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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Introducing the Kofi Annan Changemakers for 2023!
Aida (she/her) is a queer feminist activist who, with the youth-led queer-feminist initiative “Queer Sista,” tackles discrimination and gender-based violence through grassroots community-based approaches focusing on gender mainstreaming, art activism and promoting well-being. Her work creates a safe space by promoting solidarity and mutual support.
With the University of the Philippines Paralegal Volunteers’ Organization (UP PVO) Benjie (he/him) works to defend changemakers from repression. Through the provision of legal rights education and through direct paralegal assistance they aim to reduce the security risks that changemakers face and increase the legal aid accessible to young activists and human rights defenders.
Driven by his belief that young people have the power and potential to change the world, Clement (he/him) founded the non-profit organization “Youths Inspiration.” With the goal to cultivate a new generation of African leaders who will drive progress and innovation across the continent they provide young people with informal education and mentorship that empowers them with the skills and knowledge necessary to bring positive change.
Laura (she/her) is part of the “Match Tennis Foundation” which was conceived in 2018 as a way to empower children and youth to prevent their recruitment by armed groups. Their work shows how tennis and education can positively impact children and youth, helping them be agents of change in their own communities.
Mable (she/her) is a gender advocate working towards digital inclusion and social justice. She founded AmplifyHer STEM, an NGO that empowers Zambian girls in STEM through mentorship and experiential learning. In 2022 She was named a gender champion by ITU for her work.
Mathias (he/him) and his organization “AkoFresh” are on a mission to build strong and resilient food systems in local communities across Africa by offering sustainable cold chain services, trainings, and market linkages to help reduce postharvest losses thereby creating lasting profits for smallholder farmers, reducing food waste carbon emissions and alleviating poverty.
Nabeela (she/her) is a peacebuilder who works for women’s and minority rights in Sri Lanka. She founded the “Sisterhood Initiative” with the goal to bring young women and girls from minority groups to the front lines of activism. One of their objectives is to address the increased stereotyping of minority communities and to work towards building peaceful communities.
Sabir (he/him) is a human rights activist striving for the equal rights of vulnerable groups, with the aim to provide a favorable living environment for every human being. His activism, which focuses on peace building, ensures the implementation of projects that ensure youth engagement in peace building and interfaith dialogue among diverse groups in communities.
Taylor (she/her) is co-founder of Foundations for Tomorrow, a non-profit with the mission of advancing the protection of future generations in Australia, which has also recently launched the Australian Parliamentary Group for Future Generations. She is also an Advisor to the Our Future Agenda initiative of the United Nations Foundation.
Tayma (she/her) helps internet residents navigate their digital spaces more safely, and the public & civil society in their pursuit of safe and inclusive digital transformation. By building a digital security mindset, and a communication channel between techie and non-techie people.
Toha Shamsoo Issah (he/him) works passionately for a peaceful and inclusive world through innovative peacebuilding, and youth empowerment in partnership with religious and traditional leaders. He is part of the youth-led peacebuilding NGO “African Students For Interfaith Tolerance” which aims to promote interfaith harmony and peace while advocating for the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in Ghana.
Veronica ‘Vee’ Silas (she/her) is engaged with community-based organizations that focus on mental health and youth development, aiming to reduce the cultural and social stereotypes aimed against people battling with mental illness. Together they empower young people through In-My-Head Support Group with essential soft skills and resources through trainings, internships, and support groups to become mentally aware global citizens and to attain economic security.