Youth Champions Program 2022

The Youth Champions Program is a peer-to-peer learning exchange and collaboration space for Canadian and international youth, in a spirit of multi-generational collaboration with Canadian small and medium organizations (SMO).

The program aims to increase their capacities, opportunities, and contribution to public engagement on global issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly gender equality.

On this page you’ll find a list of resources associated with YCP 2022 as well as some resources made during the program. While some participants hosted webinars, or live presentations, we held on to what print and other materials there were so you can take a look now and get a glimpse at what this cohort focused on.

Esther Olatunji

With the rise of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, young women and girls are prohibited from attending school. In Nigeria, the reality of the educational system prevents young girls from learning skills required to thrive in this digital age.

Interested by the importance of digital literacy in girls’ education, Esther created two videos to explain the reality of both countries’ situations to spur conversation and raise awareness. Being paired with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, together they were able to find common ground between both communities.

Find both videos to the right!

MJ Torres

Climate change affects everyone on this planet however it does not affect everyone the same way. Climate justice refers to the fact that countries that have contributed the most to climate change are the ones that are impacted the least and countries that have contributed the least to climate change are the ones that are impacted the most. Climate justice is a very complex term and some people are still unaware of it; while others know about it, they do not know how we can achieve it.

MJ launched an interactive social media campaign, a story-telling platform, for people worldwide to tell their resilient climate change stories in partnership with the Ontario Environment Network. As part of the campaign, MJ created an animated video highlighting the devastating effects climate disaster can have in two different settings by tracking government response in Canada and Colombia. After gathering some of the stories, MJ also hosted a webinar highlighting a few of the stories.

Find both videos to the right!


Peter Friedrichsen

Conservation and environmental stewardship are key activities of the SDGs that are active in both Saskatchewan and Nicaragua, with both similar and different issues at play. However, the Canadian public tends to be skewed toward local or regional environmental issues if they are even aware of them. Relatedly, communities in Nicaragua face their own suite of conservation and capacity issues and have limited time to connect with others internationally even if the issues are connected.

In his activities, Peter wanted to generate a transnational awareness and dialogue regarding the state of migratory birds between Saskatchewan and Nicaragua, and how habitat conservation in both regions is crucial for the longevity of these birds. In addition, Indigenous nations within Saskatchewan and Nicaragua can build ties and share knowledge on how they are active stewards of the land despite being thousands of kilometers apart, and build solidarity with each other as Indigenous peoples. Thanks to Change for Children and their connections to locals in Nicaragua, Peter was able to take the conversation outside of Saskatchewan and relate it to to an international context.  The intended outcome of these activities was to generate international relationships through shared ecologies.

Find the report summarizing Peter’s findings to the right!

Tijan Kuyateh

In his public engagement with support from the Nova Scotia – Gambia Association, Tijan focused on addressing gender equality through promoting girls’ education. According to him, promoting girls’ education is the single intervention initiative that has the ripple effect to address inequalities present in The Gambia including child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), child labor, sexual abuse and financial dependency.

Because this intersectionality of inequalities facing women and girls is worse within the disadvantaged and underserved communities in rural Gambia, he identified a community in the Lower River Region of the Gambia where he conducted an open field day on girls’ education. The activities of this event included a presentation on girls’ education, quiz and prize giving, drama, and spelling bee competition specifically for girls as a sign of empowerment – that, girls are smart enough to be left alone to pursue their educational goals from primary to post-secondary level and become equal contributors with men and boys in our society.

Read more on his project to the right!

Article: One Solution: Gender Inequality in The Gambia

Utthara Wanigasekara

Focusing on food security, Utthara engaged fellow students and professors at Centennial College to share their thoughts on the subject and to spark conversation in her community. The thoughts and articles were then organized into a journal.

In her own article, Utthara explores food insecurity in Canada, linking the discussion to SDG One: No Poverty and SDG Ten: Reduced Inequalities. The remaining articles broaden the discussion focusing on global food security and the role of women and Canada in combating food insecurity on a global scale.

Find the journal to the right!

Jean-Samuel Jean

Based in Haiti, Jean-Samuel honed in on SDG 5: Gender Equality. Recognizing wage inequality and a lack of educational opportunities for girls and women in his community, Jean-Samuel gathered youth and held a community space to discuss these pressing issues.

From this, the youth group came up with 5 recommendations for the Concertation pour Haïti, a grouping of civil society organizations & individuals in Quebec who are engaged in the solidarity movement with the Haitian people, to address in their efforts moving forward.

Find a summary of the event and their recommendations to the right! (Only available in French.) 

Nadège Diao

Located in Burkina Faso, Nadège wanted to highlight a dilemma that affects many in her community: uterine cancer.

Her brochure provides an overview of the current local situation and shares the importance of communicating relevant and accurate information to promote public health. As this is a stigmatized subject in Burkina Faso, Nadège wished to share and raise awareness within Canada–aligning the conversation with SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG 5: Gender Equality.

Read the overview to the right! (Only available in French.) 

Info on the Youth Champions Program from this year

Here you’ll find a few resources outlining the program objectives for this year and which informed the approach taken with youth.