WFUNA's Human Rights Youth Projects 2017

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Over the summer of 2017, WFUNA held its seventh Human Rights Youth program dedicated to building the capacity of young people from its network to implement human rights projects in their communities and engage effectively with UN human rights mechanisms.

After the training, participants returned to their countries and started implementing a human rights project. Participants report to WFUNA on the progress of their respective projects in the six months following the training. Read more about their projects below.

1. Mina de Ouro: Promoting personal, educational, and professional development of at-risk girls
Laura Baptista

Laura Baptista is a lawyer from Brazil with a passion for Human Rights and social justice. She believes that imprisoned girls should not be denied the opportunity to achieve their potential because of their mistakes. After she participated in the 7th edition of the Human Rights in Action Training, the Mina de Ouro project was born. It was created as an effort to develop a project aimed at promoting personal, educational and professional development of 16 at-risk teenage girls committed to a youth detention center in Curitiba, Brazil.

With the help of several partners such as the DO IT TODAY Project, Innova Solutions, and Stella Rose Coaching, the project’s team organized a series of lectures and workshops at the center while simultaneously created a network of employers and schools willing to provide the girls with professional and academic opportunities. The activities included presentations about different career and educational possibilities, discussions on inspirational women in history, and workshops on how to set and achieve future goals.

The project’s goal is to empower imprisoned girls by helping them develop useful life skills and connecting them with real opportunities. Mina de Ouro believes in the value of at-risk girls and wants to be a part in their path to a better future. Its aim is to give them a better chance of creating the life they want. The project also seeks to inspire empathy and raise awareness about the rights of girls and young women deprived of liberty.

Project website

2. Together We Can
Inessa Pambukhchyan

After graduating from Yerevan State University, Inessa took her first step towards this goal by becoming part of her United Nations Association in Armenia. She knew she wanted to be in a position where she was working on projects that would make the world a better place. Soon after attending the WFUNA Human Rights in Action Training, she realized how impactful her actions could be and wanted to use her newfound knowledge and tools to bring change to her community.

In 2017, Inessa launched a project called Together We Can. Its goal is to integrate people with special needs in different spheres of social life through fun, educational activities. Some of these include pottery classes, arts & crafts workshops, and English lessons. The project contributes directly to the implementation of two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education and Reduced Inequalities. The target audience of the project is children from ages 5 to 15 and their families. In addition to creating a safe and inclusive environment for its participants, the project aims to increase awareness of the issues that impact the special needs community of Armenia and foster public engagement and advocacy. Inessa and her team have been working on collaborative efforts with partners such as representatives from Yerevan City Council, UNA Armenia, the Pyunic NGO, and several university specialists and volunteers.

Project website
Watch the video!

3. Tell Her She Can
Sapphire Andersen

As a political science major and law school candidate, Sapphire had always appreciated the emphasis she saw on the representation of women in government and on the global gender disparity. However, she soon came across a study that found that women are much less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office. From then on, she knew there was still much work to be done in the field of political leadership. Then after attending the Human Rights in Action Program, she felt a responsibility to create a community-oriented project emphasizing the rights of people in her local community.

Tell Her She Can came to life with the goal to create supportive communities and professional networks for women and girls to realize their full potential – whether they’re in the boardroom, in the classroom, or on the legislative floor or field. The project’s aim is to be intentional in how we verbalize our support for women as they achieve their goals and dreams. In a perfect world, no woman or girl would ever hear the words "You can't" or "You shouldn't."

Through the recently launched #InspireConfidence campaign, Tell Her She Can is highlighting the stories of incredible community members and their personal journeys to find confidence or to inspire confidence in others. The project makes the complicated concept of empowerment easy by inspiring confidence through real stories of real women who are exploring how they define confidence for themselves.

Project website

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