UN-Habitat Youth Mentorship program to link mentors with projects

By on 04/15/2015

UN-Habitat´s Youth Mentorship programme will for the second time, partner with mentors to increase the capacity of youth-led organizations it supports. Twenty-two organizations in Africa, Asia Pacific, Arab States, Latin America and the Caribbean, were selected this year to receive both a grant and training. These youth-led groups’ work span various sectors, from technology and agriculture to governance, education and poverty reduction. This linkage is aimed to start in the second quarter of 2015. The ultimate goal of the mentorship program is to guide youth-led organizations that have been funded to realize their full potential. The programme does this through partnering the mentors – listed below – to projects, based on the interest areas and expertise of the mentors. The mentorship programme allows UN-Habitat to provide deeper and better support to the youth organizations that are part of Youth Fund program, by strengthening the sustainability of the projects through capacity development tailored for young social entrepreneurs. The mentors are extraordinary people from the private, academia, and the NGO sectors who are dedicating their time to support the project coordinators. UN-Habitat is excited to work with this group of professional people and is grateful for their dedication towards youth empowerment. We continue to work with the US based strategy and communication firm refine+focus to develop and implement Youth Fund Strategic Planning supporting and enabling this success. The UN- Habitat Youth Fund Mentorship Program, call for applications, received strong interest from potential mentors. Applications received went through a rigorous and competitive screening process that ultimately selected these mentors:

Saxena ( India) Ajit Saxena ( India) Mr Saxena, is an engineer and environment expert working for last 25 years with government, non-governmental and international organisation on water, sanitation, and hygiene and energy sector. He has contributed for design and development, programme management, public private participation and DPR preparations. He has closely worked with UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCAP, STEM-WSP the World Bank, DFID and Asian Development Bank.
Ashiq Hussain ( Pakistan Ashiq Hussain ( Pakistan) Mr. Ashiq Hussain is a development practitioner with over 5 years’ experience in strengthening Civil Society/non-profit Institutions in Pakistan. He has background in management and leadership more specifically strategic leadership for non-profit organizations. Mr. Hussain’s specific expertise in Result Based Management System-RBMS, NGO/Nonprofit Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Program development/Grant Writing as well as designing effective program implementation strategies/plans, capacity building, Strategic Leadership, IAs Institutional Assessments and Institutional Development always add-value to his work.
Christoforos Palvakis ( Greece Christoforos Palvakis ( Greece) Christoforos is an aspiring media management consultant with experience in executing out-of-the-box solutions, especially in cross-cultural team building to generate impact. Driven by conviction in all he does, he believes in that only with noble purpose can long-term, sustainable success be achieved; and business as the most symbiotic solution to achieve visions. His impact ranges from international organizations (at European Commission, Francophonie), INGOs (One Campaign Platform)), to grassroots community organizations’ (through World Youth Alliance).
Dr. Medha Dhurandhar  ( India Dr. Medha Dhurandhar ( India) Medha Dhurandhar, is a Ph. D. holder in Mathematics with Post-Doctoral research done in UK and India. She is currently on Board of Advisors and a senior consultant for private companies. Previously she was with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing as Director (CSAC, Mauritius) and Associate Director and HoD. She has acted as a Chief Corporate Coordinator (IT Ministry Scheme) and Head of Software Engineering Process Group. She has won awards like SKOCH (India’s Highest Independently Instituted Civilian Honour), mBillionth South Asia (Innovative mobile-based disease surveillance system), FICCI (Excellence in Science and Technology & Technological Innovation) received from President of India, Gargee (Contribution to society through technology), Innovations 2009: Ideas into Practice by IITB & Tie Foundation. She was selected as an Advisor to World Health Organization and Marquis (USA) has featured her biographical sketches in Who’s Who: Science and Engineering, Asia and World. She is on Editorial Board of International Journal on Business Analytics, USA and Program Committees of Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conferences, USA.
Isfandyar Ali Khan ( Pakistan Isfandyar Ali Khan ( Pakistan) With over 10 years of international and national professional experience including legal, project management, justice sector, private sector development, gender and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Isfandyar Khan is a development practitioner based in Peshawar, Pakistan. For over 5 years, Isfandyar was associated with Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Project of IFC/World Bank Group as a Project Officer. Prior to joining IFC in 2008, Isfandyar worked as Project Coordinator for UNDP Project (Democratic Governance) in Vientiane, Lao PDR (2006/07) and Junior Professional Officer (Poverty Reduction and Gender) at UNDP Islamabad in Pakistan (2005/06). Isfandyar also follows International Affairs especially regional and global conflicts and their resolution, refugee, migration and human rights issues and rural and urban development.
EPSON MFP image Iruma Tanaka (Japan) Iruma Tanaka holds a master’s degree in social development from the University of Sussex. He has previously working with the homeless / unemployed people, including youths, in Tokyo to create jobs by promoting enterprises in industrial waste management and recycling business. Iruma is currently working for Habitat for Humanity Japan (HFHJ), a Japanese branch of an international NGO Habitat for Humanity, which mobilizes local leadership and resources to expand access for all people to decent, affordable shelter.
Jean Jules Tseusse (Cameroon Jean Jules Tseusse (Cameroon) Jean Jules TSASSE is a graduate of the School of African Crafts Architecture and Urbanism (EAMAU) Lome, TOGO. With 11 years of experience with community associations and development NGOs, he has worked with HYSACAM (Health and Safety of Cameroon) as animator and urban zone controller and NGO ASSEJA as social animator and WASH Programme Officer before joining the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in 2012, where he now works as an engineer and Monitoring Focal Point PDUE / World Bank.
He has successfully implemented three projects namely: Water-Community Development, Social Housing and promotion of disadvantaged children. He has vast experience in project implementation, capacity building exercises, monitoring and evaluation of disadvantaged populations including youth.
Joanna Dochevska (Bulgaria Joanna Dochevska (Bulgaria) During last 10 years’ Joanna has occupied various positions in the field of youth and sport policies at Bulgarian and European level which built her expertise. She was an adviser of decision makers, responsible for education, youth and sport; leader of different non-governmental organizations; a coordinator of national and European projects and campaigns; member of working expert groups for law and strategy initiation and implementation. During her work experience, she has organized with her team many sport events and sport campaigns with regional, national and European dimensions. Joanna was and still an engine of different youth projects and campaigns that aim to promote values such as active citizenship, freedom, democracy, youth participation, tolerance, human rights.
Joseph Lattari (Cambridge Joseph Lattari (USA) Joe is passionate about innovation in biotechnology and has extensive experience in clinical and commercials operations of biopharmaceuticals. Currently, he works as a project manager at Genzyme, a global Biotechnology company specializing in transformative therapies in the rare disease space. Prior to Genzyme, Joe worked as a process engineer at Pfizer. Joe has a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Masters in Bioengineering from Tufts University.
Kim Karina Kaagaard Kristensen (Denmark Kim Karina Kaagaard Kristensen (Denmark) Kim is an ethnologist from Denmark, with an additional Master in African Studies. She has over 8 years of experience working with development and youth projects in various countries and contexts, including Brazil, South Sudan and Libya. She co-founded an organization based out of Denmark in 2009 with the objective of fostering youth engagement through creative means. Currently working as an Advisor in Afghanistan, her main areas of expertise include youth-led development, sport for development, conflict transformation, and participatory approaches to human security.”
Lokesh Hole (Singapore Lokesh Hole (Singapore) Lokesh is a management consultant with more than 15 years of experience in problem solving, leading and managing teams. He is based in Singapore and has advised large local, regional and global corporations on market entry, organic and inorganic growth, post-merger integration, strategic planning, segmentation, and business transformations.
Maite Arrondo (Spain Maite Arrondo(Spain) Maite Arrondo has majored in Political Science (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and has a Master degree in Human Rights and Democratization (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights). Currently she is at Universidad Pública de Navarra (Spain) jointly supervised by Maastricht University (The Netherlands) and collaborating with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing as research assistant. She has been engaged with international and local NGOs for more than a decade and has professional experience as Project Assistant and as a Civil Servant. She has lived in more than 5 countries and has wide expertise in mainstreaming gender and human rights based approaches to development cooperation. She is a passionate about Economic and Social Rights, with specialization on the Right to Adequate Housing and strongly believes in capacity building and empowerment.
?????????? Martin Oulu (Kenya) Martin Oulu is a climate change, environment and renewable energy expert with over ten years’ experience working in Kenya and E. Africa. Currently finalizing his PhD in Human ecology at Lund University in Sweden, he was involved in developing Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2017) as part of the in-country team of experts contracted by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). He has also consulted for CDTF-Kenya – a joint EU-Govt. of Kenya initiatives, successfully assisting several CBOs identify and design sustainable projects and access EU/Danida funding under the ongoing Community Environment Facility II Programme.
Muyiwa Bamgbose (Nigeria Muyiwa Bamgbose (Nigeria) Muyiwa Bamgbose has over 30 years’ experience in Management, Project Planning and Leadership development. After his Bachelor degree in Biochemistry, he went on to study Agro-Industrial Project Planning at the Bradford University in the United Kingdom before completing his MBA in 1985. He has designed and implemented several Projects in Industries like Waste Recycling, Agro inputs and outputs, Waste to Wealth, Mineral processing and Mining and Housing. Muyiwa can simply be described as a people builder with focus on the Youth. He was actively involved in the Junior Chamber, a worldwide youth development organisation of which he became National President (which country?) in 1988 and Chairman for Africa and Middle East in 1990. He also led the Interdenominational Christian Youth Council as National President for many years. Apart from his various official and business interests, he lectures and mentors students of the University of Ibadan in Entrepreneurship.
Puruesh Chaudhary (Pakistan Puruesh Chaudhary (Pakistan) Puruesh Chaudhary is a Pakistan development and strategic communication professional. She has a professional master’s degree in International Negotiation and Policymaking from Institut De Hautes Études Internationales Et Du Développement. Her work mostly involves research, knowledge-collaborations and content intelligence. She has worked with multilateral donors and aid agencies, news organizations and multinationals in Pakistan. She is the Founder and President of AGAHI, a non-governmental organization, which works extensively on creating platforms based on knowledge collaboration and information sharing initiatives. She has designed ‘Pakistan Foresight Initiative’, a project of AGAHI that aims improve policymaking and strategic narratives on key priority areas of the foresight lab developing shared understanding for effective implementation of decisions.
Rachid Aboutaieb (Morocco Rachid Aboutaieb (Morocco) Rachid ABOUTAIEB is currently Professor at Hassan II University, Casablanca Morocco and the President of the « Alliance Genève pour les droits de l’Homme-Maroc » an NGO dedicated to Human Rights Education. Rachid holds a Master degree on Human Rights and a Bachelor at law. This allows him to broaden his areas of expertise to Economic Social and Cultural Rights; Gender and Human Rights; Human Rights Education; Right to sexual and Reproductive health. As a Human Rights trainer in the Middle East and North Africa Region, he elaborated many programs on Raising awareness on Human rights, training youth on Human rights approach while developing their projects.
Serrainne Nyamori, (Kenya Serrainne Nyamori, (Kenya) Serrainne is a development practitioner who has worked extensively with private sector, SME’s, Government and Civil society across the African Continent. She currently works as a management Consultant in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Nyamori is very passionate about women empowerment, education, volunteerism and leadership and is a 2011 MILEAD Fellow (www.moremiinitiative.org).She is also an active core team member of the Pan-African Movement Africa 2.0(Kenya Chapter). Serrainne sits on the board of PACE (Promoting Access to Community Education), Kenya and also serves as an Advisory Board Member to several youth led organizations and Start-ups. Serrainne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Socio – Economic Development and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Organizational Development
Susan Eghrari (Brazil Susan Eghrari (Brazil) Susan is a Brazilian architect and urbanist and has designed projects towards sustainability. Presently a professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Uberaba, she develops researches within dynamic urban facts and civil society participation on urban policies. She holds a PhD from University of Brasilia, in Metropolitan Governance, and has presented articles and speeches in Montreal, Brasilia, Salvador, Perth and Paris. In 2010, Susan received a grant for ELAP- Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program, from the Government of Canada when she complemented her doctoral studies research at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University, Montreal. As part of the Advisory Team for the Forum of Social Entrepreneurship in the New Economy, a parallel event to RIO+20, Susan was part of a team that helped young entrepreneurs to find new ways towards business opportunities in the green economy
Tameka Hill (Jamaica Tameka Hill (Jamaica) Tameka Hill is a Communications and Gender and Development Specialist. She has worked on several communication campaigns for local and overseas companies. Ms. Hill served her country as a Jamaican Youth Ambassador, where she represented the nation’s youth at the national and international level. Recognized as a Caribbean Youth Expert by the United Nations-Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth, she is currently the Director of Communications for the newly established Caribbean Youth Policy Institute. Tameka has received numerous awards and recognition. Her most recent achievements to date are the Commemorative Award from the Commonwealth Secretariat- Bangladesh for her work on Women and Leadership, as well as a Graduate Award from the University of the West Indies Institute of Gender and Development Studies. She was also nominated for the Prime Minister’s Award in the area of Leadership, the highest honor given to young Jamaicans ages of 15-24. The nomination came from her development of a Youth Programme called The Fire House. The initiative, which has been adopted (spanned over three parishes and sought to hone the talents of young people in garrison communities and exposed them to activities that would foster development and growth.
Tanya Leiva (Costa Rica Tanya Leiva (Costa Rica) Tanya has majored in International Affairs and has a master’s degree in International trade the National University of Costa Rica. As a PMP certified by the Project Management Institute, she has vast experience working in corporate projects across multiple countries in Latin America and Western Europe. She has worked with youth social groups in different communities for 15 years and is a certified mentor of Vital Voices Global Partnership in Costa Rica, organization that works with women leaders in the areas of economic empowerment and human rights.
Taylor King (USA Taylor King (USA) Taylor is a brand strategy consultant specializing in marketing and growth strategies focused in the digital, social and mobile spaces. She is passionate about working with purpose-driven companies and organizations, and helping to position them for future sustained growth. Previously, she has worked with start-ups and U.S. Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries to develop marketing strategies that both made a difference in society and had a bottom line impact. Taylor is an ambassador for the U.K. not-for-profit One Young World, a global network of young leaders committed to effecting positive change around the world through various initiatives.
Teshager Mersha (Ethiopia Teshager Mersha (Ethiopia) Teshager is an accomplished professional with about 15 years’ as a researcher, training consultant, teacher and project manager. He holds an M.Sc in Demography and a bachelor degree in Educational Psychology. As a researcher he had solid experience on proposal writing, designing studies, managing and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data. Through his work experience, he has acquired hands on experience in training, designing, implementation and facilitation skills. It is also pertaining to mention that he has also gained experiences in designing training materials for conventional and non-conventional mode of trainings.
Waseem Solangi (Pakistan Waseem Solangi (Pakistan) Waseem Solangi is the Senior Program Manager of the leading nonprofit organization of Pakistan HANDS. He holds a Masters in Development Economics and degree in law with nearly 10 years of experience in development sector. His expertise is in youth capacity building, management, social mobilization, and planning, monitoring, evaluation & project management. He has worked closely in development programs with UNDP and National Commission for Human Development (NCHD)
Zahra Kassam (Kenya Zahra Kassam (Kenya) Zahra Kassam is the founder of KUWA Urban Spaces by People. As an urban planner, she is passionate about engaging communities and putting the people in the center of each process. She is a keen advocate for encouraging participation of all stakeholders at all levels of any program to foster empowerment and positive change for all mentors.


Congratulations to the mentors and we welcome them to the UN-Habitat team. Any questions related to the Urban Youth Fund mentor program can be directed to youthfund.mentor@unhabitat.org

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