Global Forum Recognizes Youth Contribution to Solving Migration Challenges

Global Forum Recognizes Youth Contribution to Solving Migration Challenges

The three winners on stage at the Youth Innovation and Leadership Awards Ceremony. Photo: IOM/Emilia Lixi 2024 

Geneva – Initiatives led by young people were recognized Thursday (25/01) during the Youth Innovation and Leadership Award Ceremony at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) summit. 

The contest, organized for the second consecutive year by the Migration Youth and Children Platform (MYCP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), rewards innovative projects led by young leaders under 31 years old in three categories. The winners were:  

1. Climate Mobility: No Taka Tanzania  

Due to climate change, a prolonged drought led to food insecurity in Tanzania, impacting over 240,000 people in the northwestern part of the country. The initiative No Taka Tanzania uses geospatial technology to collect climate data and predict human mobility to anticipate humanitarian needs in northwestern Tanzania. 

“The Youth Leadership and Innovation contest is a strategic opportunity for young innovators to showcase their potential and the work they are doing at grassroots level. It really strengthens the bottom-up approach,” said award-winner Careen Joel Mwakitalu after the ceremony.  

2. Social, Economic, and Cultural Contributions of Diaspora: Peace Therapist  

At the beginning of the civil war, Jîn Dawod, who grew up in Syria, moved to Türkiye. Inspired by her personal experience, she founded Peace Therapist, a platform providing psychological support online for anyone in need, especially people on the move.  

“As an entrepreneur, this prize is a good encouragement to continue to develop our projects and build healthy communities,” she said after receiving the prize.   

3. Health and Safety: Migrants’ Access to Basic Services  

Wenddy Vera García is a migrant from Venezuela living in Ecuador. As a young feminist activist, she is part of the Por Ser Niña movement which advocates for women's and girls’ rights. The movement leads the Youth for Education in Emergencies (Youth4EiE) project which aims to provide education to migrants in Ecuador.  

“Thanks to the financial support we will receive, we will be able to invest more in girls' and migrants’ access to education in Ecuador,” she said.  

The Youth Leadership and Innovation Award celebrates young people’s energy, innovation, and distinct perspective. Committed to involving and empowering youth in addressing migration and development challenges, the award provides financial support to help the three winners scale up their innovative projects. Additionally, awardees will receive mentorship sessions to further develop and expand their initiatives. 

The Youth Innovation and Leadership Award is the peak of a week of youth involvement in the GFMD summit. On Sunday (21/01), more than 100 youth representatives attended the fourth Youth Migration Forum 2024, hosted in Geneva by IOM in collaboration with MYCP and with the support of the French Chairmanship of the GFMD, UNICEF and the Council of Europe. Youth leaders, young migrants and young members of the diaspora are agents of change, addressing the world's most urgent challenges with innovative and concrete solutions for both countries of origin and host communities. When it comes to tackling global challenges such as climate change, health, and social and economic development, migration can drive solutions and help us build a better world for all. 


For more information, please contact:  

Chloé Lavau, Communications Officer on Climate Change and Migration,