The Road to Rights

The Road to Rights is an award-winning youth-led voluntary organization established in 2009 in Sri Lanka aimed at supporting and empowering young people through creating opportunities, skills development, creativity, and innovation by taking a human rights-based approach towards peace and sustainable development. We are proud to share that The Road to Rights was the recipient of the 2018 prestigious United Nations SDG Action Award in the People’s Choice category.

Currently we have 22 Chapters and more than 12, 000 volunteers part of our network advocating for a better world. Furthermore, we introduced the Road to Rights Celebrity Ambassadors program for celebrities and influencers as part of localising SDGs in Sri Lanka. Additionally, we have appointed 200 University Ambassadors in 10 Universities who are contributing their actions towards supporting the SDGs and the objectives of the Global Week for #Act4SDGs.

Sustainable Urban Planting Initiatives in Brasilia, Brazil

Comunitarius is a volunteer group of researchers, students and local leaders in Brasilia, Brazil who aim to positively transform cities and improve food security by introducing sustainable urban planting initiatives. The volunteers first identify locations where community members are affected by hunger and poverty. They then host campaigns to obtain donations of seedlings, organic manure, land and basic equipment. In the project’s final stage, volunteers mobilise community members to plant, grow and cultivate their own food. Along with this project empowering community members, it also increasing green spaces in urban areas.

Explore their action here: https://sdgactionawards.org/initiative/1166

Let’s Do it! World

#LetsDoItWorld began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people came together to clean up the entire country in just five hours. 🇪🇪  World Clean Up Day celebrated the Global Week to #Act4SDGs through its World Cleanup Day campaign – the largest single peacetime civic action in human history. In 2020, they encouraged people to Clean up with a small group of friends or family or participate digitally by deleting digital waste from their electronic devices.📱  For more information, visit digital.worldcleanupday.org.

Website: https://www.worldcleanupday.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldcleanupday2020/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldcleanupday.ldiw/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/worldcleanupday

Eradicating Preventing and Avoidable Blindness

Eye Care for All’s mission is to ensure that all individuals have access essential eye care. To remove cataracts and thereby eradicate preventable and avoidable blindness, this organisation offers free eyesight restoration surgery to the elderly, orphans, individuals with disabilities, prisoners and refugees in the Gambia.

MARINA

PONTI

DIRECTOR OF THE UN SDG ACTION CAMPAIGN

Ms. Ponti holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Milan and has completed an executive education programme from INSEAD in Global Management, Finance and Partnerships. She started her career with the Italian NGO Mani Tese. One of the main architects of the UN Millennium Campaign, Ms. Ponti served as Global Deputy Director and Regional Director for Europe for over a decade and was at the vanguard of innovative campaign initiatives, building multi-stakeholder coalitions, mobilizing resources and forging long-term partnerships between civil society organizations, local government, parliamentarians, media, the private sector and the UN. Prior, Ms. Ponti was an advocacy and resource mobilization specialist with UNICEF and the UN Secretariat. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of Catapult -a girls and women’s right crowdfunding platform and as Special Advisor on post-2015 during the final negotiations of the Agenda 2030 for the global network Social Watch. Ms. Ponti was appointed as Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign in July 2018.

Sam

Powers

Co-Founder, Lens on Life Project

Sam Powers is the co-founder of Lens on Life Project and oversees the organisation’s strategy and operations. Powers began his career working with youth as a tutor in East Los Angeles while enrolled in university studying international affairs. An avid photographer and filmmaker, he started teaching classes to youth in-need in Brooklyn, New York while working with a local grassroots organisation, planting the seeds for Lens on Life. In addition to his work with Lens on Life, Powers also serves as an advisor to a New York Artificial Intelligence company that provides real-time information alerts to first responders and the United Nations amongst others.

Jeanine

El Moughrabi

Sustainability Engagement Lead, Canon EMEA

Jeanine is an experienced sustainability professional who has spent the last 5 years working in different areas across the field, including educational awareness, scientific research and corporate sustainability strategies. In 2016, Jeanine completed her bachelors degree in Environmental Biology and Ecosystems, during which she gained the valuable experience and knowledge needed to complete and publish her research. Jeanine is currently working with Canon EMEA as their Sustainability Engagement Lead. She covers a vast range of countries in the developing regions where she has worked on developing and implementing various sustainability strategies and initiatives across her region, including expanding and delivering the Canon Young People Programme.

Emilia

Saiz

Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

Emilia Saiz is a jurist by profession and has devoted its professional life to promoting the role of local governments in development as well as fostering relations between cities and their associations worldwide. She started her journey as local government international advocate in the founding organization of UCLG, IULA in 1997. She has led programmes dedicated to institutional capacity building and decentralized cooperation. She has actively promoted women empowerment, social inclusion and international partnerships. She played a critical role in setting up the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments and has followed and represented local and regional governments in iconic international processes such as the Rio and Beijing + 20 as well the Climate Agreement the SDGs and Hábitat III. She has further been deeply involved in the institutional development of United Cities and Local Governments into a network of networks. During her work in the World Organization she has been appointed to numerous panels both in her personal and professional capacity. Her involvement in Cities Alliance, the General Alliance of Partners and the Cities Programme of the Global Compact are worth highlighting. Her mission as Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) started in 2018. When asked about her priorities for coming years she mentions: ensuring that the global agendas are built from local priorities and that international action of local governments is understood as an indispensable role to fulfill local needs with solidarity, justice and accountability at the centre.

Roheyatou

Malick Lowe

Mayor of Banjul, The Gambia

Madam Rohey Malick Lowe, is the first elected female Mayor of Banjul, Gambia. She was born and raised in Banjul. Madam Lowe is currently UCLG Policy Councillor, President of African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum, President Refela-The Gambia National Chapter, Executive Member Global Parliament of Mayors, and the 2nd Vice President of United Democratic Party National Executive. Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe is a proactive and hardworking individual with significant years of experience as an entrepreneur who has successfully been established within the tourism industry. She studied International Relations at the University of Falun in Sweden and her academic experience has provided her with a strong theoretical knowledge of public administration. She was also very active in the political arena and subsequently a member of a party called ‘Social Democrats’ which gave her the opportunity to serve as a key member of the Child Welfare Committee of Nyköping Municipality with the mandate to oversee the schools within her jurisdiction. She has demonstrated professionalism through her leadership style by being very diligent and formulated a total inclusion of all the inhabitants of the City of Banjul in policy processes and giving them a voice to engage in all decisions regarding their city. Furthermore, part of her governance also includes engaging all relevant stakeholders more especially Civil Society Organisations in Banjul for the betterment and development of the City. She has also been a key participant in several international forums advocating the localization of SDGs.

Pilar

Diaz Romero

Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain

Pilar Díaz Romero has been the mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat since 2006 and attached to the presidency of the Barcelona Provincial Council, where she also holds the position of Delegate for International Affairs. Currently, she is also Vice President of Localret. She is a telecommunications engineer and a PhD in telecommunications engineering (1994) from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where she has worked as a tenured professor. She was the winner of the Ericsson Prize for the best doctoral thesis in mobile communications in Spain, awarded by the Official College and the Spanish Association of Telecommunications Engineers. 

Musonda

Mumba

Director, The Rome Centre for Sustainable Development, UNDP

Musonda Mumba is the Director for The Rome Centre for Sustainable Development under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in close collaboration with the Italian Government’s Ministry for Ecological Transition (IMET). The Centre focuses on three priority areas: climate change, sustainable development, and nature protection. In her role, Mumba provides strategic leadership on these matters through convening, collaboration, connecting, and co-creation as the world navigates complexity and uncertainty, with the aim of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals collectively. She is also the Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) and also Vice-Chair for the Collaborative Partnership for Forests (CPF). She has over 25 years’ experience in environmental and conservation issues globally, and has published widely in various journals, newspapers, articles, and contributed to book chapters. Before joining UNDP, Mumba was the head of United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Programme, and served in various roles over a period of 12 years. A Zambian national, she received her BSc. Ed. at University of Zambia and her Ph.D. at University College London in wetland conservation and hydrology.

Marina

Sereni

Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy

In 2001 she was elected for the first time to Parliament in the constituency of Umbria. From December 2001 to 2005, member of the National Executive Committee of the Democrats of the Left, with responsibility for Foreign Affairs. In 2005, she took responsibility for the national organisation of the Democrats of the Left and contributed to the establishment of the Democratic Party. She served on the Foreign Affairs Committee until 2006. In 2006, re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies and served as Vice President of the “Olive Tree” Parliamentary Group until 28 April 2008. She served as Vice President of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic Party until November 2009. She was elected Vice President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Party during the 2009 Convention of the Democratic Party. On 2013 general elections, first candidate on the list of the Democratic Party in the constituency of Umbria and first Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies from 2013 to 2018. From July 2018 to September 2019 member of the National Secretariat of the Democratic Party. She is currently member of the National Directorate of the Party. On September 2019 she was appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. On March 1st, 2021 she has been appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ndidi

Nnoli Edozien

Chair of the Board, Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CEIP) Africa

Dr Ndidi Nnoli Edozien chairs the boards of the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CEIP) Africa, Growing Businesses Foundation and Afrikairos GmbH, Germany. She serves as ACCA Africa Advocacy Program’s Corporate Governance & Sustainability Committee Chair. She is a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Stakeholder Council, and Nigeria Integrated Reporting Committee. She co-chairs the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on SDGs, inaugurated by the Nigerian Presidency in 2017, and Welt-ethos Institute Finance & Economics Research Group under whose founder’s intellectual guidance she commenced her work on the SevenPillars Sustainability Methodology in 2004. Her civic and social responsibility initiatives include serving her home, mega-city Lagos, by sitting on the Governing Council of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and the Circular Lagos Initiative. As the initiating Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance Officer, Dangote, she operationalized sustainability for Africa’s largest manufacturing conglomerate between 2017 and 2020, for which she was recognized as the 2020 Sustainability Executive of the Year by Cemex Africa. Immediately prior, she served as faculty, teaching sustainability, ethics and social entrepreneurship at the Lagos Business School and subsequently at the China European International Business School. She has also taught at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and served as a Fellow with the University of Edinburgh, Scaling Business in Africa. She has served the Bottom of the Pyramid, promoting financial inclusion for women and youth entrepreneurship through the Growing Businesses Foundation, which she founded, since 1999. She co-founded and serves on the Board of Directors for Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services, Boost Technology (Nigeria), Rising Tide Africa and Vroom Africa – with a common focus of supporting Start-Ups to become Scale-Ups. She is an alumnus of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and Wharton Business School and holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability & Governance from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt. She was voted into the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome in 2020.

Achim

Steiner

Administrator, UNDP

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017. The United Nations General Assembly confirmed his appointment following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres. In April 2021, the General Assembly confirmed his appointment to a second four-year term beginning in June 2021.

Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development.

Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy. He was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.

Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Shomy

Chowdhury

Young Leader, Generation 17

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury is an advocate and young leader for the Generation17 initiative, supported by Samsung and UNDP. She is a multi-award-winning Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) activist from Bangladesh. Shomy is the Co-Founder of a global youth-led organization, Awareness 360, which now trains 1,500 young activists in 23 countries and has already reached over 150,000 people. She sits on the Advisory Board of multiple global platforms such as Youth Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Social Enterprise World Forum, and Democracy Moves. She has received many recognitions for over a decade of social work, notably the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold) from President Barack Obama, the Putra Icon Award, and the 2019 Diana Legacy Award. She has recently been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 and highlighted as the Featured Honoree for Social Impact. Shomy has served as a Judge for numerous initiatives, including the Commonwealth Youth Awards, the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, Global Changemakers, Hult Prize Foundation, The Diana Award, and many more. She is also the first Bangladeshi citizen to sit on the 2021 Diana Legacy Award Judging Panel.

Raini

Charuka

Singer, songwriter, Road to Rights Ambassador in Sri Lanka

RAINI CHARUKA – Singer, Songwriter, and a Voice trainer for young and upcoming singers She was educated at ‘Susan E Wagner High School, New York, USA in which she graduated with the Highest Regents Gold Diploma and continued her education at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, USA for Liberal Arts & Sciences (AA/AS) and Delaware State University, Delaware, USA for Aviation & Aviation Management (B.S). She has captured the hearts of the entire younger generation as well as the masses in Sri Lanka regardless of age and gender. North to South, East to West! She is also a strong advocate on water and sanitation – SDG Goal 6 – as an SDG Ambassador with the organization Road to Rights. During the first lockdown she conducted many virtual workshops and initiatives to raise awareness on clean water in Sri Lanka and wrote a song to spread awareness on water conservation: https://youtu.be/mf3NBwwFWho

Fahad

Al-Dehaimi

International Aid Officer, Qatar Fund for Development

Fahad Al-Dehaimi is an International Aid Officer at the Qatar Fund for Development working across the fields of both development and humanitarian aid. His role in the International Organisation Unit calls for frequent engagement in field missions, the development of country strategies and the management of country portfolios across Africa and the Middle East. At the centre of these exercises his passion is direct communication with affected persons, local governments, and NGOs to ensure inclusive and locally-driven collaboration.

Mitzi

Jonelle Tan

Convenor, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines

Mitzi Jonelle Tan is a climate justice activist based in Metro Manila, Philippines. She is the convenor and international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), the Fridays For Future (FFF) of the Philippines. She is also active in FFF International, advocating for climate justice and making sure that voices of Most Affected Peoples and Areas (MAPA)’s strikers are heard, amplified, and given space. She first became an activist in 2017 after integrating with indigenous leaders of her country which pushed her to realize that collective action and system change is what we need for a just and greener society.

Rosario

Garavito

Founder and CEO, The Millennials Movement

Rosario is a SDGs activist from Peru. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Director of The Millennials Movement and serves as Elected Focal Point for the Children, Adolescent and Youth Group of the Latin American and the Caribbean Civil Society Mechanism (MesCLAC) at the ECLAC. and at The Global Goals “Youth Power Panel” supporting the global efforts to engage youth in the achievement of the SDGs. Rosario has served as well as former UNV for the Poverty and Environment Initiative UNDP; her work is focus on supporting youth, women and grassroots organizations to join the global efforts to achieve a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world, and support the achievement of the SDGs articulating actions from the territories to the global, regional and national decision making processes. Rosario´s commitment is being recognized by different relevant institutions, she is currently a Fellow for the 2021 – Women Empower LAC Program of the Ban Ki Moon Center and in 2019, a former Obama Scholar graduating from the Master’s Degree in International Development and Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy – The University of Chicago, former Women Champion 2015 – 2016 for UN Women – Empower Women Global Movement for Women Empowerment, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Fellow 2016 and as UNLEASH Talent 2017.

Adriana

Calderon

Youth Climate Activist, Fridays For Future

Adriana Calderon (She/her) is a youth climate activist and feminist allocated in Morelos, Mexico. She is part of Fridays For Future Mexico, Fridays For Future MAPA, and is active in Fridays For Future International. She is also a regional club leader for Girl Up, the initiative from the United Nations Foundation. Her activism focuses on advocating for the people in the most affected communities, creating new strategies to impact girls in her country, and making activist spaces more collaborative and accessible, she is also focused on spreading the word and working through a feminist approach to achieve climate justice. She has worked in campaigns such as CleanUpStandardChartered targeting the UK climate killer bank and in national and international climate strikes.

Oli

Henman

Global Coordinator, Action for Sustainable Development

Oli is the Global Coordinator of Action for Sustainable Development, where he leads the global advocacy and engagement with multilateral bodies such as the UN and other international institutions. He has considerable experience of working with civil society participation and governance in South America, Europe and around the world. In his previous role at CIVICUS he led key advocacy on the SDG negotiations, including leading roles in the ‘Sustainable Development 2015’ and Action/2015 projects, and he contributed regularly to policy developments on citizen participation in the UN and EU decision-making. Prior to CIVICUS, he was Head of Partnerships & International at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (UK). He is half-Brazilian and started his career working on participatory budgeting in the cities and rainforests of Brazil.

Esther

Maina

Grassroots Coordinator, Kenyan Youth Biodiversity Network

Esther is a nature, climate and ocean advocate. She has a background in Environmental Science and is an Associate Environmental Consultant, a position that has allowed her gain experience in public and community engagement. She is the acting Grassroots Coordinator for Kenyan Youth Biodiversity Network, an ocean Advocate with Ocean Conservation Trust & and is honored to work in cooperation with the Ocean Literacy community through the National Marine Educators Association. Esther goal in life is to increase waterways & ocean knowledge/awareness, inspire a land-to-sea conservation and galvanize action for coordinated protection of these ecosystems.

Karol

Arambula

CEO and Founder, MYWorld Mexico

In 2014 Karol founded MY World Mexico, a national volunteer and citizen-driven initiative aimed to engage stakeholders and individuals in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs throughout the country. The initiative, inspired by the UN Global Survey For a Better World, MY World, has impacted two million people across Mexico thanks to more than 100,000 volunteer actions, 3,000 organisations from across sectors as well as the involvement of 20,000 volunteers during the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 her team was awarded with the People’s Voices Challenge Award for the Best Multi-stakeholder collaboration for leading a consultation of nearly half a million participants in the definition of the SDGs through the UN SDG Action Campaign’s MYWorld 2015. On behalf of the team, she has served as a judge for the UN SDG Action Awards to recognise people’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across the globe, as well as being recognized as a Youth Leader in the UN’s efforts for the Decade of Action to accelerate commitments to achieve the SDGs with the support of the UN’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Okalani

Mariner

YOUTH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, PACIFIC CLIMATE WARRIORS

Okalani Mariner is the Vice President & co-founder of the first Environmental Student Body at the National University of Samoa – Lanulau’ava Student Association. It is a youth-led organisation that aims to raise awareness about the effect and impact of Climate Change on SIDS as well as provide a platform that empowers youth to raise their voice and tell their stories. It was founded in September 2020, since then her association has worked with local and regional NGOs to promote Climate Action, Adaptation and Resilience in the Pacific.

Social media posting: The National Association for Sustainable Development of Pakistan

Founded in only 2020, The National Association for Sustainable Development of Pakistan has already made significant contributions to achieving the #SDGs. 🙌 As part of the Global Week to #Act4SDGs, @nasdpakistan has launched a Tree Planting Drive across the cities of Islamabad, Mardan, and Rahimyar Khan. 🌳 Over 500 trees will be planted in areas facing deforestation. Thank you for your incredible impact! #TurnItAround #GlobalGoals #ClimateChange #LifeOnLand

Website: https://nasdpakistan.org/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nasdpakistan/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASDPakistan