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Plan Youth Ambassador Speaks at USAIDís Youth in Development Policy Launch

Maame Yankah, Plan International USA and 10x10 Ambassador.
Maame Yankah, Plan International USA and 10x10 Ambassador.
November 30, 2012

Yesterday, USAID and the Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD) held a launch event for USAID’s Youth in Development Policy. USAID launched the policy October 29th as a demonstration of their commitment to young people around the world.

At the event, USAID moderator Nicole Goldin welcomed Maame Yankah, Plan International USA and 10x10 Ambassador. Other launch panelists included: Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, USAID; Susan Reichle Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID; Bill Reese, President and CEO, International Youth Foundation; Amreek Kataria, UGRAD-Pakistan; Sharon Morris, Director of Youth and Conflict Management, Mercy Corps; and Nancy Taggart, Deputy Director, EQUIP3 Project, Education Development Center.

“I’m very glad USAID has developed this policy. Youth around the world are raising their voices and saying that they are unsatisfied with their education, access to opportunity, gender inequality, and job prospects,” said Maame. “Better education and improved access to opportunity will help them rise out of poverty and improve their standard of living. It’s about time we have a policy that focuses solely on youth.”

Maame spoke about the importance of youth participation in decision-making processes as a method to bring about gender equality and access to opportunity. Including and engaging young people positively contributes to the economic, political, and civic well-being of families, communities, and countries around the world.

“Plan highly values youth participation in our all of our programming around the world. This policy is an opportunity to continue to engage with youth actors, delegate authority, and trust their guidance,” said Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA and newly appointed Co-Chair of AIYD. “Congratulations to USAID and the development community on this great achievement. We look forward to continue working together to bring this policy to life.”

Plan, an international child-centered community development organization, applauds USAID’s official recognition of young people as integral members of their communities and powerful agents of change. Plan’s long-standing belief that children and young people are a driving force in international development is rooted in its child-centered community development (CCCD) approach. CCCD places children and youth at the center of development solutions that promise a better future for families and communities around the world.

About Maame Yankah

Maame, 21, was born in Accra, Ghana. At the age of 15, she volunteered with the Budumburam camp for Liberian refugees. She went on to help start a public health club at an all-girls’ middle school through non-profit Voices of Innovative Children Engaging Society- Ghana. Maame attended school in Ghana and is currently pursuing a college degree at the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University in Pennsylvania. She is a Youth Ambassador for both Plan International USA and 10x10, hosting events and raising awareness for the work done by these organizations. Maame looks forward to graduating with a BA in Economic Development and a minor in French in 2014 and to continue advocating for the betterment of girls and communities everywhere, especially in West Africa.



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