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