IMPACT
09/26/2014 12:00 am ET Updated Oct 02, 2014
SPONSORED FEATURE

These Are The Faces That Will Change Healthcare As We Know It

It can be hard for American youth to fully comprehend the health issues that plague women and children in the rest of the world. After all, we Americans tend to be vaccinated, medicated and well treated.

(In other words, we tend to be lucky.)

Thankfully, a new generation of youth leaders is shedding light on the plight of women and children everywhere – and providing a healthy dose of inspiration along the way.

On September 23rd, Johnson & Johnson teamed up with Women Deliver, Global Health Corps, and DoSomething.org to not only highlight the key issues facing girls, women and children right now, but focus on how the youth of today can have a seat at the table.

With speakers from around the world and the moderation of former First Daughter Barbara Bush, the panel showcased brave youth leaders who are stepping outside their comfort zone to confront these issues head-on.

Below are the champions of the movement: Youth making incredible strides towards making the world a safer place for women and children.

Do you have a youth leader that inspires you everyday? Let us know in the comments.

  • Nelly Lukale
    <strong>"I am the change I want to see in my community. I am not waiting for anyone to do that for me!" </strong>

Nelly work
    "I am the change I want to see in my community. I am not waiting for anyone to do that for me!" Nelly works actively to empower young women and girls in Kenya, both in rural areas and in Nairobi's slum areas. She is a trained community health nurse and peer mentor from Kenya, where she is active with Kenya YWCA and serves as the National Youth Coordinator.
  • Diane Fender
    <strong>"Through Girls' Globe, young women and organizations are a united front for women and girls worldwide." </strong>

Di
    "Through Girls' Globe, young women and organizations are a united front for women and girls worldwide." Diane is a strong advocate for women's and girls' rights and has worked to empower women in trafficking. As the Vice President of Girls' Globe she has been a part of building the Girls' Globe network during the past year, to connect young women and grassroots organizations - giving them the ability to share their inspirational stories through Girls' Globe.
  • Maureen Anyango Oduor
    <strong>“Young people are interconnected; they communicate information fastest among themselves and they value what their pee
    “Young people are interconnected; they communicate information fastest among themselves and they value what their peers say the most.” Maureen Anyango Oduor is an Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Regional coordinator for The African Peace Ambassadors Tanzania (APAT), a grassroots organization that seeks to empower marginalized, disadvantaged, and at risk populations.
  • Cecilia Garcia Ruiz
    <strong>“I would like to see societies where girls and women have a say in the collective decisions of their communities and
    “I would like to see societies where girls and women have a say in the collective decisions of their communities and countries, but most importantly, in the choices concerning their lives, their sexuality, and their reproduction.” Cecilia Garcia Ruiz is the Gender Projects Coordinator for Espolea, a Mexican youth-led organization that works to promote young people’s sexual and reproductive rights, foster young women’s empowerment, and prevent gender-based violence. Currently, with a grant from Women Deliver, she is working to increase the capacity of young mothers in urban Mexico to advocate for better policies and of NGOs to support this underserved population.
  • Julia Wiklander
    <strong>"We can't talk about maternal health without talking about gender equality."</strong> 

Julia started Girls' Globe as
    "We can't talk about maternal health without talking about gender equality." Julia started Girls' Globe as a way for young women around the world to connect and raise their voices about women's and girls' rights and health. She wants to empower youth as a means of accelerating progress for women and girls worldwide.
  • Megan Foo
    <strong>"I don't think anyone can deny the power and potential within every girl in the world!"</strong>

Megan is a high-sch
    "I don't think anyone can deny the power and potential within every girl in the world!" Megan is a high-school senior who actively uses her voice to raise awareness. She is the President of the Hong Kong Chapter of Women LEAD, a peer-led, creativity-focused nonprofit that provides women’s leadership development training and advocacy in Nepal. Additionally, Megan is the Founder and President of the Hong Kong Chapter of Givology, an online giving marketplace that leverages dollar donations to fund grassroots education projects in the developing world.
  • Yemurai Nyoni
    <strong>“When youth learn how to lead, they are prepared to play active roles in civil society, political circles, social ent
    “When youth learn how to lead, they are prepared to play active roles in civil society, political circles, social enterprises, research institutions and other platforms.” Yemurai Nyoni is a youth activist from Zimbabwe. He is the founder and Director of DotYouth Organisation and a youth representative on the PMNCH Adolescent Expert Advisory Group. His work focuses on increasing young people’s access to family planning. With a grant from Women Deliver, he is currently implementing a project to end child marriage in rural Zimbabwe through innovative, youth-led approaches that target key decision-makers.
  • Wanzala Martin
    <strong>“Access to accurate and reliable sexual and reproductive health information and services has both short- and long-ter
    “Access to accurate and reliable sexual and reproductive health information and services has both short- and long-term social and economic benefits because it contributes to a healthier and more productive population.” Wanzala E. Martin is the co-founder and team leader of Allied Youth Initiative Uganda, an organization that promotes youth innovation for positive change. Currently, with a grant from Women Deliver, he is working on a project that advocates from increased investments in youth-focused sexual and reproductive health education and programs.
  • Chukwudera Bridget Okeke
    <strong>“To achieve a future where women and other vulnerable populations have full access to sexual and reproductive health
    “To achieve a future where women and other vulnerable populations have full access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, we must listen to our youth.” Chukwudera Bridget Okeke is a Program Manager at Concern Women International Development Initative in Nigeria. Her work focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS. With a grant from Women Deliver, she is currently implementing a project that works to enable female sex workers in Nigeria’s Benue State to negotiate safer sex with their clients.
  • June Eric-Udorie
    June Eric-Udorie, 16, is a high school sophomore from Nigeria, currently living in the UK. She is a member of Plan UK’s Youth
    June Eric-Udorie, 16, is a high school sophomore from Nigeria, currently living in the UK. She is a member of Plan UK’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), a group of young people from across Britain that ensures the voices of young people remains at the heart of Plan’s work. She is passionate about girls’ education, ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early and Forced Marriage (EFM). She is currently an FGM Ambassador for Plan UK where she advocates about women’s rights and educates about the dangers of the procedure in the UK and Nigeria. She has volunteered at a local prison where she was able to educate women about their sexual health rights and contraceptive use. When not otherwise engaged, June can be found writing, fundraising for Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, organizing FGM awareness events or watching TED Talks. She is a feminist, music enthusiast and book addict.
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