Girl Engagement Advisory Board
Advocates for Youth (Advocates) is proud to support the Girl Engagement Advisory Board (GEAB), a team of ten adolescent girls aged 15-19 from Cameroon, Bulgaria, the United States, Kenya, Pakistan, Madagascar, Jamaica, Nigeria, Egypt, and Nepal. GEAB members engage in advocacy efforts to advance adolescent girls’ rights within the post-2015 development process as well as inform, guide and advise Advocates’ efforts to elevate and secure prioritization of adolescent girls’ rights in the post-2015 development agenda.
Please see below for information about each of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board members.
Nana Alison Naomi, Cameroon, age: 15
Nana Alison Naomi is a lower sixth student at the Buea School for the Deaf. She is a member of the Big Steps outreach network and also president of her School Health club. She was recently awarded the best price for participation as the only successful deaf candidate to succeed in the GCE ordinary levels exams. Alison is passionate about protecting the rights of people with disabilities, particularly young girls who are deaf, and is excited to bring this enthusiasm for human rights and equality to the Girl Engagement Advisory Board.
Allison Pfotzer, United States, age: 19
Allison is a freshman at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a resident of Hendersonville, North Carolina and a member of the Advocates for Youth International Youth Leadership Council and the Girl Engagement Advisory Board. A potential double major in Government and Justice and Peace Studies, Allison has not yet declared a major. She has served in Health and reproductive education and testing in Kenya, and is currently working on behalf of Advocates in conjunction with the UN 2015 Millennial Goals and The Girl Declaration, among other projects for IYLC. Allison enjoys travel, fitness and being outdoors; and is passionate about human rights.
Caren Odanga, Kenya, age: 19
Caren is an aspiring journalist who is currently pursuing Diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC). She is a member of the AIDS control unit and the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA), where she educated young people on their sexual health and rights. Through YALDA, she realized that importance of young people feeling connected to their homes, families, and schools to their ability to build healthy lives. She joins the Girl Engagement Advisory Board with the goals of ensuring that this generation of young people are knowledgeable about their rights and engaged to make sure that those rights are protected. Caren is also committed to ensuring that as Kenya develops, its young people are part of that development process.
Christal Parris-Campbell, Jamaica, age: 19
Christal is a second year law student at the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she is a member of the UWI STAT Ambassador Corps and the Publications Chair of the Mona Law Society. Christal believes that empowering young people to engage in advocacy on a regular basis is fundamental to fostering a more forward thinking and solution-oriented society. She has used her writing to highlight issues facing women around the world and as a member of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board, she hopes to be instrumental in removing the stigma associated with speaking out about youth and sexuality issues. Christal is committed to realizing a world where girls no longer feel like being born female is equal to having a secondary role in education, independence, marriage and sexual rights.
Hamna Tariq, Pakistan, age: 17
Hamna is in her first year of A levels at Lahore Grammar School. She is a member of the Youth Advocacy Network in Pakistan, where she advocates on behalf of young people in national and International arenas. She is committed to fostering a more peaceful world and participated in the 2013 Seeds of Peace conference as well as Seeds of Peace’s Mock Parliament, Peace Walk and Digital Video Conference Calls with delegates from various countries. Hamna is interested in learning more about international relations, particularly issues facing young people around the world.
Elizabeth Talatu Williams, Nigeria, age: 19
Elizabeth is an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, Nigeria pursuing a degree in Accounting. She has worked with Action Health Incorporated (AHI) as a youth assistant in the Annual Youth Skills Development Programme (YSDP), partnered with JAKIN NGO, and worked as a volunteer with the Youth Empowerment Development Initiative (YEDI) as a volunteer on a project named Skills Girlz. This project focuses on promoting quality education on sexual and reproductive health for young adolescent girls ages 12-19. Through this work, she has learned how important it is for young people to advocate for sexual health and rights, to participate in policymaking of their countries, and to have equal access to quality sexuality education and healthcare.
Mai Yassin, Egypt, age: 16
Mai is a grade 11 student at the International School of Choueifat and a member of Resala Charity Organization, an Egyptian nonprofit organization founded and run by youth volunteers with programming ranging from poverty relief and literacy programs to blood donation drives. As part of her work with Resala, she has spent time in parts of Egypt where people are living in extreme poverty, children have to work and beg for money to be able to live, and girls are not allowed to have an education or to refuse marriage. She believes that by investing in youth, future generations will live in a world where human rights are respected, where every person can have a decent education for free, where violence against women is abolished, where girls can go to school unescorted and not be in peril of being kidnapped or harassed, and where no child or teenager is forced to work to be able to pay for food or education.
Muna K.C., Nepal, age: 19
Muna recently completed high school and is about to start her undergraduate studies. She has volunteered in the Nepal Junior Red Cross for three years, receiving the Best Volunteer award in 2011, and she recently joined YUWA as a volunteer. YUWA is a youth run and led organization working to promote youth participation through empowerment and advocacy. Muna envisions a Nepalese society that values women and girls equally to men and boys, and wants to make this dream a reality by making sure that young girls can advocate for themselves without barriers.
Patricia Saida Boara, Madagascar, age: 16
Patricia is a senior in a technical high school in Antananarivo, Madagascar, where she served as school delegate for two years. She has volunteered as a Student Ambassador for four Operation Smile missions in Madagascar and participated in the EXCELL Camp. She believes that advocating for sexual health and rights is key for young people to gain respect, prosperity, happiness, peace and self-development. When young people are able to advocate for their rights, they can also step up to the plate and cover their bases, meaning that they can contribute completely in the sustainable development of their country.
Preslava Ivanova, Bulgaria, age: 19
Preslava Ivanova is a Business Administration student at Sofia University. Originally from Shuman, Bulgaria, she has been a volunteer at Bulgarian Red Cross Youth since 2010, including as a Deputy Regional Coordinator since 2012. She is also the Focal Point in-Charge for Y-PEER Bulgaria, a youth and youth-lead network focused on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Preslava believes that the rights of the girls are being suppressed and that this stops them from believing in themselves and their abilities.