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The Kofi Annan Changemakers

About The Kofi Annan Changemakers

The Kofi Annan Changemakers initiative works to make the voices of young people count by giving them a chance to dialogue with and seek counsel from experienced leaders on issues of deep concern whilst affording the opportunity to leaders to better understand the preoccupation of young people.

Each year, a select group of twelve young changemakers will come together online and in-person (in Geneva, Switzerland) for the Kofi Annan Changemakers: An Intergenerational Dialogue for Impact.

The twelve young leaders, who have already demonstrated commitment and impact in their respective fields, will interact with leaders from the high-level network of Kofi Annan and the Kofi Annan Foundation, searching for ways to build their capacity for positive action.






Aligned with Kofi Annan’s strong belief in the importance of youth leadership, the Kofi Annan Foundation has designed an initiative with a three-part approach:

  1. Dialogue and mutual learning between this new generation of changemakers and experienced experts and leaders who worked closely with Kofi Annan and/or his Foundation.
  2. Insight into the “Kofi Annan Way” through a series of encounters and workshops to teach and bring to life the values and approaches underpinning the work of Kofi Annan and his colleagues.
  3. Each Changemaker will be matched with a mentor/expert in their field to exchange with during and after the programme and brainstorm how to apply what they have learnt and how best to use a seed grant which will be given to them to scale up a project which boosts their work.
This initiative is undertaken with the support of the private Foundation of Amb. Jenö Staehelin, a former member of the Board of the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other private donors, and in partnership with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Greycells Association of former International Civil Servants for Development and the International Telecommunications Union.

The Kofi Annan Changemakers 2021

Meet the twelve exceptional young leaders chosen to be Kofi Annan Changemakers in 2021!
Abdul Gafaru Dasana Amin


Abdul empowers women in rural areas of Ghana who work in the production of Shea and its processing. He aims to raise women above the poverty line and to make the production of Shea more sustainable for the planet.

Chmba Ellen Chilemba
Chmba Ellen Chilemba


Chmba helps create young leaders who will transform their communities, break toxic cultures and make Malawi, Africa and the world a better place. Co-founder of Tiwale, Chmba creates safe spaces for young women, girls, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to flourish.

Irene Nagudi
Irene Nagudi


Through her organization Kichini Gardeners Initiative, Irene teaches, and connects children and youth to environmental conservation through sustainable gardening practices. Her goal is to empower children and young people to become drivers and agents of change.

Sebastián Pedraza
Jean Sebastian Pedraza Paez


Sebastián seeks to empower rural youth to develop their communities, specifically through the transformation of food systems. He believes that rural youth can transform agriculture and develop their rural territories at the same time.

Junbert Padon
Junbert T. Pabon


Junbert helps to rehabilitate young offenders, known as Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL). Using a holistic development program implemented by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, he seeks to transform lawbreakers into peacemakers across the Philippines.

Lakshwin Murugamoorthy
Lakshwin Murugamoorthy


As chief operating officer at Women of Will (WOW) Lakshwin empowers women through community development programmes. These programmes provide women entrepreneurs in rural areas with essential training in business management while also giving them micro-credit to kickstart their work.

Leon Gojani
Leon Gojani


As Director of the Young Leaders Program at MCW Global, Leon creates opportunities for discussion between young leaders and equips them with the skills necessary to create change within their communities.

Lourence Balatbat


Lourence is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Three Billion (B3B), a non-partisan youth-led organization that develops context-based programs to end the marginalization of young people in elective and appointive decision-making spaces across all levels of governance.

Sharon Matongo
Sharon Matongo


As co-founder of Charity Drive Zimbabwe, Sharon works to improve rural education and teach about the right to education. She aims to put human rights in the national curriculum and give all children in Zimbabwe equal access to education regardless of their gender or socioeconomic background.

Sohaila Rezaee
Sohaila Rezaee


Sohaila is passionate about education, peace, and gender equality. She founded the Young Emerging Leaders Programme to ensure high-quality education and eradicate illiteracy for girls and women in rural areas. Through this programme, she wishes to empower youth and women to help build a peaceful future in their communities.

Sophiyat Sadiq
Sophiyat Sadiq


Sophiyat works with girls in Lagos to build their capacity in STEM subjects and digital technology. Through her own organization, Auxillium, and as a volunteer for various other organizations, Sophiyat has run multiple workshops for girls on various STEM subjects. She hopes to create a world where young girls can fully participate in the digital economy, regardless of their socioeconomic background and gender.

Zeinorin Angkang
Zeinorin Stephen Angkang


Zeinorin works with indigenous farmers from the Tangkhul Naga community in Manipur, India. Focusing on indigenous heirloom seeds, Zeinorin aims to ensure food security and reduce poverty through sustainable farming practices.