Zimbabweans Varaidzo Vee Kativhu and Paul Ndhlovu chosen out of 5,400 applicants and appointed UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Announces Zimbabwe's Varaidzo Vee Kativhu and Paul Ndhlovu Among 17 New Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals  

Varaidzo "Vee" Kativhu and Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu have been appointed and recognized as young leaders of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals SDGs - a flagship initiative of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth which recognizes exceptional young people around the world.

Vee Kativhu and Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu will hold this role and title for the next two years with other 17 young change-makers who are leading efforts to combat the world’s most pressing issues and whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the SDGs. This cohort of Young Leaders for the SDGs hail from all corners of the world and work across all pillars of the UN, including sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security.

Zimbabweans Varaidzo Vee Kativhu and Paul Ndhlovu chosen out of 5,400 applicants and appointed UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals

The group — who are all between the ages of 17 and 29 years old — includes an aspiring astronaut, medical doctor and fashion designer, Paralympic medalist, poet, artists, climate entrepreneurs, peacebuilders, gender justice advocates, and education innovators, among others. Varaidzo Kativhu and Paul Ndhlovu were selected following an open call for applications earlier this year, which resulted in more than 5,400 applications from over 190 countries

Varaidzo (Vee) Kativhu is a graduate of both Oxford University and Harvard University and has been being an education activist and YouTube visionary from Zimbabwe and is based in the United Kingdom. She is the recipient of the Diana Award Legacy Award by Prince Harry and Prince William, the United Kingdom Rare Rising Star by Members of Parliament, and a Diversity Champion by Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor. 

She is the Founder of Empowered By Vee, a youth empowerment organization that aims to bridge the gap between academic ability and self-belief. She uses her social media, of over 300,000 followers, to help empower unsupported and underrepresented students to recognize their academic potential. 

Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu works in the communications and advocacy department at Zvandiri. He has tremendous expertise in identifying community and health challenges faced by young people living with HIV and turns these topics into radio shows, to share information and advocate for adolescent health. 

Recently, Paul was in Montreal, Canada, from 26 July to 3 August 2022, for the 24th International AIDS Conference, where he managed to showcase the power of youth and represent young people living with HIV on a global stage. He presented and was a panellist in 6 sessions including Reaching Zero Stigma, How to Use Media to Advocate for Young People, bridging the Gap between Adolescents and Researchers, speeding up the HIV Drugs in Pregnancy, investing in the Mental Health of young people living with HIV and Youth resilience, learning from young people’s leadership in tough times. 

Paul was also selected as one of the GOAL Next Gen 2022 youth leaders for a programme that brings young people together from all over the world to deepen their understanding of Global Citizenship.

At the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in 2021, Paul presented the “Impact of the peer-led Zvandiri Radio Show in Improving Access to Adolescent-led HIV Testing Services and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Services for young people”. This presentation demonstrated how the Zvandiri Radio Show is an innovation that impacts the lives of young people living with HIV in their communities from the grassroots to the international level.

Paul was selected as one of only eleven out of 250 applicants to become an International AIDS Society Young Leader to lead the conceptualization and design of the Youth Hub – an online networking and learning platform designed by Young Leaders for young people living with and affected by HIV.

Check out The United Nations 2022 Class of Young Leaders for the SDGs below:

  • Mayada Adil (Sudanese refugee based in France; 29 years old; she/her); Fashion Designer, Medical Doctor & Co-Founder of La Loupe Creative
  • Alyssa Carson (USA; 21 years old; she/her): Aspiring Astronaut & Girls in STEM Advocate
  • Okan Dursun (Turkey; 26 years old; he/him): Education and Social Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of Twin Science & Robotics
  • Emmanuel Ganse (Benin; 24 years old; he/him): Civic and Digital Rights Campaigner & President of Tonafa Institute
  • Richa Gupta (India; 26 years old; she/her): Education Innovator, Social Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of Labhya Foundation
  • Jamal Hill (USA; 27 years old; he/him): Paralympic Medalist, Disability Rights Advocate & Founder of Swim Up Hill Foundation
  • Varaidzo (Vee) Kativhu (Zimbabwe/UK; 24 years old; she/her): Education Activist, YouTuber & Founder of Empowered by Vee
  • Gibson Kawago (Tanzania; 27 years old; he/him): Climate Entrepreneur & Founder of WAGA
  • Ronelle King (Barbados; 29 years old; she/her): Gender Justice Activist and founder of Life in Leggings
  • Luísa Franco Machado (Brazil; 23 years old; she/they): Digital Rights & Data Justice Activist
  • Paul Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe; 23 years old; he/him): HIV/AIDS Advocate & Radio Champion at Zvandiri
  • Karimot Odebode (Nigeria; 25 years old; she/her): Poet, Gender Equality Activist & Founder of Black Girl’s Dream
  • Leonardo Párraga (Colombia; 29 years old; he/they): Peace Advocate, Artist & Founder of Fundación BogotArt
  • Isidora Guzmán Silva (Chile; 17 years old; she/her): Inclusion and Disability Rights Activist & Founder of Encuentra tu Lugar
  • Eddy Frank Vasquez (Dominican Republic; 26 years old; he/him): Climate Activist & Founder of Jeventud Sostenible
  • Hanyuan (Karen) Wang (China; 26 years old; she/her): Climate Tech Entrepreneur, Researcher & Founding Member of Carbon-based
  • Heela Yoon (Afghan refugee based in the UK; 24 years old; she/her): Peace Advocate & Founder of Afghan Youth Ambassadors for Peace

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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