Here at Save the Children, we are working to create a world in which every child has a healthy, happy and safe childhood. But we don’t do it alone. Young people themselves are the best people to create real, lasting change. That’s why in 2015 we introduced our Youth Ambassadors program.
Be sure to follow these four inspiring young people throughout 2017 as they work with our staff, speak out at conferences and summits, and even take on Parliament House. The journey for our 2017 Youth Ambassadors starts today!
Let's hear a few thoughts from each of them.
Melissa, 14, from New South Wales
I migrated from New Zealand to Australia when I was nine. In the first few years, things were difficult for my parents, but they never once sacrificed our education. I am here, where I am today, because of the sacrifices they made, which opened up a store of new possibilities.
I want to see change happen – I want more opportunities presented to disadvantaged children, I want the education gap closed, more equality in gender, more support for marginalised Indigenous communities. I want climate change and environmentalism to be prioritised in parliament, and the needs of our planet placed before the financial profit of big corporations. I want more acceptance and inclusivity of refugees and immigrants, particularly protection for Muslims in the face of counter-terrorism and fear-mongering Islamophobia.
Change isn’t going to happen on its own. I want to be a youth ambassador so I can not only vocalise my concerns, but work towards solving them.
Catherine, 16, from Victoria
I recently volunteered with a refugee legal centre and it opened my eyes to just how privileged we are – there are so many people out there in the world experiencing atrocities I can’t begin to imagine. I don’t know what it’s like to flee war and persecution. I don’t know what’s like to fear for my life and my family’s.
I want to allow others the same security I have felt most of my life.
Young people are often overlooked, their ideas undervalued. Yet young people are the foundation of our future. They form the opinions and influences that will shape the next generation for decades to come. Save the Children seems a prime opportunity to create impact.
Edward, 14, from Victoria
My life goal is to play professional basketball in America. I have already planned out the colleges I will apply for. I help my dad coach the younger kids, and I’m in a school student council program, where we listen to kids in our school and try to ensure they get what they want.
I want to be a Youth Ambassador because I want other kids to have the same opportunities that have been offered to me. I wanted a changed society so every kid has equality. I want every person to be treated respectfully and equally, whatever their race, gender or sexuality.
I love to be political and speak up and speak loud because it gives a voice to those who aren’t confident. I believe every kid should have the same opportunities as the kid next door, so everyone will walk beside each other equally.
Annalise, 14 from Perth
I believe education is the most important feature in unlocking people’s potential, reducing climate change, helping those in developing countries, closing the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people and giving everyone equal rights.
I believe education could end wars and help shape this world into the place it should be. My idol is Malala Yousafzai. She took a bullet for the sake of education, you could say. She faced such hardship and continues to pursue her dream. At 18, she opened a school for Syrian girls! If that doesn’t inspire someone, I don’t know what will.
I may be young but I have so much determination! I want to leave this world better than when I came into to it.
You can follow these four inspiring young people throughout 2017 on the Save the Children Australia Facebook page. They will be working with our staff, speaking out at conferences and summits, and even taking on Parliament House.
The journey for our 2017 Youth Ambassadors starts today!