GEFI’s Youth Advocacy Group elects new chairperson, welcomes new member

The Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) congratulates Rolando Jr Villamero on being elected as the new chairperson of the GEFI’s Youth Advocacy Group.  Rolando Jr joined YAG in 2012 when the group was founded, and has officially started his term as a chairperson in January 2016. GEFI joins the YAG in thanking Jamira Burley and Sumaya Saluja, for their dedicated co-leadership of the group in 2015.

Rolando Jr is from the Philippines and is currently one of the 12 fellows of 2015-17 Jeanne Sauve Public Leaderhsip Program, and is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Global Observatory for Inclusion (GLOBI). His expertise centres on inclusive education for children and young people with disabilities. As a YAG member, Rolando Jr, in 2015 worked on #DrawDisability, a global campaign which aimed to educate children and young people about disability and inclusive education through visual arts.

The YAG welcomes its new member, Lama Khoury from Syria. She currently works in an initiative known as Lamset Dafa (Touch of Warmth) which supports children who lost their schools due to wide scale destruction in Syria’s War. “Day by day, the war destroys the minds of our youth. I live in Syria during this situation. And there is a big need to build bridges of peace and development to help children pursue their education,” she said.

“This year, our group [YAG] is keen at revisiting our vision especially in relation to the SDG on education. We want to ensure that what we do authentically represent the voices of young people from around the world” expressed Rolando Jr. The YAG currently includes 14 official members from 14 different countries:

Anna Susarenco, Moldova
Anusheh Bakht Aziz, Pakistan
Cheryl Perera, Canada
David Crone, United Kingdom
Dejan Bojanic, Serbia
Esther McFarlane, South Africa
Gaoshan Junjian, China
Hayley McQuire, Australia
Jamira Burley, United States of America
Joseph Munyambanza, Democratic Republic of Congo
Lama Khoury, Syria
Luiz Carlos Guedes, Brazil
Rolando Jr Villamero, Philippines
Sumaya Saluja, India 

Back to top