The Youth For Change UK Team was founded in June 2014 - they represent organisations including UNICEF UK, FORWARD, Integrate Bristol and Educate2Eradicate. The UK Team were the first Youth For Change team - it was their hard work following 2014's Girl Summit which made the project a reality!
Find them on Twitter at @YouthForChange.
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Fatima is a co-founder and passionate member of Youth For Change UK. She is an activist from Bristol and has worked closely with FORWARDsince 2012 and continues to be a member of their Bristol youth group, Empowering.
Alongside this Fatima is the UK Ambassdor for the End FGM European Network and is an avid believer in using creative and innovative ways to speak out on issues that she is passionate about. Fatima is experienced speaker, networker and researcher with a specialism in the areas of FGM, child marriage and gender based violence.
Katrina is 16 years old lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s currently studying for her Scottish GCES equivalents, and has particular interest in international politics and languages.
She became really involved with girls’ rights when elected as the Scottish Girlguiding Delegate on the British Youth Council. At the AGM last year,she delivered a speech concerning young people’s health and mental wellbeing to around 200 people. She’s also been involved in Girlguiding campaigns, one of them being the Sexual Harassment in Schools campaign. Katrina also works occasionally with the 50:50 Parliament campaign, which aims to get equal representation for women in Parliament.
Girls rights is something she recently discovered she have a huge passion – she finds it empowering to be part of something where she can really make a change to so many girls and young women’s lives, and which is being led by young people themselves.
Arifa is a youth activist from London. She is an advisor and ambassador for Plan UK and the co-founder of Educate2Eradicate, a charity founded to educate young people and train professionals on the issues of FGM, Child and Early Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence. She delivers talks, training and workshops on these issues.
Her vast youth leadership experience includes initiating her own campaign against forced marriage aged 14, and advocating on the importance of community schools as a guest speaker at national education conferences such as The Sunday Times Festival of Education.
After the 2014 Girl Summit Arifa joined Youth For Change, which in part led to her selection as part of the UK’s official delegation at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
Samaira (17) is currently studying her A-levels and is passionate about gender equality and the fight against gender based violence. She has been elected as a the Youth Mayor in her borough and works alongside the Council to improve facilities for young people. Through this platform, Samaira addresses full council meetings frequently, discussing issues faced by young people, and actively contributes to debates.
As a UNICEF Children’s champion, she also campaigns to safeguard children from exploitation and violence. Samaira believes that young people are at the foundations of social change, and hopes to contribute to the global conversation surrounding gender based violence as an active campaigner.
Harry is an International Relations student and currently one of two Youth Advisors to the Board of Trustees at UNICEF UK. In this role he actively takes part in the governance issues of UNICEF UK. Within this Harry participated in the 2009 J8 Summit in Rome - a week-long conference for young people to exchange and debate ideas about how to best improve global conditions for children, and to then present their recommendations to the G8 summit which runs in parallel.
Harry’s enthusiasm for youth participation has served him well as a co-founder of Youth For Change UK, and he's been a fundamental member of the partnership since its inception at Girl Summit 2014.
Gemma is the International Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the youth-led development agency Restless Development, where she supports in capturing and sharing young people’s stories from across the world. She has previously worked in UNICEF UK’s media team, where she created digital content on the issues of FGM and forced marriage.
With a history of working with children and young people, Gemma has taught in a special needs school, worked as a mentor for underprivileged youth, worked on NCS with the Challenge, and volunteered on ICS with Restless Development; working on gender projects in India. As a digital ambassador for Plan UK, Gemma created digital content on early forced marriage, including a short film. Gemma is also a champion for Empower Women, a UN women initiative, advocating for women’s global economic empowerment.
Larissa is an A-level student and has been a member of Girlguiding’s Advocate panel for the past two years, helping to formulate the charity’s campaigning, advocacy and research programme. Here, she was heavily involved in shaping their pre-election demands, including the modernisation of SRE, a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and increased prevention of children’s access to sexualised content. In the run up to the election, Larissa was also a contributor to Sky News’ Stand Up Be Counted initiative and questioned David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Natalie Bennett about their support (or lack thereof) regarding girls’ rights and votes at 16.
She was previously a member of the Children’s Commissioner Advisory Group and worked on the analysis of the research commissioned into children and young people’s experiences of gender. Larissa has attended All Party Parliamentary Groups, including those on body image and mental health and was also a participant at the Youth Zone of the Labour Party Conference 2015.
Daniel is currently studying full time at school and has been a member of Plan UK's Youth Advisory Panel since February 2013. He is passionate about education for girls and boys around the globe and wants to inspire other organisations to involve young people in their work.
Daniel has experience in advocating for girls rights as well as in governance and youth participation and has spent time living and volunteering in Rwanda on education based projects. As a co- founder of the Youth For Change UK team, Daniel believes that it is in the hands of the next generation to help tackle harmful practices of FGM and child, early and forced marriage.