Find us on

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 space 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.

Meet the 12 young leaders chosen in 2021 for the first-ever Kofi Annan Changemakers programme.






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.

Learn more about the programme

The Kofi Annan Changemakers 2022

Meet the twelve exceptional young leaders chosen to be Kofi Annan Changemakers in 2022!
Fahd Jamaleddine

Lebanon | Age 27

Fahd (he/him) created ‘Learning Land’, a virtual and physical platform that brings educators together with policymakers to co-create bottom-up sustainable solutions and advocate for policy change. Fahd hopes to leverage his grassroots movement to bridge the learning gap in Lebanon, accelerate progress and shape the future of education in the country.

Mahryan Sampaio

Brazil | Age: 22

Mahryan (she/her) works to promote, defend and raise awareness of the rights of refugee children and contribute to environmental justice in Brazil. She trains young migrants and refugees to become digital mobilizers for human rights. She was part of the delegation to COP26, where she brought environmental racism to the forefront of the agenda.

Juwon Samuel Afolayan

Nigeria / UK | Age: 27

Juwon (he/him) leads the Chapters working group of the World Youth Parliament for Water. His vision is to contribute to actualising international cooperation of young water professionals, who could promote sustainable dialogues and actions that would birth a new era of water response globally.

Luisa Fernanda Romero Munoz

Colombia | Age: 28

Luisa (she/her) empowers poor communities who were previously devastated by conflict in Colombia by training locals, especially women, to work in the Tourism industry. Luisa has supported over 20,000 people, providing a source of livelihood through sustainable ecotourism, and furthering peacebuilding and reconciliation among her community.

Nojus Saad

Iraq | Age 21

Nojus (he/him) is the CEO of Youth for Women Foundation, mobilizing and empowering community stakeholders to advocate for gender equality, LGBTQIA+ rights, and gender-based violence policies, fostering digital healthcare and literacy initiatives, and bridging the widespread digital divide. He hopes to continue to educate and empower women and youth from rural, marginalized communities on their mental health, human rights, physical well-being, and digital literacy.

Manata Aleksandr

Kyrgyzstan | Age: 26

Manata (she/her) works with the Danko Public Foundation in Kyrgyzstan. Together with her team, she develops programs for high school students to improve literacy. She hopes to continue to contribute to the development of youth in a rapidly changing world, and also reducing ‘brain drain’ in Kyrgyzstan.

Marius Affonfere
Marius Affonfere

Benin | Age: 29

Marius (he/him) contributes to alleviating malnutrition among women of reproductive age and children under the age of five in the Benin Republic. Through his enterprise, BICOF, he aims to provide affordable and nutritious food and boost food and nutritional security. Marius has been working closely with the local people of Northern Benin to improve their nutritional status by disseminating healthy, nutritionally dense products.

Shradha Pandey

India | Age: 22

Shradha (She/her) is leading the Grassroots Energy Management Support (GEMS) project focused on bringing about an inclusive energetic transition in rural India. GEMS is working to ensure lower pollution, improved health, and social welfare of women and girls in rural India. GEMS will achieve its goals by replacing traditional open-pit cooking with low-smoke ones and solar lamps instead of kerosene lighting. An add-on advantage of the energy transformation is improved time management of women, creating new income-generating opportunities.

Saif Ullah Khan

India | Age: 26

Saif (he/him) works with vulnerable children and youth in India by using his Rugby organization to rehabilitate and transform them to become young, active leaders in their communities. He wants to create a ripple of change through his organization across the country. Saif’s intervention has provided people with access to a growing support system that gives them a space to grow whilst offering a clear pathway to stay physically and mentally fit through Rugby.

Samar Khalid Abushama

Sudan | Age: 21

Samar (she/her) and her organization, Adeela, promote the participation of youth in driving social change through art and culture. Samar wants to contribute to dismantling systems that make social injustices possible through building youth spaces and art-driven solutions. Adeela is present in over 11 states in Sudan and has supported 500+ grassroots youth bodies working on tribal conflict, violence against women and the participation of youth in local governance.

Mohammad Hamzeh Shehadat

Syria / Jordan | Age: 27

Mohammad (he/him) is the founder of the ‘Youth for Peace Initiative’ (YPI). YPI helps accelerate the achievement of the SDGs by promoting the values of peacebuilding activities between Jordanian and Syrian refugees. Through his organisation, Mohammad offers youth access to educational opportunities and resources to gain skills to become influential leaders and peacebuilders in their communities.

Stacy Dina Adhiambo Owino

Kenya | Age: 22

Stacy (she/her) helps young women and girls in Kenya to escape FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) while also educating the public on its effects. She aims to influence the government through the Ministry of Gender and Health to enforce policies against FGM in the future. Stacy created a mobile app, iCut, that enables girls/users to report cases of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) before it happens so that users can contact rescue centres or hospitals closest to them.

International Youth Day 2022

Since being endorsed by the General Assembly in 1999, 12 August has been celebrated annually as International Youth Day to highlight the importance and bring to the forefront youth participation in current…

Read More