Women Deliver believes young people are powerful advocates for their needs and agents of change. The organization’s Young Leaders Program provides youth with opportunities to strengthen their capacity and skills and connect to global and country-level initiatives. They promote and support partners’ efforts, working alongside youth-led and serving organizations. Here, meet a few of its leaders.
KIZANNE JAMES, WOMEN DELIVER YOUNG LEADER
Kizanne is an award-winning youth leader, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. Growing up in poverty and as a victim of abuse has made her a passionate advocate for youth development, especially for youth from underprivileged backgrounds. Currently a medical student, she is the founder of the Caribbean Youth for Philanthropy, a network of Caribbean youth leaders and a hub of opportunities for young people from the region. Kizanne believes in the power of young people to change their communities and their world.
KIKI KALKSTEIN, MEMBER OF THE WOMEN DELIVER YOUTH WORKING GROUP
Kiki discovered her passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights while studying public health at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, she joined the Center for Health and Gender Equity where she advanced these rights through advocacy trainings and coalition building. Since 2013, she’s served as Pathfinder’s advocacy expert for US and global health policy. Kiki represents Pathfinder in coalitions across a spectrum of global health issues and co-chairs the Youth Health and Rights Coalition.
MAUREEN ODUOR, WOMEN DELIVER YOUNG LEADER ALUMNA
Maureen is a dedicated storyteller, filmmaker and development specialist with over eight years’ experience working directly in communities, advancing adolescent girls and women access to reproductive health services. Born and raised in Kenya, she currently works with Service Health and Development for People Living Positively with HIV/ AIDS (SHDEPHA+) Tanzania. Prior to joining SHDEPHA+, she worked on youth mobilization at African Peace Ambassadors Tanzania and KMET in Kenya.
S.M. SHAIKAT, WOMEN DELIVER YOUNG LEADER ALUMNUS AND YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
In 2006, S.M. Shaikat launched the “Anti Dowry Awareness Program” to prevent child marriage and dowry violence against girls and women in Bangladesh. He has trained hundreds of young volunteers through the Jagoroni project, which tracks dowry and child marriage incidents and has prevented 122 cases in Bangladesh over the last few years. He has been actively involved in advocating against the Bangladeshi government decision to lower the child marriage age. Shaikat believes that gender equality is a fundamental value of every human, irrespective of their class and gender identity.
NARGIS SHIRAZI, WOMEN DELIVER YOUNG LEADER ALUMNA
Nargis is a community psychologist, playwright, poet and passionate advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights. She’s currently using human-centered design in four districts in Uganda to expand access to youth-friendly services. She advocates for using creative channels to educate and speak about taboo subjects on access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Her comedic play on male involvement in family planning earned her a position as one of Melinda Gates’ inspirational women of 2013. Nargis believes that nothing can be discussed about young people without young people.
Photo Credit(banner): Sophia Greenbaum