All Youth Assembly Delegates are true global citizens who work towards improving their local communities and the world. Among them, an Outstanding Youth Delegate is selected at each Youth Assembly session through a rigorous process, representing someone who:
- Has demonstrated exceptional understanding and commitment towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Exemplifies excellent leadership
- Has experience working with various sectors towards serving and improving their community
- Has a proven track record of exceptional achievements related to youth engagement and social action.
The 2022 Outstanding Youth Delegate Award was presented to Nadine Khaouli from Lebanon for excellent skills, experiences and achievements related to youth engagement. Nadine joined us for an interview, sharing more about her work and perspectives.
What is the focus of your work?
Kafe be Kafak, is an independent youth-led initiative that was established by a group of young leaders in Lebanon back in April 2020 to help people in need in response to the 2020 Beirut Port explosion, the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge economic crisis that Lebanon is facing. Our work focuses on supporting marginalized families and individuals including refugees through a community of young volunteers by covering their basic life needs—from distributing food boxes and cash assistance to covering medication bills and education fees for individuals and students in need.
What impact has your project achieved so far?
To date, we’ve been able to support thousands of individuals amid increasing poverty and deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon. In addition to that, we were able to reach the most vulnerable families living in rural areas through our community of young volunteers and focal points who are leading campaigns in their areas. The young volunteers are becoming global goals advocates urging others to act now and keep the promise to leave no one behind.
What does the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award mean to you?
Being the only Lebanese to attend the Youth Assembly in New York this year and win the Youth Delegate Award is a significant milestone in my life as a young leader and Lebanese citizen. Although I wished for more Lebanese to attend the Youth Assembly this year, I was extremely proud to represent my beloved country Lebanon and my initiative in presence of young leaders from all over the world. I want to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Youth Assembly team for selecting me!
What did you enjoy most at the Youth Assembly this year?
What an incredible experience! After almost two years of virtual communications due to the pandemic, young people like me finally had the chance to come back together, network and communicate about their dreams and aspirations to make this world a better place! I really enjoyed the diversity of the sessions and discussions as well as the hands-on learning activities organized by different companies and organizations.
What advice would you give to young people worldwide looking to make a difference in their communities?
To all the young leaders out there: you are today’s thinkers, doers and leaders. Amid the current intimidating reality we are all facing, never fear to take a step towards the wellbeing of your communities because you have the grit, motivation and knowledge needed to make a positive impact!