In honour of Climate Week NYC, we shed light on four Kofi Annan Changemakers and their green initiatives that are positively impacting climate action, food security, health and more. Their dedication and achievements not only provide inspiration but also challenge us to envision and work towards a truly sustainable and peaceful future.
Afolayan Juwon Samuel: Innovator in Water Management Solutions
Afolayan Juwon Samuel’s work involves over 100 African youth from multiple regions for intergenerational dialogue and capacity development. Together, they are reshaping water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) response, and have proposed digitization models for water professionals. Afolayan encourages the implementation of advanced water treatment solutions, promotes efficient water usage, and investment in innovative waste management technologies. This dedication is empowering youth by creating networks and platforms, and by offering materials. Afolayan wants to create an information-based community for self-reliant action. Inspired by Afolayan’s efforts, communities can organize local water conservation workshops, invest in rainwater harvesting systems, and promote community-led sanitation projects.
Mathias Charles Yabe: Driving Change in African Agriculture Practices
Under Mathias Charles Yabe’s leadership, Akofresh empowers farmers and youth in Ghana with knowledge in climate-smart agriculture and post-harvest management and has impacted over 1,000 people in six months. Akofresh’s work contributes to the sustainable development goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063. The initiative also aligns with global efforts to reduce post-harvest losses, improve food security, and generate sustainable profits for smallholder farmers. To further this cause, communities can support local farmers by buying sustainably produced goods, initiating community farming projects, and promoting organic farming practices.
Shradha Pandey: Rural India’s Renewable Energy Advocate
Shradha Pandey’s GEMS project in India has enabled 75% of households in Tindauli village to transition to low-smoke cooking alternatives, drastically reducing respiratory ailments like asthma and pneumonia, particularly among women. By promoting the use of solar lamps and efficient combustion, she is not only reducing pollution but also championing health. Taking a leaf out of Shradha’s book, communities can invest in solar-powered solutions, organize workshops on sustainable energy, and advocate for clean energy policies.
Irene Nagudi: Cultivating Green Skills through Gardening
The Kichini Gardeners Initiative, led by Irene Nagudi in Uganda, has empowered over 350 children, 20 youths, and 10 mothers, teaching them the essence of environmental conservation. She’s not only teaching children to garden but also instilling values of conservation, resilience and peaceful coexistence. With every seed they plant, the children are taking steps towards a greener, healthier world. Her sustainable gardening practices not only produce nutritious food but also combat climate change by reducing carbon footprints. Communities, inspired by Irene’s vision, can set up community gardens, organize tree-planting drives, and promote composting and organic gardening.
Youth are not just our future; they are actively shaping our present, and as Kofi Annan said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.”
Learn more about the Kofi Annan Changemakers
- Meet the 2021 cohort of Kofi Annan Changemakers
- Meet the 2022 cohort of Kofi Annan Changemakers
- Meet the 2023 cohort of Kofi Annan Changemakers