The International Youth Foundation (IYF) congratulates the 2009 YouthActionNet® Global Fellows, who recently engaged in an action-packed week of training, peer-to-peer learning, and networking in Washington, DC. Launched by IYF and Nokia in 2001, YouthActionNet® strengthens, supports, and celebrates the role of young people in leading positive change in their communities. Citizenship is one of the three pillars of youth development that IYF supports through its programs worldwide.    

In a video produced by the global public relations firm Porter Novelli, the Fellows share their views on what it means to be a leader in today’s world. The video was unveiled at a special Awards Ceremony held at the Embassy of Finland and attended by representatives of foundations, corporations, and aid agencies from the greater Washington area. During their week in Washington, Fellows examined the roots of their service work, the local and global contexts in which they operate, and how to effect long-term systems change. Each identified key leadership issues they seek to explore through their year-long Fellowship experience.  

As part of its mandate, YouthActionNet® tells the story of today’s global youth movement.

Toward that end, 2009 Fellow Dina Buchbinder Auron’s efforts to educate children in Mexico about their health and critical global issues is the focus of an interview on the World Bank’s Youthink! website. Current.com also features ‘09 Fellow Cecilia Mendes Barros’s work to train disadvantaged youth to rehabilitate historic buildings in Brazil. Other members of the 2009 class include: Donald Bodzo, 23, who developed a low-cost technology enabling low-income farmers in Zimbabwe to increase their agricultural productivity; Jose Sarasola, 29, who trains disadvantaged women in Argentina to produce environmentally-friendly clothing; and Mohammed Zaid Al-Kilany, 27, who links youth in Palestine to jobs through a mobile phone-based service.  

Since 2001, YouthActionNet® has honored 160 Fellows from more than 60 countries.  

Read more about the 2009 YouthActionNet® Global Fellows.