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Kamanda, Global Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP) member, Plan International
Kamanda, Global Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP) member, Plan International

Meet Plan Global Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP) member Kamanda, aged 19, from Sierra Leone.

Kamanda comes from a family from the Port Loko district of Sierra Leone which comprises 23 children - 15 boys and 8 girls. Around 15 of them attend formal education.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about making children and young people acquire their rights to create a peaceful, lovely and conducive nation and world for all. This is because children are vulnerable and often marginalised by society and perceived as idlers, perpetrators of violence (war), armed robbery, theft, and all other sorts of bad doings.

I believe that as the future leaders of the world young people are crucial players to peace and development. Children and young people have rights, such as education, participation, freedom, growth and development, among others and they should be supported and encouraged to claim these rights. Or do we want to see a bleak future world?

Well, I would like to change the negative perception about young people and support my peers to claim their rights - including the right to participate in the decisions that Plan makes which affect our lives.

What do you enjoy about being on GYAP?

I enjoy being together virtually with the rest of the group members and our supporting staff and I also enjoy representing young people’s voice and participating in Plan's Members' Assembly.

Why is GYAP important?

I think GYAP is important because it presents and discusses issues affecting children and young people at a global level and it ensures informed youth participation in Plan’s governance.

The group also fosters international partnership and collaboration among Plan's country offices and national organisations. It also contributes to making young people feel empowered and acquire leadership decision making skills.

Plan's global strategy is important because firstly it ensures Plan fulfils young people’s right to participation. It also helps Plan to fulfil its mission of “working with and for children and young people” and also our voices are valued. It will help Plan achieve its vision of “realising children’s potential which respect people’s rights and dignity”.

Finally, I'm very impressed with the way Plan enables young people to take part in its internal decision-making, especially at the Members' Assembly level – the highest decision-making body of Plan. GYAP and the strategy are both roads to making me achieve my aspirations in life of supporting young people to claim their rights.