Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Global Changemakers

Since the community was founded in 2007, the British Council Global Changemakers have grown into a group of over 600 teenagers from 110 countries whose stated mission is “to empower youth to catalyse positive social change.” They call themselves activists, volunteers and social entrepreneurs, and run their program around three pillars: learning, doing and advocacy.

Take changemaker Dan Cullum from New Zealand, for example. His goal is to prompt young people to make a difference simply by wearing a certain tee-shirt for a year. His says, “I am Dan.” Interested in the plight of the underprivileged near his home, Dan has been working with Maori and Pacific Island minors in South Auckland who have become involved in drugs, alcohol abuse and violence, engaging them in local camps and sports activities.

Trevor Dougherty from the US is an “online activist” who uses social media such as YouTube and Facebook to effect social change. He is already one of CNN’s top citizen journalists. His goal is to promote Internet access as a right for all youth everywhere, rather than a privilege for some, and to turn the “me” online community attitude to the “we” online spirit.

Mai Shbeta from Israel has a Palestinian Muslim father and a Jewish mother and lives in the only village in Israel where Palestinians and Jews reside together. As her background and experience have proved to her that peace between the two peoples is possible, her goal is to foster peace in the Middle East by bringing Palestinian and Israeli youth together through peace camps.

If you wish to join the network of Global Changemakers, register here.