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30 under 30 young African leaders: Vicky Aridi, kenya

3. Vicky Aridi. 23 Years old. kenya.

Vicky is a dedicated and reliable young leader who is passionate about championing for sustainable development, youth engagement and human rights in Africa and the globe at large. She is a lawyer and the Youth Coordinator for Africa and Middle East at Fairtrade Africa. At Fairtrade Africa, Vicky oversees the youth program across 33 countries in Africa and the Middle East. As the Youth Coordinator she has also led youth programmes and projects on agriculture, climate change, employment, child labour and human rights in 33 countries in Africa and Middle East. She has also led the development of a youth policy programme for young farmers and workers in Africa and co-developed an African study on youth engagement in agriculture value chains with young farmers and workers in 33 countries in Africa and Middle East.

Vicky also serves as an advisor for the United Nations Joint SDG Fund where she provides critical advice that informs youth programming and sustainable development. At the United Nations Joint SDG Fund, she has led the development of a youth network of SDG advocates comprising of young refugees, youth with disabilities and youth advocates from over 20 countries. She has also led the development of a youth programme for the small island developing states on sustainable development, climate action and social protection. In addition to this, Vicky also developed the youth corner with young refugees, youth with disabilities and youth advocates which is a platform for youth across the globe to share their stories on how they are championing for sustainable development in their contexts.

Vicky Aridi (center) at the Sustainability Impact Forum in September 2019

Vicky also sits on the UN Youth Envoys Global Youth 2030 steering committee and she has served as the Youth Liaison and Advocacy Officer at John Snow Inc where she was the head of the youth program for health for 63 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia and the head of the shadow youth board.

she has also previously served as the Project Officer (Operations) and Advisor for Africa where she was leading and coordinating projects and programs in 150 countries across the globe on the SDGs, human rights, food security, climate action and youth engagement for United Nations SDSN Youth. Vicky also served as the SDG Coordinator for Kenya for the United Nations SDSN Youth where she oversaw projects being run by youth in the 47 counties in Kenya on sustainable development, human rights and climate action.

Vicky Aridi speaking at the Sustainability Impact Forum on 26th September 2019 held at Strathmore Business School.

Vicky also served as a youth advocate where she developed advocacy strategies for children’s rights for UNICEF Kenya. She also represented UNICEF Kenya as a speaker for high level convenings, such as a round table discussion with Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium.

Vicky Aridi and her colleague Ezra Yego meeting Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of Belgium

Vicky is equally the Co-Founder of the Tim Aridi Foundation. Through the Tim Aridi Foundation, she has been able to spearhead a soccer mentorship programme for high school students in Kenya which is geared at empowering them to be change agents in their societies. Currently, the foundation haa empowered over 400 youth through these camps.

Vicky has further spearheaded the petals programme which is a programme focused on empowering young women leaders in the counties in Kenya to be agents of change and empower them to play a role in ending period stigma in their societies. The foundation has been able to empower over 1,000 young women with access to sanitary towels and menstrual health products. In addition, through this foundation, vicky has been able to empower youth to play their role in combatting climate change and environmental conservation through tree planting.

In addition, Vicky has co-founded the Policy Act Initiative. This is an initiative aimed at empowering young Africans with the skills and knowledge needed to be at the forefront of creating and implementing sustainable policies. Through her various initiatives she has also been able positively impact over 25,000 young Africans.

Vicky has also been selected as a Millenium Fellow for 2019 by the United Nations Academic Impact, Kectil Fellow of 2018 by the Malmar Knowles Foundation and the Top Kectil Fellow of 2018. She has also led research projects for leading organizations in Africa such as Microsoft, Agency for Disability and Development in Africa and United Nations Environment Programme.

Vicky has also worked with the leading law firm in Latin America, Marval O’ Farell & Mairal based in Argentina as a paralegal for labour law and with the Elles C Nous Organization in Mauritius.

Moreover, She has been awarded the Top 100 Most Inspiring Young Africans 2021, She Can Award 2020 and the Champion for COVID19 Award by Amref Health Africa and Y-Act. She has also co-authored Op-eds on youth employment, youth engagement and sustainable development that have been published on the global website of the United Nations Joint SDG Fund. In addition to co-authoring an environmental law book in conjunction with UNEP and the Office of Director of Public Prosecution.

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