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Five Young People Honoured For Anti-Poverty Work

Five Young People Honoured At UN For Anti-Poverty Work

By tackling poverty through AIDS prevention, conflict resolution and educational initiatives, five young people from across the globe received awards from the United Nations Development Programme UNDP) at a special ceremony today at the world body’s Headquarters in New York. The five are Samuel Magassosso of Mozambique, Edith Castillo Núñez of Panama, Bessie Maruia of Papua New Guinea, Mirzokhaydar Isoev of Tajikistan and Bader Zama’rah of the West Bank. They will be honoured at a dinner which also marks the 17 October International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“From the founding of a national youth council in Panama to the training of HIV counselors in Papua New Guinea, projects spearheaded by energetic and enthusiastic young people can be replicated around the world and serve as a major force in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.

The MDGs, designed to halve extreme poverty worldwide by 2015, were agreed on at a UN summit in 2000.

Mr. Magassosso, a 30-year-old former Mozambican refugee in Zimbabwe, heads the 70-member Chekwaedzera Farmers Association, whose projects to establish small businesses have benefited more than 6,000 people and have been integrated into the Mozambican Government’s programme for poverty elimination, UNDP said.

Focusing on the environment and public health, Ms. Castillo Nunez, 28, founded Panama’s National Youth Council, which now groups 105 youth organizations.

Ms. Maruia, 26, has trained 63 counsellors on HIV prevention. They are estimated to have reached 75 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s population with basic HIV/AIDS prevention information.

To lower tensions on the border between southern Kyrgyzstan and northern Tajikistan, Mr. Isoev, 25, has initiated projects involving communities on both sides. As Deputy Chairperson of the District Development Committee of Isfara District, his latest project involved both communities in improving the water supply system.

Mr. Zama’rah, a 23-year-old lawyer, is the project coordinator for Sharek Youth Forum, which has pioneered a programme to help children improve their schoolwork through Homework Centres in the northern West Bank. Sharek also arranges for university students to tutor children after school.

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