Local youth Jean Franco has been selected to be part of the ONE campaign’s youth ambassador programme. The programme was launched by Mhairi Black MP. ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation that works to end extreme poverty, especially in Africa.
Jean is one of fifty young people from across the UK chosen to participate in the year-long scheme. He, along with the other young people, will be organising events, lobbying MPs and getting their stories heard in the media. They join a team of 300 youth ambassadors from across Europe.
Jean, 16, says: “I heard of the programme through friends and seeing it online through signing petitions. I feel particularly passionate about transparency, world education and most importantly corruption. Corruption and tax evasion are problems that can be easily tackled by the making of simple decisions by the prime minister. All he and his cabinet have to do is extend tax legislation implemented in the UK to all UK overseas territories, which are constitutionally bound by UK mainland law anyway. It really is a paradox.
Jean will be asking politicians to keep aid promises, secure new agreements on financial transparency, and deliver ambitious new funding for global health and nutrition.
The youth ambassadors will campaign around the anti-corruption summit in London in May, the nutrition for growth summit in Rio in August, and a conference to raise funds to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the autumn.
Mhairi Black (pictured centre), the youngest MP for at least 184 years, and a ONE supporter since the age of 14, spoke to the Youth Ambassadors at the launch in London.
At the launch, Mhairi Black MP said: “As a teenager, The ONE Campaign motivated me to become an activist and showed me how important it is to use your voice to create real change. ONE’s youth ambassadors prove that young people are engaged in global issues and the programme gives them an opportunity to really make a difference, pushing for a brighter future for people all over the world.”
Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE said that: “The calibre of ONE youth ambassadors is again impressive this year and we are excited to have them on our side as we fight against extreme poverty.”
Last year, British youth ambassadors helped to persuade 53 per cent of all MPs to sign the ‘Just Say Yes’ pledge, promising to keep the UK’s promises to the world’s poorest and work to end extreme poverty by 2030. They also lobbied G7 leaders in Munich and raised their voices in support of the new UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Learn more about ONE here