UNICEF Canada’s Youth Advocates are dedicated activists for children and youth’s rights. Discover how they are amplifying voices from coast-to-coast on issues that matter to them.

UNICEF Canada’s Youth Advocates

Clara Brown (she/her), 16
Merrickville, ON

I believe youth voices will create a better world. Youth must participate in decision-making to ensure their future in the world is reflective of their needs, and to ensure the well-being of the planet and all species. My advocacy journey has been inspired by the incredible youth advocates I have been privileged to volunteer with. I have seen how many hearts and minds working together can make positive change for our world.

Jade Anne Buenafe (she/her), 22
Toronto, ON

Being an advocate means making a difference on an individual and community level. Even if I can help just one individual be heard, I will feel accomplished in my work. I am an advocate because I am part of marginalized groups and have experienced what it is like to be vulnerable.

Jaelin Caverhill (she/her), 18,
Moose Jaw, SK

I am an advocate because I believe that it should always be a priority to leave things better than we find them. With so many pressing issues facing the world today, there is plenty of opportunity for change to work towards creating a better, more equitable, sustainable, and supportive world.

Olivia Gillespie (she/her), 16,
St. Catharines, ON

Being an advocate gives me the opportunities to speak up for those who may not have the same opportunities or resources as I do. It empowers me to fight for social justice and equality, and to work towards a more just and inclusive society. I am motivated by the idea of making a difference and contributing to a better world for future generations. 

Emriel M. (he/they), 22
Toronto, ON

I am an advocate because I face barriers and see how issues reside unknowingly over other young people. I want to educate to liberate. Young people deserve to know the systematic reasoning behind their reality, and how they can better their reality through civic engagement and political actions.

Fatemeh Matin Moradkhan (she/her), 23
Coquitlam, BC

I genuinely believe that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. I think I am crazy enough to be part of a team that wants to change the world for the better. I think every positive change starts with raising awareness and educating people about the existing problems. I believe that the world is centred on what we choose to do as human beings, and I choose to live a life with purpose.

Blanche Monabeka (she/her), 23
Surrey, BC

The rights of children has always been a passion of mine. As a kid, I could not understand that others were not being treated the same way I was or receiving the same education as me. My fight was, is and continues to be for every child to feel and be seen in this world, and to obtain equal opportunities as their peers. We, as young people, are the future of our nation and of the world, and our voices need to be heard.

Karel Nelson (he/they), 17
Ottawa, ON

I want to make the world a better place. I love the outdoors and how they make me feel, and want to make sure all of that is still there for more people in the future. A fan of film, books, and other media forms, I aim to make climate advocacy feel more accessible through video and written form.

SunMin Park (she/her), 22
Moncton, NB

My lived experiences growing up helped me find my voice. It fuels my passion to make a difference. I have never felt more in my element. I hope to continue sharing and fulfilling my passion and commitment as a youth health advocate through a career in medicine and public health. I want to be a catalyst for positive changes to make more progress on improving access to quality, safe, and inclusive healthcare for all.

Oswaldo Andrés Paz Flores (he/him), 17
Montreal, QC

I strongly believe that we, as individuals and community members, need to get into motion to drive the change we care and need to see. Our values need to be represented. Raising our voices and doing the work helps. I’m passionate about social and environmental issues, and wish to work for a sustainable future. 

Mihir Rao (he/him), 15
Calgary, AL

I am not one to stay silent when I see the need for change, but rather to stand up for what I believe is right. The enjoyment I find in speaking and collaborating with like-minded youth to reach a solution in which all perspectives are represented are crucial factors in my advocacy journey. I embrace that unity is found through diversity, and strive to continue sharing my thoughts and broaden my own worldview by exposing myself to different people and perspectives. 

Reeana Tazreean (she/her), 20
Calgary, AB

I believe there is a dire need to contribute toward ensuring that youth have a seat at the table and are a part of decision-making. I am a woman of colour belonging to a minority group, and I have lived experience working through issues like mental health. I’ve studied health and society, and volunteered in social justice advocacy. That’s why I believe I can provide various perspectives to advocacy groups. What motivates me about being in advocacy is seeing real change happening and seeing ideas come to life. 

Katie Yu (she/her), 16
Iqaluit, NU

I am an advocate because I want to help address the issues that affect the wellbeing of others, particularly climate justice, mental health, and racial justice. Although we will never achieve a perfect world, it is still crucial to work towards a world in which there is less discrimination, the worst impacts of climate change are avoided, and mental health supports are more accessible. It’s important for youth to have a say on the issues that affect us and our rights, and for our opinions and lived experiences to be considered in decision-making.