is a Maya K’iche’ leader with a degree in Psychology from the University of San Carlos.


Leivy Suyuc
Renaissance Association

Let Girls Lead


Leivy manages three youth programs for the Renaissance Association in Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, Sololá and Suchitepéquez. Her goal is to build the skills of children, adolescents, and youth in order to encourage sustainable development in their communities, and promoting girls’ rights, gender equality, and cultural awareness. Leivy studied business management at the Mariano Galvez University of Guatemala.


Maria Luisa Mendez
Paz Joven

Let Girls Lead


Maria Luisa is the President of Paz Joven Guatemala. She is dedicated to improving the lives of Guatemalan youth by helping them work collectively to advocate for policy change. She has participated in and represented Guatemala in national and international youth conferences.  Maria Luisa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.


Rene Caraballo Marroquin
Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance

Let Girls Lead


Rene is a Health Educator with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS). As a health promoter, he works on addressing issues surrounding children and adolescents in rural Guatemala.

 


Sara Castellanos Montufar
ALAS Association

Let Girls Lead


Sara is the Communications Coordinator for ALAS (WINGS) Guatemala and coordinates the Guatemala Political Advocacy Program, where she encourages and promotes gender equality.  Sara works to empower women leaders and promote knowledge on political advocacy, SRH, gender and leadership; through national advocacy campaigns about adolescent pregnancy and sexual and reproductive rights.


Saúl Interiano Ramirez
COINCIDIR

Let Girls Lead


Saúl is the founder and Director of COINCIDIR, which works to promote and protect the rights of children and adolescents. He dreams that one day everyone will have access to basic human rights. Saúl is a children and adolescent rights advocate, educator, and poet.


Tracie M. Saravia
Observatory on Sexual and Reproductive Health (OSAR)

Let Girls Lead


Tracie is the General Coordinator for the Advocates for Children and Adolescents Collective, and the technical secretary for the Observatory on Sexual and Reproductive Health (OSAR) in Jalapa. She has been involved in human rights advocacy since childhood, especially those that of children and youth, leading various local and national advocacy campaigns for women, children, adolescents and youth. Tracie has a Bachelor’s Degrees in Law and Social Sciences, with an emphasis in indigenous rights, and is finishing her Master’s Degree in Higher Education.


Tomasa Fabiola Perez Hernandez
Asociación IDEI

Let Girls Lead


Tomasa is a trainer at the Asociación IDEI in Quetzalquenango. She has worked with AGALI to create the Municipal Offices for Children and Adolescents. Tomasa is currently working towards a degree in Secondary Education in Mathematics and Physics at the University of San Carlos.


Danessa Luna
Asociación Generando

Let Girls Lead


Danessa is the founder and Director of Asociación Generando (ASOGEN) in Chimaltenango and has dedicated her life to promoting gender equality and helping women confront and overcome violence.  ASOGEN focuses on leadership, empowerment, and teaching adolescent girls’ how to defend their human rights. Danessa studied Sociology at the University of San Carlos.


Diego Mejía Calel
CHILDHOPE

Let Girls Lead


Diego is Technical Coordinator for Children’s Hope Foundation (CHILDHOPE) in Guatemala City. He works towards eliminating child labor in Guatemala and to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health. He belongs to the K’iche’ Mayan ethnic group. Diego is currently obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Social Sciences at the Mariano Galvez University of Guatemala.


Dora Alonzo
Asociación IDEI

Let Girls Lead


She is an Educational Facilitator for the Asociación IDEI in Quetzaltenango. She belongs to the K’iche’ Maya ethnic group. Dora received a teaching degree in 2010, and is currently studying law at the University of San Carlos.


Edith Janeth Revolorio
Psychosocial Care Center of CONACMI

Let Girls Lead


Edith is a Social Worker at the Psychosocial Care Center of CONACMI in Guatemala City, which focuses on treatment and prevention of child abuse.  She is also a member of Young Christian Workers of America-JOCA. Edith has a degree in Social Work with emphasis on development management, a degree in Politics and Citizenship Education and a diploma in Christian Spirituality.


Eunice Ramirez
Association for Human Development Center

Let Girls Lead


Eunice is the Communications Coordinator for Association for Human Development Center in Quetzaltenango. She is the founder of Allied Youth Kan, a young women’s group advocating for sexual and reproductive rights in the township of Olintepeque. She was also a 2009 Fellow in PHI’s GOJoven program, which focuses on youth leadership in sexual and reproductive health. Eunice has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Worker with an emphasis on rural communities from the University of San Carlos.


Eva Patricia Chuc Choxom
Asociación Consejo Pro-desarrollo (ACPDC)

Let Girls Lead


Eva works for the Association for Community Development (ACPDC) promoting sexual and reproductive health and advocating on behalf of adolescent girls in rural indigenous communities in Totonicapán. She is currently working on a program that would improve access to health and education for indigenous adolescent girls. Eva was a 2009 GOJoven Fellow.


Gladys Fabiola Leiva
New Horizons Association

Let Girls Lead


Gladys is facilitator for the New Horizons Association where she provides comprehensive information and training to women’s groups, educational establishments, and youth groups about their human rights.


José Coti
Community Health Service Association

Let Girls Lead


Jose is a Program Manager with the Community Health Service Association in Quetzaltenango. He is in charge of organizational relations and oversees their political advocacy efforts to improve the health, education, socio-economic status and quality of life for adolescent girls and young women, with a focus on youth leadership.  José has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of San Carlos.


Gilberto Escobar Reyes
Las Niñas Lideran

Let Girls Lead


Gilberto works with the Quetzaltenango organization of traditional midwives where he supports the midwifery school. He has worked in HIV prevention and education, as well as with people with disabilities using popular education techniques. He has been active in community mobilization and development, as well as local policy advocacy. Gilberto is also a 2009 GOJoven Fellow.


Manuela García Pu
AGALI

Let Girls Lead


Manuela is a consultant for various organizations in Guatemala, including Medicus Mundi and the Association for Community Development. She is also a GOJoven and a Ford Foundation Fellow. She received her Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Aid from the University of Deusto in Spain.


Marvin Raúl Vázquez
Rafael Landivar University

Let Girls Lead


Marvin is Social Worker who is focused on development management, child labor prevention, and youth citizen participation. He is a lecturer at Rafael Landivar University in Quetzaltenango.


Roberto Morales Coroxon

Let Girls Lead


Roberto is an actor and entertainer, and activist who combines his diverse skills to advocate for numerous social issues, including health, the environment, and the preservation of the Mayan culture.  He works as consultant for various organizations that support adolescent sexual and reproductive health. He is a traditional Mayan medicine man (Ajq’ij). Roberto is a 2005 GOJoven Fellow.


Rebeca E. Rodas
Ecumenical Center for Pastoral Integration

Let Girls Lead


Rebeca is the Regional Advocacy Coordinator for the Ecumenical Center for Pastoral Integration (CEIPA), which promotes the human rights of children and adolescents in Guatemala. She is currently working towards a degree in Business Administration.


Carmen Lissette Vanegas Chacón
Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance

Let Girls Lead


Carmen coordinates gender issues for the Cross-Sectional Health Program of the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS). She has Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis on gender; a Dental Surgeon qualification from the University of San Carlos; and a degree in I.T. and Communication Sciences in Public Health and Public Administration from the Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala.


Daniel Alberto Cifuentes
Youth Step Collective

Let Girls Lead


Daniel is the founder and Director of the Youth Step Collective, a youth organization that advocates for youth-friendly laws and policies. He has an accreditation from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance in adolescent sex education and STD/HIV/AIDS prevention. Daniel is trained as an accountant, and he is currently studying Business Administration at Mariano Gálvez University.


Guillermo Enrique Leverman Hernández
ChildFund International Guatemala

Let Girls Lead


Guillermo is a Program Coordinator for ChildFund International Guatemala. He is the founder and Vice-President of the PAZ JOVEN Association, and a founding member of the National Association of Cefistas in Guatemala.


Hugo Higueros
Rafael Landivar University

Let Girls Lead


Hugo is a social worker, independent consultant, and professor at Rafael Landivar University in the Faculty of Political Science and Social Work. He is also the Technical Secretary at the Reproductive Health Observatory (OSAR) in Chimalteango. He has a degree in Social Work with a concentration in development management from Rafael Landivar University.


Juany Garcia
Let Girls Lead

Let Girls Lead


Juany has worked as Psychologist for over 12 years, supporting various children and adolescent programs, including violence and exploitation prevention,  health, education, economic empowerment, and unwanted pregnancy prevention.  She is currently an independent consultant for UNICEF Guatemala and Let Girls Lead, and is the Country Director for Project Aruna.


Luisa Verónica Dávila
Social Security Institute’s Adolescent Pregnancy Program

Let Girls Lead


Luisa is Social Work Supervisor for the Guatemalan Social Security Institute’s Adolescent Pregnancy program of the IGSS Antenatal Clinic, and is a member of the Intersectoral Commission of the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance. She is a graduate of San Carlos University with a degree in Social Work.


Maria Verónica Buch
Let Girls Lead

Let Girls Lead


Maria has been the Let Girls Lead Guatemala Country Representative since 2011. She has extensive experience working with adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system and is a professor at Rafael Landivar University in the Faculty of Social and Political Science.  She has a degree in Social Work with a concentration in development management from Rafael Landivar University.


Maira Sandoval
Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance

Let Girls Lead


Maira is Program Coordinator for the National Cross-Cutting Youth and Adolescents program of the Guatemala Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) and is an active participant in the development of the National Reproductive Health program. She serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Childhood and Adolescents. Maira is a medical doctor, surgeon, and graduate of the University of San Carlos.


Maria Dolores Yax Sisimit
Window to Peace-Building

Let Girls Lead


Maria Dolores is the Territorial Coordinator for Window to Peace-Building, which is working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals as part of the Ministry of the Interior’s work with the UNDP.


Maria Lucia Escobar
Association for the Well-Being of Families

Let Girls Lead


Maria is the Rural Development Manager for the Association for the Well-Being of Families (APROFAM). She has a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of San Carlos.


Miguel Angel López
National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse

Let Girls Lead


Miguel is Director of the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse (CONACMI), which works nationally to prevent and address child abuse in Guatemala. As a consultant, he has worked on investigations related to childhood and adolescence in Guatemala. He has a degree in Psychology from the University of San Carlos and is a docent in the School of Psychology.


Ninfa Alarcón
Office of Human Rights of the Archbishop of Guatemala

Let Girls Lead


Ninfa heads the Children’s Rights Department in the Office of Human Rights of the Archbishop of Guatemala (ODHAG). She studied Sociology at the National University of Costa Rica and has a Master’s in Primary Education from the Alfredo Carrillo Ramírez School in Guatemala. She recently received a second Master’s in Child and Adolescent Development from Raphael Landivar University.


Silvia Molina Zaldaña
Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation

Let Girls Lead


Silvia is Director of Institutional Strengthening with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation in Guatemala.


Emilio Enrique Pacheco Castrillo
Consejo Nacional de la Niñez y Adolescencia

Let Girls Lead


Emilio is a tireless leader of the anti-violence movement in El Salvador, having founded the first groups of men against violence in eastern part of the country. Emilio is a mentor at the National Childhood and Adolescence Council. He is also National Deputy Director at Men Against Violence, El Salvador. Emilio has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.


Susana Elizabeth Barrera Ponce
Fundación Izote

Let Girls Lead


Susana works to promote literacy, heath care and the conservation of natural resources as Founding President of Izote Foundation. She has worked in different social organizations on community development, tourism, and communication. Susana has a college degree in journalism at El Salvador University and a Master’s degree in Local Development at Jose Simeon Canas University (UCA).


Francesca Adeola Abiola
Program Officer: Action Health Incorporated (AHI)

Champions for Change


Adeola works for AHI and is in charge of supervision of their social media platforms. She has a background in Mass Communication with over 5 years’ experience in youth programming, sexual violence prevention/response and adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Her present work includes provision of technical assistance to AHI project partners and organizing trainings in comprehensive sexuality education at the pre-service level. She also manages a program to integrate ‘Youth Friendly Health Service Provision in Health Practitioner Training’.


Ogechukwu Emeji
Programme Assistant: Action Health Incorporated (AHI)

Champions for Change


Ogechi works with AHI as a Programme Assistant. She works with partners from the ministries, agencies, and communities to catalyze public sector response towards the needs and concerns of out-of-school adolescent girls in blighted Lagos communities, including issues related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and a Master’s Degree in Public Health.


Samaila Garba
Executive Director: Amana Rural Peoples Health Advocacy Foundation

Champions for Change


Samaila facilitated formation of Amana, which he now runs. He is a member of several committees and advocacy bodies including the steering committee of Treatment Action Movement (TAM), Action Aid Nigeria General Assembly & the National HCT Task Team. He holds a Higher National Diploma in English and has worked as Primary School Teacher and for the Nigeria Police Force. He speaks English, French and Hausa fluently.


Emmanuel Amuta
Program Manager: Amana Rural Peoples Health Advocacy Foundation

Champions for Change


Emmanuel works with Amana, where he serves as the Program Manager. Part of his duties are to mobilize and generate demand by carrying out advocacy visits, sensitizing the community about prevention of mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, the need for community HTC and the importance of accessing community health facilities before and after delivery. He manages, coordinates and trains volunteers on PMTCT and HTC in order to militate the effect of HIV/AIDS among pregnant women. He also works with caregivers and their vulnerable children in their rural community.


Habiba Mohammed
Director: Center for Girls’ Education - The Population & Reproductive Health Initiative (PRHI)

Champions for Change


Habiba works with the Center for Girls’ Education, Population and Reproductive Health Initiative, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria. She coordinates and oversees the implementation of all girls programs and represents CGE/PRHI in key meetings with funders and stakeholders. Habiba is a graduate of English (Litt), and has a Professional Diploma in Education and a Higher Diploma in Guidance and Counseling all obtained from ABU Zaria.


Folashade Olumeyan
Program Officer: Center for Girls’ Education - The Population & Reproductive Health Initiative (PRHI)

Champions for Change


Folashade works with PRHI where she serves as a Program Officer in the Centre for Girls’ Education. She coordinates adolescent girls on issues relating to education and empowerment. She is currently studying Public Health at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.


Wale Adeleye
National Coordinator: Civil Society for Family Planning (CiSFP)

Champions for Change


Wale is the National Coordinator of CiSFP. He has over 10 years considerable experience in Governance and Health Systems Management & Reforms. He has vast knowledge in health policy formulation and implementation. His strength cuts cross advocacy, health system strengthening, capacity building, reproductive health, and evidence generation.


Joy Uduak Okon
Programme Officer: Civil Society for Family Planning (CiSFP)

Champions for Change


Joy works with CiSFP where she serves as Programme Officer. In this role she supports strategic documentation, capacity building, and the participation of women in Family Planning education. She also coordinates regular communication with partners/allies in Nigeria and contributes to the organization of our international, regional and national events, and global movement on advocacy.


Aminu Magashi Garba
Board Member: Community Health Research Initiative

Champions for Change


Aminu graduated from University of Maiduguri with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He currently provides technical support and backstopping for the implementation of CHR projects as a trustee. He works with Evidence for Action on Maternal and Newborn Health as Regional Coordinator in Nigeria.


Fatima Usman
Program & Performance Management Officer: Community Health Research Initiative

Champions for Change


Fatima served as a Program Assistant Office with the Partnership for the Promotion of Maternity & Child Health (PPMCH), a network of NGOs in Kano State working in the area of Maternal & Child Health. She was a member of the AMMKaS Platform and is currently working with the Community Health & Research Initiative (CHRI) in Kano State as the Program & Performance Management Officer.


Abiodun Owo
Program Officer: Development Communications (DevCom) Network

Champions for Change


Abiodun works with DevComs as the Training, Research and Communications Officer. She implements media advocacy activities on Maternal and Child health projects in the organization including facilitating media coverage and chats, supporting production of programmes on air, tracking and documentation of media stories/reports. She also supports capacity building programmes for media professionals. Abiodun holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree (with specialization in Population and Reproductive Health Education) from the University of Ibadan.


Ayodele Adesanmi
Program Officer: Development Communications (DevComs) Network

Champions for Change


Ayodele works with DevComs Network as Program Officer in charge of Media and ICT. He is the Coordinator and Web Administrator of NOTAGAIN Campaign, an online and media advocacy platform which seeks to end maternal deaths in Nigeria. A graduate of Communication Technology, Ayodele is passionate about growing MNCH advocacy through multimedia productions and research, producing video, print and audio contents advocating for end to maternal and child deaths.


Victor Nyoroh
Director: EarthSpring International

Champions for Change


Victor is a clergyman and lawyer and works with Earthspring International. As Director he focuses on women and children in prisons in Nigeria on issues relating to health rights, reproductive, maternal and newborn, child health (RMNCH). He is currently a Champion for Change on RMNCH issues and is based in Abuja, Nigeria.


Cyriacus Onwumere
Program Officer: EarthSpring International

Champions for Change


Cyriacus read marketing at Enugu State University of Science & Technology. He is a Journalist by training and has been practicing for more than a decade. He has worked with various NGOs on budget monitoring, governance, election monitoring, and HIV/AIDS campaigning. He is currently a Project Officer with Earthspring International, working on RMNCH advocacy in prisons.


Umma Iliyasu-Mohammed
Program Manager: Girl Child Concerns

Champions for Change


Umma works with GCC and coordinates the activities of the organization. She believes that for development to take place the girl must be educated and supported with life skills while empowered and given the opportunity to gain reproductive health and rights related knowledge in order to reach her potential. She is a journalist by training with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a post graduate degree in Management Science.


Tonia Ayeke
Program Associate: Girl Child Concerns

Champions for Change


Tonia is a Program Associate with GCC in Abuja, supporting the giving of scholarships to girls from areas with low percentages of girls in secondary school and involved in facility and capacity building in public schools. Tonia is presently working towards becoming a Project Management Professional.


Ehita Aikpitanyi
Program Coordinator: Girl Power Initiative

Champions for Change


Ehita works with Girls Power Initiative as the Coordinator of Delta State Centre. She is also a consultant on gender and reproductive health issues, working with adolescents on sexual and reproductive health issues. She is a feminist and a human rights activist.


Priscillia Mahah
Program Officer: Girl Power Initiative

Champions for Change


Priscillia works with Girls’ Power Initiative (Delta State) as the Program Officer. She supervises the implementation of all existing programs in the organization and facilitates interactive discussions on reproductive health issue in the centre. She is a graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka Anambra State Nigeria with a degree in Accounting.


Wilson Imongan
Deputy Executive Director: Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC)

Champions for Change


Wilson is a Medical Practitioner and a Deputy Executive Director with WHARC, in Benin City. He is in charge of Maternal Health and Communication. He is the anchor for WHARC’s radio and television programs. He is also involved in field activities, such as the ongoing teenage pregnancy prevention program in Ekiti State.


Oluwatoyin Owolabi
Program Officer: Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC)

Champions for Change


Toyin works as a Program Officer in Research and Documentation with WHARC. She coordinates the center’s research and programs unit for the implementation of maternal and adolescent reproductive health projects and has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Ado-Ekiti in Nigeria and a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Ibadan.


Henrietta Itsemekhona
Reproductive Health Officer: Women Friendly Initiative

Champions for Change


Henrietta works with WFI where she serves as the Reproductive Health Advisor. She coordinates the array of health facilities and clinics under the control of WFI. She is a Nurse-Midwife with over fourteen years of experience. As a professional health provider, she leads the capacity building and updates for RMNCH including family planning and youth education for the organization. She is currently studying Sociology as a part-time student in the University of Abuja.


Olubusayomi Ilesanmi
Advocacy Program Associate: Women Friendly Initiative

Champions for Change


Busayomi works for WFI as Programme Associate. She has been a courageous and tireless advocate for young girls and women, insisting on discussing the difficult issues that impact their lives: girl child education, reproductive education, contraception, safe abortion, rape and other forms of gender-based violence. She has employed unconventional methods to go head-to-head with local state and federal leaders to improve girl’s and women’s lives.


Abdulrazaq Alkali
Executive Director: Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases & Social Vices (YOSPIS)

Champions for Change


Abdulrazaq is Executive Director of YOSPIS. He manages civic education projects in Northern Nigeria that seek to raise youth awareness on their rights and responsibilities, and enhance government transparency and accountability through building and supporting community pressure groups. He also offers legal counsel to youth, girls, women and other vulnerable groups and is actively involved as a pioneer member of PPMCH in Kano.


Abdullahi Muhammad Yakubu
Senior Program Officer: Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases & Social Vices (YOSPIS)

Champions for Change


Abdullahi is the Senior Program Manager in YOSPIS. He is currently managing an intervention on education for northern youth about the principles of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, human & civic rights and conflict resolution. Additionally, he serves as an instructor/tutor in computer appraisal classes and provides technical assistance and capacity building sessions to several small CSO’s, youth groups and student bodies on programming and managerial skills.


Angela Ernestina Ayala Soto
Children International

Let Girls Lead


Angela fights to make the world a better place by believing in people and their potential. She is an Aflatoun “Social and Financial Education” program officer at Children International, Honduras. Angela facilitates workshops for girls, young people and parents. She has a college degree in Psychology.


Adriana Belinda Rodriguez Velasquez
Proyecto Paz y Justica

Let Girls Lead


Adriana Belinda is a powerful advocate for the empowerment of adolescent girls. As the manager of the Peace and Justice Project of the Honduran Mennonite Evangelical Church, she studies and teaches theology. Adriana Belinda has a college degree in Psychology.


Any del Carmen Ferrera Landaverde
CAPROH

Let Girls Lead


Any is a passionate advocate for the education of marginalized young people. As the Manager of the CAPROH San Francisco de Asis Education Center, she works with low-income students.  Any has established many partnerships to provide access to education, among them a Puerto Rico Church that granted scholarships to 22 young people. She is a primary education teacher and a business engineer.


Arianna Michelle Diaz Gomez
Asociación Cozumel Trans

Let Girls Lead


Michelle is committed to improving health outcomes in Honduras, specializing in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health promotion. She is the Promotion and Education Technician at the Cozumel Trans Association. Michelle is currently studying dentistry at the Honduras National Autonomous University.


Claudia Maria Izaguirre Mejia
Asociación Cristiana de Mujeres y Jovenes YWCA

Let Girls Lead


Claudia is a powerful advocate for girls and young women in Honduras, striving to achieve gender equality and respect for human dignity.  She works at the Young Women’s Christian Association Honduras and has been a member of the Honduras National Health Committee. Claudia has a Master’s degree in Quality and Productivity Systems, and is a college teacher and internal quality auditor.


Desy Dayana Castro Mendoza
Oficina de la Mujer

Let Girls Lead


Dayana is passionate advocate for improving women’s lives in her municipality.  She works at the Municipal Office of Women in Tela, Honduras, as a technician in project management. Dayana is also a member of the Municipal Volunteer Network and a volunteer at the Afro-descendant Women of the Americas Network. Dayana has a college degree in Preschool Education and is currently studying for her law degree.


Dilcia Yamileth Calderon Romero
Asociacion Panamericana de Mercadeo social (PASMO)

Let Girls Lead


Dilcia is has dedicated much of her life to working with girls in rural communities. Passionate about improving girls’ futures, she works as supervisor for the “Chicas en Conexión” (“Girls in Connection”) project at the Pasmo Association. Dilcia has a college degree in Social Managing and Development.


Edgar Ignacio Dominguez Roque
CARE Internacional en Honduras

Let Girls Lead


Edgar is a committed advocate for adolescent girls. As an Education Specialist for CARE Honduras, he works on training, technical monitoring, and advocacy for obtaining local funding focused on girls. Edgar has a college degree in Pedagogy and Education Science, and a postgraduate degree in Prevention of Gender Violence and Human Trafficking.


Emily Jackeline Webster Cordova
Enlace de Mujeres Negras (ENMUNCH)

Let Girls Lead


Emily works to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and young women in Honduras. She has been a facilitator at Black Women Connection (Enlace de Mujeres Negras, ENMUNCH) since 2008, and volunteers at the Women’s Network in Tela, Honduras. Emily has a college degree in Nursing.


Gicel Rosibel Orellana Vaquedano
Medicus Mundi

Let Girls Lead


Risobel is a tireless leader for the prevention of gender-based violence. Rosibel works at the Gender Department in Ceiba, Honduras, on gender violence prevention among young people and women. She has previously worked with the Honduran Red Cross, as youth project coordinator. Rosibel has a college degree in Nursing at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras.


Gina Patricia Sanchez Montoya

Let Girls Lead


Gina fights to improve the lives of women at risk who are violence survivors. She is coordinator of the Tech Operational Team of Fight Against Gender Violence of the Municipal Institutional Unit of Health. Gina has a Master’s degree in Public Health at the Universidad Leon Nicaragua, with a specialty in women’s public policies and sexual and reproductive rights at the Latin American Social Sciences College of Guatemala.


Iliana Yelina Perez Martinez

Let Girls Lead


Iliana is passionate about working with teenagers to prevent risky behavior in their lives. She is coordinator at the Comprehensive Care Clinic for adolescents, and volunteers at several different organizations. Iliana has a college degree in Psychology at the Honduras Catholic University.


Luis Javier Tejada Mendoza
Fundacion Llaves

Let Girls Lead


Javier is dedicated to creating spaces for the social inclusion of teenagers and young people who are HIV positive. He works for the Llaves Foundation as a Gender Technician, and is a member of the Honduras LGTBI HIV Network. Javier is currently studying graphic design.


Maria del Carmen Garcia Ramos
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (UNAH)

Let Girls Lead


Maria del Carmen is a passionate defender of women’s human rights. As a lawyer and graduate from the UNAH, she currently works as Regional delegate for the University Commission at CURLA, where she also coordinates the local violence observatory. She is an active member of the Network against violence towards women at La Ceiba.  Maria has a Master’s degree in Labor and is studying for her doctorate in Education.


Melvia Maria Antunez Aguilar

Let Girls Lead


Melvia is a tireless advocate for improving health outcomes among young people. She volunteers at the Yaaxche Organization, working with young people in the prevention of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Melvia has college degree in Public Accounting at the UNAH.


Mirian Yolanda Chimilio Blanco
Comité de Emergencia Garifuna de Honduras

Let Girls Lead


Mirian is a proud voice of the Garifuna, for their challenges and their achievements. She is the Community Resilience Technician and bilingual teacher at the Garifuna Emergency Committee of Honduras. Marian is also an administrative member of the Garifuna April 12th Foundation. She studied Social Sciences and has a Master’s degree in Primary Education.


Nancy Victoria Figueroa Mejia

Let Girls Lead


Nancy is passionate about working on behalf of vulnerable adolescents. She is a volunteer at the Cristales y Rio Negro Community, and President at the local culture Committee – Trujillo.  Nancy is also President of the Population Association of Rio Negro. She is a College Technician in Social Development and Intervention on Management, and has a college degree in Social Development and Management.


Reyna Suyapa Sagatume Madrid
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras

Let Girls Lead


Reyna is dedicated to improving the lives of women in Honduras. She teaches Women’s Studies at the Sociology Department at the National Autonomous University of Honduras and is an independent consultant in Gender and Development. Reyna is an educator and has a Master’s degree in Social Work and Development Administration.


Sonia Maribel Guity Chavez
ECOSALUD

Let Girls Lead


Sonia is committed to improving health outcomes of the Garifuna. She is Project Coordinator for the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV project in the EcoSalud organization. Sonia is proud to be from Garifuna, and is passionate about her work, because she has the chance to teach about healthy behavior and learn from others.


Thelma Fabiola Oro Chinchilla
Organización para el empoderamiento de la Juventud

Let Girls Lead


Thelma Fabiola works tirelessly to create positive changes in the lives of young people in her community. She is coordinator for the “Revista Jóvenes” magazine and promotes the CREA Sexual and Reproductive Health project, by the Organization for Youth Empowerment. Thelma has a college degree in Journalism at the Honduras National Autonomous University.


Lidieth del Carmen Alvarez Guzman
Casa Verde Limon

Let Girls Lead


Lidieth is an active promoter of youth participation in their own leadership development as Principal of Phoenix Formation at Limon 2. She engages women to participate in organizational training and cooperatives for the wellbeing of their families as Program Administrator at Casa Verde. Lidieth is currently studying Psychology at UHISPAM.


Manuel Salvador Salas Flores
Universida de las Regiones Autonomas de la Costa Caribe (URACCAN)

Let Girls Lead


Manuel’s passion is to save lives and teach future generations the art of medicine. He is a doctor who specializes in intercultural surgery, and works at the University of the Autonomous Coast Regions, Nicaraguan Caribe. Manuel also volunteers at Adelante Mujer Foundation. He has six years’ experience teaching intercultural medicine with indigenous, afro-descendant, and mestizo students from the North Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.


Souvik Pyne | 28
The YP Foundation

Youth Champion Initiative


As a public health professional with a medical background, Souvik’s advocacy in the field has focused on human rights and the shared understanding that abortion is socially unacceptable. He has been an active participant in the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Youth Advisory Group on Abortion Stigma. Souvik hopes to debunk many of the myths that exist around abortion in India and build a broad base of support for young people.


Angana Prasad | 27
Project KHEL

Youth Champions Initiative


Angana’s interest in the health field stems from her personal experience at an all girls’ school, where she was struck by the concept of shame around the female body. A strong advocate of comprehensive sex education, she seeks to use technology to share information and create a generation of young people who are comfortable in their own skin. Among her proudest achievements is coming out as a bisexual to her classmates, because she felt “safe” being herself.


Jasmine Lovely George | 28
Hidden Pockets

Youth Champions Initiative


A lawyer by training, Jasmine is a self-declared feminist activist who uses her legal acumen to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in India. She is interested in leveraging new technologies such as virtual reality, and seeks to create audio podcasts in Hindi for youth populations in spaces where talking about sexuality is taboo.


Shubham Choudhary | 24
The YP Foundation

Youth Champions Initiative


A sexual and reproductive health consultant and trainer, Shubham works tirelessly for comprehensive sexuality education for youth. As a Gandhi Fellow, he helped rural women of India break down myths surrounding menstruation hygiene through grassroots awareness. He is passionate about creating safe, inclusive, non-judgmental spaces for youth and the LGBTQ community to access treatment and prevention services for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.


Abhiti Gupta | 25
Student: Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Youth Champions Initiative


Abhiti is a committed youth leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in India. She and worked as a human rights lawyer to ensure the SRHR of women and youth. Abhiti’s main responsibilities were conducting fact finding missions on women’s access to reproductive and sexual health entitlements throughout India, and litigating in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India. She is a Masters student in Social Work at TISS and has a law degree from GGSIP University.


Ankita Rawat | 27
Consultant: Feminist Approach to Technology

Youth Champions Initiative


Ankita is passionate advocate for youth empowerment and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to sexual and reproductive health services. Before joining the Youth Champions Initiative, she managed the “Know Your Body, Know Your Rights” program at YP Foundation that advances SRHR of young people by increasing their access to information and services. Ankita lead the program’s peer educators, and advanced the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education programs in Delhi. She has a Bachelor of Technology degree from the University at Rajasthan, India.


Franklin Paul Anand Gnanamuthu | 27
Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator: Restless Development

Youth Champions Initiative


Franklin is a powerful voice for sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. At Restless Development, he develops effective monitoring and evaluation systems and trainings. Franklin serves as a regular representative of the Voices of Youth in India.  He has participated in international forums and consultations representing India in the post-2015 development agenda.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, and a Master’s in Social Work from Sacred Heart College in Tamil Nadu.


Gayatri Parameswaran | 29
Editor and Producer: LoveMatters

Youth Champions Initiative


Gayatri’s work combines her commitment to youth, women and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is an editor and video coordinator at Love Matters.in – the first website to provide young Indians with information about love, sex and relationships in Hindi. Gayatri is also a freelance journalist reporting on war and conflict – she has previously reported on conflicts in India, Burma, Syria and Iraq. She is currently a German Chancellor Fellow based in Berlin. She is an Erasmus Mundus scholar in Journalism and holds a Bachelor in Mass Media from University of Mumbai.


Rahul Kumar Dwivedi | 30
Campaign Coordinator and Special Correspondent: Citizens News Service (CNS)

Youth Champions Initiative


Rahul is a seasoned organizer of youth-led advocacy, sensitization and capacity-building trainings. He has worked for CNS since 2008 and currently serves as a correspondent and coordinator for “Vote for Health,” a campaign in schools and colleges focused on young people, health, and rights issues including sexual and reproductive health and rights.  Rahul holds a Bachelor in English, Economics and Sociology from Lucknow University, and a Master’s in Sociology from Awadh University.


Naureen Lalani | 28
Aahung

Youth Champions Initiative


Naureen is a powerful leader and sexual and reproductive health trainer who has dedicated her life to safe abortion and working with marginalized communities. She has a strong interest in policymaking and how religion in Pakistan shapes the policy landscape. Naureen plans to work with youth to create digital stories and comic strips to describe puberty, menstruation, and safe abortion, and share them on social media to create a two-way conversation.


Sadaf Taimur | 29
Youth General Assembly

Youth Champions Initiative


Sadaf’s passion for girls’ and women’s empowerment traces to her own experience as a young woman without information about health and rights. She is particularly interested in advocacy, addressing gender discrimination and the right to education, and plans to continue her work with girls and women in rural areas of Pakistan.


Tanzila Khan | 26
Creative Alley

Youth Champions Initiative


Tanzila’s life experiences have uniquely shaped her course as an advocate and leader in the health field. She is passionate about working with disabled people on sexual and reproductive health, preventing unsafe abortions, openly discussing these issues, and using theater as a problemsolving technique. Tanzila is a women’s rights advocate, motivational speaker, and writer who has published two young adult novels.


Muneeb Arshad | 24
Rutgers Pakistan

Youth Champions Initiative


An accomplished advocate and musician, Muneeb is committed to activating youth networks, initiating youth campaigns, and addressing taboo topics of sexuality and HIV/AIDS in Pakistan. His unique talents have allowed him to build a robust social media platform and fan base which he intends to use to raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights-related issues. Muneeb has used his powerful voice to speak out for youth rights in Pakistan and the Netherlands.


Neelam Punjani | 27
Student: Aga Khan University

Youth Champions Initiative


Neelam is deeply interested in m-health and the use of tele-health to reach women in remote areas of Pakistan. She is currently Research Officer at the Aga Khan University. Her passion for sexual and reproductive health began when she attended a train-the-trainer workshop with the Aahung, and replicated the training in her own community as a volunteer. Neelam recently completed her MSc in Nursing from Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery. She hopes to start her own non-profit focused on adolescent reproductive health.


Neha Mankani | 30
Monitoring & Evaluation Manager: Aahung

Youth Champions Initiative


Neha is dedicated to improving maternal health outcomes in Pakistan. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to complete her Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University. Neha then returned to work at Aahung where she had worked prior to graduate school. She also is a trained doula. In the next five years, Neha would like to start her own non-profit organization integrating sexual and reproductive health and vocational trainings for girls and women.


Samreen Shahbaz | 29
Program Officer: Asia Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

Youth Champions Initiative


Samreen is a dedicated women’s rights activist. She is currently Programme Officer at ARROW. Previously, she was a National Coordinator of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Center and National Coordinator for Advocacy and Communications at Shirkat Gah. She is an Emerging Leaders of Pakistan fellow 2012. Samreen holds a Bachelor in Telecommunications from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, and a Master’s degree from the University of Punjab.


Syed Ali Raza Rizvi | 25
Student: Habib University

Youth Champions Initiative


Ali is a passionate young filmmaker who advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Pakistan through his films and public campaigns. His first film, ‘Sapna’ showed a day in a trans person’s life in Karachi and has had an enormous local and global impact.

Ali has volunteered since age 15 with Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan. He has also served as an elected member of Rahnuma’s National Youth Network and Regional Coordinating Committee – Sindh region. Ali is a certified accountant and is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Communication Studies and Design from Habib University, Karachi.


Umair Jaliawala | 29
President: School of Leadership Foundation

Youth Champions Initiative


Umair is deeply committed to working on the sexual and reproductive health of youth. He serves as president of the School of Leadership Foundation, which works side-by-side with the for-profit School of Leadership where Umair is a Master Facilitator. Specializing in work with youth in motivational workshop settings and trainings, he serves as a lead trainer and facilitator to Marie Stopes, UNICEF, and the World Population Fund, among others. Umair aspires to write a book on leadership, culture and religion in Pakistan.


Nahom Teklewold | 24
Beza for Generation

Youth Champions Initiative


A recent graduate of law school, Nahom’s interests include youth development, gender-based violence, and education. He has been involved in youth development and health since the age of 13, and has extensive experience using video, radio, television, and social media to reach marginalized youth. Nahom spoke at the House of Commons in London to outline the expectations of young people in the Sustainable Development Goals.


Tizzita Tefera | 24
Maisha ICT Technologies

Youth Champions Initiative


Born in Ethiopia and raised in Kenya, Tizzita co-founded and runs a social enterprise that provides pregnant women with maternal and infant care information using an SMS application. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship, mobile technologies, and using innovation to think differently about problem-solving. Tizzita is committed to inclusion of the women and girls she serves to find solutions to the challenges they face together.


Yoadan Shiferaw | 29
Talent Youth Association

Youth Champions Initiative


Yoadan is a tireless advocate for youth development and seeks to “create an army of youth advocates” through her work. In addition to advocacy, her particular areas of interest include comprehensive sex education and eliminating child marriage and female genital mutilation. Yoadan believes in the power of youth and the importance of strategically engaging governments at national and global levels.


Etsehiwot Eguale | 28
UN Women

Youth Champions Initiative


Etsehiwot is committed to the prevention of gender based violence, and works directly with violence survivors in her country. In addition, she is passionate about girls’ empowerment and the importance of investing in them. Etsehiwot seeks to provide girls with leadership and empowerment training to enable them to reach their potential.


Tsehainesh Abay, MPH
Relief Society of Tigray

Let Girls Lead


Tsehainesh Abay, MPH is the Health Department Head and Health Program Director of the Relief Society of Tigray (REST). REST is engaged in advocacy work on behalf of orphans and youth, people living with HIV, adolescent girls and young women, fighting to reduce gender-based violence including early marriage, fistula, and rape through leadership training for adolescent girls, income-generating activities for early marriage victims, and youth-friendly services in universities, health centers and youth centers. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Jimma University, and her Master of Public Health from Addis Ababa University.


​Ephrem Berhanu

Let Girls Lead


Ephrem Berhanu is co-founder and Managing Director of Talent Youth Association (TaYA), a youth-led development organization engaged in youth sexual and reproductive health programs. TaYA focuses on ensuring young girls’ participation in matters that affect their lives and promoting gender-equitable health services.


Wubitu Hailu Gebrekristos, MPH
Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organization

Let Girls Lead


Wubitu Hailu Gebrekristos, MPH is the founder and Managing Director of the Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organization (KYRHDO), which serves more than twenty thousand adolescent girls in their communities and workplaces with reproductive health services, including HIV/AIDS and Gender issues education. She obtained her Community Nursing diploma from Gondar Public Health College in 1971. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration from Madison University, in Gulf Port, Mississippi, and a Master of Public Health from Haramaya University in Ethiopia in 2009.


Zeritu Kebede

Let Girls Lead


Zeritu Kebede is a singer-songwriter whose debut album “Zeritu” was released in 2006 to widespread acclaim. She has toured around the world and has been involved in public awareness campaigns on HIV/AIDS and other issues in Ethiopia.


Makda Mikre Tessema, LLB

Let Girls Lead


Makda recently served as a project officer at the The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Ethiopia, and is currently enrolled at the Law School of Georgetown University. She graduated from Mekelle University Law School in Ethiopia, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Law in 2006.


Ethiopia Tilahun, BA
Institute of International Education Ethiopia

Let Girls Lead


Ethiopia works with the Institute of International Education Ethiopia as a program officer for the Ethiopian Women leadership program (EWLP) and the Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health (LDM). The goal of these programs is to improve the educational outcomes of female students and to increase young women’s leadership at the university level. She also serves as the national and regional facilitator for the Zambia HIV/AIDS Alliance. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Management and a Diploma in Accounting.


Firehiwot Kassa | 29
Radio Program Producer: Population Media Center (PMC)

Youth Champions Initiative


Firehiwot is a powerful leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. He has worked with PRO PRIDE as radio program reporter, and currently produces “Gudayachen” (Our Concern), a nationally broadcasted PMC radio program that focuses on gender issues, harmful traditional practices, and female genital cutting.


Gemeda Olana | 29
Behavioral Change Communications Officer: German Foundation for World Population

Youth Champions Initiative


Gemeda is committed to improving health outcomes among youth. He has more than six years’ experience in communications, sexual and reproductive health and rights, health program implementation, and community organizing. Gemeda’s work entails collecting information in the field, identifying gaps, and designing promotional material.


Marta Tsehay Sewasew | 27
Project Officer: Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)

Youth Champions Initiative


Marta is a passionate advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally. She manages the SRHR training, community outreach program, life skills, and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention messages of YWCA’s people with disabilities and youth leadership program. Marta was recently selected as a MILEAD fellow, a selection of Africa’s most outstanding emerging women leaders by the Moremi Initiative. Her long-term goals include a PhD in Social Work.


Nikodimos Takele Geberetsadik | 28
Senior Marketing and Communications Officer: Marie Stopes International (MSI)

Youth Champions Initiative


Nikodimos is dedicated to reproductive health and family planning. He serves as the focal person for MSI’s e-voucher program, which provides young, low-income women with free access to MSI and Blue Star clinics. Nikodimos is also in charge of behavior change communications, branding, and promotion of the MSI and BlueStar Healthcare Networks. Nikodimos holds a degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University, and a Master’s in Leadership and Organization from Malmö University in Sweden.


Tinbit Daniel | 27
Project Manager: Whiz Kids Workshop

Youth Champions Initiative


Tinbit is a passionate advocate for girls’ rights and education. At Whiz Kids, she was initially selected and trained to produce one-minute films on diverse gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues. She subsequently became the writer and creator of “Girls in Red,” a new animated television series about teen girl heroines who redefine gender roles, and educate others about SRHR and gender-based violence. Tinbit holds a law degree from Mekelle University College of Law and Governance.


Yeabsire Bogale Bishaw | 27
Country Coordinator: African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC)

Youth Champions Initiative


Yeabsira is the Country Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change in Ethiopia. She has worked for five years in the field of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Yeabsira was the Senior Advisor at Talent Youth Association and served as Chair of the MenEngage Africa Youth Advisory Group. She implemented her winning Youth Champions pilot project called “Gamification in SRHR” by developing innovative educational games in Ethiopia, which positively influence young people’s SRH choices.


Yosef Ahmed | 29
Higher Education Initiative Project Officer: DKT

Youth Champions Initiative


Yosef is a strong advocate for the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of university students. He is the Oromia Region Officer of the “Higher Education Initiative,” a large SRHR information and behavior change project working with university students in more than 30 universities in Ethiopia.


Dennis Mutiso | Girl Child Network (GCN)
Deputy Director of Programs

Champions for Change


Dennis is renowned for his work ensuring adolescent youth are involved in developing strategies to change their behavior and minimize health risks. He is the Deputy Director of Programs at Girl Child Network (GCN). With over 12 years of experience in development, Dennis leads GCN’s strategic advocacy, programs, and campaigns on issues affecting children, youth, and women. He also serves as a mentor to young African leaders with the Mandela Washington Foundation under the Young African Leadership Initiative Programme. Dennis has a Master’s degree in Project Planning and Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work and Social Development, and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Nairobi.


Peris Kandie | Girl Child Network (GCN)
Programme Coordinator

Champions for Change


Peris is a passionate advocate for the education, health and rights of young people. She is a Programme Coordinator at Girl Child Network (GCN), assisting the Deputy Director of Programs in fundraising, donor reporting, and collaboration on key health advocacy issues. Peris is also a member of the National Council of Churches in Kenya where she mentors youth on positive lifestyles and leadership. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Monitoring and Evaluation at the University of Nairobi, and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi.


Maureen Wariara Kimotho | Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung (DSW)
Project Officer

Champions for Change


Maureen is dedicated to the advancement of youth and health programs in Kenya. As a Project Officer at the DSW, she coordinates sexual and reproductive health services and trainings for youth with the Youth 2 Youth initiative of DSW in Nairobi County and the Maternal and Newborn Child Healthcare Services project with DFID in Machakos. Maureen is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling Studies from University of Manchester.


Danor Ajwang’ | Plan International
Public Health Practitioner

Champions for Change


Danor is a highly qualified public health practitioner and organizational development and leadership expert at Plan International in Kenya. He manages more than 25 projects implemented by nearly 20 grantees in Kenya’s Kwale, Nairobi, Kisumu, Machakos, Siaya, and Turkana counties. Danor has worked on projects involving the protection and safety of exploited youth in Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of Europe. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health from Moi University in Kenya, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation.


Anne Kioko | I Choose Life-Africa (ICL)
Public Health Specialist

Champions for Change


Anne is deeply committed to research and new knowledge for the improved wellbeing of adolescent youth and women. A highly skilled public health specialist, she works for I Choose Life-Africa (ICL) as a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Manager. She coordinates and provides M&E support for health and youth-related projects funded by PEPFAR, Sida, DfID and UNFPA in 20 counties in Kenya. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Epidemiology from Kenyatta University.


Sarah Kihianyu | I Choose Life-Africa (ICL)
Project Officer

Champions for Change


Sarah is a tireless leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health. She works with I Choose Life-Africa (ICL) as a Project Officer. She develops and adapts a gender responsive pedagogy training manual, which seeks to increase teachers’ responsiveness to girls’ needs. She has led integrated health campaigns for youth on issues such as sexually transmitted infection screening; breast, prostate and cervical cancer screening; HIV counselling and testing; and body mass index checks. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.


Lea Kilenga Masamo | Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance of Kenya
Programme Manager

Champions for Change


Lea is a passionate advocate for the control of sickle cell disease in Kenya, fueled by her own experience as a sickle cell patient. She works with the NCD Alliance of Kenya where she serves as a Programme Manager. She coordinates and engages with stakeholders to develop and implement national NCD strategies, interventions, and healthcare infrastructure on sickle cell disease management within affected communities.  Lea has a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business, Entrepreneurship from the United States International University – Africa, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management from The Amani Institute.


Immaculate Oliech | NAYA KENYA
Program Coordinator

Champions for Change


Immaculate is committed to the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people. She is Program Coordinator at NAYA KENYA, a youth-led regional advocacy network committed to SRHR advocacy. She coordinates SRHR programs activities for the organization including leading initiatives on policy advocacy, budget advocacy, and SRHR community educational forums. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from Makerere University and is pursuing her Master’s in Social Development and Management from Maseno University.


Robert Aseda | NAYA KENYA
Policy and Partnerships Officer

Champions for Change


Robert is a powerful advocate for youth-led sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). He is a Policy and Partnerships Officer at NAYA KENYA, a youth-led regional network committed to SRHR advocacy. Robert joined NAYA as a Youth Advocate and is currently the chairman of the National Youth Consortium on the post-2015 development agenda. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Population Health and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Kenyatta University.


Pauline Mue | Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT)
Project Technical Officer

Champions for Change


Pauline is a highly driven public health expert with experience in health promotion, community capacity building, and school health programming. She is a Project Technical Officer at the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) where she leads non-communicable disease advocacy projects and ensures the effective implementation of project activities with donors in Kenya. Pauline has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health from Kenyatta University and is pursuing a Master of Public Health from Jomo Kenyatta University.


Benson Omor | Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT)
Programs and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Champions for Change


Benson is a tireless leader of development programs targeting orphaned and vulnerable children and youth. He is a Programs and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Manager at the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) where he provides technical oversight in seven public health projects in Kenya. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Moi University and a Master of Arts degree in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi. He is pursuing a PhD in Development Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT).


Hesboners Luke | Deaf Empowerment Kenya
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Champions for Change


Hesboners is deep expertise in community mobilization and capacity building on issues of health and gender empowerment. He is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Deaf Empowerment Kenya. He has a Diploma in Community Health from the IT School of Public Health at Maseno University and a Certificate in Key Population Programming from NASCOP. He is pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health at Mount Kenya University.


Joseph Otieno | Deaf Empowerment Kenya
Project Coordinator

Champions for Change


Joseph is a passionate advocate for youth with disabilities, who are socially excluded from access to information on non-communicable diseases. He is a Project Coordinator at the Deaf Empowerment Kenya Since 2007, he has overseen the implementation of programs that promote access to reproductive health information and services, life skills, and employment for youth with hearing impairments. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Community Development at the Panafrica Christian University in Nairobi.


Patrick Miller | Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance

Champions for Change


Patrick is a communications strategist and media expert in the field of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). He is a Media, Communication, and Information Communication Technology Manager at the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance where he leads, coordinates, and implements the media and communication strategies of all projects. Currently, Patrick is developing the organization’s implementation of a pilot SMS-based advocacy campaign targeting youth and women in Kenya for control and prevention of NCDs. He has a degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom.


Thadius Olum | Organization for Health Education and Research Services (OHERS)
Program Oficer

Champions for Change


Thadius is dedicated to adolescent sexual and reproductive health. He is a Program Officer at the Organization for Health Education and Research Services (OHERS) in Kenya, leading the adolescent sexual and reproductive health and behavior change interventions. With 10 years of experience coordinating youth programs, Thadius focuses his work on youth skills training, policy development, workforce development, and community mobilization. He has a Diploma in Disaster Management and Response.


Ben Osongo | Young Health Program (YHP) at Plan International
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Coordinator

Champions for Change


Ben is deeply committed to the control and prevention of non-communicable diseases among youth in informal settlements in Nairobi. He is a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Coordinator of the Young Health Program (YHP) at Plan International, Kenya. Ben leads YHP’s development and execution of a functional M&E framework to effectively track outcomes and impacts. He has a graduate degree qualification in Research and Evaluation and a Master of Public Health degree in Biostatistics.


Levis Onsase | Jhpiego Kenya
Coordinator

Champions for Change


Levis is a dedicated advocate for the prevention of non-communicable diseases among youth. He a Coordinator for the Innovations and Healthy Heart Africa programs at Jhpiego Kenya, an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Levis’ work focuses on education, awareness, and control of hypertension among youth and adult groups and on advocating for public commitment toward sexual and reproductive health and rights for youth in Kenya. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Kenyatta University in Nairobi.


Phyllis Kamau | National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
Regional Coordinator

Champions for Change


Phyllis is a committed public health expert with a passion for health advocacy. She is the Regional Coordinator for the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) in charge of health advocacy projects in Nairobi and its five counties. At NCCK, Phyllis leads regional coordination, staff mentoring, project monitoring and evaluation, and performance management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Kenyatta University and a Master’s degree in Communication from Daystar University in Kenya.


Abdulhamid Sakar | Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance
Team Leader

Champions for Change


Abdulhamid is passionate about the range of issues affecting Muslim youth in Kenya. He is a Team Leader for the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance, which is a national Muslim Youth Network formed in 2002 to articulate a wide range of challenges affecting Muslim youth in Kenya. Abdulhamid works with the Board of the organization and participates in resource mobilization. He has 13 years of experience in civil society work.


Imelda Namayi | National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
Programme Officer for Education and Health

Champions for Change


Imelda is a deeply committed to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health, cancer and blood pressure awareness, and alcohol and drug abuse reduction. She is a Programme Officer for Education and Health at the National Council of Churches of Kenya, and has worked with religious leaders and congregations to address health and education issues affecting communities. Imelda is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Public Health at JKUAT and has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Maseno University.


James Kinyua Nyaga | German Foundation for World Population
National Team Coordinator for Resources Mobilization

Champions for Change


James is a passionate advocate for the health of young people and women in Kenya. As National Team Coordinator for Resources Mobilization at the German Foundation for World Population, he leads the health and advocacy programs targeting the country’s young people and women, and builds the operational capacity of civil society organizations to better access resources in support of family planning. James has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Diploma in Project Management, and is graduating with a Master’s degree in Public Health and Epidemiology from Kenyatta University.


Mercy Kamau | Jhpiego
Community Mobilization Officer

Champions for Change


Mercy is a tireless advocate for increasing the uptake of family planning services in Kenya. She is a Community Mobilization Officer at Jhpiego, an affiliate of John Hopkins University. Under the Kenya Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, she offers technical support to implementing partners in designing promotional and advocacy strategies that lead to increased demand, access and use of high quality family planning services. Mercy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Science and Technology from Moi University and is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Public Reproductive Heath from Kenyatta University.


Liam Sollis | Young Health Programme (YHP)
Programme Policy and Advocacy Manager

Champions for Change


Liam is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of young people through prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs). He is a Programme Policy and Advocacy Manager at the Young Health Programme (YHP) where he leads policy, advocacy, and research work. He focuses on). He represents the YHP in external policy forums and also leads Plan UK’s public engagement on global health issues. He has a Master’s degree in Urbanization and International Development from the London School of Economics.


Amelia M. Cooper
Aiding Disadvantaged & Traumatized Women & Girls in Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Amelia is the Executive Director of Aiding Disadvantaged & Traumatized Women & Girls in Liberia. She works with marginalized adolescent girls and women in Nimba County to empower and involve them in advocating for their rights through civic engagement.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Liberia.


Adeola O. Famak
EDUCARE

Let Girls Lead


Adeola is the Executive Director of EDUCARE, a local NGO that promotes community development with a special focus on the economic empowerment of women. She was instrumental in the United Nations’ Disarmament Demobilization Rehabilitation and Reintegration program, a vocational skills training program for disarmed ex-combatants. She has over twenty years of experience in all phases of development, implementation and evaluation. Adeola holds a Master’s Degree in Information Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and several professional certificates.


Beatrice Seeboe
Women and Children’s Desk of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Beatrice is the Coordinator of the Women and Children’s Desk of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia. She leads faith-based women’s groups that address issues related to women and children. She is studying Public Administration at the African Methodist Episcopal University in Monrovia.


Benjamin Tarnue
National Coalition of Civil Society Organization of Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Benjamin is the Executive Secretary for the National Coalition of Civil Society Organization of Liberia (NACCSOL), where he runs the day-to-day activities of the coalition. He is a graduate of the University of Liberia, with certificates in NGO Management and Technical Vocational Education.


Comfort D. Kollie
UNFPA Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Comfort is the Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Program Associate at UNFPA Liberia.  She works with implementing partners and government Ministries to ensure that young people, particularly adolescent girls, have access to sexual reproductive health and rights information and services. She is a Nurse with degrees from Cuttington University and Cuttington Graduate School.


Dweh N. Nyenmoh, II
Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness

Let Girls Lead


Dweh works for Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness (THINK) as a Project Officer for their education program. He works with out-of-school mothers, between the ages of 13 to 18, who left school due to lack of childcare. He also serves as the Executive Director for Conscious Advocates for the Protection of Democracy, a community based human rights organization. Dweh holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Management with a minor in Public Administration from the United Methodist University.


Daniel Gbah
Samaritan’s Purse International Relief

Let Girls Lead


Daniel serves as Protection Officer for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief and coordinates their adolescent girls program. He holds a Bachelor of Theology Degree from the Calvary Chapel Bible College and an Associate Degree in Correction and Basic Prison Administration from the Liberian Bureau of Rehabilitation and Corrections. He is presently a junior student at the University of Liberia.


Delielie Kollie
Samaritan’s Purse International Relief

Let Girls Lead


Delielie is a Social Worker for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief in Gbarpolu county, where he works with two hundred adolescent girls, focusing on preventing harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a diploma in Social Work.


Emmanuel Charlie Morgan
Save Lives Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Emmanuel is the National Director of Save Lives Liberia. He also holds several certificates in human rights and peace studies from the Peace Operation Training Institute and the United States Institute of Peace. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with emphasis in International Relations from the University of Liberia. Emmanuel is currently pursuing his Master in Human Rights from the Atlantic International University based in the USA.


Evelyn F. Barry
UNICEF Liberia

Let Girls Lead


Evelyn is an Attorney at Law and most recently an Education Program Officer at UNICEF Liberia. Her focus is on girls’ education and includes supporting older children who missed out on their education due to the civil crisis in Liberia. Evelyn graduated from the University of Liberia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Law.


Facia B. Harris
Paramount Young Women Initiative

Let Girls Lead


Facia is a Program Coordinator with the Paramount Young Women Initiative. She also works for the Independent Information Commission, IIC and hosts radio programs for women and girls on UBMIL radio. She is a fellow of the Columbia University Oral Program.Facia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Public Sector Management.


Francis S. Konyon
Center for Justice and Peace Studies

Let Girls Lead


Francis is the Program Officer for the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) in Liberia. He is responsible for developing programs around advocacy for the inclusion of youth in decision-making structures, livelihood skill development for adolescent girls, and psychotherapeutic sessions for youth in school. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia.


Grace T. Kortu
Ministry of Gender and Development

Let Girls Lead


Grace is Assistant Director of the Child Protection and Development Division of the Ministry of Gender and Development. She oversees the Child Protection Network to ensure the participation of the Children’s CRC and the implementation of the national Children’s Law. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia.


James F. Kamanda II
Community Empowerment and Sustainable Program

Let Girls Lead


James is the founder and Chairman of Community Empowerment and Sustainable Program (CESP) Inc. He works closely with the secretariat to ensure effectiveness, productivity, transparency, and accountability in their work.  He has 25 years of experience in program administration, management, and governance. James holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the Global University USA, AA degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Education, and advance diplomas in Social Work, Diplomacy, Leadership, and Conflict Management.


Janice C. Pratt

Let Girls Lead


Janice served as the Monitoring and Evaluation Research Officer and Policy Analyst at the Governance Commission, and Coordinator with several international nonprofit organizations where she developed programs to address issues of health, population growth, and rural-urban migration. She is a graduate of the Stella Maris Polytechnic in Liberia with an Associate of Science in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science in Economics, and has an advanced postgraduate certificate in research and non-profit management from Worldwatch Institute and Atlas Corps in Washington, DC.  Janice will obtain a Masters in Population and Development from the London School of Economics in London, United Kingdom in 2015.


Lulu A. Sheriff
Liberia National Red Cross Society

Let Girls Lead


Lulu serves as the Youth Assistant/Girl Unit Point Person at the Liberia National Red Cross Society, where she works with over 450 adolescent girls throughout four counties in Liberia. She is responsible for training girls to become leaders through participating in Red Cross programs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management the University of Liberia and an AA Degree in Secretarial Science.


Naomi Myers
Samaritan’s Purse International Relief

Let Girls Lead


Naomi is a Social Worker at Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, where she works with 300 adolescent girls in Monrovia. Her focus is to advance the rights of adolescent girls and advocate for reduction of harmful traditional practices. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia.


N. Paul J. Hinneh
Liberia Democratic Institution

Let Girls Lead


N. Paul is a Program Manager for the Liberia Democratic Institution (LDI). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Cuttington University and is a second-year student at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law. He has also earned certificates in Policy Advocacy and Engagement from WASCI-Ghana, National Resource Management and the Peace Building development project.


Hawa Bropleh
Centre for Liberian Assistance

Let Girls Lead


Hawa is the Executive Director of the Centre for Liberian Assistance, which focuses on girls’ education, sexual and reproductive health, and access to safe spaces. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in School Administration, and has received training at Holy Hill Seminary in Berkeley, California.


Aisha Cooper Bruce
HOPE, Inc.

Let Girls Lead


Aisha currently serves as the Director of Social Development for Helping Our People Excel (HOPE), Inc. She has over 15 years’ experience working on youth and leadership development issues and has received numerous national and international awards for her work.  Aisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland-College Park in the United States. Aisha has also served as the Let Girls Lead Country Representative for Liberia since 2011.


S. Eric Dentor
Ministry of Justice

Let Girls Lead


S. Eric serves as the Case Liaison Officer for the Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes Unit of the Ministry of Justice, Liberia. He is currently studying Sociology and Public Administration at the University of Liberia.


Kula V. Fofana
Ministry of Gender and Development

Let Girls Lead


Kula serves as National Coordinator for the Adolescent Girls Working Group of the Ministry of Gender and Development and the Executive Director of the Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI), which advocates for, empowers, and educates adolescent girls and young women to contribute meaningfully to society. Kula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the African Methodist Episcopal University in Liberia.


T. Edwin Kamara
Alliance for Youth Development and Advocacy

Let Girls Lead


T. Edwin is the founder of Alliance for Youth Development and Advocacy, which enhances youth capacity in community-based organizations, human rights and protection, and civic education and governance through training and mentoring. He also serves as the Youth Programs Coordinator with the Children Assistance Program, where he coordinates business development training and mentoring activities for 13 adolescent girls’ clubs, manages reproductive health services for girl mothers, and maintains youth friendly spaces. He holds advanced diplomas in Social Work and Human Resources, certificates in Community Development, Project Design/Monitoring and Evaluation, Participatory Planning and Budgeting, and Poverty Reduction. T Edwin is currently a candidate for a Bachelor’s in Social Work.


Rosana D. H. Schaack
Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness

Let Girls Lead


Rosana is the Executive Director of Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness (THINK), a home for war affected adolescent girls and young women. The home provides shelter, medical care, psychosocial support, academic and vocational skills training, and life skills training. Rosana also serves as the Program Manager for Child Protection at Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, Liberia. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and is a Registered Nurse. In 2008 and 2009 she studied in the United States as a Humphrey Fellow.


Betty Katsonga Liwimbi
Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation

Let Girls Lead


Betty is the Research and Training Coordinator for the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, based in Lilongwe, Malawi. Her work involves doing research, capacity building trainings, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and implementation of project activities.  Betty holds a Bachelor in Education and Humanities degree from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College.


Charles Banda
Youth Net and Counseling

Let Girls Lead


Charles is the Radio and Advocacy Program Manager for Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) in Zomba, Malawi. He is responsible for advocating on issues that affect women and children. He provides legal advice to clients with complex care, coordinates networking with both local and international networks, and documents the organizational activities and programs. Since 2013, he has been working towards implementing YONECO FM, National Youth Radio Station. Charles has a diploma in Community Development and Diploma in Law.


Chipiliro Phiri
Youth Impact Malawi

Let Girls Lead


Chipiliro is the Executive Director of Youth Impact Malawi, a youth-focused NGO that implements HIV prevention and promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights programs, targeting youth with a focus on adolescent girls. He also works on child protection and girl child education through the Machinga District Education Network. Chipiliro holds an advance diploma in community development and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Sociology through Southern New Hampshire University.


Christopher L.K. Mtima
Chilimba Women and Children Support Organization

Let Girls Lead


Christopher is the Director of the Chilimba Women and Children Support Organization, a local NGO working for the social welfare of women and children living in rural communities in the Zomba district. He is also a village headman who works on behalf of his local community members in the areas of community development, human rights, adolescent girls’ issues, early pregnancy, and child welfare. Christopher holds various certifications, including one in education.


Emmanuel Thuwala
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Development Broadcasting Unit

Let Girls Lead


Emmanuel is a Project Manager for Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), heading the Development Broadcasting Unit (DBU) of MBC. Emmanuel is passionate about bringing the voices of ordinary people to television and radio in order to bring their concerns about development issues to the attention of decision-makers. Emmanuel holds a postgraduate diploma in Management Studies from the Polytechnic University of Malawi and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from African Bible College in Lilongwe, Malawi.


Eness Phiri
Mponela Rural Hospital

Let Girls Lead


Eness is a Deputy Hospital Matron of Mponela Rural Hospital, a government healthcare unit in Dowa. She is involved in developing youth friendly services, which include counseling adolescent girls on sexual and reproductive health, as well as training adolescent girls in life skills and providing them with reproductive health, and family planning services. Eness has a diploma in nursing and a certificate in midwifery from Malawi College of Health Sciences in conjunction with the University of Malawi.


Esther Kamanga
Nkhotakota AIDS Support Organization

Let Girls Lead


Esther is a Program Manager for Nkhotakota AIDS Support Organization (NASO) based near Lake Malawi. She has worked with different government organizations as well as in rural hospital and health centers. Esther is a Certified Nurse and midwife technician, with a degree from St. Johns College of Nursing; a degree in community health nursing from the Malawi College of Heath Sciences; and a diploma in early child care and education from Chancellor College of Malawi.


Faith Phiri
Girls Empowerment Network

Let Girls Lead


Faith is the Executive Director of Girls Empowerment Network (GENET), a grassroots network of young women advocates that aims to improve girls and young women’s health, education, and livelihoods through empowerment and advocacy initiatives. Faith holds a Bachelor in Public Health degree and Masters of Public Health degree from the Malawi College of Medicine specializing in gender and maternal health.


Faith Aisha Adams
YouthNet and Counseling

Let Girls Lead


Faith joined YouthNet and Counseling (YONECO) in 2008 as a Field Officer working on the National Child Helpline where she was trained as a Child Protection Officer. She was later promoted to Project Officer for the UN joint project on adolescent girls. Faith is a youth representative for her country representing her organization in the Tackling Poverty Together Regional Network, a network that promotes youth involvement in poverty reduction in nine countries. She studied Business Administration at the University of Malawi Management Development Center.


Grace Nyasha Ngwira
Society for Women and AIDS in Malawi

Let Girls Lead


Grace is a Project Officer for the Society for Women and AIDS in Malawi (SWAM). She works with commercial sex workers and vendors in order to reduce the incidence of HIV in Malawi through a set of comprehensive prevention activities designed to increase the adoption of safer sexual behaviors among high-risk populations. Grace obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the University of Livingstonia in Malawi.


Jones Mwalwanda
Matindi Youth Organization

Let Girls Lead


Jones is the Executive Director and a founder of Matindi Youth Organization (MATYO), which works to improve the livelihoods of adolescent girls by promoting health and education through advocacy and capacity building. Jones has worked with MATYO for 13 years, first as a Program Manager and then Deputy Director becoming Executive Director in 2008. Jones holds an advance diploma in social work from the Association of Business Management through Malawi University of Polytechnic. He also has a certificate in project management and a certificate in behavioral change.


Joyce Phekani
Center for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children

Let Girls Lead


Joyce is the Executive Director of the Center for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWOC), an NGO that promotes the rights of women, men, girls and boys. CAVWOC’s programs on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS are aimed at empowering adolescent girls to promote a violence-free society and claim their rights to services. She holds a diploma in education from the University of Malawi and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration and Development degree with the University of Birmingham in the UK.


Kenneth Sakala
SOS Children's Village Blantyre

Let Girls Lead


Kenneth is the Director of SOS Children’s Village Blantyre, where he manages family-based care and family strengthening programs for children and youth who have lost family care or are at risk of losing their families. Before joining SOS Children’s Villages, Kenneth worked in the public sector as a teacher and also headed different secondary schools in Malawi. Kenneth holds a Master’s of Education degree in Policy, Planning and Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Malawi.


Khumbo Chinemba
Nkhotakota AIDS Support Organization

Let Girls Lead


Khumbo is a Project Officer for the Nkhotakota AIDS Support Organization (NASO). She manages a gender transformation project that promotes the social, cultural and economic development of adolescent girls and young women living in fishing communities along Lake Malawi. Khumbo is a teacher by profession and holds a teaching certificate from Kasonga Teachers Training College. Khumbo also has several certificates in HIV testing and counseling, management and leadership training from the Malawi Institute of Management.


Martin Nkuna
UNICEF Malawi

Let Girls Lead


Martin is a Child Protection Officer for UNICEF Malawi where he works to support national efforts to reduce violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect of children with a primary focus on justice for women and children. Martin holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Rights Studies from the University of Peace in Costa Rica and a Master of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Malawi.


Pacharo Munthali
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Development Broadcasting Unit

Let Girls Lead


Pacharo is a Projects Officer for the Development Broadcasting Unit (DBU) of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). He manages various programs focusing on promotion of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, child labor and trafficking, and child prostitution. Pacharo has a Bachelor’s Degree in Media for Development from the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College.


Tawina Kopa-Kamanga
Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development

Let Girls Lead


Tawina is the Chief Irrigation Officer for the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development where she heads the Kasungu Irrigation Services Division.
Her areas of interest and focus include girls’ advocacy and research from a gender and rights perspective. She volunteers at the Sub-Saharan Child and Community Development, the Child Development Support Organization, and YES Malawi.  Tawina holds a Bachelor in Agriculture from the University of Malawi – Bunda College of Agriculture and a Master of Science degree in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Life Sciences in Norway.


Yasinta Namacha
Malawi Red Cross Society

Let Girls Lead


Yasinta is Assistant District Project Officer on the Mwanza Integrated HIV/AIDS project of the Malawi Red Cross Society. She coordinates project activities with girls’ groups that aim to empower secondary school girls by addressing issues of gender discrimination. Before joining the Red Cross in 2010, Yasinta taught science at Mwanza and Malosa secondary schools. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Malawi and a diploma in information technology from Polytechnic Continuing Education Centre of Malawi.


Joyce Chikakuda
Girls Empowerment Network

Let Girls Lead


Joyce is a co-founder and the Communications Director for Girls Empowerment Network (GENET). She works with young people on various issues including gender, human rights, child development, HIV/AIDS and education. Joyce holds a Diploma in Public Relations.


Hamilton Alinane Chimala
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Development Broadcasting Unit

Let Girls Lead


Hamilton is a Project Manager at the Development Broadcasting Unit (DBU) of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. His team is actively involved in advocacy and programming focused on adolescent girls. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, as well as a Diploma in Journalism and several post graduate certificates.


Fryson Chodzi
Counselling of the Adolescent and Youth Organization

Let Girls Lead


Fryson is Executive Director of Counselling of the Adolescent and Youth Organization (CAYO). CAYO is a unique organization that aims to develop girls into leaders in the youth development sector. Fryson has earned a Degree in International Development and also holds a Diploma in Youth In Development.


Thomas James Kanjodo
Sightsavers International

Let Girls Lead


Thomas works as a Program Officer for Sightsavers, an international organization working to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote equal opportunity for disabled people. He is responsible for all education and social inclusion programs for Sightsavers Malawi. He has worked as a consultant for the USAID funded Girls Equity through Education in Sudan and for the World Bank funded Community Based Rural Land Development project in Malawi. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Mathematics, and Statistics from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. Thomas is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Education and Sustainability through the London South Bank University with full support from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.


Wekha Jackson Khonje
National Youth Council of Malawi

Let Girls Lead


Wekha is a Program Officer for Youth Participation and Economic Empowerment with the National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM). She holds a Degree in Business Administration, as well as a Diploma in Youth Development Work.


Elita Yobe
Ecumenical Counselling Centre

Let Girls Lead


Elita is the Project and Training Coordinator for the Ecumenical Counselling Centre (ECC), based in Lilongwe, Malawi. Her projects focus on family and marriage, gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS counseling, providing a forum where women can access sexual and reproductive health information and share their experiences. Elita coordinates a sensitization project aimed at the prevention of trafficking in women and children.


Obie McNair, 26
My Brother’s Keeper

Youth Champions Initiative


As a young black man in Mississippi, Obie works on HIV prevention and is a powerful voice for African-American men who have sex with men. Passionate about youth engagement, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ issues, he aims to develop programming that educates youth on sexual and reproductive health and rights of Mississippi’s diverse youth population.


Jitoria Jones | 23
Mississippi State Department of Health

Youth Champions Initiative


Currently the youngest employee in the Mississippi State Department of Health, Jitoria collaborates with youth leaders, community leaders, religious leaders, and government officials to implement programs that improve the health and wellbeing of Mississippi youth. She is interested in creating a social media campaign where youth can get clear, accurate information about sexual activity, consent, and preventing sexual violence.


Arekia Bennett | 24
Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition

Youth Champions Initiative


Arekia is dedicated to providing platforms for marginalized youth to share their voices, including the LGBTQ community and women and girls of color. She co-founded a collective dedicated to educating black college women about reproductive health and black women’s history. Arekia is a powerful advocate for LGBTQ rights, comprehensive sex education in Mississippi schools, and reproductive justice.


Arely Westley | 24
BreakOUT!

Youth Champions Initiative


Originally from Honduras, Arely is a trans Latinx woman who moved to Louisiana with her mother many years ago and began working in Louisiana as a youth organizer, engaging young people to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth. Arely is dedicated to ensuring her state’s Latinx and immigrant communities have a voice.


Mwende Katwiwa | 25
Women With A Vision, Inc.

Youth Champions Initiative


Originally from Kenya, Mwende has lived and worked in Louisiana for many years with marginalized New Orleans youth, connecting social justice, reproductive health, and racial and economic justice. In addition to this work, Mwende is an artist and a poet. Her poems address issues of racism, violence against black women, and other critical topics.


Marlo Barrera | 27
Reproductive Justice Action Collective (REJAC)

Youth Champions Initiative


Marlo has a long history of community mobilization and advocacy work around reproductive justice and rights. A New Orleans native, she has taken an active role in community organizing and advocacy at the local and state levels. Marlo plans to create a youth-led and managed hotline focusing on sex, healthy relationships, and sexual health for young people – accessible via phone or text messaging.


Joellé “Jo” Williams | 23
National Center for Youth Law

Youth Champions Initiative


A former foster youth and strong advocate for reproductive rights and justice, Jo values sexual and reproductive health as a means of giving a voice to herself and other foster youth. She is currently working towards improved California state legislation on teen health rights for foster youth. Jo hopes to gain youth development skills that will allow her to facilitate their growth as others have done for her.


Sarah Hyde | 23
Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments

Youth Champions Initiative


A certified sex educator and new media organizer, Sarah is committed to violence prevention and sexual health education. She helped develop and facilitate a restorative justice program for young men who committed acts of digital sexual violence against women around topics such as power and control, and rape versus consent culture. Sarah plans to continue her harm-reduction based, sex-positive curricula and use of technology with young people.


Kaitlyn Custer | 24
Huckleberry Youth Programs

Youth Champions Initiative


Kaitlyn is a passionate advocate for sexual health and reproductive justice. Several years ago, she founded a now-mandatory workshop series for incoming undergraduates to learn about consent, bystander intervention, and rape culture. She currently teaches comprehensive sexual education to high schoolers, including recently immigrated Latinx students, and hopes to further develop her health equity lens over the coming year.


Kimberly García Contreras | 29
YWCA of Watsonville

Youth Champions Initiative


Kimberly is motivated by attitudes towards teen pregnancy and the negative ramifications of fear-driven sexual health education in society and in her immediate community. She seeks to ensure that youth in Watsonville, California have access to quality health resources and education. Kimberly currently provides comprehensive sexual health education to middle school-aged girls and looks forward to obtaining new tools to help her facilitate community conversations.


Kelsey Hundley | 26
Board Member: New Orleans Adolescent Reproductive Health Partnership (NOARHP)

Youth Champions Initiative


Kelsey is deeply committed to advancing the field of adolescent medicine. She has served as a NOARHP volunteer for two years and a Board Member at NOARHP for one year, where Kelsey helped the organization align the curriculum with CDC guidelines and create an assessment to better measure students’ learning. She he is pursuing her MD at LSUHSC in New Orleans with plans to pursue a fellowship in adolescent medicine upon completion of her residency.


Nakita Shavers | 29
Founder and Executive Director: Dinerral Shavers Education Fund

Youth Champions Initiative


Nakita is a tireless leader for the health and rights of communities of color. She established the Dinerral Shavers Education Fund in 2007 in memory of her brother. She also helped launch www.silenceisviolence.org to end violence in New Orleans. Nakita is currently Believe in Youth Louisiana Program Facilitator at the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor in Political Science, and a recent graduate of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Nakita also holds a Master of Public Administration.


Melanie Powers | 30
Program Manager for HIV Program: Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES)

Youth Champions Initiative


Melanie is a powerful advocate for improving health outcomes among youth. At IWES, she is currently HIV Prevention Program Manager. She manages an HIV counseling, testing and referral program, as well as a youth sexual health advocacy and education initiative that includes policy advocacy with college-aged youth and implementation of a comprehensive sex education curriculum with 7th graders. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Master of Public Health from Louisiana State University.


Michael Beyer | 22
Research and Communication Assistant: Louisiana Progress

Youth Champions Initiative


Michael is passionate youth leader in public policy. At Louisiana Progress, he is responsible for producing communication materials and maintaining the organization’s social media presence during legislative hearings. In 2013 and 2014, Michael helped organize the Louisiana Queer Conference, and he interned with GLSEN in Washington, D.C.  He would like to build a coalition of progressive faith leaders focused on reproductive health, reproductive justice, and LGBT issues. Michael received his Bachelor in Political Science from Louisiana State University Honors College.


Christopher Cox | 27
Deputy Director of School Based Programs: Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center

Youth Champions Initiative


Christopher is deeply committed to the future of public health policy. Through his work at the Jackson Hinds Health Center, Christopher coordinates directly with twenty-two high school-based health clinics in the Jackson area. He aspires to be a lawyer and focus on health policy, working as a lobbyist for health centers in Mississippi and as a health policy administrator on a Federal level. Christopher earned a Bachelor in Political Science from Jackson State University and is pursuing his Master’s in Public Health.


Monica Atkins | 26
Part Time Teacher and Community Advocate: Jackson Public School District (JPS)

Youth Champions Initiative


Monica is a passionate activist and community organizer, having worked with the Mississippi Student Justice Alliance, the Youth Congress, and Upgrade Mississippi. She recently helped organize a Youth Congress, and created curriculum for sessions on health, education, and labor rights. Monica hopes to establish her own NGO that combines education, art, communication/performance, activism, and mentoring. She holds a Bachelor in English from Jackson State University and intends to pursue a Master’s in Community Development or Urban Planning.