The Hurford Youth Fellowship Program seeks to build the leadership skills and harness the potential of young democracy activists from around the world. Through the Program, young activists spend four months at the World Movement’s Secretariat, during which they expand their global connections, share experiences with other activists from democracy movements around the world, and contribute to the development of the World Movement for Democracy and the World Youth Movement for Democracy. Hurford Youth Fellows engage in strategic meetings; conduct research; and organize and lead presentations, online discussions, and information-sharing sessions on key democracy issues.
Upon the successful completion of each fellowship, the fellows serve as a regional/country focal point, working with the Hurford Youth Fellowship Alumni Network to remain involved and take the lead in World Youth Movement activities.
CURRENT HURFORD FELLOWS
Margarita Maira, Chile
Ms. Margarita Maira is a Project Coordinator at Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente, a civil society organization that seeks to strengthen democracy in Latin America. Ms. Maira is committed to strengthening governance in Latin America and has led campaigns to engage youth in dialogue with decision makers and political candidates. Additionally, she has worked with emerging leaders in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, training them on how to develop advocacy strategies and engage in public policy. Her experiences include working with former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet’s digital communications team and with Chile’s Ministry General Secretariat of the Government.
During her fellowship, Ms. Maira is focusing on how to create effective spaces where youth can relate to public policies and government issues. She is exploring practical ways to make governance a topic of interest for younger generations and opportunities to connect youth to democratic institutions.
Risham Waseem, Pakistan
Ms. Risham Waseem (Pakistan) is the Creative Director at Maati TV, a web TV channel that promotes peace and democracy in Pakistan. She also serves as the Media Officer at the Interactive Resource Center, a non-profit organization striving to build consciousness among marginalized populations using interactive art forms such as theatre and film. Ms. Waseem’s passion for art and activism inspired her to direct and produce several documentaries on countering violent extremism and addressing sexual harassment in Pakistan. Additionally, her commitment to civic participation led to her involvement in forum theatre, where she has performed in plays on issues related to human rights and democracy all over Pakistan.
During her fellowship, Ms. Waseem is examining global media trends that promote populist and nationalistic narratives that discredit democracy, shrink civic space, and threaten youth political participation. Additionally, Waseem is working to develop short digital stories in the form of mini web series, to counter the misconceptions associated with democracy.
Johnson Yeung, Hong Kong, (2017)
Mr. Ching Yin “Johnson” Yeung explored strategies for strengthening and consolidating democracy, looking at lessons learned and best practices from movements around the world. In addition, he examined ways of contributing to institutional reforms and building consensus, solidarity, and trust among citizens. Yeung is a former convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, an organization focusing on human rights and democratic development in Hong Kong. He previously served as Deputy General Secretary of the Federation of Students, a platform for youth engagement in social action.