Today, we are celebrating International Youth Day! According to the United Nations, International Youth Day is “commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society”.
WAVE strongly believes in the importance of intergenerational collaboration, and thus sees the inclusion and engagement of youth as a crucial pillar of strengthening feminist movements across Europe. Since October 2018, the WAVE Youth Ambassadors initiative aims to provide a platform to youth activists in order to facilitate youth participation, youth campaigning and youth inclusion within the context of preventing and eliminating gender-based violence and discrimination. In total, we have welcomed 24 WAVE Youth Ambassadors representing 20 EU and non-EU countries since the launch of our initiative. Our ambassadors aim to highlight current issues in their respective countries regarding gender inequality, demonstrate ways of how to demand positive change, and promote collaboration amongst young activists and youth across Europe.
“As a young woman, it is important for me to be actively involved in the fight against violence against women and girls so as to give continuity to the feminist movement and make sure that our struggles are represented” – Adriana S. Thiago, WAVE Youth Ambassador representing Portugal
Our ambassadors create independently as well as in teams engaging contributions and audio-visual material to challenge inequality and shed light on the importance of standing together and demanding change. Resources and information, such as data and statistics, from the WAVE Network, its Members and projects are adapted to target a youth audience, and are effectively implemented to become more accessible for young people.
“We as young people have our voices, our socials and our tools to be the ones to start the change and not just be silent bystanders in the face of inequalities around us.” – Alexandra Muntean, WAVE Youth Ambassador from Romania
Since the launch of our initiative, we have been able to create a strong online presence to reach and engage as many people, specifically young people, as possible. We have found that the public does not only have great interest in listening to the voices of youth, but there are also numerous motivated and engaged young people who view it as a necessity to share their opinions in order to act as a catalyst of positive change. In the WAVE Youth Ambassador mini Conference of 2020, the WAVE Youth Ambassadors from all generations expressed that they felt like young activists often remained invisible in feminist movements or were not taken seriously enough, despite their efforts of making positive change in their community. Therefore, we aim to counter this narrative with the WAVE Youth Ambassadors initiative by sharing different experiences, actions, and activities on how youth are making effective change in their community in regard to ending violence against women and girls.
“Young people are often left out of the conversation when we discuss gender equality, despite many young people living with the consequences of an unequal world that does not truly value them. To truly end all forms of violence, young people need to be at the forefront, and their voices amplified!” – Sabiha Azad, WAVE Youth Ambassador from Wales
We intend on further expanding the work and success of our initiative, fortifying the platform created by WAVE Youth Ambassadors, and turning our efforts into a movement and a support system for other young people across Europe to join.
“Youth is not only the future but also the present. Young people are contributing to promoting gender equality and building a peaceful society every single day: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Let’s work together to make the world a better place for all of us!” – Alina Cebotari, WAVE Youth Ambassador from Moldova
The WAVE Youth Ambassadors initiative aims to reach more youth, both online and offline, conduct local events to facilitate and encourage exchange amongst young people in the respective countries of our ambassadors, collaborate with other youth activists, and approach institutions and organisations at national, European and international level to raise awareness of the human rights violation that is violence against women and girls, and highlight the need of effective violence prevention.
“We want to raise public attention, both online and offline. We want to support women’s and girls’ voices. We want to strengthen women’s and girls’ voices. This, however, is not just our task as WAVE Youth Ambassadors. This is our lifelong commitment as being dedicated activists across Europe.” – Second generation of WAVE Youth Ambassadors
In the last nearly three years, we have seen great results in including and engaging youth feminist activists within the WAVE Network. It is important to build on the achievements of the WAVE Youth Ambassadors initiative and continue to establish a strong connection with young people across Europe to support them in raising as well as amplifying their voices. Today, we are not only celebrating the 24 inspiring WAVE Youth Ambassadors we have gotten the chance to work with since 2018, we are also celebrating youth activists and youth worldwide!
“Young people are changing the world!” – Zvezdana Radulović, WAVE Youth Ambassador from Montenegro
The WAVE Youth Ambassdors:
First generation (2018-2020):
- Mirta Bašelović, Croatia
- Anita Pavić, England
- Nikita Lumijoe, Estonia
- Elmar Khalilov, Georgia
- Antonella Crichigno, Italy
- Elda Brada, Kosovo*
- Stefan Petrovski, North Macedonia
- Filipa Canelas, Portugal
- Dexi Stošić, Serbia
- Alba Biosca, Spain
Second generation (2020-2022):
- Çeçilia Gazulli, Albania
- Hannah Svoboda, Austria
- Zehra Šarić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Mia Bradić, Croatia
- Myrto Karydi, Greece
- Krisztina Les, Hungary
- Ginevra Candidi, Italy
- Alina Cebotari, Moldova
- Zvezdana Radulović, Montenegro
- Adriana S. Thiago, Portugal
- Alexandra Muntean, Romania
- Teodora Stojilković, Serbia
- Viktoriia Shvaher, Ukraine
- Sabiha Azad, Wales
Become a WAVE Youth Ambassador!
If you are a young and committed activist who is passionate about women’s rights, empowerment of women and girls, and feminism, be on the lookout for the next WAVE Youth Ambassadors’ Call.
Our last Inspiring Thursday: WAVE Office
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