Young ESD Leaders Capacity Building Training Course | YRE Mission
Almada | Portugal | 15-19 March 2018



Adriána Henčeková, Slovakia
I am 19 years old and I live in the Eastern part of Slovakia. I am a student in my last year of high school and I am planning on studying journalism. I have been in the YRE program for 6 years. I participated in international YRE workshop in Sweden, in Portugal and the last amazing experience was the International climate conference COP23 in Germany. I started to work like a reporter on our local television. Sometimes I write articles on environmental issue.

Sustainability is one of my favourite topics and I am expecting to acquire some new knowledge about this issue. Besides, I want to learn how to apply knowledge in practice. I am looking forward to the collaboration between YRE and UNESCO. I am a sociable person and I would like to meet new people and discover new places. At last, I hope I will improve my journalistic skills.

Aian (pronounced eye-YIN)

Aian Binlayo, Canada
Environmental Educator
I had the privilege of attending the YRE Litter Less mission in Portugal in 2014. I recently graduated in Environmental Science and Public Policy. I currently work with a national NGO developing some of Canada’s first set of educational resources focused on carbon pricing. I am also developing a mobile application called Carbonbase which allows you to automatically track the carbon emissions from your everyday life. I am excited about the opportunity to meet and network with other enthusiastic youth taking a stand on environmental issues. To be given a platform on which youth can articulate their perspectives and be represented at the international stage.


Allison Gacad, Canada
I am an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia studying nutrition within the context of food security and environmental sustainability. I first participated in the YRE program in 2015 with an article on my school’s waste management solutions. Thanks to YRE, I most recently had the opportunity to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference as a young journalist last November 2017.
I hope to further improve my journalism skills and to learn of skills for effective changemaking surrounding the Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, I hope to strengthen my network through meeting other like-minded leaders in the field of Sustainable Development.


Anastasia Pentagioti, Greece
PHD candidate/Researcher
My name is Anastasia and I live in Athens. I am a Phd Candidate in International Law and Environmental Governance at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. I used to work as a journalist. I am a SDG enthusiast, thus, I believe that they are a breakthrough on how people around the world, can understand the concept of sustainable development. I have created an awareness campaign #Citizens4GlobalGoals for Organization Earth, a Greek NGO, after my participation at COP21 in Paris. Since 2016 I am a researcher at European Center of Environmental Research and Training in the field of 2030 Agenda.
I am looking forward to exchanging ideas and practices on education for sustainable development with other enthusiasts from all over the world. I am also interested in enhancing my communication skills, critical analysis and leadership skills.


Anne-Sophie Thill, France
I am a 24 years-old French student at the Centre de Formation des Journalistes, a school of journalism based in Paris. I got graduated from a Bachelor in law and I lived in Mexico for a year thanks to a student exchange program. There I have been an intern in a local TV and in a newspaper. I am willing to work as a correspondent in Latin America and I am quite interested in this region, politics and sustainable issues.
What I see in the conference is the opportunity to work with people from various social backgrounds who are committed to challenge, to explore fundamental concepts and to discuss them. I am expecting to act as a journalist and to deepen my skills during the workshop.


Battsetseg Genedori, Mongolia
I have been pursuing my studies at the National University of Mongolia, writing my thesis on ecological education and I want to write my PhD in the field of education for sustainable development. My passion is to increase awareness among secondary school students towards low carbon emission lifestyle. This is the reason why I want to become a part of the YRE in Mongolia. YRE have a responsibility to youth by not just informing them, but also giving them a chance to talk about real issues that affect them about sustainability.
Young people have immense power to determine the future of our planet. We can be catalysts for change, using our power as citizens, consumers, campaigners and change-makers to champion alternative ways of living. I expect to unite our voices on climate change and improve our communication and networking skills.


Rebecca Williams, Canada
In 2012, I was able to go to Copenhagen to collaborate with other youth on environmental efforts and in 2014, I attended the conference in Nagoya Japan on ESD as a Young Reporter for the Environment. Looking forward to digging deeper into this community.
I expect to be surprised and intrigued with curiosity in many new directions, weaving new connections. So excited!


Afife Begüm Uçar, Turkey
Physics Teacher, trainer and volunteer
I have worked as a trainer and a volunteer in Golden Orange Youth Club since 2015 in Turkey. GOYC works using non-formal education methods in youth projects on environmental and social issues. From the conference I expect to find new perspectives, meet new people and experience different cultures. I would like to be experienced in youth initiative and entrepreneurship and also to increase the facilitation skills of our youth workers. I also would like to gain a complementary, non-formal methodology, that can be used in formal education too.


Cátia Margarido, Portugal
Quality, Safety and Environment Technician
I am 34 years old and I live with my husband and daugther in a quiet village near Lisbon. I studied Environment and Health and my career has developed in the environment/safety construction area. I have made a post-graduation in Sustainable Management two years ago. I expect to understand and study some important stakeholders in the sustainabilty area and to be part of the ESD network.


Kristijan Angeleski, Macedonia
I am a young professional working in business and social organizations. Throughout my work in different organizations, I emphasize the importance of youth participation in decision making processes connected to global agendas and its implementation on local, national and international level. My engagement in YRE program started while I was in high school. In 2013 we won the national YRE contest in the category “Young reporters stories”. One of the many reasons for attending this event is the chance for building new skills and competences in the field of communication, education and sustainable development and chance for networking in order to establish future partnership and work together on the topic with young people from different countries, cultural backgrounds and experience.


Connie Le, Canada
I am Toronto-based designer who enjoys using digital media to create graphic images. I am currently a third year student, working my way towards a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. The incredible opportunities given as an YRE Alumni has inspired me to continue to advocate sustainability through my work. With this opportunity to attend this workshop in Lisbon, I expect to learn about a variety approaches towards sustainability, and to be inspired to take action in my own life. From this conference I believe I will be able to reflect my relationship with the environment and continue to advocate sustainable methods towards the youth. I also hope to interact with young adults from around the world, creating new friendships, bonds and expanding my network in the environmental community.


Emily Grabo, Germany
Administration and coordination of a language school
While still in college I was a participant of the International Workshop for winners of the Liter Less Campaign in January 2014. I covered the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development as part of FEE’s and the UNESCO’s program for young journalists. After graduating from college, I took part in the volunteering program “weltwärts”. My work as a volunteer included working as a coordinator in the office of the Asociación Cultural de Intercambios de Costa Rica. At present I am working in the coordination and administration of a language school. In October 2018 I will start my undergraduate studies of Art and Visual History and Area Studies Asia/Africa in Berlin. First and foremost, I expect to deepen my journalistic skills, especially in regard to Education for Sustainable Development. This includes meeting young journalists and specialists from all over the world to get to know different perspectives on ESD.


Márcia Vieira, Portugal

After graduating in Journalism, I started to work in environmental protection during an internship at ABAE in 2011. I done my master’s thesis about environment ONG’s. During my internship I participated in my first YRE mission. Since 2016, I’ve been working with the Blue Flag Program. During this time, I kept working with the YRE Program and doing missions. Being a journalism student, and in contact with young future journalists, I feel it is crucial to teach and also learn with them about the value of their role in a society in which environmental awareness is increasingly important. Nowadays, I keep in touch with journalism by being in part of communication  team at ABAE, which allows me to be in contact with the progress of the environmental awareness in Portugal. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the UNESCO workshop because it will allow me to develop communication skills and share experiences with the other participants.


Francis Ametepey, Ghana
Youth Advocate
I am a Global Youth Power leader working under the #YouthPower campaign initiated by Restless Development, a Youth-led organization based in UK to empower young people to make leaders accountable to the SDGs. I am a film maker who produce videos for advocacy purposes to engage young people on different issues. I am currently serving on YRE Ghana youth board as the social media and communication officer.
I look forward to building my capacity as a YRE. This will help me produce articles that will be relevance to for Sustainable development in the area of Education. I hope to learn from other people who are more experience in the area of education for sustainable development across the globe. I look forward to learning from other people´s culture and share the experience through article writing.


Jasmine Lawrie, Scotland
I have always loved writing. One evening, I was looking through the Young Scot website and found a competition whereby it was to write a report on an environmental issue. I decided to write about air pollution. I was chosen as the winner for the competition – The Young Reporters Scotland award for the Year of Young People 2018.
I believe that this conference will help me to engage with people of different cultures and improve my knowledge of their cultures. Engaging with new people will also help to increase my self confidence and people skills, including group work. I’d like to gain new skills too..


Joana Pedro, Portugal
I am deeply concerned about environmental issues and have an unbridled passion for the sea and the life that there exists. The adventure as a YRE began in 2011 when a teacher of mine introduced me to the programme. At first, I was taken aback since I had never dreamt to be a journalist, though my love for the environment and nature made me become interested in discovering the project. Since then I have participated in several missions, seminars, contests, workshops, and conferences, and I am eager to continue to be a part of it since it has just got me fond memories, loads of good friends, knowledge and the opportunity to develop new skills.
I am particularly excited about this conference because it will be an opportunity to reencounter several YREs I met along the journey, including those who gave meaning to the well-known phrase “Once a YRE, always a YRE”.


Joshua Richardson, New Zealand
I am from Rotorua, New Zealand. I am a first year University of Waikato student. While I was in high school at John Paul College in Rotorua I was involved in many environmentally focused sustainability projects including YRE, winning the 2016 NZ YRE film competition in the 15-18 year old category through Keep New Zealand Beautiful.
My expectation to the conference is to increase my knowledge on sustainability and improve my communication skills, meet new people and establish networks for further work and projects.


Yoh Kai Xiang, Singapore
I was first introduced to photography during secondary 2 when my teacher was looking for a photographer for a school event. It was from that day onward I was involved in more events and from there I was able to improve my skill in photography. I was privileged to be able to part of the photography team for the eco conference. I was also introduced to WWF during one of the workshops that ITE and my lecturers were conducting. That in turn opened my eyes to another world. My expectation is to Iearn and understand how the conference works, and to capture new experiences.


Kristin Rodrigo, Canada
The first time I had participated in a YRE programme, it was back in 2014 when I had been given the opportunity to join the Litter Less mission in Sweden. During my stay, I realized that through team work, individuals, like me, could make a difference they didn’t imagine they had the potential to. I am currently in my last year of University in the program of Zoology, pursuing a career that combines my greatest passions – education, conservation and wildlife. In the conference I look forward to learning more about ways I could become a more effective member in both my national and international community. I hope to develop skills that could allow me to be more creative, innovative and proactive in the future. I am also ecstatic to collaborate with other participating members in this conference and learn about their own perspectives and experiences!


KyAsia Scott-Fishenden, Bermuda
Chef/ Student
In 2016, I embarked on a 10-week expedition volunteering with Raleigh International in Borneo, Malaysia. Whilst abroad I worked on local sustainable development projects. I also witnessed the effects of deforestation from the palm oil industry and illegal logging. This firsthand experience has heightened my awareness of the importance of creating a more sustainable future.
After leaving this conference, I want to increase my wealth of knowledge on topics regarding sustainable development. I aspire to improve my networking and communication skills as a whole. I am excited by the prospect of being able to meet people from around the world which will allow me to have an intriguing cultural experience.


Lovely Juson, Canada
I am a student at the University of Toronto in Canada studying Economics. I have been involved with many different environmental and leadership initiatives since high school and I enjoy learning about sustainability and various environmental initiatives. In 2014, I was given the opportunity to travel to Sweden to participate in an international YRE workshop and learn more about the environment in a global perspective alongside other youth reporters and journalists. I am looking forward to this conference as I believe it will teach me many important lessons about conservation and sustainability, as well as provide me with valuable skills relating to journalism and reporting. I hope to gain some new insights and long term solutions for various environmental issues so that I can hopefully apply it and share them with my local community.


Lauren Ricard, France
I am a freshly graduated 27 years old journalist from France. I have worked as a intern-reporter in China, the USA, Cambodia and India, which grew my interest for international and environmental issues. Last year, I won one of the French YRE award for my report on sustainable scuba diving in Marseille, and I was really thrilled about it! However, it is my first time participating in an international YRE event. I am really glad to be invited to this workshop, where I hope to meet passionate sustainable development specialists and fellow young reporters. I wish we will all engage in trying to find new, interactive ways to report on sustainability issues and education to sustainable development.


Mafalda Gomes, Portugal
I am currently in my second year at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, part of the University of Lisbon. I have been enrolled in the YRE programme for 5 years so far, and I have taken part in two national missions in Portugal and three abroad. In November 2017, I was selected to represent YRE at COP23.
I believe that I will be able to contribute to and learn from the academically collaborative and challenging atmosphere at the YRE UNESCO conference in Lisbon. I truly hope to keep and improve my involvement in YRE in the near future.


Maddalen Diaz, Portugal
Tour guide
I’m a Basque girl living in Portugal since 2012. I studied environmental sciences at the University of the Basque Country, and Master degree in Ecology and Territory at the University of Porto. I did an investigation with plants in the herbarium of Vila Real and worked in a company of environmental impact assessment. Recently concerned about waste issues, I’m very interested in the Zero Waste movement. This will be my first experience with YRE.


Maria Petrovic, Serbia
I decided to be a journalist because I think that social media has the greatest impact on people. So, I could use my voice to make good changes. Those changes also include bigger ecological awareness and implementing sustainable development in my country. Right now, I am writing for one of Serbias newspapers and my goal so far is to introduce and expand the importance of environmental and ecological state in our country.
I think that the conference will be really good, because I will meet people from all over the world and we will all talk about very important things. Also, I think I will learn a lot, which I could later implement in my country.


Margarida Marques, Portugal
I completed my Communication degree at the University of Lisbon and I intend to do a Master’s degree in environmental journalism with the purpose of promoting eco-citizenship through my work. I exchanged feedback and experiences with talented minds and passionate hearts at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2017, in San Francisco. I was one of the 22 journalism students at the WCSJ on a travel fellowship and had the opportunity to be part of an incredible multicultural student newsroom and to learn from scientists and science writers alike. I embrace the YRE conference as a chance to know people who also aim to dig deeper into innovative storytelling tools.


Maria Marchis, Romania
This will be my 4th time joining a YRE workshop. When I started with the articles and photos for YRE, I was only 15 and it helped me discover what I like to do and what I am good at. Now, photography and writing are not only my passions: I work using them. YRE has been an opportunity to see myself in another way and this brought me more confidence and helped me to be more open. Getting to know new people, with the same passions and hobbies, sharing ideas and beliefs, accepting point of view and getting constructive feedback are only some of the things that this workshop can bring to me. Also, I am so enthusiastic about visiting Lisbon!


Marion, France
22 years old French girl, studying journalism. I was born in Paris but I feel more like a girl from the world, who loves playing with clichés, and keeps an open mind. I have no previous experience with YRE or ESD, I hope I’ll enjoy the first one! It will be my first “behind the scene” of a huge conference. Usually, I only read summaries without a real plus-value. This time, I will live the event, so I hope to avoid doublespeaks, perceive games of influence, describe the reality!There are big concerns at stake: education, ecology. We should make these concerns more lively, even in summaries, in the aim of interesting people.


Martina Mifsud, Malta
21 year old who loves to read and watch movies! YRE has been a part of my life since 2012. Best YRE experience was in Sweden 2014. YRE has made me a more environmentally conscious individual with a lot more international friends than I would have ever imagined! To increase my international friendships and learn more about a topic which is close to heart. I seek to improve my communication skills through the presented approach. Most of all I want to increase my knowledge and enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity!


Martins Mozga, Latvia
With my great co-creator Martins Seleckis we have won one of the YRE ”Litter Less” video competitions a couple years ago. I also went to a conference on ESD in Japan in 2015 and a YRE mission in Portugal… both incredible and unforgettable experiences. All in all, I have met the most amazing people and it has been a kickstart to my international career as now I am an international student in Denmark. I hope the conference will bring many new ideas and ways of communicating, I believe it is the good messages that get through to people! I hope a sustainable communication and networking community will be created that will elevate YRE to new heights and create bigger impact!


Mārtiņš Seleckis, Latvia
I am an open minded young individual, constantly looking for opportunities to make a positive change – YRE has been one of those opportunities. I have been making videos about environmental issues since 2012 and have participated in YRE workshop in Cascais, Portugal 2014.
I expect to gain more awareness on important environmental matters, as well to mark pathways on how to spread the gained information for the better.


Matej Majerský, Slovakia
I am 18 years old and currently I am studying at secondary school of printing and publishing as graphic designer. My dream is to make films. Also I love YRE program and I am proud of the fact that I can be part of this program. Last year I was on YRE mission in Portugal which was great. I expect to meet great new people and get some new knowledge.


Stefan Mitrov, Macedonia
3D Instructor
I am the president of iNovum, a non government organization for development the IT technology in Macedonia. I am also an instructor of 3D and game design.
From the conference, I hope to connect with more people, learn how to have more influence over our society because of my position as education center and instructor.


Milo Radonjic, Montenegro
PR & Marketing Manager
I am a storyteller, born in Kotor (Montenegro) in 1990. I claim that everything is about the words and the way you treat them. I worked as a journalist/editor/TV host for several years and then turned to hospitality industry. While being a high-school student, I won the national YRE competition.
From the conference I expect a lot of smart interactions with diverse range of minds. I am looking forward to meeting new people, sharing existing and creating new ideas, which will become projects in later stages. I expect to learn new “tips & tricks” on keeping Montenegro “green” and I am looking forward to learning more about Portuguese culture and tradition.


Nina Milinkovic, Slovenia
I am 21 years old and I am from Škofja Loka, where I study at the Faculty for Organizational Sciences. From a young age I have felt a deep connection with the environment so in middle school my passion led me to pursue different projects like responsible food handling and usage of local food, waste separation and recycling. My faculty gave me the opportunity to be a part of the YRE.
I hope I can improve my communication skills, broaden my horizons in the field of leadership and networking. I also yearn for the opportunity to meet new people, so we can make global connections and possibly cooperate in global projects in the future. As a first time participant I have positive expectations for this project and I am honored to be chosen as Slovenia’s first representative.


Yutong Feng, China
I am a junior of School of Journalism and Communication, Nanjing University. Participating in YRE with my schoolmates initiated me into environmental preservation. We were divided into teams and took turns removing white pollutants from the coast on weekends. In addition, we wrote reports about coastal environmental situation to arouse local residents’ awareness about the ripple effects of seaside contamination. Recently, I have become a volunteer of Nanjing River Protection environmental program. Besides volunteer work, as an undergraduate student, I have my own academic interest in environmental communication. Furthermore, as a teaching assistant of Cornell Civic Ecology Lab’s Environmental Education courses, I have always been searching for new pathways of digital skills for global environmental communication and fostering citizens’ pro-environmental behaviours..


Saga Oskarson Kindstrand, Sweden
I have been involved in many organizations and campaigns around environmental and humanitarian issues and have become confident in my ability to contribute productively to advocacy around complex issues. I was invited to be a part of the YRE-jury in Sweden last year. It was an honor and through that mission I got to know all about YRE. I have high hopes that this conference will give me the tools I need for future writing and will teach me the steps I need to take to reach my goals. I also hope to meet likeminded people from around the world to share their experiences and insights around the subject.


Samantha Dorfan, USA
I am a Senior in high school at the San Diego Jewish Academy and was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After living in a minimally environmentally conscious place, I seek not only to inspire others to love the earth as much as I do, but to give that which cannot talk a voice. I am a member of the Keep America Beautiful Youth Advisory Council, which inspired me to become the founder and president of the Eco Club at my school. I don’t have any prior experience with YRE but am so excited to get involved!
At the YRE conference, I expect to network with other people who are as passionate as I am about journalism and the environment. I plan to learn both from these conference attendees and from the speakers in order to become a more adept journalist and advocate for the environment.

Sara Luciana

Sara Luciana da Silva Cascais, Portugal
I have been a Young Reporter for the Environment for four years and I can see this experience as a way to learn but also to share knowledge, to enrich ourselves and to build the feeling of being responsible for something that belongs to everyone: the Planet Earth. I had the opportunity to make part of several YRE missions and workshops.
My expectations are really high as I feel that it will be a perfect moment to share ideas, to learn and to improve the way we practice our social and environmental responsabilities. Together as a group we can start an action, develop a plan and make the future of tomorrow a more sustainable one.


Tal Maymon, Israel
I come from Israel and i am 20 years old. Since third grade I am part of the youth movement “Maccabi tzahir” where I worked with at risk students and I was instructor team coordinator for the branch in the city. In high school I studied ecology and I participated in the YRE competition in 2015, I won the first place in Israel and the third in the world. As a result of my winning I participated in a workshop of YRE in Portugal. Today I am a soldier in the Israeli forces at the Education Corps, which deals with environmental issues and education. I expect the conference to be interesting, modernistic and exciting. I hope that every day would be used to the end and that every day would end with a smile and a sense of satisfaction.


Teodora Saulea, Romania
I am 22 years old and I am a law student in Cluj – Napoca, Romania. I would describe myself as an open-minded person before anything else. I always find myself looking for opportunities to learn not only about myself and other people, but also about the world. In 2013 my article for the Litter Less Campaign and won the first place in the 15-18 age category In 2014 I participated at the International Workshop for Litter Less winners which took place in Sweden.
I am very enthusiastic about this opportunity! I want to find out more about the development in the field of environmental protection. I would also be very happy to see that interest in the environment has increased..

Vinh Le

Vinh Le, Canada
Creative Director & Environmental Designer
I am the Creative Director & Partner at Level Studio Inc., an Interior Design firm in Toronto. I can proudly say that I am a creative designer who wears multiple hats having a keen interest and passion for interior design, urban planning and creating environmentally friendly spaces. Being a YRE Alumni has been an important catalyst that inspires my passion for sustainable methodologies that shape my vision for an environmentally friendly world.
My expectation in this conference is to learn what the prosperous countries are doing to help solve climate change and practice their own environmental initiatives. I hope to meet many others like-minded individuals to seek knowledge and create an international network of eco-friends.


Wesley Poh, Singapore
I will be attending law school this year. Understanding the framework that undergirds our society brings me one step closer to knowing how to bring about the environmentally sustainable change I want to see in the world! Some topics that I am especially passionate about include ethical consumerism, global environmental justice and the creation of sustainable communities through smart urban planning. I would really love to connect with like-minded individuals at the conference, using our different backgrounds and experiences to empower and learn from one another. Finally, I am excited to find out more about what experts think our environmentally sustainable future is going to be like, and what we can and must do to reach that goal.

Emmanuel Koro South Africa
Mona B. El Zoghbi Ph.D. Lebanon
Christopher Slaney Israel
Pedro Marcelino Portugal
Daniel Schaffer Israel
Malgorzata Luszczek Poland
Julie Saito Japan
Kristina Madsen Dinamarca
Lesley Jones Wales
Margarida Gomes Portugal

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