Youth Initiative Development (YIDP) Convention focussed on SDGs and agenda 2063. Our 2023 panelists line-up is filled with inspiring global leaders, youth leaders, SDGs advocates, investors, policymakers, health and digital experts, social entrepreneurs, researchers, and financers to deliver a diverse perspective on increasing youth engagement and development.
Healthcare Executive with experience in engaging in Senior Management and Board positions Dr. Obondo is a passionate Medical Doctor with comprehensive background in clinical management of patients – from physical and medical assessments to ordering diagnostic tests, establishing diagnoses, and setting up treatment and care plans. She has served in clinic and hospital settings, working within multi-disciplinary teams to provide health services. A Health Advocate and Educator, lobbied for the inclusion of adolescent-friendly services in practice, and leveraged her skills and entrepreneurial acumen to establish “Afridolescent health”, a health consultancy that runs adolescent-health school health and education programs. She also engaged as a Guest Speaker on TV, discussing various health issues to educate the public on health and the healthcare system, while tacking a number of issues touching on adolescent pregnancies, Cancer, Covid-19 management, and the Kenyan healthcare system.
Farida Abbas is the CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce in Kenya. She is appointed to provide leadership and strategic vision to the Chamber by identifying, evaluating, and developing trade and investment opportunities between Kenya and the United Kingdom. Farida comes from a background in sustainable business development and leadership development and thrives on growing SME capacity building. She is renowned as a strategic thinker and a creative problem solver who can focus on complex challenges and turn them into tangible, quantifiable strategies for businesses and individuals. She is fully aware of the significance of establishing relationships of trust and transparency to engage multiple key stakeholders for growth and expansion. Farida draws on work from her experience with the FTSE 100 companies in Kenya, including Diageo, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and G4S Farida is an Accredited Executive Coach by the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC) UK. As an Executive Coach, Farida is passionate about inspiring others to embrace their potential to live a fulfilled and happy life, professionally and personally. She ranks high as an imaginative and bold coach who challenges others to step beyond the status quo.
Dr. Essam Said is the Ag Director of Medical Services and Head of Primary Health Division in Nairobi City County Government. He is an Australian Awards Africa Alumni with a Dual master’s degree in public health and health Management. A Medical doctor with 14 years working experience under the Ministry of Health, County Government of Nairobi, Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Faith Based Hospital (St Lukes Mission Hospital). Employed in Government as an intern, medical officer, and held management roles in various facilities, including Kibra South Health Facility, Mutuini Sub District hospital and Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital. He possesses a vast knowledge in the efficient and effective operational needs of high-performance health systems. Well-versed in assessing challenges and gaps, developing solutions, and implementing positive changes within resource limited setup to achieve enhanced health service delivery. Recognized for strong dynamic leadership, communication skills, an advocator for open-door management systems and organizational learning culture which enhances team performance at both management and operational levels. Great at building strategic partnerships between Government Sectors and Private stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organization, Foundations and Companies to drive necessary change. Recognised as a champion in the development of the Citizen Service Delivery Charter and Internal Service Level Agreement for the Health sector under Nairobi Metropolitan Service. Empowered Community based Organizations at Mutuini Sub District Hospital to write projects proposal to support themselves. Contributor to the 2009 second edition of the National Guidelines on Management of Sexual Violence in Kenya. Worked with Red Cross to establish training of one employee at a time in Basic Life Support Training. Areas of interest include AI digitalization of management and operational systems, sustainable health finance systems, health system strengthening, Private Public Partnership with Build Operate and Transfer models.
STELLA WARUINGI, is the Head of Mental Health a& Substance Use Program at Nairobi County, Directorate of Health. In her capacity, she acts as the mental health technical advisor to County Health Management Team. In this role, she has led to establishment of mental health services and structures within the county, integration of mental health at primary healthcare through implementation of WHO mhGAP-IG and strengthening of community mental health. She has over 10 years of work experience as a psychotherapist and in health management. Currently she is leading in the improvement of the public mental health through collaborative efforts of government, NGO’s and private sector by designing promotive strategies to improve the mental wellness of the population and preventive interventions to address the mental health gap. One of the major achievements has been designing of affordable and accessible mental health services by integration at the primary healthcare level facilities within Nairobi. She has a Master of Health Psychology from the University of Nairobi ,Kenya and currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Public Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has great interest in implementation research and designing of public mental health promotive and preventive interventions. On her free time, she mentors adolescents and young persons on reproductive and mental health and also volunteers at Kenya Red Cross Society.
Lizzie currently serve as Partnership and Communication Consultant for EANNASO and Zenith Global Health. She completed double major Bachelor in Communication majoring in Public Relations and Development Communication at the St. Pauls University where she is currently taking a thesis aligned to her profession. Having more than 10 years of experience working with different institutions as an Exacutive Administration work within the private sector. Lizzie has been passionate championing public private engagement and partnership in Africa to build a safe space for development. She has also been involved in organizing high level advocacy and networking events at AHB where she was working as Business Development Associate, Partnerships Associate, Public relations executive, and an executive Administrator.
Mr. Arnold Gekonge is a young founder and team lead of the 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗚𝗼𝗮𝗹𝘀 (𝗦𝗗𝗚𝘀) Youth Organization in Kenya, a network that works toward meaningful involvement of 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲, 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 and 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀. Champions for Sustainable Development Goals hosts hybrid information sessions and dialogues as a 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆 of educating young people and carrying out 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝘆 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗰𝘆. Arnold envision an all-inclusive, equitable global society, where now marginalized populations, particularly young people, are 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱, 𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱 and 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘀 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲𝗻𝘀. He is a 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵 𝗨𝗡𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗛 𝗜𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗟𝗮𝗯 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗗𝗚𝘀 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 and 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗺𝗻𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿, 𝗘𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮. Arnold take keen interest in Sustainable Development Goals 𝟯, 𝟰, 𝟱, 𝟭𝟬, 𝟭𝟯 and 𝟭𝟳.
Susan is a social change advocate with a passion for sexual and reproductive health and climate justice issues. She is the founder of Inspire Teenagers Foundation. She uses her platform to share her story and experience as a teen mom, giving hope to other teen mums. Susan, an award-winning Humanitarian and youth leader who has experience in community development and mobilizing for social change. She has skills in community mobilization, designing youth and adolescent programs, facilitation, resource mobilization, and good communication. She has an academic background in Counselling and Psychology and Human Resource Management. Her passion for social change motivated her to start a CBO called Inspire Teenagers Foundation in Ngong Mathare slums, Kajiado County, the organization seeks to mentor and educate adolescent girls, boys, and young mothers on their Sexual and Reproductive Health, Human Rights, and Economic Empowerment and leadership development.
Dr. Robert Korom is a board-certified internal medicine physician and serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Penda Health. Dr. Korom earned his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, USA, and completed his medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Korom has published several peer-reviewed studies of Penda's work in clinical quality improvement. He works closely with Penda's digital health and technology teams to improve clinical decision making and enhance patient experience.
Meet our speaker: Dr. Shadrack Opon, PhD. is a highly #trained health systems strengthening and health projects manager, with extended experience in managing healthcare projects for international organizations and development partners. He is a Youth Health Advocate and is passionate about Health Systems Strengthening. He drives youth advocacy and champions for youth inclusivity in health leadership and governance as a way to create sustainable health security in Africa. Dr. Opon is the Head of Health Systems Department at Amref International University (AMIU). Prior to joining AMREF, he was a Senior Project Manager at Africa Health Business (AHB). He has also been a lecturer and a Digital Varsity Coordinator at Mount Kenya University - MKU where he taught and published articles on health systems strengthening. Dr. Shadrack holds a PhD degree and a Master’s degree in Health Systems Management both from Kenya Methodist University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Management from Kenyatta University.
Dr. Sarah Kiptinness is a family physician who has served as a doctor in Kenya for the last 8 years. She trained and worked in Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest teaching and referral hospital in Kenya as well as AIC Kijabe Hospital, one of the largest mission hospitals serving the under-served population in Kenya. Sarah brings this wealth of experience working in the low-resource health sector in Kenya to Penda Health as the Head of Quality Improvement and resident Family Physician. She has a great passion for primary healthcare that is equitable, accessible and affordable to all Kenyans.
Shreyaa Venkat is an award-winning nonprofit leader, international speaker, humanitarian, and Gen-Z activist who utilizes multifaceted approaches to address society’s most pressing issues. As the 20-year old founder and CEO of NEST4US, she engages people of all ages and backgrounds through a wide array of global service campaigns that support causes ranging from global hunger and social justice to quality education and mental health. Over the years, Shreyaa has served as a versatile leader in manifold capacities, representing organizations from the United Nations, Clinton Foundation, FAO, Points of Light, World Wildlife Fund, Rare Beauty, ICANHELP, & Chegg to Giving Tuesday, VS PINK, American Eagle, Youth Service America, Riley's Way Foundation, IBM, L’Oreal, etc. Additionally, Shreyaa has cemented herself in the advocacy and activism spheres by advancing progress towards the Global Goals at hundreds of renowned venues including the Gates Foundation, UN, The King Center, Lead National Conferences, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation, Facebook, PeaceJam, Intrepid Museum, Lead India Foundation, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), Global Girl Project, etc. Furthermore, she has been featured on notable news and media outlets including the TODAY Show, GMA, Reader’s Digest, People, Forbes Women, NY Times, Daily Mail, Affinity, Scholastic, Global Heroes Magazine, etc. As a rising senior at Georgetown University majoring in Global Health, Shreyaa is currently pursuing a career in healthcare policy, combining her passions for health equity, climate activism, and volunteerism to aid marginalized communities worldwide.
Valentina is the founder of Daye – the brand behind the world’s first and only pain-relieving tampons. They have been clinically validated to work better and faster than painkillers. Beyond menstrual pain relief, Daye is building additional products and services in the vaginal and hormonal health spaces. The company’s vision is to build the one, go-to-place for all things gynecological care.
Kelvin Nyamache is a Kenyan by birth, an African at heart and a Global Citizen by nature. In 2022, he made history to be elected as the First Steering Committee Chair of the AU - Youth Assembly. He also holds a dual position as the Director for Events, Summits and Conferences at AUYA. His executive role and duties include, overseeing the organization's work and fronting the voices of over 870 million youth in the 54 African Countries that are AUYA's permanent signatories, including 141 foreign observer countries and territories. He brings to the role decades of experience in public service, with a focus on empowering undeserved communities in Africa and around the World, developing high-impact policies and programmes to support the youth, including humanitarian crises.
A trained public health specialist currently the Technical Centre Support Manager for EANNASO and coordinating the Global Fund Anglophone CRG Regional Communication and Coordination Platform. A sitting member of the EAC Health Technical Working Group and a co-chair to the EAC SRHR Regional Steering Committee.
Zakari Osheku is a health system strengthening expert with over a decade experience. His experience cuts across increasing the accessibility of medicines and technologies in northern Nigeria, a region with the poorest health development indices. Over the years, he has saved thousands of lives through improving access to life saving health commodities such as medicines and technologies. Zakari is renowned as the voice of primary health care in Nigeria and Africa. Our primary health care facilities must have good looks from all perspective for efficiency, equity and quality in our generation. He has led many interventions in nutrition, communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, universal health coverage, maternal and child health, among others. Zakari is the pioneer chief of PHC Advocate®, a movement that mobilizes and empowers thousands of people within and outside the health ecosystem to advocate for the pillars of health system strengthening.
Nassor is a Public Health and Immunization Specialist with over 15 years of experience in immunization at country, regional and global level. Nassor has supported strengthening routine immunization systems and new vaccine introduction (including for PCV, Rota, IPV, HPV, Covid-19 etc) and worked with multiple countries in Africa. He is currently working with JSI headquarters as a Senior Technical Officer supporting multiple projects, including preventive health initiatives that involve vaccination with adolescents as part of lifecourse approaches.
Diana Kemunto is a Medical Doctor by training and currently the Project Management Specialist for HIV Adolescents at the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) Kenya. She has been in the field of HIV programming for over ten years with a special interest in Adolescents and Young People especially with regards to Mental Health and ASRH.
Sr. Alice is the director of the Centre for Leadership Management, Tangaza University College. She is a PhD student in the doctoral programme at the Institute of Social Ministry, Tangaza University College. Her background is in finance and her interest is the education of adult learners. She has been a provincial of her congregation of the Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus, and appreciates the difficulties faced by women religious ministering in the midst of war in places like the Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Leshan Kereto is a dynamic and influential young leader who has emerged as a prominent advocate for youth empowerment, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. With a profound commitment to creating positive change in Africa, Leshan serves as the Chair of the UNFPA Youth Advisory Panel and the African Union Youth Reference Committee. Having grown up in a diverse and vibrant community, Leshan developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that young people face in the African context. This sparked her passion for youth development and fueled her determination to make a difference in the lives of her peers.
Dr. Catherine Gitau is a consultant psychiatrist with a Master of Medicine degree in Psychiatry from the University of Nairobi. She is full time faculty in the department of medicine at the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi. She has over twelve (12) years’ experience in assessment and management of various mental illness. She previously held a faculty position at the University of Nairobi where she participated in various research activities and enrolled into an Epidemiology fellowship Programme. Her main research interest is in integration of mental healthcare at the primary healthcare and is in the process of developing her PhD proposal in this area. She actively participated in providing psychosocial support to healthcare workers during the COVID 19 pandemic through weekly mental health webinars and in the establishment of the healthcare workers call center
Dr. Martin Makau is an exceptional and versatile leader in the healthcare field, with a vast reservoir of knowledge and experience. As a medical director at HealthX Africa, he brings a unique blend of expertise gained from his work in both the private and public sectors, providing valuable insights into patient care and support. Beyond his clinical proficiency, Dr. Makau's contributions to healthcare research have been instrumental in advancing medical knowledge and practices. In his role as a healthcare manager and administrator, Dr. Makau has displayed remarkable skills in overseeing the operations of public and private health sectors, ensuring efficient and effective healthcare delivery. His dedication has positively impacted the well-being of numerous individuals. Moreover, Dr. Makau's involvement in medical affairs within the pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated his talent for bridging the gap between medical science and the commercial aspects of healthcare. This distinctive perspective has fostered innovative approaches to enhancing healthcare outcomes. His adeptness in strategic management within healthcare markets has proven instrumental in the success of various healthcare initiatives. Dr. Makau's keen understanding of market dynamics and strategic planning has led to the growth and advancement of healthcare services. Above all, Dr. Martin Makau's passion lies in creating a harmonious integration of all dimensions of healthcare. By leveraging his diverse expertise, he strives to achieve better healthcare outcomes for people both locally and globally. With unwavering dedication, Dr. Makau continues to champion the improvement of healthcare systems and outcomes, leaving a positive and enduring impact on the well-being of communities worldwide.
Sarah Porter is the CEO and founder of InspiredMinds!, a global tech strategy group based in London, operating in 72 countries. The group focuses on uniting emerging tech for the betterment of the world, specializing in AI for good and AI for medicine with a strong emphasis on fair, safe, and ethical AI. Sarah is also a first response trauma paramedic at Volunteer 999 since 2008, an ambassador for the Royal Marsden hospital in London, and a speaker for the United Nations on Lethal Autonomous Weapons disarmament. She initiated the "Global AI to Cure Cancer" challenge. Sarah is a passionate advocate for women's rights and has been recognized as Female Tech Entrepreneur of the Year. She co-founded Ada-AI, a global non-profit group of influential scientists and technologists in Artificial Intelligence, with a mission to ensure that emerging technology benefits underrepresented sectors of society, particularly women. As the founder of the World Summit AI, Sarah has established the world's only industry-organized Tech Summit for the entire Applied AI ecosystem. The World Summit AI community, organized by InspiredMinds!, attracts attendees from over 68 countries and is the fastest-growing AI network globally. With a career spanning multiple industries, including journalism, management consulting, and technology, Sarah has launched 21 tech products in 11 countries since 1996. She now focuses on emerging tech, medtech, existentialism, immortality, and humanitarian first response. Additionally, Sarah is a dedicated mother of three children and advocates for single working mothers, striving to help women balance work and family in high-pressure careers. She is also a co-founder of the SaRoya Institute, a STEAM school in Afghanistan that aims to reduce inequality and educate future tech leaders. Sarah Porter's work and achievements highlight her commitment to leveraging technology for positive social impact, particularly in the areas of AI for good, women's empowerment, and humanitarian initiatives.
Alfred (Otieno) Osiko is a distinguished expert in Sustainability, Climate Change, Environment Management, Safety & Health, and Government Affairs. With a wealth of experience at both national and multinational organizations, Alfred has demonstrated his expertise in working with multicultural and geographically diverse teams. As the Senior Market Engagement Manager - ClimateTech at GSMA, Alfred plays a pivotal role in driving sustainability initiatives and climate action in the technology industry. His work involves engaging with various stakeholders to address climate challenges, develop sustainable solutions, and promote environmental stewardship. Throughout his career, Alfred has been at the forefront of advocating for sustainable practices and policies. He has spearheaded efforts to mitigate climate change impacts and foster sustainable development in line with global environmental goals. In the realm of Environment Management, Alfred has been instrumental in implementing best practices to ensure eco-friendly operations and reduce the environmental footprint of organizations. His strategic approach to safety and health has resulted in creating safer work environments and promoting employee well-being. Additionally, Alfred has a strong background in Government Affairs, where he collaborates with policymakers and regulatory bodies to shape sustainable policies that drive positive change in the community. Alfred's dedication to sustainability, climate action, and environmental management has earned him recognition as a leader in the field. His passion for creating a better world through responsible practices and innovation continues to make a profound impact on society.
Gurmeet Philora is a Senior Supply Chain Advisor with JSI where his current portfolio focuses on the intersection of climate change and health supply chains. Gurmeet has over 16 years of experience leading end-to-end supply chains in health and humanitarian settings with NGO, UN, and donor organizations. Gurmeet holds a Masters in International Logistics from the University of Plymouth, UK.
With a robust background in international law and a keen focus on African development and investments, Cynthia Kankindi is a dedicated legal professional with a decade-long history of achievements in public-private partnerships (‘PPPs’) and strategic investment transactions. She currently serves as a Legal Counsel at the Africa Legal Support Facility (ALSF) where they conduct legal due diligence of commercial transactions, offer technical advisory services to African governments in PPPs/Infrastructure, energy, natural resources, and sovereign finance, negotiate financing agreements, and manage relationships with governments and external legal counsel. This experience has allowed the ALSF to effectively interact with senior government officials and contribute to best practices in complex commercial transactions. Prior to joining the ALSF, she acted as the Board Secretary for the Rwanda Development Board (‘RDB’) and as a Strategic Legal Analyst/Legal Consultant within the transactions and structuring division which doubles as the PPU unit at the RDB. She coordinated board activities, facilitated the negotiation of high-value strategic agreements on behalf of the Government of Rwanda in priority sectors and the privatization of state-owned assets to boost private sector involvement. Equipped with a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Trade Transactions from the University of Manchester, UK, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice, Rwanda, and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Uganda Christian University, Cynthia has a comprehensive academic foundation in law. She has further cemented her experience in international law firms, most notably as a London Secondee at Dentons (UK). Cynthia brings an international perspective and local insights, as well as an astute understanding of the African legal framework.
Perrykent Nkole is a seasoned Project Lead and Strategist at Africa Alliance, with a focus on communication strategy, diplomacy, protocol, and public relations. He honed his skills through training at the prestigious Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations. Throughout the last decade, Perrykent has collaborated with several international organizations, acquiring valuable experience and expertise in diverse fields. His work with organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children International (SCI), SRHR Africa Trust (SAT), and the Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) has allowed him to play a crucial role in communication strategy development, media management, and organizational programming. As a versatile professional, Perrykent's background in diplomatic practice and public relations has strengthened his ability to lead and execute projects effectively. He is passionate about leveraging his skills to create a positive impact in Africa, utilizing his expertise to advance the goals and objectives of Africa Alliance.
Nahashon Aluoka is a dedicated Regional Advisor and Global Partnerships Lead based in Nairobi. With over 15 years of experience, he has been passionately serving in senior Policy Advocacy and Campaign roles for International Non-Governmental Organizations such as World Vision International and Save the Children International. Currently, Nahashon holds the position of Regional Advisor, East and Southern Africa, with the Pandemic Action Network. He is a specialist in Public Policy, Advocacy, and Campaigns, demonstrating exceptional skills in developing advocacy and campaign strategies in both development and humanitarian contexts. His expertise extends to various areas, including resource mobilization, crafting policy briefs, engaging with policymakers, leading teams, and managing media engagement. Nahashon is also highly skilled in public mobilization and has extensive experience in working with networks of activists and youths across East and Southern Africa.
Alfred Sigo is a social innovator and the CEO and Co-founder of Pwani Youth Network. With over 10 years of experience, Alfred has dedicated his career to working with young people in the field of sustainable development. As a visionary leader, Alfred's work with Pwani Youth Network aims to empower and uplift young individuals, fostering positive change in their lives and communities. Through innovative approaches, he strives to address pressing social and environmental issues, promoting sustainable development practices for a better future. Alfred's passion for youth empowerment and his commitment to sustainable development have made him a driving force in creating impactful initiatives and programs that benefit the youth in the region. His leadership and dedication continue to inspire and influence positive transformations in the lives of many young people in the community.
17-year-old Esha Venkat is a global changemaker, ambitious servant leader, and groundbreaking girlpreneur passionate about advancing social progress across the world. As the founder and COO of NEST4US, she works extensively with the public to drive collaborative awareness and action, mobilizing volunteers to drive the fight for equality and justice worldwide. Esha serves as a versatile leader in manifold capacities by representing organizations from Points of Light, Giving Tuesday, Good Deeds Day, Youth Service America, Be Strong Global, and Civics Unplugged to DoSomething, Rileys Way Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, ICANHELP, and Global Peace, she engages the public in collaborative action and drives comprehensive social reform by working with change agents across all levels. She also serves as a board member in diverse array of academic clubs and student-led organizations. In addition, Esha has been recognized with many accolades over the years for her charitable works, as well as been featured on global mediums including Variety, Thrive Global, TODAY show, NY Times, Channel Kindness, Affinity, Lifetime TV, NBC, Daily Mail, etc. According to Esha, transforming the future involves innovation, hard work, and cooperation between diverse communities, paired with compassionate leaders, cohesive teams, and collaborative cultures in order to achieve the common goal of a united and just world.
Tonny is an experienced youth policy, SRHR and gender advocate. He is an optimistic, resilient, visionary, and with inter cum entrepreneurship skills. He has over five years of progressive experience in advocacy, programme administration, peer mentorship or training and in public policy. He has passion for Gender advocacy and development, leadership and good governance. Tonny currently serves as member of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Kenya Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) where he advises the country offices in ensuring their programmes include and empower young people. He is a co-founder, partnership and managing director at The Polly Foundation. The Foundation is community based organization in Siaya County in which him as partnership coordinator engages in community outreaches, environmental cleaning, tree planting and training the communities on sustainable organic farming. In November 2021, Tonny was recognized by the Optiven Go Green Award as the best young Ecosystem Restoration champion. Tony also serves on volunteer basis as Regional Program Coordinator, Kenya KECTIL Center for Youth Excellence. He previously served as Communication Strategist for Stowelink and as JOOUST University- Program Coordinator. Mr. Olela was elected in 2022 as the Undersecretary Head of administration for the Global Youth Consortium Against FGM, UNFPA-UNICEF joint program. The program unites 55 countries across the globe to rally young people to advocate against FGM. In 2022, he was training a team of 30 young innovators for Kectil Community Kenya "Innovation by Design Thinking for Sustainable Development" program. Among the teams, were a group of students from St. Paul's University Eco-Bana who applied the concept of Design Thinking and pitching techniques. The team successfully participated in the 2022 Hult Prize Challenge and won the $1 million USD, and as a result they are now establishing a company in Kenya producing "EcoBana Biodegradable Sanitary towels." Tonny holds an undergraduate Degree in Education- Special Needs Education with Information Technology (Sign Language) from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. Currently studying his Masters in Gender and Development Studies MA.
Hannah Gathura is the Neonatal and Child Health Focal Person in Nairobi City County. She holds a higher diploma in paediatrics. A clinical officer paediatrics with 22 years working experience under the ministry of Health, County Government of Nairobi, Nairobi Metropolitan Services, and Murang`a County (Kirogo Health Centre). Started working in a private facility immediately after internship, later employed in Government as a clinical officer and worked as in-charge of the facility in Murang’a. Worked as the District Clinical Officer Njiru District currently Kasarani Sub- County and deputised District Medical Officer of Health and held all management roles in the Sub-County. She is part of the team that started Non communicable diseases program in Nairobi City County in 2015 and contributed in development of Costed Implementation Plan 2018/2019-2020/2021. Contributor in Kenya Implementation Framework and plan of Action for Integrated Community Case Management 2022-2027. Works with minimal supervision and has extensive knowledge in assessing challenges and gaps, developing solutions, and implementing positive changes aimed at improving services and reducing neonatal mortality rate. Has various skills in leadership as she leads in resource mobilization, co-ordination of partners in child health and all activities in the unit. Area of interest include digitalization of data collection and strengthening private public partnership.
Esther Kiambati is a Nurse- Midwife and an advocate of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Diploma in Health Care Management, and a certificate in Maternal Health and Nursing Administration. She is interested in capacity-building Midwives in order to strengthen service delivery and improve both maternal health outcomes and the experience of women during childbirth in Nairobi County. She is currently coordinating Reproductive and Maternal Health in Nairobi and is the Chair of the 47 County RH Coordinators in Kenya. She values the provision of Reproductive health services using the Rights-based approach as All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Esther has 25 years of experience in Nursing leadership with exceptional skills and competencies mentorship of other midwives in the Reproductive and maternal Health space and advocating for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in the communities.
Mr. Douglas Kibanda is the HIV/AIDS Program coordinator and Adolescent/Young People Focal Person for Dagoretti North and South Sub Counties in Nairobi City County. He is a Chief Registered Nurse with a Diploma in Nursing Sciences and Bachelor of Science degree in Health Systems Management. He has 21 years working experience in the public health sector employed in 2002 and has worked in Narok County referral hospital, Kajiado County referral hospital, Ongata Ronga Health Centre, Karen Health Centre and Kangemi Health Centre. He has wide experience in HIV clinical/program management, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and mental health service delivery. He was part of the team that started the first HIV care and treatment clinics in primary health care facilities in Nairobi as the Head of the HIV Department in one of the health facilities in Nairobi in 2004. Participated in setting up other HIV care clinics within Westlands Sub County of Nairobi County. He is a trainer of trainers in HIV management and adolescent sexual and reproductive health, he has training in basic Global Health Project management and epidemiology from University of Washington. He was part of the team that developed the Nairobi County AIDS Implementation Plan in 2021 and he is currently a member of the National Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV rapid result initiative implementation committee. He was part of the team that started community mental health services in primary healthcare settings in Nairobi in the informal settlements. In recognition of his work in mental health, he participated in the World Psychiatry Conference in 2007 in Nairobi, International Community Mental Health Conference in Entebbe, Uganda in 2008 and an exchange program for Community Mental Health in Wachita, Kansas State in USA in 2008. He participated in the implementation of the Sports for Health project for adolescent girls and young women implemented by AMREF in collaboration with the Nairobi County government in 2020-2021. He is a strong advocate for digitization of health care delivery in Nairobi City County through implementation of electronic medical records systems and adoption of artificial intelligence in the health management information system.
Judy W. Macharia is a community health specialist with MSc. Health Systems Management; her passion is strengthening community health system to ensure Sustained Improvement of Health and wellbeing for all. She is currently working as the Head community health services in Nairobi City County, Kenya. She values community innovative ways in responding to their community needs towards access to health care. Judy has over 20 years of experience in leadership and management in the health care system; She is a community health champion who advocates for recognition of community health Volunteers/Promoters who are the frontline health workers. Judy was involved in establishment of the Nairobi City County Community Health Services Act of 2019; which mainly recognizes the work done at community level including renumeration of the community health promoters. She has spear headed establishment of 748 community health units in the county with 7480 Community health promoters; serving 748,000 households translating to 80% coverage of the county. She is proud that through the ACT the CHPs receive monthly stipends which brings a smile to their faces. Judy loves prof. Miriam Were quote which states that if it is not happening in the community, it is not happening anywhere. The community health motto Our Health; Our Responsibility Keeps her always on the move. She loves nature and country music.
Ms. Maria Tororey is a Healthcare professional with a passion for holistic wellbeing for adolescents and youth and responsive health systems. She has over 18 years of experience in various health program areas including Sexual and reproductive health, Adolescent and Youth health wellbeing and HIV prevention and treatment. She is currently serving as the SRHR Technical Lead at Faith to Action Network and based in Nairobi, Kenya. Maria has worked at the frontline as a service provider, advocate, advisor and in designing of transformative Adolescent and Youth programmes. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Child and Adolescent Development, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and political science and a Diploma in Clinical Medicine.
Am a Nurse Midwife with a degree in Community Heath Development, working at Subcounty vaccine department. I am an immunization advocate focusing on reaching every child/youth with immunization. I work closely with partners to reach every child with immunization through defaulter tracing and door to door outreaches at community level. I participated fully in reaching the community with Covid 19 vaccination during the pandemic at Mbagathi County hospital and Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV) provision for 10 to 14-year-old girls for prevention of cervical cancer through sensitization and outreaches. I am a community health nurse with interests in vaccine research, policies, and programs to improve immunization access, coverage, and equity within integrated healthcare systems. I have 10 years of community health experience and a recognized champion in the immunization field, where I have mentored many UON medical and Nursing students on immunization packages in Kenya and immunization policy. My most recent work is on understanding and addressing challenges with COVID-19 vaccine cold chain management and uptake.
Omnia El Omrani is the first official Youth Envoy for the President of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). She is a Climate Change and Health Junior Policy Fellow at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. She is a medical doctor with multiple roles as a Commissioner at the Lancet Commissions on Sustainable Healthcare and Post-COVID Population Health, a member of the first Youth Sounding Board of the European Union DG-INTPA, and an associate at Women Leaders for Planetary Health and UNICEF Youth Leaders Program.
Farhan Yusuf is a pharmacist working in Tanzania with experience spanning across the public, private and non-profit sectors. His experience includes carrying out different roles related to Health Commodity Logistics, Pharmaceutical Supply Chains and Public Private Partnerships for health in support of various projects/programs across different health areas. These roles have included technical and managerial leadership, monitoring & evaluation, program/project management, advocacy, and governance. He is very passionate about digital health and it's potential to impact the health sector and the role that youth in Africa can play within the health sector.
DR. ORPHA NYAKUNDI , A holder of Bachelor of Education degree from Kenyatta University, Master of Education in Educational Psychology from Kenyatta University, Master of Arts in Child Development from Daystar University, Doctor of Educational Administration from University of Nairobi. She also holds several short course certificates. She has taught at high school level and works with the commission for UNESCO in Kenya as deputy director programmes in Ethics of Science and Sports Division. She is a member of the Bioethics Society of Kenya, International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and the National Bioethics Committee. She has participated in organizing both local and international conferences. She has attended and made presentations at both local and international conferences. She has conducted several studies and conducted capacity building as well as sensitization in diverse fields related to her area of work. She runs programmes on child development especially in aspects of education. She is an author and editor of a number of books and published in peer-reviewed journals. She is also a reviewer in the International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS).
Gitanjali Rao is Time Top Innovator and UNICEF advocate with research skills and success in developing innovative devices that solve current social and community health problems. Actively combines science and kindness as a catalyst for social change and to make a difference in community. An avid problem solver, who thrives in collaborating with organizations that promote innovation and creativity, especially in girls and women. Multiple years experience in commercial water and biology labs adhering to requisite constraints and compliance requirements. Active STEM promoter and public speaker with experience speaking at several global forums for last four years. Organizer and promoter of several STEM based activities in schools, clubs and the community. Run and manage weekly innovation sessions both virtually and on location, having impacted to-date, about 75,000 elementary, middle and high school students globally. Advocate for refugee camp local centers and fundraiser to bring equal access to education. Recognized as TIME Magazine Top Young Innovators in the world, featured on the cover of TIME Magazine for my work addressing some of global challenges. Author of 2 books and experienced TED speaker.
Tony Sikolia Kisaka is a certified process professional and a global citizen based in Nairobi, with a reach that extends across the globe. Having previously served as a Trustee for the Safaricom Foundation, Tony demonstrated a strong commitment to philanthropy and community development. Currently, he serves as the Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Africa for SDGs, Tony's dedication to mental health advocacy is evident through his role as the Head of Strategy and Member Partnerships at Coalition Action for Preventive Mental Health Kenya. Tony brings his expertise as a Strategic Advisor at RESQ247, a position that allows him to provide valuable insights to enhance emergency response services and support systems. Tony is also actively involved in education and mentorship. As a faculty member, lecturer, and business mentor at E4IMPACT Foundation
Michael is a development professional with over seven years of experience in the design implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes. He is currently the lead of partnerships and resource mobilization at the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network. He is passionate about youth and women development and empowerment.
Habib Omar as he is known by many is community organizer, youth advocate, mentor, activist and a renowned human rights crusader from Kariobangi North, Embakasi North Constituency Nairobi County. He is passionate about matters social justice, leadership, governance, which saw him vied for public office as a member of county assembly for Kariobangi North Ward, Nairobi County in the last concluded 2022 General Elections in Kenya . Perturbed by human rights violation in Kariobangi and many challenges faced by young people from informal settlements, Habib together with other like-minded community members founded Kariobangi Social Justice Centre, a human rights community based organization which advocate against all forms of injustices and proactively enhance access to justice, equal rights, dignity and promote equality. As a team leader and coordinator of the organization his tasked with responsibility to steer, lead and guide members and the organization to the full realization of its mission and objectives. Matters youth are close to his heart and this have seen him facilitate empowerment and mentorship programs for young people by linking them with different opportunities, advocating and creating awareness on issues affecting and creating a platform for learning and engaging with them with the aim of enabling them realize their dreams and achieve high potential in life. He believe with equal opportunities, empowerment, capacity building and involvement of young people in policy and decision making can foster youth development and create a better future for them.
Dr. Stacy Njani is a highly qualified medical doctor with a profound interest and dedication to the field of mental health. With a wealth of experience spanning over 5 years, she has made significant contributions in both the public and private sectors, holding various roles and responsibilities. During her time at Narok County Referral Hospital, Dr. Njani had the opportunity to engage with marginalized and vulnerable communities, which opened her eyes to the critical issue of limited awareness and accessibility of mental health services within the public sector. Driven by her passion for mental health, she is currently pursuing her Masters of Medicine in Psychiatry at the esteemed University of Nairobi, where she also serves as the Deputy Chief Resident. Dr. Njani's commitment extends to her roles as a Resident Psychiatrist at Mathari Teaching and Referral Hospital and Tranquil Medical Centre, where she diligently works to provide compassionate and quality care to her patients. Her dedication to mental health advocacy and service has earned her respect and admiration within the medical community and beyond. With her expertise and compassionate approach, Dr. Stacy Njani continues to make a profound impact in advancing mental health services and awareness, ultimately striving to create a more mentally healthy and resilient society.
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