About the Youth Leaders for Nutrition programme
The Youth Leaders for Nutrition Programme is a SUN CSN initiative to engage with and empower young people in CSN-member countries to become powerful agents of change for nutrition. Since its inception in 2018, when we recruited 13 incredible Youth Leaders, the programme has effectively established the importance of young people participating in decision-making on nutrition.
However, a focus on young people as individuals can limit their agency to affect change and inadvertently excludes the many voices of children and young people who are not represented.
That’s why, in this next phase of the Youth Leaders for Nutrition Programme, we broadened the focus from individual Youth Leaders towards diverse networks of young people being convened by National Youth Coordinators.
National Youth Coordinators
In 2022, we recruited a new generation of National Youth Coordinators to build powerful movements of youth activists in their countries.
National Youth Coordinators will identify new and existing youth activists in their country and bring them together to form a united movement of young people advocating for the importance of nutrition at the local and national levels.
Our National Youth Coordinators
Andrea is an Afro-descendant activist from the Ecuadorian Amazon. From a very young age, her greatest passion has been the fight for equal opportunities for all people, through comprehensive education, inclusion, and active community participation. These principles have led her to lead spaces with a positive impact such as the Líder Lab Juvenil program, a change agent laboratory that has trained more than 400 young people throughout the country; as well as her volunteer work in the Global Shaper Quito Hub community of the WEF (World Economic Forum).
As the SUN CSN National Youth Coordinator in Ecuador, she aims to shift the nutrition paradigm towards a more inclusive approach, where no one is left behind. Her life motto is: “As long as a single person lives in injustice, there will always be a reason to continue fighting.”
As the SUN CSN National Youth Coordinator for Uganda, Anna is passionate about youth, nutrition and agriculture. Her passion stems from seeing the devastating effects of malnutrition in her community. As a student of nutrition and dietetics, she works with local organizations and leaders to implement tailored programs and advocate for policies that promote healthy eating habits. She is committed to empowering Uganda’s youth especially those in marginalized communities through the grassroots youth network to take control of their health and wellbeing through affordable and proper nutrition, for a healthier, more sustainable future. She dreams of a generation that is food secure and free from malnutrition.
Bisrat is a climate justice advocate, youth engagement officer, and trainer from Ethiopia. He is very passionate about working for climate change, nutrition, social impact, and social justice for indigent and marginalized groups of society. As a proud non-conformist and global citizen, Bisrat strives to empower youth to cultivate their skills and unlock their full potential.
Through his work, he has advocated for climate justice and climate change while participating in official government meetings, policy-making processes, and policymakers’ workshops for advocacy and lobbying. He always advocates for the youth by making their voices heard on important issues, protecting, and promoting their rights, and having their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives. He is an ambassador for 1Million Youth Climate Action Challenge.
Brice is a student in Agronomic Sciences at the National University of Agriculture of Benin committed to the protection of the environment and sustainable food systems. As Deputy Executive Secretary of the NGO “Refuge de l’Agronome”, he puts into practice his skills in agronomic sciences and his experience in community organization to promote Agroecology and protect the environment.
For Brice, developing countries must invest more in their rural areas to ensure food security, adopting a comprehensive and practical approach to address the environmental and food challenges facing our society.
Farès is a Human Resources classification student. He is a writer, a poet and author of three books. Passionate about public speaking and reading, he is also very involved in youth associations such as the National Coalition of Pupils and Students of Faso (CONEEF) and the Youth Initiative for African Integration (INJIA). His goal is to achieve social change among youth through community engagement.
Finian is a Nigerian activist, NGO Professional and Development Research Fellow with over 8 years of experience in volunteering and working with local and international organizations. He is passionate about strengthening advocacy, policy communication, community organizing, campaigns and negotiation to solve issues related to Migration Management, Nutrition and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights as well as Social Inclusion for minority and vulnerable populations. He is the Secretary of CS-SUNN Enugu State Chapter, and a member of State Government Committee on Food and Nutrition. He holds a Master’s Degree in Migration Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biochemistry.
Jane Napais Lankisa
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 leader 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.
She is currently running a campaign called scaling up adolescent nutrition-Kenya, focusing on adolescents in and out of school. This project is made possible through collaborations and partnerships with the ministries of Education and Health and a significant support from Feed the Children.
Being an activist since the age of 15, Jhonn found his passion in working with children and adolescents as an environmental educator after graduating as an ecological engineer from the National University of the Peruvian Amazon – UNAP. In his community, he promotes spaces for dialogue and youth participation to exercise active citizenship and represents Peru and his region in different conferences on climate change, bringing the voices of his community and defending the Amazonian territory. He currently works as an environmental educator, developing educational workshops for adolescents on how to act against the problems that climate change brings and to mitigate its consequences. Jhonn firmly believes in promoting an active commitment from the citizenry in order to build a better society.
Jose Eduardo Flores Flores
The seventh of eight children, Jose was born into a strong family of farmers dedicated to agriculture and livestock. In 2022, Jose was selected by the US Department of State for the SUSI scholarship student leaders of the western hemisphere, an experience that motivated him to generate significant changes in his country. He is now determined to improve the quality of life of marginalized groups in his community and create conditions of a better life so that they do not have to migrate and leave the country anymore.
Marthe Vérginie Soavavy
Marthe, also known as Ginie, is a medical student in her final year at the University of Mahajanga. Passionate about health and with a particular interest in the nutritional situation in Madagascar, her thesis project is entitled “Complicated severe acute malnutrition in children at the Mahajanga pediatric service”
She mobilizes and coordinates young people in her country as well as educates young girls and women on nutrition in order to improve their nutritional status and gain nutrition empowerment.
Ginie is the national coordinator of the program Girl Powered Nutrition and is also part of the Scouts movement Fanilon’I Madagasikara.
Mayra Alejandra Obregon Ocoro
Mayra is an Afro-Colombian business owner living in the municipality of Puerto Tejada, Cauca with a degree in Agroindustry Engineer from the University of Cauca.
She is the proud owner of “Productos Cocos Merita S.A.S”, a company dedicated to the elaboration and commercialization of healthy foods with ethnic identity. Through her business, she seeks to promote and contribute to special practices aimed at food and nutritional security, the abolition of racism, economic autonomy and gender equality. She holds experience in quality supervision, entrepreneurship and community research with a focus on the analysis of women’s economies in Northern Cauca.
Messeny Bafouro Camara
Messeny is a rural engineer from Conakry, the Republic of Guinea. She currently works as an assistant engineer at Global Building Light and also holds the position of vice-president of the NGO AUDDU (United Actors for Sustainable Development). She is an activist passionate about protecting children and girls and actively engaged in community development. Her primary quality is team spirit, which she considers essential to the proper functioning of any organization. She is convinced that working together is the only way to achieve the objectives set.
Mirwais is an Afghan social activist who has devoted his life to promoting food sovereignty, security, and nutrition among Afghan youth. He founded the Youth Charity Foundation (YCF) and established regional networks throughout the country to address challenges such as food insecurity, child marriage, education access, migration, and nutrition. Mirwais and his volunteers have provided workshops and seminars to raise awareness about the right to food as a human right. Through YCF, they have helped Afghan youth in multiple ways. Mirwais continues to advocate for youth rights, represents them at forums, and ensures their voices are heard and their needs are met.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nana is a nutrition and health rights activist. She works to strengthen the food system in her community by encouraging people to adopt healthy eating habits, promoting good traditional practices and advocating for improved lifestyles and access to water.
A sixth-year medical student at UCB/Sud-Kivu, Nana is learning additional skills to help her community overcome health-related challenges and improve access to healthcare.
Romeo currently serves as the Chair of the European Union Youth Advisory Board in Zimbabwe. He is also a Health and Agriculture Development Programme Manager at Disaster and Environmental Management Trust (DEMT), a youth-led CSO in Zimbabwe, with four years of experience in project implementation in the field and project outcome monitoring in Zimbabwe. He is passionate about environmental justice, positive youth development, and public health, backed by a Bachelor of Science Degree in Development Studies from the Zimbabwe Open University and a Certificate in Social Accountability from Rhodes University in South Africa.
Shanerisse, also known as Shan, is a nutritionist and dietitian who has a strong passion for volunteering and advocacy work for proper nutrition. She believes in the power of the youth to create a rippling effect towards striving for better nutrition for all.
Shan is committed to strengthening youth participation in sustainable food systems, food security, nutrition-sensitive programming, and grassroots community initiatives. Her efforts focus on helping develop innovative, sustainable and community-led solutions to malnutrition that hopes to address social, environmental and behavioral facets.
As she strives in making a positive impact one community at a time, Shan’s advocacy mantra echoes “iBangon iSulong Nutrisyong Dapat” Rise up and Promote proper nutrition.
Sohanur is a young climate activist and Chief Executive of Protiki Jubo Sangshad, also known as Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament. He is also the coordinator of YouthNet for Climate Justice. Sohanur is dedicated to youth development, gender equity, and climate justice. He is passionate about empowering young people to become makers of change in their communities, particularly in addressing the impacts of climate change.
Through his leadership skills, he has organized various climate awareness campaigns, workshops and advocacy events, engaging young people and advocating for climate action. Sohanur’s efforts towards creating a sustainable future have earned him recognition both nationally and internationally.
Valentine Muhindo Masereka
Coming from the coastal region of Tanzania, Valentine is a young activist passionate about nutrition and gender equality. She’s a girl guide and she has been an activist for more than five years now. Her goal is to ensure better nutrition for all by reducing the effects of gender inequality on nutrition, enhancing policy formation, eradicating the effects of climate change on nutrition and ensuring food security.
Vanessa is a spoken word artist and a women’s rights champion (Milead fellow 2019), who uses poetry as an activism tool. She is a national youth leader for nutrition who apart from nutrition is passionate about climate change and gender justice.
She is a co-founder and curator of a Pan-Africanist Social Movement called Word Smash Poetry which promotes youth’s participation in governance issues using Art as a demonstration of her belief in the power of art in a democracy.
Vanessa’s mission is to influence her country’s food security as she trusts we are what we eat.
Youssouf Ali Hasane Kaguer
Youssouf is a graduate in private law and a clerk in a law firm. He is passionate about law, and since his university years has been a young activist on the topic and struggles of human rights. As an active member of various movements and groups, he is determined to take part in the fight against this scourge of malnutrition.
For him, healthy and balanced nutrition should be a fundamental right guaranteed to all, without any discrimination.
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.
Get in touch
If you have an opportunity for the Youth Leaders, please complete the form below and email it to: