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Meet the young people designing the International Youth Day events

Every year we run a global series of events in August to celebrate International Youth Day - read more about 2019's highlights.

This year our UK events are being organised by a small but dedicated team of ICS alumni. 10 young people from our core committee for the UK National Youth Engagement Network are working hard, with VSO and the ICS agencies, to create an engaging, inclusive and rewarding series of climate events.

The UK National Youth Engagement Network has three core focuses this year, youth employability, mental health and the climate crisis. These series of online climate action events are one way the network is mobilising and empowering young people to lead sustainable climate action.

Find out more about the core committee:

Georgie

Georgie
VSO, Zambia

After volunteering on the ICS programme last year, I wanted to continue the great work I was doing in Zambia in my own community and launching a youth network in the UK turned out to be the perfect opportunity to do that! Youth employability, one the networks core focus’ this year, is super important to me, I didn’t go down the conventional route of university but entered the workplace through an apprenticeship in marketing.

Fun fact: I was stood two metres from the Pope when I visited Rome!

Grace

Grace
Tearfund, Bolivia

I joined the NYEN UK core committee because I’m passionate about empowering young people and seeing them fulfil their potential. Climate change and youth mental health are the two focus areas of the network that I’m most passionate about. We have one world and it’s on us to look after it. Similarly looking after yourself is also important and talking openly about mental health should not be a taboo.

Fun fact: Something I do for fun, weird as it sounds, is running. This is something I do to have strong mental health and look after myself.

Lauren

Lauren
VSO, Nepal

I joined the NYEN UK Core Committee to be a part of a group of young people who are passionate change-makers. I am most passionate about youth employability as young people have so much to offer!

Fun fact: In my spare time I love to go ice skating

 

 

Sarah

Sarah
VSO, Bangladesh

I joined the NYEN UK Core Committee because after coming back from my ICS placement in Bangladesh in 2017, I wanted to continue being an active citizen but it's easier to make a difference as part of a team! As a bonus, I've got to meet some amazing new people across the UK who are my

fellow committee members and I'm excited to be working with them. I'm passionate about the climate crisis because this is the biggest issue facing our world today. When I was in Bangladesh, I became very aware that for some people, the climate crisis isn't theoretical, it's already here.

Fun fact: I used to work at the Tower of London!

Luis

Luis
VSO, Kenya

Volunteering is such a fantastic tool for youth empowerment so I was keen to share the skills I have learnt with the wider community.

I love the youth employability element of the network! It focuses on core skills young people need to engage with the world around them!

Fun fact: I have a personalised jar of marmite with the words noot on it! I couldn’t resist!

Lucy

Lucy
Raleigh, Nicaragua

I am motivated to be a part of the NYEN-UK core committee because I am inspired by the incredible stories of ICS alumni taking action in their own communities and I am committed to empowering and supporting young people to continue doing this. I want to help create a supportive community where young people can build upon their skills and experience alongside other passionate and ambitious individuals across the UK. 

I am passionate about the climate crisis focus of NYEN-UK because climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest threats to the global population and natural world. It is evident that young people have had a significant impact on raising awareness and demanding change and we are at a pivotal moment in history regarding the climate.

Fun Fact: I have a mild to moderate obsession with swimming in cold water (think outdoors, in London, in January!). The buzz is totally worth the temporary loss of feeling in your toes, trust me!

Steph

Steph
Restless, Zambia

I joined NYEN because I want to be in a community of likeminded people who strive for a fairer and greener future while elevating the power of youth voice. I believe that young people’s talents, innovation and enthusiasm are essential for change but often overlooked in society. NYEN’s focus on employability skills; empowering young people to bridge the generational-gap within the workplace, is so important to me.

Fun Fact: I used to love monkeys until one day, when I was crossing a bridge in India, a mummy monkey was either really attracted (or threatened) by my light hair and decided to jump on my head! Now I am absolutely petrified of monkeys.

Ella

Ella
VSO, Uganda

I wanted to be part of the NYEN UK core committee to continue my active citizenship, learn new skills, and help shape a vibrant and impactful network which focuses on the topics which matter most to young people. I’m passionate about all the network’s focuses for this year, but particularly climate action as I feel this is such an important issue which young people can have a massive impact on!

Fun fact: I love Disney films and own over half the classics on DVD!

Jasmine

Jasmine
VSO, Nepal

I’m excited to be a member of NYEN UK’s core committee as I believe in the power of connecting young people to make local, national and global change. I’m passionate about climate action, to protect future generations and groups whose lives have already been affected by climate change. This is a critical moment to make individual lifestyle changes, build more sustainable communities and campaign for transformative policy making at an international level.

Fun fact: When I was 7 years old, I won a competition to be a princess of my village!

Sam

Sam
Restless, Uganda

I joined the NYEN-UK core committee to be part of a network of young people striving to change the way our communities see and respond to some of the biggest challenges facing young people today. Too often young people's voices are overlooked, yet what we lack in age we bring in innovation, creativity and often a deeper more personal understanding of the issues being discussed.

The climate crisis is a particular passion for me (so much so that I have a degree in Conservation Biology!), with my home country (Australia) feeling the devastating effects of climate change more and more each year.

Fun fact: Although I have never had a dog or cat, I did grow up with four donkeys!

2019's highlights

Discover how we celebrated International Youth Day around the world

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

Find out more