WYMD Leadership Board
Alex Fotoh Esq., age 27, Cameroon
Alex has experience in legal practice as a Legal Assistant in Gang and Associates Law Firm, in Muyuka, Cameroon. He also has administrative and management experience with organizations such as PLEHO, an NGO in Cameroon which promotes achieving the Millennium Development Goals while protecting the environment, the Cameroon National Youth Council, and the Youth Human Rights Watch Committee also based in Muyuka, Cameroon. He has a strong interest in democracy and governance. He is a WYMD essay contest winner for the Africa region, and attended the 6th World Movement for Democracy Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010. Alex recently completed studies for a Master of Laws (LL M) in commercial law at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His LL M research focused on corporate governance.
Marlene Chiedza Gadzirayi, age 23, Zimbabwe
Chiedza currently serves as finance officer for the National Movement of Catholic Students. She previously served as International Relations Secretary in the Zimbabwe National Students Union from 2008-2010 and as Vice President of The Students Representative Council at Bindura University from 2006-2007. Chiedza holds a Bachelor of Accountancy Honours Degree and worked as a Finance intern at the Students Solidarity Trust from 2007-2008 and as a Finance Assistant from 2009-March 2010. Chiedza was part of the WYMD essay contest review committee for the 2009 competition.
Deewai Mabunga Rodriguez, 27, Philippines
Deewai attended the 5th World Movement for Democracy Assembly in Kiev, Ukraine in 2008 as a WYMD essay contest winner. Her first leadership role in a national organization began in 2003 as Youth Representative to the National Steering Committee of the Citizens' Movement for a Federal Philippines (CMFP). She has a degree in Communication Arts and served as University Lecturer on Speech Communication. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Management. Currently, she is the International Affairs Associate of the Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly (YSDA) which is a member of the Asian Youth Network (AYN). For the past four years, she served as Youth Affairs Officer with the District Office of Deputy Minority Leader and Bukidnon Representative TG Guingona.
Niwa Rahmad Dwitama, 18, Indonesia
Niwa is currently studying International Relations at the University of Indonesia and is an activist of “IFL”, youth NGO in Jakarta, Indonesia. His first leadership experience was serving as the Chief of OSIS 2007 student union. From 2008-2010, he was the “IEARN Indonesia” Youth Representative working to collaborate with students in developing community projects. Serving as Co-Founder and Vice President of IFL community, which focuses on youth empowerment and promoting MDGs among youth, he has conducted several social projects relating to children’s right, education, and democracy. Niwa recently received “Innovative Student Award 2010” from Microsoft and TakingitGlobal (TiG) in Singapore. Also, he was a volunteer at the World Movement for Democracy Assembly in Jakarta 2010. Serving as the youngest member on the WYMD Leadership Board makes him eager to spread the message of democracy to the best of his ability.
Europe and Eurasia
Pedro Silverio, age 32, Spain
Pedro has extensive experience as a journalist and editor of a TV and web news agency. He has a degree in Political Philosophy and is currently working towards his PhD in Democracy, Civil Society and Media. Pedro has spoken at several conferences on various topics about democracy and won the Three Cultures Award at Carmona FilmFest, in Seville in 2003, with a documentary about the War in Iraq.
Daria Taradai, age 25, Ukraine
Daria is currently a journalist for the Ukrainian service of the BBC and a lecturer at the Mohyla School of Journalism, NaUKMA. She was previously a journalist with “5th channel” and “Ukrainian News.” In 2005, she held a public relations and communication internship in the Special Commission Ukraine – NATO of Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Sixto Martinez, age 22, Venezuela
Sixto is an active member of the Venezuelan student movement. He is the General Coordinator of “DEMOS,” a student group at the University of Simon Bolivar. He is also a member of the National Coordination of “Voto Joven,” a nation wide movement to increase the participation of youth in the democratic process. He frequently volunteers in his community, where he conducts extensive service in low income areas. With his previous experience of organizing on a national level, Sixto is excited to mobilize on a regional and global level to build a more democratic world.
Sara Iris Garcia, age 22, Gutatemala
Sara’s experience includes positions as a volunteer Translator for TakingITGlobal (TIG), a collaborator for the Enrique Anamisi Research Center, and a Volunteer for the Amigos de los Animales Association. She is an undergraduate student currently studying software engineering, and therefore strongly believes the Internet and virtual communities play an important role in disseminating information and promoting democracy.
Middle East and North Africa
A.A., Egypt/United Arab Emirates
Rami Shamma, age 24, Lebanon
Rami currently serves as Youth Shadow Minister of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon’s Youth Shadow Government. He is also a Trainer on Conflict Transformation Skills, as well as a Program Manager for “Youth and Municipalities… Step Forward”, a national program of the Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA).
WYMD Advisory Council
Tapera Kapuya, Zimbabwe
Tapera is a founding member of the World Youth Movement for Democracy. He is the former coordinator of the South Africa office of the National Constitutional Assembly, a civic movement that campaigns for a new constitution in Zimbabwe. He has previously served as general secretary of the University of Zimbabwe Student Union and the Africa Secretary of the International Union of Students. Tapera was a former Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy where he focused his research on youth engagement.
Gina Romero, Colombia
Graduate of Government and International Relations from the Externado University of Columbia, Gina has vast experience in developing social projects, including financial management and administration. She has additional studies in issues of governability, gender, and youth. She has directed, coordinated, and administrated dozens of projects related to youth empowerment, focusing on strengthening democracy and the fight against corruption. She has been a member of Corporación Ocasa, a Colombian NGO, since August 2004 and is now its Executive Director. Furthermore, she is a professor at the Externado University of Columbia. She has received multiple recognitions of thanks for her commitment and strong work as an activist, and is the beneficiary of various academic scholarships. She has been invited to multiple international meetings as an activist and as a representative of both Ocasa and the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (of which she is a co-founder and second General Coordinator). Additionally, she is co-founder of the Global Youth Network against Corruption.
Ahmed Samih Farag, Egypt
Ahmed has extensive experience as an organizer and trainer in international programs for human rights education. He has served as a media adviser and director of media observation in a national campaign for monitoring elections in Egypt sponsored by USAID. He has also been a trainer for projects sponsored by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund, such as Supporting NGOs and Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion and Combating Propaganda for War. He is the founder of various organizations: Liberal Youth Seminar sponsored by New Civic Forum, Knowledge Club, and Free Youth Association sponsored by Al JEEL Center for Youth and Social Studies. Currently, Ahmed is the Director of Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies.
Ryota Jonen, Japan
As Project Manager at the World Movement’s Secretariat, he has helped develop various networks among democracy activists in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East as well as in several thematic areas of democracy work, such as local governance and youth political participation. Before joining the World Movement, he helped various grassroots organizations in organizing conferences and planning human rights education programs in the U.S. and Europe. Also, he has been involved with various international peace activities, including the Hague Appeal for Peace. He has been a visiting speaker on the issues of post-conflict peace-building and human rights for high schools and non-governmental organizations in Liberia as well as for American University in Washington, DC. His main research interests include democracy building in post-conflict societies, with a particular emphasis on reconciliation.