Congratulations to the 15 new Messengers of Peace Heroes recognised for their outstanding contributions in the areas of peace and dialogue, community development and relief in times of need.
The Messengers of Peace Heroes Award 2019 took place this year as part of a combined event to provide communications training for the Messengers of Peace Heroes together with nominated young spokespeople from national Scout organisations in the Arab Region and other countries worldwide, and with a particular focus on and dialogue for peace and the Sustainable Development Goals.
It was made possible by the ongoing generous support of Alwaleed Philanthropies, as part of their significant backing of the global Scouts for SDGs campaign, in particular, the work to build local capacity and promote local actions.
"You are important. You can make a difference. You must believe in what you are doing because you are the change."
Watch this video for more inspiring words from the 2019 Messengers of Peace Heroes and read on to meet the 15 individuals and see a summary of their work.
The event took place in Kuwait with the much-valued support of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait; the Kuwait Scouts Association; the Public Authority for Youth; and the Kuwaiti Girl Guides Association. Key global volunteers and staff from the World Scout Bureau Global and Arab Support Centres made up the training team.
Meet the 2019 Messenger of Peace Heroes:
Aden Salat Hussein, 22, Somalia
Aden is a Somali refugee living in Kenya. He organises community action inside the camp where he lives with his family, leading a series of activities promoting Scouting and bringing relief to fellow refugees living in the camp.
Alice Chatelain, 18, France
Alice has taken the lead on being an advocate for climate action among young people in her community. She is known for organising awareness campaigns in her city. After starting with a small group of Scout friends, Alice began collaborating with local organisations and community leaders to involve them in her events towards climate action. Her events aim to encourage people and educate them on the effects of daily practices for climate action and are attended by thousands.
Aliff Ajwad, 24, Malaysia
Aliff has always been passionate and very active when it comes to promoting environmental protection in his country. He has initiated several conservation projects that include working with Rover Scouts in mangrove areas to protect natural habitats. Aliff’s proudest project is the one he started by collecting plastic bottle caps around the country to build a pedestrian walk for a local community to support children and students in reaching the public transport using this route. Aliff also raises awareness about plastic pollution, and mobilised his network of friends to collect bottle caps around the world.
Eric Mwakaramba, 26, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eric works with marginalised children in DR Congo who are treated as outcasts by society due to discrimination. The children end up on the streets as their community excludes them due to local traditional beliefs. Eric has been advocating and supporting these children despite being looked down upon by the community. He has involved the children in Scouting programmes and teaches them useful skills.
Fatima Aliyeva, 19, Azerbaijan
One of the most active young members in her National Scout Organisation, Fatima has been involved in several projects that work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Her latest project is focused on working with orphaned children living in orphanages around the country. The project enabled the children to learn about Scouting and also gives them an opportunity to play and feel supported by the young Scouts like Fatima.
Gustavo Adolfo, 23, Colombia
In 2018, Gustavo started a project to preserve and protect water in Colombia. Naming his project “Hands to the Water”, Gustavo collaborated with the local government and Scout groups to remove 3.4 tons of solid waste from water sources, by directly engaging 300 people and over 1500 community members.
Mariana Monroy, 15, Mexico
When she was a Cub Scout and only 10 years old, Mariana decided that she wanted to help children battling cancer. She started collecting hair braids to donate to children who have lost their hair after treatment. Just one year later, she managed to give 300 braids to a local hospital and has continued her project since. With the support of the Scouts Global Network, Mariana’s campaign is now known across many other countries.
Mary Wanjiku, 26, Kenya
Mary wanted to help people in her community generate an income and benefit the environment at the same time. This is when she started her olive tree planting project. She receives seed donations, prepares the seedlings and distributes them to local women, farmers and schools. The brown olive trees improve the land conditions for farmers and this encourages them to plant more olive seedlings. Students and women in particular are planting more trees and making an income for their families by selling the olives and other by-products.
Miss Svitta, 21, Thailand
As a Rover Scout, Svitta is leading a series of projects to address issues faced by those living in underprivileged communities in her city. She has been working to provide clean water and sanitation and instill environmentally friendly practices with support from her local community.
Mourad Barsoum, 24, Egypt
For several years Mourad has been volunteering with different organisations around the world. From rehabilitating young offenders and child refugees in the Philippines and South Sudan, to working with child victims of abuse in Kenya, Mourad has put his Scout skills into action to help and support vulnerable children. Mourad plans to continue volunteering and expand his knowledge in dealing with children affected by armed conflict.
Muath Nujayfan, 23, Saudi Arabia
Muath has been a strong advocate for anti-bullying among young people, seeing that bullying is a serious global issue affecting young people in all cultures. By using the Scouting programme and raising awareness in schools, Muath has been helping young people develop their confidence and prevent more abuse among young people in schools and outside of school.
Nadine Shilli, 21, Tunisia
Nadine was 12 years old when her country underwent major political transformation, and that’s when her passion to stand for human rights started. Through Scouting, Nadine became involved in different programmes like Youth Voices for Democracy where she now supports young people to develop skills for civil activism through workshops and debates. Nadine wants to continue providing a space for young people to be informed and learn to influence positive change in their local community.
Njood Mansour, 21, Saudi Arabia
As a student of social work, Njood has witnessed the negative effects of neglect in underprivileged children. This motivated her to provide vulnerable children with life skills and develop programmes for them with the help of other women in Saudi Arabia. For her, it is essential to encourage other woman involved in Scouting to put their ideas to action and take the lead to develop their local community.
Ruhi Rusaba, 20, Bangladesh
Ruhi has been working closely with young women in her city to promote gender equality and put an end to early marriages. Through organising workshops, Ruhi has been supporting them to become more aware of their rights and understand the importance of education.
Veronika Gorovska, 26, Ukraine
Veronika was one of the strong young advocates for dialogue and spreading a culture of peace and understanding in her region. She first became involved in this through World Scouting’s partnership between KAICIID and familiarising herself with the 100 Principles of Dialogue. Veronika was among the contributors to bring dialogue into the Eurasian countries through Scouting by organising a Jamboree dedicated to it, which brought dialogue as a topic for decision-makers in all National Scout Organisations.