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New Zealand Youth Ambassadors selected for youth summit

New Zealand Youth Ambassadors selected for international youth leadership summit in New Delhi, India.

Monday 20th June, 2011 – Alafale Andrew Lesa (21yo) will join Sam Johnston (22yo) of Canterbury Law School as the official New Zealand delegation to the Asia Youth Summit in Delhi from 17-23 July. The two New Zealanders have been selected from over a thousand young people from all over the world. It is the first time that the Asia Youth Summit is being held.

The sixty selected participants will spend a week sharing best practices in the areas of human rights, climate change, poverty reduction, education, HIV/AIDS, and social entrepreneurship. The new Changemakers will discuss the current challenges facing Asia, and work together with experts and other young social activists on how best to address the issues on the ground in their home countries.

The Asia Youth Summit is part of the British Council’s Global Changemakers initiative. Global Changemakers is a global network of young who have a significant track record as social entrepreneurs, community activists and volunteers (ages 16-25). They meet to share ideas and work on projects that directly impact the lives of those in their local communities.

Alafale is currently studying at the University of Auckland. He was previously the sole New Zealand Representative to the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme 2010 in Rwanda, Africa. His contribution to the field of New Zealand youth leadership is inspiring, and he has already been recognised with a medallion from the Inaugural Young New Zealander of the Year awards. Alafale is of Samoan descent and hails from Sa'anapu and Sapapali'i respectively. It comes as no surprise that Alafale is the great, great grandson of Malietoa Tavita Vaiinupo; accredited with the birth of Christianity in Samoa. He also serves as one of three Samoan community leaders on the Pacific Island Advisory Council for South Auckland.

Director of British Council NZ - Ingrid Leary says “'the standard of applications received has been absolutely outstanding. Therefore, I am confident that both New Zealand ambassadors can actively demonstrate the highest caliber of youth leadership. Alafale's Pasefika perspective is a critical aspect to the regional focus of this programme.”

Alafale Andrew Lesa says '”words alone can not describe my gratitude to the British Council for my success. I only hope that my contribution to the programme is to the highest standard, and that my involvement is a small koha to the fabric of youth leadership in Aotearoa. I firmly believe that the road to leadership is paved only by service.”


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