Young people are at the forefront of action/2015, leading the call for change. Young people will be amongst those most affected by the decisions made in 2015 – it’s their futures at stake. After 2015 they’ll play an important role in holding world leaders to account for their promises.
action/2015 is bringing together young people around the globe to ensure their voices are heard in 2015.
15 in 2015
As part of the action/2015 youth activism, action/2015 is helping to tell the stories of young campaigners who will be 15 in 2015. These young campaigners were born in 2000, the same year the Millennium Development Goals were set. During their lifetime, the rate of extreme poverty has been cut in half.
This year, as they turn 15, our leaders will agree a new plan for a better world. If these plans are as ambitious , as we know they can be there could be almost no extremely poor people –anywhere – by the time they are 30. They are testament to the fact that change is possible.
Across the world, beginning with launch, young people will be meeting with their leaders to hand over their demands and urge leaders to raise their ambition in 2015.
Here are some of the amazing young campaigners who are taking part in action/2015. We hope you will be inspired by their commitment and determination to achieve change. We certainly are!
Maryam, a Nigerian child rights activist, will turn 15 this year. She is a member of the Abuja Children’s parliament. Maryam produces songs, organizes events and speaks at forums as the voice of children on health, education and gender issues. Her song “I believe” was released last year to mark International day of the girl child.
As a My World youth advocate, Maryam contributed to the collection of over 500 voices of children expressing their views on the future they want to see post 2015.
She said: “By 2030 I will be an adult, and may have children of my own. My generation might not be the ones making decisions today, but we will be the ones to make sure that our leaders take full responsibility for the actions they take this year. I and thousands like me are demanding they make the right choices, because our future is at stake. We ask that they make choices which are dictated by the needs of future generations and not choices that are dictated by short-term politics.”
Eva is 14 and lives in Malinzanga, Tanzania. She lives with her parents and her five brothers and sisters. She was born in 2000, the same year the Millennium Development Goals were set.
“My hope for 2015 is to start secondary school, so I can one day get my dream job as a policewoman and take care of my community. It’s harder for girls to stay in school here, but I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen.
“This year, as I turn 15, our leaders will agree a new plan for a better world. If they make it really good, and then actually stick to it, there could be almost no extremely poor people – anywhere – by the time I am 30. How cool would that be?
“This is what I wanted to ask you about. Will you help make sure the new development plan is really great, and leaves no-one out?”
Faced with extreme poverty, Anoyara was given away to a local tout by her mother, in exchange for some money and assurance of monthly remittance out of Anoyara’s income. She was then trafficked to Delhi as a domestic worker.
Anoyara’s experience, instead of scarring her, has made her a vocal campaigner against human trafficking. Her trauma has inspired her to devote her life to protecting those who were the most susceptible to being trafficked – young girls.
She joined the movement against trafficking initiated by girls like her, with the support of a local NGO. She has helped gather information about trafficked children, trace traffickers and mobilise the support of the adults in order to reunite the children with their families. Her efforts and that of her group have resulted in hundreds of trafficked children from her village being returned to their families. She has also helped in preventing 35 cases of early marriage though verbal persuasion or through pressure on the local government.
Debora is an advocate for youth rights and is campaigning to reduce climate change impacts. She started campaigning in 2012 when supported young people from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to participate in the UN sustainable development conference, RIO+20.
She has spoken at many events including the World Conference on Youth, the Stocktaking Event for the Post-2015 agenda and COP20, always bringing the youth perspective to sustainable development discussions.
Amanda believes nobody should die from a preventable disease. That is why with her Global Health Club she helped raise $46,000 for Partners In Health this year in response to the Ebola crisis.
“As the world moves forward, I would like to see the number of preventable deaths go down dramatically and the world to change the way it approaches global aid, so that it fits the culture and environment of specific peoples.”
Bhavi has been part of many fundraising efforts, including doing a sponsored 24hour football match with his friends. With his family raised £2500 for those affected by Boxing day tsunami and raised £3000 for the Tamils rehabilitation organisation which works in the area where he was once brought up which has been affected by war. Bhavi met with the UK Prime Minister David Cameron to share his message for 2015.
Bhavi said “My family is from Sri Lanka, one of the countries hit hardest by the Boxing Day tsunami, 10 years ago. In 2030 I may have children of my own. Whether in Sri-Lanka, the UK or elsewhere, I want them to live in a world where there are fewer extreme weather events. Poor people are hit hardest by climate change. So I want my children to live in a world where there is less poverty. I told the Prime Minister that 2015 is a chance to make that happen. My generation might not yet be the ones making the decisions but we can make David Cameron and other party leaders understand that the world is watching them.”