01 March 2018

Student story: Fighting for youth empowerment

Nahom Teklewold Gebremariam (Master in International Affairs ’19) is combining his Master studies with advocating for the rights of youth in Ethiopia.

“I’m passionate about youth employment and youth leadership. When I was 13 I joined an Ethiopian NGO, Beza for Generation, which works for the full realisation of social, economic and cultural needs of poor youth, women, children and other marginalised groups. I served as a grassroots-level mobiliser, then head of communications, and now on the board. I also co-founded Youth for Change Ethiopia, a UK-government funded project tackling gender-based violence. I was recently selected as a Rise Up Youth Champion, joining other young leaders aged 18-30 (see photo above) who are leading the sexual and reproductive health and rights movement in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and the United States.”

“The future of Africa, and the world as a whole, depends on the level of participation by its youth. Young people have a critical role to play in policy-making processes, both at national and international level. Attempts to engage young people have so far been insufficient, and we must fight for our rights ourselves, creating a platform to express ourselves and our opinions in the policy-making process.”

“I have always been fascinated by policy research and would like to work as a researcher and policy analyst. I also want to get operational experience to better understand some of the most pressing international problems and come up with solutions, which the Graduate Institute is preparing me to do.”

Nahom is the recipient of this year’s Graduate Institute Community Scholarship, which mobilises our community to raise the funds to provide a full scholarship for a student from the Global South.

Learn more in the video below.