About the Youth Leaders for Nutrition programme

The Youth Leaders for Nutrition programme was launched in 2018 by the SUN Civil Society Network, in partnership with Save the Children UK, RESULTS UK, and Global Citizen.

The programme aims to empower young people, primarily those from countries with high rates of malnutrition, with the skills they need to advocate for an end to malnutrition in their own communities and globally.

Since 2018, we have supported 13 Youth Leaders to engage in high-level events and forums all over the world, including the UN General Assembly, SUN Global Gathering, IFAD, and more. In addition, the Youth Leaders are creating change in their communities through education and awareness-raising programmes.

Our Youth Leaders

Maryam Ahmed

Nigeria

Maryam is a youth activist from Kano State, Nigeria, with over five years of advocacy experience. She is a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children International and has worked with organisations like the United Nations and Disability Rights Advocacy Center.

Maryam raises her voice for girls and youth through creative methods such as songs and poems. She also organises events and safe space discussions, and speaks at forums. She is a graduate of Business Law at Cyprus Institute of Marketing in Turkey.

Manata Aleksandrovna

Kyrgyzstan

A passionate advocate for making nutrition more youth friendly, Manata is working to inspire other young people to campaign for change. Some of Manata’s creative campaigning has included using dance and photo exhibitions. Manata works with AntiAids Association in Kyrgyzstan, defending the sexual rights of young girls and their access to services.

Manata is a researcher at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, and the youngest member of the Public Council of the State Migration Service in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Barsha Bhattarai

Nepal

Barsha is campaigning for greater investment in adolescent nutrition, an area which has until now been largely neglected. Starting in her community, Barsha is starting to change minds. She’s been delivering training about nutrition and food at schools, and has raised awareness of menstrual hygiene, junk food, adolescent nutrition, and early marriage.

As a nutrition officer, she works closely with people in the community on the issues of nutrition. Barsha also organises community theatre to help communities understand complicated nutrition issues.

Bormey Chhun

Cambodia

Bormey is an International Relations student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. She also works at Hellen Keller International (HKI) in Cambodia, where she has organised and facilitated meetings, workshops, forums, and national events such as National Nutrition Day and World Breastfeeding Week.

Bormey’ s dream is to be a strong voice of the next generation and hopes to contribute to the efforts to end malnutrition in her community.

Rose Jade Eugenie Delgado

Philippines

Jade is a leader and peer educator of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. She founded the organisation “Children Helping Children”, where she implemented a series of health programmes to a community of people affected by Hansen’s Disease (also known as Leprosy) including feeding programmes, medical services and a vegetable garden.

She was also appointed by former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III as the Youth Representative to the Council for the Welfare of Children, where she advised on policies relating to children. Jade graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Foreign Service, majoring in Diplomacy.

Mike Khunga

Malawi

Mike Nkhombo Khunga is a nutritionist professional with 4 years’ experience working with civil society, the private sector, and government to address high levels of stunting in Malawi. Mike is a part of the Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance (CSONA), where he focuses on nutrition budget analysis to reveal the nutrition financing gap. He also trains local media to develop programmes that will increase community awareness of nutrition.

Mike campaigns for youth participation in nutrition platforms by featuring on TV and radio programmes. Read Mike’s blog on nutrition accountability here.

Jane Napais Lankisa

Kenya

Jane Napais is a trained nutritionist from Kenyatta University, Kenya. Her passion for nutrition and service to the community led her to volunteer before and after graduation, mentoring mothers on best nutrition practices.

Jane now works as a Nutritionist at Feed the Children, inspiring caregivers to adopt positive health behaviours. She is a committed youth advocate and team lead for the FEED Nutrition Advocacy Unit, advocating for adolescent girls’ nutrition. She also mobilises and educates women of reproductive age on nutrition. Jane is particularly passionate about adolescent girls’ nutrition and the links between nutrition, gender inequality, and child marriage.

Webster Makombe

Zimbabwe

Webster is a former youth parliamentarian for the Mt Darwin South Constituency and junior Chief Justice of the 25th session (2017-2018) of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe. A humanitarian at heart, from the age of 12, Webster has worked with organisations such as the Red Cross and local HIV/AIDS support groups.

In addition to his humanitarian engagements, Webster is a law student at the University of Zimbabwe. He enjoys reading, theatre, and writing, and is a talented spoken word poet.

Maxwell Mumba

Zambia

Maxwell is a Zambian youth advocate and psychosocial counsellor for children and youth living with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. In addition to being a Youth Leader for Nutrition, Maxwell is a Real Change Fellow sponsored by RESULTS and ACTION advocating on health and education issues in Zambia.

His advocacy for Global Fund replenishment helped to bring about Zambia’s first pledge to the Global Fund. Read more about Maxwell’s story in the article featured on the Global Citizen website.

Hanitra Rarison

Madagascar

Hanitra has worked to bring change in her community with the Girl Guide programme in Madagascar for 18 years. In this role, she was selected to lead the co-creation of the Girl Guides Nutrition Programme ‘Girl Powered Nutrition’.

As a trained agronomist engineer, Hanitra conducted her Master’s degree research project on optimising the method of extraction of proteins from soybean and peanuts to increase the quality source of proteins for Malagasy people. Read more about Hanitra’s story in her blog post for World Food Day.

Florence Sibomana

Rwanda

Florence is a qualified doctor with a passion for global health and social justice. She volunteers with the Rwanda Non Communicable Disease Alliance and the Amazon Nutrition Cabinet, where she has campaigned to prevent malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

Florence worked with the Medical Students Association of Rwanda as an advocate and peer educator on sexual and reproductive health. She was also the Vice Coordinator for the Rwanda Village Community Promoters, working with underprivileged communities from rural areas. She is a committed gender equality advocate and Girl Guide. Read about the inspiring speech Florence gave at the 2018 UN General Assembly on Save the Children website.

Anayat Sidhu

Canada

Anayat is a student of Sustainability Studies at the University of Calgary. While working towards her undergraduate degree, she was elected by the student body to complete her second year-term on the Students’ Union and University Senate.

Anayat is passionate about community organising and bringing people together. She has received awards and recognition for her work in sustainable environmental initiatives, and child and maternal health. She also leads the first YYC Speakers Bureau and encouraged youth engagement in the 2017 Canadian general elections.

Niroj Sudarshan

Sri Lanka

Niroj is a youth parliamentarian. He has spoken at several high-level global events, sharing his recommendations for improving adolescent nutrition with representatives from governments and the UN. In Sri Lanka, Niroj has led on several volunteer projects, such as building an outdoor classroom in a rural school and repairing a roof in the public hospital of a rural village.

Niroj now works at World Vision in Sri Lanka, focusing on a project called “Children’s Voices Matter.” He is also currently working with the SUN CSA in Sri Lanka to recruit Youth Leaders for Nutrition in every district of the country.

Programme partners

The Youth Leaders for Nutrition Programme is managed by the SUN Civil Society Network Secretariat, with support from our partners at Save the Children UK, RESULTS UK, and Global Citizen.