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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 the 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 2021 edition kicks off on June 28th 2021. Watch this space for more information!

The Kofi Annan Changemakers 2021

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

Ghana | Age 24

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

Malawi | Age 27

Chmba helps create young leaders who will transform their communities, break toxic cultures and make Malawi, Africa and the world a better place. Chmba’s work is focused on young women and girls as well as the marginalized LGBTQ+ community. Chmba co-founded Tiwale in 2012.

Irene Nagudi
Irene Nagudi

Uganda | Age 27

 Irene works towards sustainable development and environmental conservation through empowering children and young people as drivers and agents of change.

Sebastián Pedraza
Jean Sebastian Pedraza Paez

Colombia | Age 28

 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

Philippines | Age 21

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

Lakshwin Murugamoorthy
Lakshwin Murugamoorthy

Malaysia | Age 28

Lakshwin works for sustainable community development that allows communities to be responsible for their own development in an inclusive manner.

Leon Gojani
Leon Gojani

Kosova | Age 28

Leon is passionate about youth leadership and giving other young people the skills to become leaders of change within their communities. He wants to scale up his efforts at MCW Global so that more young people can become the change we need.

Lourence Balatbat

Philippines | Age 23

Lourence is dedicated to dismantling the structural marginalization of people under 35 in decision-making spaces across all levels of governance. He envisions a world where it is normal for young people to have proportional representation and decision-making power in political leadership.

Sharon Matongo
Sharon Matongo

Zimbabwe | Age 24

Sharon believes that all children should have equal access to education. She co-founded Charity Drive Zimbabwe to improve education in rural areas and ensure children are aware of their rights. She aims to give all children in Zimbabwe equal access to education regardless of their gender or socioeconomic background and include human rights in the national school curriculum.

Sohaila Rezaee
Sohaila Rezaee

Afghanistan | Age 25

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

Nigeria | Age 21

Sophiyat works with girls in Lagos to build their capacity in STEM subjects and digital technology. 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

India | Age 29

Zeinorin works with indigenous farmers of the Tangkhul Naga tribe in Manipur, India. The tribe faces unemployment with minimal to no food security. She aims to spread the delicious food customs of the tribe worldwide, preserve the indigenous products, and give back power to the indigenous farmers in the process.