The ECYL Programme is a year-long focal point position in the Earth Charter Youth Network. Young Leaders connect with, motivate, and engage their contemporaries to join the Earth Charter movement and shape a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.
Active October 2018- September 2019
Emmanuel Niyoyabikoze (Burundi)
I am young Burundian 24 years old and currently studying at the National Institute of Public Health in Burundi in Health sciences department (Midwife field).
I want to be someone who focuses on my academic field as a productive student. I am a kind of person who follows our current problems and want to solve them in order to make our world a better place to live.
I am a young activist in global change while contributing to community development to combat climate change like protecting the environment by planting trees to fight erosion in my home community.
As a young generation, I realized that we had to participate in empowering others to make our World better than today. I am a Peace promoter of the World Peace 2035 organization working towards making our world peaceful more peaceful.
With the essential instructions and competencies, I received during the Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics training program, I feel empowered and strengthened in my life to collaborate with ECI and promote its goals and mission here in Burundi.
Ismael Méndez (Mexico) My name is Ismael Méndez, I’m 19 years old and I live in Cancun, Mexico.
I’m interested in the environment since 5 years ago, when I joined an ecology group in my school. I began my grow with the earth, cleaning beaches, separating waste, and protecting species in my hometown (such as turtles and crabs). Then I took courses about it and I joined a group to teach others of the importance of protecting these species.
When I turned 17, the clothing manufacturing industry and how it affects climate change started to interest me. I began to share the impacts with my friends and others in my city. We have different initiatives in my city to make a difference and combat this issue, one we work with is “Fashion Revolution”.
I now study sustainable tourism and I believe that we can work together to make a change to create a better the world. I think one powerful way to reach our new generation is through social networking, I always try to share positive and enlightening stories.
Amélie Bischoff (Germany/ France) is and currently doing her Masters in Political Sciences in Cologne, Germany. She loves the ocean and all the beautiful corners of our Planet Earth which makes her passionate about sustainability issues and a big supporter of the Earth Charter. Amélie attended the Earth Charter LSE Course in Summer 2018. She is also active in the Youth Association for a Greater Europe as well as in the oikos Student Association of her university where she tries to spread the idea of living a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. Besides she loves languages, yoga, music and blueberries.
Suhei Castro Zarate (Mexico)
Suhei Castro has a degree in Tourism, is a conservationist, facilitator of environmental education workshops, nature lover, traveler around the world, and lover of adventure sports.
Her projects include “Education on solid waste management for children in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve” in Quintana Roo, Mexico. She has sampled water for the Water Quality Program located in the Blackfeet Reserve, MT, USA. She has worked in education on the sustainability of park rangers in National Parks of Chile. She is an active Greenpeace Mexico volunteer, where she has worked in the campaigns of #YoSinPlásticos in Quintana Roo, México #RevoluciónUrbana in Mexico City. Her short-term goal is to study a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability.
Suheii plans to develop education for sustainable development courses with the Earth Young Leaders Network. Inspired by the principles of the Earth Charter, she is committed to being an agent of change.
Active June 2018- May 2019
Isabel Adriana García Gómez (Mexico)
Adriana is a Mexican Biologist and has collaborated in different research projects in the Academic Unit of Ecology and Aquatic Biodiversity of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology UNAM. She has received postgraduate training in <Ecology and Cephalopod Fisheries> at the ECOSUR University Campeche University, as well as in <Climate Change> by the Inter-American Development Bank and has completed a Diploma in <Education on Climate Change> by the Fraternitas Foundation. During her degree she participated in different conferences and symposium focusing her interests on marine biodiversity research, Mexican seas and development of education plans and environmental policy.
She has also coordinated environmental education projects for Morelos, Hidalgo and the State of Mexico. She has collaborated with the Global Youth Network for Biodiversity, the Young Cephalopod Researchers group, Sustainability Collaborative of the Complexity Sciences Center UNAM, Climate Leader in The Climate Reality Project, National Front for Sorority, among other organizations of society She is a founder of the Smart Cities Initiative Built By Young People Latin America and the Caribbean.
Youth Parliamentarian of the State of Mexico 2017 in the H. Chamber of Senators of the United Mexican States, Youth Delegate in the V Youth Forum of the Americas in the framework of the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima-Peru, is currently the National Coordinator of Sustainable Development of RED VIRAL AC, as well as member of the Human Rights and Environment Subcommittee of the Government Policy Commission on Human Rights as a representative of Civil Society Organizations in the General Directorate of Public Policy on Human Rights.
Yaneri García (Mexico)
Hello my name is Yaneri García, I discovered I liked to appreciate nature since I was little. I’ve been watching the Discovery Channel and National Geographic as a source of inspiration. Now 24, I’ve definitely identified my passion for nature, as a volunteer for “Voces Ambientales” my experience has marked a transcendence in my path as an environmental educator. Since 2008 with “Voces Ambientales,” I have participated in workshops such as: “Model of 4D’s Provoking Critical Thinking for Transformative Learning” 2017 and “Cosmovisions and Environmental Education.”
In 2015 I also became involved as coordinator of the Rainforest Alliance certification in the travel agency, Thomas Moore. In 2016, I participated as a speaker in congresses such as: “First National Congress of Environmental Education” and “The Colloquium of Academic Programs in Environmental Education,” as well as in the “Curriculum Ambient Congress in Higher Education Schools” at the IBERO University Mexico City. As coordinator, I am involved in Sustainable Tourism Training with the pleasure of being an environmental promoter. I have also received a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education in 2017.
I am an active participant in the Institutional Environmental Plan of the Universidad del Caribe. I teach the following subjects at the University of the Caribbean; Training Workshop on Social and Environmental Responsibility and Sustainable Development and Environment. I currently act as the Director of Planning and Projects in Green Components.
My name is Thayane Gomes, I am 22 years old. I am a student of environmental engineering and the choice of this field was due to the concern to help the planet in which we live in some way. I always loved the issues of sustainable development and with the principles of the Earth Charter, I learned that it is possible to achieve a better world.
I believe that the union of knowledge with action can generate the changes we currently need for a more sustainable planet. I’m always seeking more learning and training opportunities to become a better person.
Anthony Mejías Villalobos (Costa Rica)
My name is Anthony Mejías Villalobos. I graduated from the school of Economic and Social Planning of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the National University of Costa Rica and a student of the School of Administration of the National University. For 12 years I have participated in various voluntary processes, such as to send food to the affected by the earthquake in Cinchona and Nicoya, Costa Rica, or those affected by Hurricane Otto and tropical storm Irma. I have also participated in various projects such as the Learning Services which offered training on the importance of water quality. I am also part of the Youth Network for Water, which connected me to the Earth Charter. In the second half of 2018, I collaborated with another Earth Charter Young Leader in the development of a course on Education for Sustainable Development Youth Leadership Training with the Center for General Studies of the University National. I participated in several volunteering opportunities with UNA ventura during 2018 and a volunteer program in EPI Pacuare, Costa Rica in that same year. I’m an activist, professional, lover of the the environment and sustainable local developments.
I am currently the executive director and social promoter of the Disability without Barriers Foundation.
Active April 2018- March 2019
Monserrat Carvajal Azcorra (Cancún, Mexico)
My name is Monserrat Carvajal Azcorra, I’m from Cancún, Mexico. I’m studying sustainable tourism and hotel management at Universidad del Caribe with a specialization in tourism planning. I am very enthusiastic about sustainable alternatives. I had the opportunity to grow up in an international tourist destination but unforunately a witness to all of the ecological devastation that this has come from being so touristic. This is why I am interested in practices that respect the environment, involving the sensitization of different cultures that exist in the world. We still have heritage that is not protected and we are in time to generate a change. Currently I cooperate in some REMTur projects, projects responsible for promoting tourism within sustainable development and conservation of the heritage in my region.
Pendo Muthiora (Kenya)
Pendo is an Operation Manager and a student in MA International Relations – Peace and Conflict Studies at USIU-Africa. Her passion for the environment began when she joined an advocacy group for sustainability while in High School. Pendo enjoys her time by giving back to society as a mentor with Akili Dada by working to help young girls achieve their career goals. She is also very passionate about working with young people to finding solutions that align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Rufai Balogun (Nigeria)
Rufai is an enthusiast in science-policy interaction for building sustainable cities, particularly as it relates to disaster risks management and urban health systems. He is an undergraduate of Meteorology and Climate Science at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. He currently serves as an advisory council member at the World Oceans Day International Advisory Council and The International RYSE Youth Council.
My name is Diana Caraveo, I’m a Sustainable Tourism and Hotel Management student in Mexico, and as a professional in Sustainable Tourism it’s part of my principals being part of the change that we want for the earth starting with my community. In my experience, I work as a executive assistant in Sustainable Consulting, helping in investigations to develop sustainable tourism projects, bench marking and sustainable courses for companies and public organizations.
Elon Cadogan Ph.D. (Barbados)
Elon Cadogan is currently the Program Officer at the Barbados Water Authority with special responsibility for Climate Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development Projects under the Green Climate Fund Mechanism. Elon was born in Barbados in 1989 and was very active in Cadets and Key Club, when he attended Combermere School from 2000 to 2007. During this time he reached the rank of Company Sergeant Major.
After his secondary school life he completed his BSc in Chemistry at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, a Master of Science in Engineering, Environmental with special focus on Chemical Engineering and subsequently a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Environmental Engineering with special focus on Water Treatment and Nanotechnology at Da-Yeh University in Taiwan, R.O.C.
During his years in Taiwan, he was the President of the International Students Union from 2012 – 2013 and the Vice President of the International Cross-Cultural Club Taiwan (ICCCT) from 2014 – 2015. Elon has since remained active in youth activities and, on his return to Barbados in 2017; he started to develop a relationship with various youth networks across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Elon believes that the youth should be actively involved in research and writing to help their professional development. It is a method for which the youth would be able to leave a legacy or template for the future to build and develop.
Khadeejah bint Malik H. (UAE)
Khadeejah is originally from Jordan and now lives in Dubai. She encountered the ECI and SGI as early as 3 years old and since then has participated in events related to arts, caring for the Earth, promoting peace, and education. Her education is homeschooling subjects include History, Cultures, Arts, and Languages. She loves Reading, Drawing, Composing Poems, Gardening, and Making crafts from recycled materials. She has written poems relating to living beings and the environment.
She started memorizing the the Holy Quran since she was 3 years old, participated in “Walk 4 Wellness” 2014, “SIKKA Art Fair” workshops in 2013 and 2015, “LSE Online Programme” in 2017 when she was 15, Composed and recited “Heart of Tolerance” poem in “The Poetic Heart” 2017 (by SGI), and delivered “Success of Leadership in Sustainability” Workshop for school girls in Dubai. Khadeejah is inspired and guided by her father Prof. Malik. She plans to become a professor and educate people towards protecting the Earth.
Carlo is working as an intern in a Bank in Stockholm for his master thesis final project, he is majoring in Mathematical Engineering with a focus on data science. He is Italian, but in the last year has lived first in the Netherlands and then in Stockholm. Carlo is interested in social issues and in seeking active methods to solve them. He recently helped in the organization of the Seeds of Hope Exhibition, an exhibition about human empowerment and nuclear weapons. In the last three years, he has had some amazing experiences volunteering in Senegal and in Sicily in shelters for children. Carlo believes that the Earth Charter is a key point for the transformation that our society needs.
George is a courageous, conscientious, industrious, and illustrious Pan-African from Cameroon by birth; accountant and senior agribusiness technician by training; micro-finance expert by experience; and civil society activist by passion –– with special focus on gender equality, youth empowerment, grassroots-community mobilization, and sustainable development. He has special knack for peace advocacy, freelance journalism, blogging, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, agribusiness, and, motivational/inspirational writing and speaking. Volunteering is his Modus Vivendi.
He’s been an Editor of LUKMEF Cameroon’s bi-annual Newsletter, ‘Zero Tolerance’ –– on ‘ending violence against women/girls’; and is freelance correspondent for Advocate Newspaper (a local journal); the cradle of the motivational/inspirational series, ‘Light Refreshment’; and, researcher at National Laboratory in charge of Regulation and Quality Control of Agricultural Inputs and Products (in Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development).
He is Founding Futurologist and SEO of Afro Real Initiative (AFREIN): a Pan-African social-business scheme which seeks ‘to foster a sustainable business leadership culture in vulnerable African youths and women.’
Since 2013, NEBA has been an active member of President Barack Obama’s, Young African Leaders’ Initiative (YALI). As alumnus of YALI Regional Leadership Centre (RLC) Lagos, Nigeria, he serves as a member of the Editorial Committee of YALI Newsletter, and National Secretary General of YALI RLC Alumni Chapter, Cameroon. Neba is Cameroon’s Liaison-Officer in BOD of Penvy Investment Ltd, Lagos-Nigeria –– an extraordinary investment community –– committed to developing innovative, profitable businesses for optimal yield and notable impact across Africa.
He is a Fellow of other professional caucuses, like –– National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development, Cameroon (2014); Cameroon Leadership Academy (2015); and Sub-Saharan International-Model United Nations, Cameroon (2017). He understands 3 international languages –– English, French, and German.
Vihren Evgeniev Mitev (Bulgaria)
Being in his last year as Ph.D. candidate in Philosophical Anthropology at the university of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Vihren becomes author of the Ecological Manifesto (2017) – a text urging humanity for a change in its attitude towards nature and the people in need. The Ecological Manifesto quickly received international attention and is promoted successively around the world – Ireland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Austria, France, Romania and Vietnam at several scientific and environmental conferences (and many more countries through online networks and groups). A year later this text becomes the foundation and reason for the establishment of the ManEco Foundation (April, 2018) dedicated to work on a large spectrum of ecological projects in order to raise public attention about topics concerning climate change, plastic pollution and consumerism. The Balkan Agency for Sustainable Development, the official affiliate of the Earth Charter in the Balkans, is also the main partner of ManEco Foundation in Bulgaria. One of the most recent causes that the Ecological Manifesto stands for is the fight of the island states against global warming. The main aim of the foundation is the achievement of sustainable development based on education and secure environment.
Vihren has had previous academic experience with a bachelor degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Global Studies from the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Vihren has been two times beneficiary of the Erasmus+ exchange program to Amiens, France and Hue, Vietnam. He has experience as a trainee of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and project manager at the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria. He is also the author of several national and international articles and a successful participant at the European Youth Event (2016) at the European Parliament; the Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics program of the Earth Charter International; Model of the United Nations, focused on Environment and Sustainable Development (MUNESD 2018) organized by AEGEE Vienna; and contributor to the Talanoa Dialogue. During this experience, Vihren obtained excellent communication skills as a trainer and presenter.
Active November 2017- October 2018
Itxaso Bengoetxa Larrinaga (Euskadi, Spain)
I have a degree in Environmental Sciences from the Public University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU and I have a postgraduate degree in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I have worked for several years as a Technician in Local Agenda 21 for several municipalities writing and promoting the execution of their Action Plans. I have also had the opportunity to work in the Arctic by participating in research on ecosystem services. I have always had great interest in environmental and social issues that I have managed to deepen through different volunteer opportunities. I am currently participating in the Agirre Lehendakaria Center’s Future Leaders Training Program to disseminate and share knowledge about the Basque experience and, more specifically, about the cultural factor as an element of transformation that must accompany innovation, development and research. I have also created the Urban Mercy cooperative whose mission is to become facilitators of the territories and their communities in a cooperative-inclusive way, to generate a transformative and sustainable impact with the ultimate goal of lastingly achieving the dignity that society and its individuals demand and deserve.
Fernando Rodríguez Alvarado (Costa Rica)
My name is Fernando Rodríguez Alvarado, I am from Costa Rica, I am 30 years old. I have a Human Resources Management training and I am a Computer Technician in Occupational Health and in other careers. In addition, I am a teacher in a program providing job opportunities for others in a Medical Device Free Zone.
I have always been concerned about the development of my canton. I was a member of the Leo Club since I was very young, and I was an active member of several committees of the Municipality but recently I have been somewhat inactive due to study issues.
I am a person with a disability, because I have a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, which has affected me at skeletal muscle level, and I have undergone 9 operations on my feet, but this has not taken away the desire to continue growing as a person and helping others and trying to always leave a mark. I’m an unconditional lover of the environment and hope that people become aware of helping and caring for the environment.
Kenneth Guevara Dinarte (Costa Rica)
Specialist in Project Management from the instituto technologico and Bachelor of International Politics from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Currently working as a consultant in projects for development.
Noelia Molina Montero (Costa Rica)
My name is Noelia Molina Montero, I am finishing my degree in Cartography and I am also studying Natural Resources Management. I have participated in volunteering with the State University at a Distance in subjects such as the counting of the Jabirú, whose population is in danger of extinction, turtle monitoring, recycling campaigns, environmental care talks, also in the creation of gardens in urban zones. I have worked with schools, students in the environmental field, and respect for others. I am a nature lover and I believe that with education we can solve many of the problems of the world.
Kimberly Alvarado (Costa Rica)
Kimberly is currently a student at the National University of Costa Rica. Since her school and college years, she has shown interest in environmental and political issues. She has been part of organizations that are dedicated to the care of water and the environment in general. She has also worked for 5 years with organizations dedicated to providing recreational spaces for children and adolescents. Her greatest passion is interpersonal relationships, she truly loves to use her charisma to transmit to others the necessary information for these causes. She thinks that it is extremely important to involve young people and children in these areas so that they can develop their sense of responsibility to protect the environment.
Camila Mendoza Aguilar (Costa Rica)
Camila Mendoza Aguilar is a student at the University of Costa Rica since 2016. She is passionate environmental activities and is constantly looking for ways to reduce and reuse the waste that she generates. She also love languages and is currently learning Costa Rican Sign Language (LESCO) to be able to incorporate the deaf community of my country into the activities of Sustainability and Eco-citizenship. Camila is a volunteer in a foundation that helps children at risk in areas of Costa Rica to continue their studies and strengthen their self-esteem.
Alina Aguilar (Costa Rica)
Alina holds a degree in Environmental Management. In 2011 due to her concern for the welfare of others and care for the environment, she received the distinction “Earth Charter Student”, an initiative given to students by the Vice Presidency of Academics, Directorate of Extension and the UNA Program – Sustainable Campus of the National University. In this same year she started her volunteer work with communities on socio-environmental issues. Since 2012, she has worked as a researcher and extension worker on issues of climate governance and public policy in the framework of the project “Participatory strategies of climate change at the local level” of the National University of Costa Rica. She has worked as a volunteer, teacher, consultant and adviser on issues of climate change, environmental education, waste management, on the Earth Charter, among others. Through her work, she seeks empowerment, education and participation of the communities she works in related to the themes of sustainable development. She also forms part of organizations such as the NGO “LaRutadelClima,” in which she participates in communication and dissemination issues about climate action and the collective “Grupo Hamelia” developing socio-environmental projects.
Active October 2017- September 2018
Olabanji Jackson-oke (Nigeria)
Olabanji is an Environmental & Social Risk/Sustainability Analyst by profession. He holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos and currently works with a leading Financial Institution in Nigeria. His job involves making the case for the integration of Sustainability into the projects the bank invests in and strategies to reduce the carbon footprints of the bank.
He discovered his passion for the environment during one of his undergrad classes. This inspired his Thesis on the Politics of Climate Change as an Emerging Threat to International Peace and Security. Post-graduation, he has continued to dedicate himself to initiatives that provide the opportunity to express his dedication to sustainable development. He has mainly worked on projects that allow him to impact the lives of the marginalized community. This has cut across school rehabilitation, primary school enrollments for children in impoverished neighbourhoods, and technical support to start-up businesses of the minority. He is presently a contributor at SustyVibes, an SDGs advocacy platform for youth and women’s empowerment.
Olabanji resonates most with Principles 9 and 12 of the Earth Charter and will focus most of his articles and workshops around them. Olabanji enjoys reading contemporary literature, writing and taking long walks. His greatest accomplishment to date was hiking on Mount Cameroon! He looks forward to new adventures and any opportunity to commune with nature.
Babajide Oluwase (Nigeria)
Babajide is the Founder of RenewDrive, an innovation-driven enterprise that develops and distributes clean and affordable energy solutions as well as EcoChamps, an initiative that creates awareness and provides young people with requisite knowledge and skills to conserve the environment.
With 5+ years’ experience in planning and implementing environmental sustainability projects, Babajide has worked with people from diverse backgrounds who are committed to challenge the status quo. By designing project platforms and resources, he aims to inspire other young changemakers to achieve outcomes that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
When Babajide realized how much damage human-induced activities like poor waste management, eco-illiteracy, and deforestation have caused the environment, rather than complain about the issue, he chose to do otherwise. His interest in environmental advocacy stemmed from various environmental activities involved as an advocate from his high school days.
Babajide recently published a book on climate change titled, “The Young Climate Heroes”. His efforts have improved the wellbeing of hundreds of people across Nigerian communities and recognized by numerous awards – including 2017 Engagement Global Social Innovator, 2016 Merti360 Youth Climate Action Challenge Finalist, and 2016 U.S Department of State Green Champion amongst others.
Gha Jerry Mua (Cameroon)
Gha has a degree in Accounting from the University of Buea and he is presently undergoing his Masters in Business Administration in Accounting in Saint Monica University, Buea and holds other certificates from training programs in Leadership course and Business Management. Given his devoutness in his accounting field, Gha has developed strong zeal to advocate for leaders in our present day society who will be Accountable, Responsible and Transparent in their actions which is the cry in our world today, leaders who will be accountable to the people they govern. He is also concerned with Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) for corporations giving them a mindset of system thinkers. As one who holds the value of non-discrimination and equality among the human race. Gha holds strong the statement of President Franklin Delano Roosovelt for a better well. He said “we looked forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. He named them: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Gha Jerry Mua remains a dynamic youth standing for the truth and he’s open to networking with diverse mindsets.
Jerry has a burning zeal for and passionate about Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and in general the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presently volunteering in the Centre of Community Regeneration and Development (CCREAD) Cameroon, an organization with special consultative with the UN. Jerry occupies the position as the head of the Finance and Administration Unit and also project assistant, assisting in many projects that entails drilling young people towards building a sustainable community. He has been part of the implementation of partnered projects of the organization like the Welmarts program with German organizations for Volunteer Exchange programs, the Agro-project through the ERASMUS plus KA2 and also the Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship Exchange between Africa and Europe.
He also assisted his organization in winning the UNESCO-Japan prize award for the Integration of ESD programs in schools for the year 2016. Given his passion about entrepreneurship, he has been a facilitator of most of the organization’s seminars and workshops on business and entrepreneurship and a present trainer in this in the organization’s vocational centre where we have been training youth, especially women and girls, in some handworks in life.
“Don’t just think about your own affairs but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing. We must learn to do well, seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, stand for the fatherless and plead for the widow. This is how our world should be.”
Mkong Cynthia Jeh is a 24 year old Cameroonian. She was born in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon.
In 2011, she enrolled into the Department of Agricultural Economics And Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea and presently holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics, with a Second Class Honors (GPA of 3.28/4). She just defended her thesis as final requirement to obtain a Professional Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in the same institution.
Cynthia has a significant level of work experience. She currently works in the University of Buea as Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine where she assists lecturers in supervising capstone projects for undergraduate students as well as teaches some courses at the undergraduate level. She worked as Junior Researcher under the Department of Studies and Cooperationin South West Development Authority (SOWEDA), Cameroon between August and December 2016. She volunteered at the 7th Edition of Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) from September to November 2016. In July 2014, Cynthia did internships at the Cameroon Tea Estates-Tole and at Oku Sub-Divisional Delegation of Agriculture in August 2013.
Cynthia is particularly passionate about youth empowerment and sustainable agriculture, she heads a team of 9 dynamic youths who together founded the Hope for the World Youth Association (HoWoYA). HoWoYA from its conception in 2016 seeks to bring hope to the fast depleting community through entrepreneurship, youth capacity building, and fight against environmental degradation. She therefore loves working with youth and is passionate about seeing them attain personal development.
She undertook the Earth Charter 10-week online youth training program, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics and enjoyed networking with diverse minds during that session. Cynthia has membership in the following clubs/student unions: Cameroon Association for Agricultural Economists (CAAE); Commonwealth Students Association, University of Buea; Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine students’ association (FAVEMSA), University of Buea; University Of Buea Student’s Union (UBSU); Association of GBHS Ex-Students (Choppers); Oku Student’s Union (OSU) National.
Mkong Cynthia Jeh has a good mastery and command of both written and spoken English Language and a fair knowledge of written and spoken French. She is proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher. She is dynamic, inquisitive and has leadership skills. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, surfing the internet, watching TV and playing lawn tennis.
Mary Katherine Belknap (US)
My name is Mary Katherine Belknap. I am an active Earth Charter Young Leader taking part in this program from the United States. In addition to this, I am in a national service volunteer program working for an affordable housing nonprofit.
I have a strong passion for environmental sustainability and joined this program as a means of expanding my knowledge and interest in this topic. Through the work I do for the Earth Charter, I hope to continue learning about such topics mentioned above on a global scale and continue seeking ways in which to incorporate this information into my life and the lives of others around me. Having recently graduated from university, I am hoping to stay connected with this program and this network as I continue integrating my interests through my post-graduate path.
My hopes for a more ethical and environmentally sustainable future inspire me to do good for the world and I have hope that the Earth Charter Young Leaders program will give me the tools to better apply this throughout my future.
Active August 2017- July 2018
My name is Cristian Yael Vazquez Martinez, I am 19 years old and I am from the Mexican Republic, State of Mexico. I currently have a technical career as a dental assistant and a technical career in administrative informatics. Since childhood, ecology has been a very important factor in my lifetime. I have attended various courses related to sustainability and leadership and I am currently working on a project which consists of creating sustainable greenhouses in marginalized communities.
I am a member of the Scouts Association of Mexico since 2007 in which I have been involved in various national and global social and environmental projects. I am part of the committee of the network of young provinces Cuautitlan (Scouts of Mexico) as the coordinator in the period 2016-2017.
Rocío M. Collantes G. (Panama)
Rocío holds a degree in International Relations and received her International Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change. She is currently a United Nations Volunteer in conferences and activities on the great importance of the Sustainable Development Objectives and the United Nations System, Member of the National Association of Diplomats of Panama and Human Rights Activist, pre-graduate in Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Panama, and is engaged in participating in cultural events, forums, and conferences held on the Law in general.
She coordinated the Labor Insertion Program in the Vice-Rector’s Office of Student Affairs of the University of Panama in 2013 to find employment for students and graduates, through ministries, institutions, agencies and companies that make up the Panamanian State. She participated as “DELEGATE YOUTH – EDUCATION TABLE” at the IV Forum of Youth of the Americas, in commemoration of the VII Summit of the Americas in 2015 in Panama City.
She represented the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Panama as “DELEGATE” at the XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Prizes, held in Bogota, Colombia in 2017.
Active April 2017- March 2018
Joshua Amponsem, is an environmental activist and climate advocate with a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science. He focuses on youth mobilization (via volunteerism and social media) for environmental change through education and advocacy. Joshua sees advocacy as an important medium in engineering change in Africa. While an undergraduate, he founded Green Africa Youth Organization – a non-profit organization which serves as an advocacy anchor in environmental sustainability.
Joshua is the Research and Outreach Coordinator for Ghana Youth Climate Coalition, and the Youth Vice President of UNEP’s Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security in Africa Assembly (EBAFOSA) in Ghana.
In 2016, Joshua became a fellow of the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change by the Global Peace Initiative of Women, where he spoke at the GPIW COP22 retreat on the loss of indigenous knowledge and its relation to climate change. He was also named as the first World Climate Ambassador in West Africa by MIT’s Climate Interactive Program following his immense dedication in organizing climate education events for young people across the world.
Over the years, he has served as a leader and mentor in global youth networks including UNEP’s Tunza platform (where he was recently awarded the best ambassador award for mentoring young people across the globe towards making impact in their community), UNFCCC’s International Youth Climate Coalition; and local networks such as the Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, IDEAS for US, and Challenges Worldwide.
Quote: “Advocacy and Youth Inclusion is now a necessity to ensure a viable economic transform in Africa while protecting ecological and natural resources.”
Bente Klein is originally from the Netherlands, but in the past 2.5 years has lived in four countries with the fifth being Germany, coming up soon. Bente was trained as an environmental and climate change lawyer at the University of Edinburgh and currently works as a renewable energy and climate policy consultant. She aims to help governments – especially in the Global South – and international organisations, with the creation of policy to safeguard our planet for future generations and share our common resources in an equitable manner. When law gets too static or climate politics too frustrating, however, Bente likes to engage in bottom-up activism and lobbying to make politicians and lawmakers move a tad faster.
a 25 years old social entrepreneur founder of “Real Green Gold Ltd” and graduate of Biotechnology at the University of Rwanda. With a background in the areas of industrial biotechnology, molecular biology and graduated of the Regent University Centre for Entrepreneurship.
With a passion in biodiversity and ecosystem services, Pacifique has worked as an activist at the Rwandan University Club for Conservation of Biodiversity (RUCCB) during his time in college. With his social venture “Real Green Gold Ltd”, he does organic banana farming and packaging. Through training he works with smallholder banana farmers to equip them with modern organic farming skills. Real Green Gold does collection, packaging and distribution of premium bananas around Kigali, capital of Rwanda. Pacifique is also an award winner of These Numbers Have Faces/Accelerate Academy, Tony Elumeru Foundation Entrepreneur as well as a StartUp! Facilitator & Business Coach at Digital Opportunity Trust. Pacifique hopes to find a job to strengthen his career and widen his horizons as a young entrepreneur and youth leader.
Victor is a Co – founder of Environmental Deficiency Elimination for the Nations – Garden City Project (EDEN – GCP), a Garden City Project themed EDEN (after the legendary garden of Eden) to evoke the images of an ideal garden city in the minds of residents and to stimulate desired action for sustainable cities. The objectives with EDEN-GCP are to engender visible attitudinal changes starting with Diobu,Port-Harcourt on proper waste sorting and disposal, contribute to the global conversation on the environment, build capacity of young people to take advantage of waste and environmental-degradation. Victor is currently co-facilitating the Earth Charter 10-week online youth training programme, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. He has been active in environmental protection through enabling vulnerable populations to use green business as a form of non – violent advocacy in natural resource – driven, armed – conflict areas (e.g. Niger Delta). He is also a co – convener of the annual International Trash Conference and a recipient of the Nigeria – America Partnership Award. He is a member of the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) and has a masters and bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt and Babcock University respectively.
Rohdof is passionate about conservation and the environment. He is currently volunteering at Pro Climate International Cameroon where he holds the post of a field technician. He is also currently co-facilitating the Earth Charter 10-week online youth training programme, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. He has been participating in the implementation of field activities which include sensitization of local communities on the importance of nature conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation technology. Part of his fieldwork includes conducting household surveys on the benefits and efficiency of using improved stoves with fuel wood saving potentials and mobilization of community social groups. He is also involved in some youth groups in Buea community where he participates in youth programs in organizing seminars and workshops. Currently, he is the coordinator of Solidage Africa Foundation in Cameroon.
He has just been awarded a Masters degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Buea, Cameroon where he graduated amongst those in the top position of his class.
He loves working with youth and meeting people who are passionate about conserving the environment and its natural resources.
Branislav Trudíc (Serbia)
Member of Council for Ethical Questions, National Association of Youth Workers of Serbia (NAPOR) and Coordinator of Programmes in Youth Work
Branislav is an experienced youth worker and activist, with almost 9 years engagement in civil society organizations in Serbia. When Branislav is working and supporting different groups of young people, he is developing and learning at the same time, shaping the experience, expanding mutual critical thinking and enhancing empathy and compassion for different vulnerable groups with whom he would like to work more in the future. Currently, Branislav is a licenced trainer for 4th educational module Leadership and trainer for human rights education on National training for human rights educators’ programme of CoE and SEC. He designed and implemented developmental programmes for youth leaders and youth workers in Novi Sad, Sombor, Bečej, Temerin and Belgrade in past. Branislav was involved in around 30 different projects and developmental programmes, hosted by many different local, national and international organizations, in different roles: from youth worker and trainer to consultant for strategic planning and project manager. Most of the developmental programmes were aimed for young people, youth leaders and volunteers in mentioned communities, preparing them for community youth work and activism. Programmes lasted between 3 months and one year containing different educational modules based on non-formal education methodologies and youth work, one-to-one mentoring, couching and practical work of the participants in the communities. Branislav also delivered different projects and programmes in social and peacebuilding education in Serbia, for different intercultural groups of young people in period 2008-2015.
He found himself quite resourceful for groups of young people and youth workers and open for sharing and developing joint initiatives. Branislav is passionate to explore youth work concepts, to discuss them, to possibly define its community authenticities with group with whom he is going to work. While designing and delivering youth work, Branislav is goal-oriented, trying to find balance between products, results and processes within different settings and love to partnership with the others and groups of people.
Kitty Verduin (Netherlands/Canada)
Kitty Verduin is from the Netherlands, but lost her heart to Canada 3,5 years ago. She combines the values and principles of the Earth Charter with her background in her work with Dudoc Vancouver, a project of World of Walas. Through her background in International Relations, she became especially interested in the global interaction between the market, government and society. The vision, mission and work of Earth Charter lie at the heart of this interaction.
At World of Walas she helps establish the Earth Charter Friends Canada network. This is a network where Canadians can come together, share their Earth Charter stories and work together in the transition towards a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Another great focus of her at Dudoc is working with innovations. Innovations are the bridge between the Walas’ global stage, where we work on our vision and policies for sustainable cities, and Walas’ long term practices in sustainable community development projects. Kitty is grateful for the opportunity to help create these Earth Charter and Earth Charter Cities driven cities and projects.
Active Aug. 2016 – July 2017
Cannita is a member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network – Saint Lucia Chapter, where she currently holds the post of Vice President and works as a public servant within the government of Saint Lucia. She has received an Associate’s Degree in Quantity Surveying from Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where she graduated at the top of her class. She is currently looking into pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Quantity Surveying. Cannita is passionate about volunteering and the environment. She is also currently an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) of the Saint Lucia Red Cross and a Staff Sergeant with the Saint Lucia Cadet Corps.
Originally from Germany, but now calling Vancouver, Canada her home, Josephine Schrott is helping establish a Canadian Earth Charter network, with a focus on youth & community engagement. She studied International Relations and is passionate about building sustainable communities and inspired by the Earth Charter’s holistic approach addressing humanity’s most pressing problems. As part of World of Walas, she works at Dudoc Vancouver, a centre enabling European businesses to transfer their innovations to North America. In her time off, she does local activist and volunteer work and enjoys the beautiful Canadian outdoors.
Julián has been active over the past 10 years in public policy development and corporate social responsibility projects. He is currently Vice President of Climate Change Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America Youth (COPPPAL) and is part of the Climate Reality Project. In 2010 he was named an Agent of Change of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation and in 2013 he was recognized as Young Entrepreneur of the Year.He has a degree in Business Administration from the Latin University of Costa Rica, a Master in Applied Political Studies from the International Foundation for Iberoamerica of Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), and is currently studying Industrial Engineering.
Kelly, from Mombasa, Kenya is a core member, volunteer, and the Regional Coordinator at Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa, a pan African NGO that brings catholic youth to care for and protect the environment. Kelly is also an organizer with the Miritini Peace Initiative which was established amid the 2007-2008 post-election violence in order to promote peace and sustainable leadership. He is a former Mombasa diocesan youth chairperson, and an actor and writer with Big Dreams Productions. Kelly has diplomas in Sales and Marketing, Journalism, and Community Development and is pursuing a degree in Development Studies. He is passionate about working with and for the community, particularly in the areas of the environment, peace and stability.
Mohammed is the co-founder of Better Together, an organization for social service and interfaith activities in Tempe, Arizona. He has worked as a teacher and facilitator in many organizations including Saudi Scout, KFUPM volunteering unit, and the Center of Excellence in Development of Non-Profit Organizations in Dhahran. Mohammed works as a lecturer and researcher in engineering/social sciences research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia. He holds an MS in Industrial Engineering and an MA in Social and Cultural Pedagogy from Arizona State University in addition to his BS in Electrical Engineering from KFUPM.
Driven by the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto, Nadine works in the Netherlands as a Program Manager with the Walas team to develop vital and lively places for people to live. Nadine studied Built Environment and Architecture with a focus in cities and cultural heritage. During her studies she learned a lot about technical innovations and sustainability to redevelop industrial buildings. Taught and inspired by Gerben van Straaten, Walas Concepts CEO, she learned how to create truly healthy, inclusive, and sustainable communities. She believes in the need to enhance economic, social, and cultural values within urban settings.
Peter is a sexual/reproductive health activist from Cameroon. He has a strong commitment to advocating for the needs of young people through promotion of laws and policies that ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms. He is Founder and Executive Director of Vision in Action Cameroon, a community-based organization dedicated to empowering adolescents on sexual and reproductive health through information and skills training to help them make informed choices. Peter holds a BSc in Community and Public Health.
Rabab the founder of the NGO Students4Students, a platform for students and by students that offers a space to start projects and obtain training. In the last seven years, she has been participating in her local community as The Hague Youth Ambassador for Education and Youth Unemployment. In 2014, Rabab received a Ribbon from the Mayor of the Hague for her role in the community as a young entrepreneur. She is very passionate about ecoliteracy and non-traditional education and is an advocate for environmental issues in relation to social responsibility. She is a student of International Public Management at The Hague University of Applied Science in the Netherlands.
Shikha is presently working with F.A.I.T.H (For Aiding Individuals Tolerating Humiliation) as a facilitator to spread awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She interned at Kanpur Parivartan Forum where she worked on a development project which turned a slum into a cleaner and more green environment and has also worked with the Center for Environmental Law at Nirma University in organizing various workshops on SDGs. Shikha is currently studying law at Institute of Law, Nirma University at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Active Jan. 2017 – Dec. 2017
Ana Karen, 21, is a student of International Relations at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León and works as a teacher of Artistic Gymnastics. She is passionate about sports, contact with nature, multidisciplinary learning and social and environmental projects. In addition, she loves to travel. From a very young age she has belonged to the World Scout Organization where she has participated in important projects at the university and national level, mainly to promote the Sustainable Development Objectives (ODS). She also participates with the Global Biodiversity Network Mexico Chapter working on the proposal of a state biodiversity strategy. She recently started facilitating workshops focused on the Earth Charter and its pillars, mainly for children and adolescents.
Carla has a strong interest in environmental and social issues that she has been able to deepen in recent years through various volunteering experiences with indigenous communities, refugees, and other communities. She has worked to raise awareness on various environmental problems such as the effects of human activities on ecosystems and climate change. Carla is part of the Climate Reality Project. She is an Industrial Engineer and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Technology, as well as advanced studies in Natural Resources Management.
Catalina is a professional in Ecological Tourism and Management of Non-Formal Education. She is a tourism guide that specializes in naturalism, environmental education and capacity building and project development processes with young people for the benefit of their communities. Passionate about the idea of achieving true sustainable development, she constantly seeks to learn, to transform her personal practices and to be an agent of change in her environment. She volunteers for community groups that work for social and environmental well-being, and has experience in working with groups, particularly in the development of experiential workshops.
Danelia has worked for 8 years on issues related to the environment and childhood. She is the founder of the Changing Minds Costa Rica initiative, which is underpinned by SDG #12 and #13. She also volunteers with the Raleigh International program on health, resilience, empowerment, environment and natural resource management. She is also an organizing member of the group 100in1day. Graduate in International Relations from the Latin University of Costa Rica, Danelia is currently pursuing an advanced degree with National University of Costa Rica in the field of International Relations with an emphasis on Cooperation.
Dennis has been an assistant in the Institute of Social Studies in Population of the National University of Costa Rica, where he has developed the cartography for different projects of social extension. He has worked on issues related to ecological connectivity, conservation and biological corridors through the use of Geographic Information Systems. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geographical Sciences with an emphasis on Territorial Planning, and is currently studying to earn an advanced degree in the same field. He has recently been involved in the promotion of Natural Monuments as a conservation figure under the geomorphosis approach. He also serves as an advisor to the Environmental Affairs Commission of the Tibás City Council. He lives in San José, Costa Rica.
Hugo is an environmentalist, technologist, Climatic Reality leader, and news anchor on environmental subjects in the State of Querétaro, Mexico. Hugo has participated with his State Legislature promoting the Law of Climate Change and with diverse social groups generating cohesion in the community work. In 2010, he won the National Exposciences award in the area of Exact and Environmental Sciences, and in 2013 was awarded the Municipal and State Youth Prize in his region in the area of Environmental Protection. From there, he founded his own civil organization, Principia por el Mundo A.C., dedicated to promoting principles and values for sustainable development. He has promoted several campaigns and projects such as Earth Hour, Pachamama Fest, Reforestation and Cinema with sense. He is also advisor to the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development and member of the Ibero-American Leaders Group of the Pachamama Alliance. He is a regional social entrepreneur.
Jorge, a native of Spain, is passionate about the protection and conservation of nature. Volunteer and activist in the “Natural Fund” and “Friends of the Earth” organizations, he works as a project coordinator and youth facilitator in voluntary and non-formal environmental education programs in the field of youth at local and European level in order to foster a critical understanding of our environment and empower young people to become agents of change. Among a multitude of various projects, he highlights “School of Sustainability”, a project to promote citizen action in matters of climate and social justice, food sovereignty or global development.
Ernesto He currently serves as an environmental consultant and promotes company compliance with legislation in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is also an educator for sustainable development and project developer for different non-governmental organizations. He is passionate about the development of aboriginal communities, the conservation of ecosystems, and social participation in the construction of sustainable communities. Ernesto firmly believes that young people can take action that is innovative, inclusive and sustainable. He holds a degree in Sustainable Tourism and Hotel Management with a focus on Tourism Planning and Development.
Paola is a university professor and researcher in the areas of performing arts and education. She is currently in the process of developing her doctoral thesis in education at the University of La Salle, Costa Rica, investigating the relationships between biopedagogy, sustainability and cognitive aesthetics as pillars of sustainable human development working under the Earth Charter approach. She is interested in the inclusion of women and children in society at all levels and believes it is fundamental to work for the rights of plants and animals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Theater Studies from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and holds a degree in Performing Arts and Philosophy from the National University of Costa Rica. Paola lives in Heredia, Costa Rica.
Since her high school years, Sofía has participated in leadership programs, and environmental and political youth organizations. She is currently involved in workshops to raise awareness on sustainability issues including waste management and consumer responsibility at the community level. She is passionate about serving as a voice for these causes and is comfortable facilitating. She believes in the importance to promote leadership in young people so that they can guide the society they belong to and begin to forge a more just and sustainable world, aware of the challenges we face as humanity today. In her spare time, she volunteers for non-profit and social welfare organizations. Sofía is a student at the University of Costa Rica.