Youth Voices Panel Speakers

LIVE ON FACEBOOK

Young people from all over the world are taking part in four themed Panel discussions as part of Youth Voices: The Future We Want, hosted by World YMCA. The young people all have a connection with YMCA and are passionate about how the future could look, as the world emerges from the crisis caused by CoVid-19. You can join them on Saturday 23 May, 16:00 CET by watching live on Facebook and YouTube (set your reminder now!), where you can ask questions and post your comments. You can also register to watch via Zoom
Read about our panellists below.

Health & Wellbeing Panel

Moderator: Seema Kumar, Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson

Martin Johnson, Australia

Marlon Solis, Canada

Phylis Wanja, Kenya

Khatchig Ghosn, Lebanon

Climate Justice Panel

Moderator: Alexandria Villaseñor, Founder and Executive Director, Earth Uprising

Silke Bölts, Germany

Alvin Kan, Hong Kong

Jail Ixel Cruz García, Mexico

Mialy Rakotondrasoa, Madagascar

Economic Opportunity & The Future of Work Panel

Moderator: Amos Winbush III, Co-Founder, Forbes8

Raquel Rivera, USA

Aubrey Mae Atos, Philippines

Cristiano Ristov, Brazil

Jonathan Van Varik, Netherlands

Youth Resiliency Panel

Moderator: William Smith-Stubbs, Founder and Director of Spur

Kiran Kochar McCabe, USA

Reginald Crabbe, Ghana

Mike Bromfield, UK

Ana Clara Martí, Uruguay

Martin Johnson, Australia

Martin is a People and Culture Professional and Mental Health Advocate who has worked for the Y in Western Australia for almost three years. Outside of Martin’s day-to-day role in Human Resources he designed and developed a Mental Health awareness campaign called 'Inside Our Minds' in 2019, using the power of personal storytelling for young people. Martin is passionate about his generation having a place to share their voice digitally or physically and believes Mental Health will be one of the largest issues facing people his age after the pandemic. He is currently working in partnership with Headspace in 2020 to release his second campaign on Mental Health assistance to coincide with Mental Health week this year.


Marlon supports the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth's Child & Youth Settlement program that welcomes newcomers, immigrant, and refugee families to Nova Scotia, Canada. Marlon has helped developed programs and initiatives with the YMCA that educates local organizations, businesses and communities on how to build welcoming and inclusive communities. He also works with newcomer youth to empower their voices so that their knowledge and experience contributes to innovative social change in their local community. At YMCA he works to raise awareness on youth mental health among underrepresented youth, intersectionality, and on anti-oppressive approaches to program design. Marlon is also an alumni YMCA Change Agent Cohort 4 and part of the YMCA Youth-Led Solutions Planning Committee on Climate Action organized by Y USA.

Phylis Wanja, Kenya

Phyllis is a pencil artist who uses Art as Therapy as a healing tool for those suffering with mental health issues. She also uses her drawings and cartoons to educate society on mental health. Phylis is the founder of the Afyakili Organisation which brings together young people for positive change on matters concerning mental health. Currently, she is running a campaign, #ToaMaskCampaign, to educate people on the importance of Speaking Up, with the aim of reducing suicide rates among the children, young people and the elderly. She is also an entrepreneur who is passionate about finding solutions for young people by educating them about entrepreneurship and how to spot opportunities, with the aim of eradicating youth unemployment - a major factor in in poor mental health in young people.

Khatchig Ghosn, Lebanon

Khatchig has studied social medical work at the Lebanese University and graduated in 2017. Since then he has worked across different sectors, and started as a centre coordinator which aims to prevent HIV among the LGBTIQ+ community in Beirut. This experience gave Khatchig the opportunity to participate in the AIDS International Conference in Amsterdam. He is currently working with the Lebanese Association with Victims Of terrorism as a social worker and program coordinator. Khatchig is also studying for his Master’s degree in psychosomatic intervention.

Silke Bölts, Germany

Silke grew up with YMCA in rural Lower Saxony and took part in youth groups and summer camps, soon becoming a youth leader as well facilitating camps herself or helping at the youth leader seminar. After going to university in Lüneburg for Environmental Studies, she joined the YMCA World Alliance's Resource Group on the Environment (RGE) which attends the global climate conferences as observers. Currently she studies Global Change Management in Eberswalde (close to Berlin) and is writing her master thesis on political dialogue processes. Silke is still active in YMCA in northern Germany as secretary of the Working Group on International Co-operation, and a co-leader in the RGE's Working Group on Climate Education. Until 31 May, the group offers webinars on climate conferences every Sunday at 9pm. If you would like to join and learn more on "People with disabilities in the UNFCCC" (24 May, 9 pm CET) or "Experience from a negotiator" (31 May, 9 pm CET) you welcome to log on using this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/262899616 (password: 6pX07P).

Alvin Kan, Hong Kong

Alvin graduated with a Master of Laws from the University of Hong Kong. He is a chartered town planner and has experience in urban design of new towns in Asia. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, LEED Accredited Professional and Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects. He was part of the World YMCA delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP 20 and 21) in Lima and Paris. His interest covers urban resilience and healthy cities. Alvin will be taking part in the Climate panel.

Jail Ixel Cruz García, Mexico

Jail is a Chemical Engineer and has a Master's Degree in Economics of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, both degrees obtained at UNAM. In recent years, she has developed and strengthened her experience in advising local and sub-national governments on public policies on climate change and sustainability. She has collaborated with international organisations such as The World Bank Group, The Nature Conservancy and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in capacity building, technical advice and support on issues such as Low Carbon Development Strategies, the mainstreaming the gender perspective in the Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Mexico ( REDD +) and in the National Biodiversity Strategy (ENBioMex); she has also collaborated in projects to define urban sustainability strategies, as well as adaptation and resilience initiatives in various sectors, mainly in oceans. She has been a volunteer for more than 20 years at YMCA, leading the Climate Education Working Group of the Resource Group for the Environment (RGE) of the World Alliance of YMCAs; and recently she was appointed as a Senior Ambassador of the 2030 Agenda.

Mialy Sombiniaina Rakotondrasoa, Madagascar

Mialy has a Master’s degree in Communication for Development and has been a member of YMCA since 2016. Passionate about young people and development, she grew her eadership skills through the S2C (from Subject to Citizen) program. Currently she is the Communications and Youth Officer of YMCA Madagascar.

Raquel Rivera, USA

Raquel has been with YMCA in the Greater Charlotte area (USA) for almost 12 years, working primarily with families and young children. In her current role as a Parent Educator in the Community Impact Services branch of the YMCA her emphasis is on families with children ages 0 to 3 years. Her program prepares children and families for a successful entry into preschool and her main duties are to provide support in the way of educational materials, activities and community resources to families at risk. Through Raquel’s roles in the community and with YMCA, she aspires to empower those in need to reach their full potential and encourage them to strive for overall wellness in their lives and most importantly in the lives of their children.

Aubrey Mae Atos, Philippines

Aubrey is a volunteer and member of YMCA of Albay. She is working as an academic instructor and organises the conduct of financial literacy in schools. Currently she is studying Masters in Entrepreneurship. Aubrey facilitates YMCA youth entrepreneurship programs and mentors young people who have potential in engaging micro-business. She is helping YMCA in linkage and program expansion. Aubrey participated in YMCA175 and the Wells Fargo Global Economic Empowerment Initiative in London. My learnings and experiences help me to understand more the importance of youth in the economic development.

Cristiano has been an entrepreneur since he was 18 years old and has worked on many kinds of business. He has studied economics.

Jonathan Van Varik, Netherlands

Jonathan is a member of YMCA Netherlands and part of the International Committee, working on multiple projects. He is also involved on a more local level at YMCA Blijdorp. Jonathan volunteers at summer camps and contributes to activities on the street. He likes helping towards a better world and believes young people have the task to change the world, and can help themselves in the process. He feels that young people have the potential to make a difference, and can achieve things in co-operation with other young people. Therefore it’s important to him to be in contact with young people from other countries and cultures. Jonathan works as administrative staff for a non-governmental organisation and in his free time, he reads, writes and cycles.

 

Kiran Kochar McCabe, USA

Kiran is a rising sophomore studying International Studies. She completed the YMCA Youth and Government program throughout high school and absolutely loved every minute of it! Kiran is passionate about international development and engaging youth in government. In her spare time, she loves to read, sing, do theatre and cuddle with her cat.

Kiran will be taking part in the Youth Resiliency & The Emerging Future Panel.

Reginald Crabbe, Ghana

In 2010, Reginald interned with the Y USA to observe best practices in YMCA programming and management, strengthen his programme development capacity, and grant writing skills among others. Reginald holds a Bachelors degree in Social Science from the University of Cape Coast, Certificates in Communication and Grant Writing from the University of Illinois Chicago, USA and an Organization Development Certified Consultant from the Institute of OD, Florida, USA.

 

Mike Bromfield, UK

Mike is the Managing Director of Bromfield Events for cause-driven, social impact events. He started as a YMCA volunteer in his local community 12 years ago, before working for local YMCAs, YMCA England & Wales, and organising YMCA Europe's global 175th anniversary event in London for 3,000 global young leaders. He is Vice-Chair of his local YMCA in Essex, is a World YMCA Graduate Change Agent, YMCA England & Wales Youth Ambassador and Youth Advisory Group member. In his spare time he commentates one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK, roller derby.

 

Ana Clara Martí, Uruguay

Ana Clara is a member YMCA Uruguay. She has a Bachelor's degree in Education, a postgraduate degree in Educational Management, and is currently studying for a Master's degree in Direction of International Cooperation Projects. Ana Clara has been involved with the YMCA since she was a child, and is a member of the board of directors of the YMCA of Montevideo. She is also a member of the United Nations Advocacy Group of the World Alliance and has participated in several programs and groups, both locally and internationally. She has had the opportunity to connect with different youth groups, and has represented Uruguay and Latin America in many ways on youth and Agenda 2030 issues.