Today, as UNICEF marks its 75th anniversary, seven young inspiring people from Nepal join UNICEF’s global advocacy call to reimagine a better future for every child. As newly appointed youth advocates, they will work with UNICEF Nepal to raise the voices of children and young people on issues affecting their lives including climate change, disability inclusion, gender-based violence, mental health, nutrition and education.
“Across the world, UNICEF works with young activists, advocates, and community organizers who are engaged in transforming their societies. We believe that young people are the most effective champions for the issues that impact them, and they have a unique power to galvanize others around issues they are passionate about,” said MsElke Wisch, UNICEF Representative to Nepal. “Through our Youth Advocate Programme, UNICEF provides a platform for the authentic and solution-oriented voices of these young dedicated advocates to help us reimagine a better future for children.”
The UNICEF Nepal Youth Advocates come with an extensive background in advocating on the related issues.
Nir Shrestha, 22, an inclusive development enthusiast and a youth and disability rights campaigner has been appointed as a youth advocate for disability inclusion.
Pallavi Karn, 21, advocates amongst her peers on the importance of eating healthy. She has volunteered as a dietary advisor for COVID-19 patients and nutritional awareness programmes. Pallavi has been appointed as youth advocate for nutrition.
Prakriti Bhattarai, 21, Prashansha K.C., 20, and Shree Krishna Thapa, 23, are youth advocates for gender equality and are raising their voices against gender-based violence. Together they bring their unique skills and passion to raise awareness on gender-based violence through political literacy for women, men’s engagement in gender discussions and highlighting issues of child marriage through film.
Shitanshu Dhakal, 20, youth advocate for mental health, is a medical student and has been actively engaged in conducting mental health awareness among children and young people and advocating to include mental health education in school curriculum.
Sonika Poudel, 23, is a climate change advocate and has been actively engaged in community activities since the age of 12.
Through orientation and mentoring from UNICEF, the youth advocates will further expand their expertise about children’s issues and UNICEF’s work to help reinforce their talents. The youth advocates will join UNICEF in leading advocacy activities, co-creating communication materials, participating in UNICEF events and helping amplify young people’s voices across various platforms including U-Report Nepal. A chatbot on Viber and Whatsapp, U-Report Nepal enables young people to receive information related to COVID-19, mental health issues, and other youth related issues. The chatbot users can also share their opinions and voices through the bot’s built-in surveys.
Together, in partnership with these youth advocates, UNICEF aims to amplify voices of young people, raise awareness and advocate on climate change, disability inclusion, gender-based violence, mental health and nutrition in Nepal.