Call for Application for the CYC Representative for Special Interest Groups

Do you have experience in national, regional or International levels working on engagement and empowerment of marginalised groups? Do you have a good knowledge and understanding of youth development issues, organisational and management skills, working in multi-cultural environments and have a track record of policy and advocacy for priorities of special interest groups? Then, do apply for the CYC Representative of Special Interest Groups position by 28th February 2018, 2359 GMT at

Shortlisted Candidates of the Commonwealth Youth Council Elections

Announcement of the shortlisted candidates for 2018-2020 Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Elections.

The CYC is pleased to announce the list of successful candidates who were competitively selected to stand for election for the various executive positions in the CYC.  

Large number of nominations were received and the selection process was based on the stated qualification criteria. The CYC appreciate all the nominated candidates for their interest in representing the young people of the Commonwealth through the Commonwealth Youth Council.

All nominations were reviewed in accordance with electoral regulations guidelines by the Returning Officer and an independent Electoral Board. All the accepted candidates are subject to their confirmation to the CYC that they are able to attend the CYC General Assembly to be held on 18th April 2018, in London, UK that will be held alongside the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF); 16-18 April 2018.

Important Information:

We would like to encourage all the selected candidates to contact their National Youth Council (or National Youth Led Organisation) and the Ministry (or department) of youth and inform them of their candidacy.


Campaigning officially begins from today and ends 24 hours before the polls open at the General Assembly. Please refer to the elections regulations for more information of how candidates are to conduct their campaigns. Campaigns should be respectful in accordance with the Electoral Regulations. We encourage candidates to use social media and other platforms for campaigns.  

The link below leads to the dedicated online election marketing page for candidates with their manifestos, profiles and photos.


  • The election day will be18th April 2018.
  • Elections will be held during the CYC General Assembly day.
  • All Voting will be via a secure website.
  • There is only one vote per country.
  • During the Commonwealth Youth Forum and General Assembly, candidates will present their manifestos and field questions from the delegates including online participants.
  • Candidates are encouraged to review the CYC Draft Constitution, other information about Commonwealth and young people.
  • The official handing over will take place in July 2018

We thank you in advance for your cooperation on this important matter.

Once again, congratulations to the selected candidates. 

Follow this link for the list of the candidates, their profiles and manifestos:

Youth and Employment in Dar Es Salaam (YEID)

The “Decent Work and Labour Rights (DWLR) in East Africa, Phase 2” programme focuses on advancing the youth agenda in East African countries. As part of the programme, a baseline survey, “Youth and Employment in Dar Es Salaam”, was conducted to assess the overview of the situation of youth in relation to employment challenges and opportunities in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The survey focused on the following aspects:

  1. Challenges and opportunities in running self-owned businesses.
  2. Labour market issues in the formal and informal sector.
  3. Consequences of youth underemployment and unemployment.
  4. Possibilities of employment in the formal and informal labour market.
  5. Youth employment initiatives in Dar es Salaam.
  6. Current youth employment policies at the national level.

The report of the baseline survey has been attached for public reference: YEID Baseline Survey Report

Faith in the Commonwealth Training of Trainers, Nairobi, Kenya


14-16 DECEMBER 2017

The CYC, in partnership with the Commonwealth, the Khalili Foundation, the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network and the Directorate of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender Affairs conducted a Training of Trainers to equip 25  Kenyan youth with the tools to conduct workshops promoting social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding. 

“The young people are Kenya’s and Commonwealth great asset.”
Dr. Florence Muinde, Director, Directorate of Youth Affairs Kenya stated as she addressed trainees during the opening of the ToT. She further encouraged trainees to uphold the Commonwealth values and put them into practice to propagate a culture of understanding that aids sustainable youth development. 


The ToT kicked off with a learning session involving grounding of the young people to have a strong sense of self, their identities, and cultures. Topics of discussion included connecting by collaborating with people who have different perspectives, how to initiate a deeper understanding of our local and global communities and how change happens. 

Activities during the ToT focused on the aspect of facilitation, keeping in mind the learning objectives of value difference, self awareness, respect and understanding, dialogue and discussion skills, self confidence, youth empowerment, in carrying out various activities such as story of my shoes, gender or sex, theatre role play on conflict resolution. The young people also participated and facilitated on a power walk, problem tree, and community mapping as a way of going to the root cause of our problems in our communities and coming up with different ways of bringing change.

Trainees also had the opportunity to prepare a marketplace where they could showcase a small project that they are working on and need to upscale it using some of the learning objectives acquired which lean on respect and understanding and youth empowerment, or a new project that they would like to do! Through this activity, a lot of networking took place, which is beneficial to the trainees as they can work on projects together, and provide beneficial suggestions. Post ToT, these projects will be monitored and provided mentoring.

A definite success, the ToT was well-received by the 25 youth leaders and the CYC would like to wish these leaders all the best in their future endeavors!




I AM ABLE Conference Outcomes

The I AM ABLE Conference was recently held in Antigua & Barbuda from 3-6 December 2017. A special guest of the Conference included Hon. Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Environment, Botanical Gardens and Heritage Sites, Antigua & Barbuda who endorsed the campaign and applauded the CYC’s efforts in increasing the capacities of persons with disabilities.

The document contains policy recommendations that may be adopted or used as inspiration for key actions towards an inclusive future for persons with disabilities. Solutions in the documents are focused on the areas of education, employment, health and political participation. Some solutions include:

  • Education (Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
    • Founding of Child Rights Club to provide education to children with and without disabilities about their rights, provide support and build their skills.
    • Living and Mobility skills education to teach children with disabilities life skills so that they will have equal opportunities in their undertakings.
  • Employment (Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
    • Buildings and parking spaces are disabled-friendly to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunities for employment.
    • Employers who practice an inclusive policy provided incentives such as tax concessions.
  • Health (Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
    • Healthcare providers to be trained on how to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
    • Early detection of physical and invisible disabilities in children so that support and education can be provided at a young age.
  • Political participation (Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
    • Staff of the Electoral Commission given training on how to identify persons with disabilities to ease the voting process for them.
    • People with disabilities provided opportunities to be members of staff at the Electoral Commission.

It is with great pleasure that the CYC shares the I AM ABLE Conference Outcome Document for public use. Find the documents here: IAMABLE Annex I & IAMABLE Annex 2


Call for Applications to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London!

The Commonwealth Youth Council would like to extend an invitation to you to apply to the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) that will be held next April in London.

The theme of CYF 2018 is “Powering our Common Future” which ties in with CHOGM’s theme “Toward a Common Future”. CYF will take place from 16-18 April 2018, alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and will entail discussions on the challenges faced by young people.


500 youth leaders across the Commonwealth will be chosen to attend CYF; the eligibility criteria include:

1. Be a recognised member of a national youth-led body, or represent a youth organisation or special interest group.
2. Applicants must be aged between 18-29 years old.
3. Demonstrate an interest in global and Commonwealth issues and working with other young people towards the success of local, regional youth organisations, as well as the Commonwealth Youth Council and its continuation.
4. Be committed to working in their respective countries with youth leaders, young people, youth organisations and special interest group as part of the preparatory work prior to attending and after the forum. This includes disseminating learnings and engaging with the Commonwealth Youth Council and other stakeholders to assist implement outcomes from the forum.
5. Be dedicated to strengthening dialogue between young people of the Commonwealth.

Registration closes on January 2, 2018.

Don’t miss this precious opportunity to have your say in the future of young people!

For more information on the application, click here:


Congratulations to the new Caribbean Regional Youth Council & Pacific Youth Council!

Caribbean Regional Youth Council

The following youth leaders have been elected to the Executive Board of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council 2017-2019 term. The new committee will shadow the current executive board and take over office January 1, 2017.

Check out the official Facebook post here.








Pacific Youth Council

The new Pacific Youth Council Board was elected at the June 2017 Pacific Youth Council 6th General Assembly in Suva:

1. Chair – Tahere Talaina Leota Siisiialafia – Samoa.
2. Vice Chair – Harry James Olikwailafa – Solomon Islands.
3. Treasurer – Lucille Sain – Chuuk, FSM
4. Secretary – Joe Higgs Kalo, Vanuatu.
5. Member – Niuone Lei Eliuta – Tuvalu.
6. Member – Rhonda Tiakia – Niue.

For more information about the election, click here.




The Commonwealth Youth Council would like to congratulate the elected youth leaders and wishes them success in heading the youth councils! 



Closing of the IAMABLE Conference in Antigua & Barbuda

“We are all able to enable “were the parting words of the Honourable Minister Molwyn Joseph, the Minister of Health and the Environment, Botanical Gardens and World Heritage Sites of Antigua and Barbuda at the closing reception at Government House on the 6th December 2017 hosted by His Excellency, the Governor General, Mr Rodney Williams and Lady Williams, the Founder and President of Halo Foundation.

Drawing the three-day conference to a close, invited guests and the delegates gathered for an evening of gratitude and appreciation and to enjoy the talent of persons with disabilities. Sir Rodney Williams, opened the evening with remarks sharing his appreciation that the I am able conference had landed on the shores of Antigua and Barbuda and the continued commitment of his office and the Halo Foundation to helping persons with disabilities. It was Lady Williams who shared the exciting news of new initiatives that her Foundation would implement in light of how touched she has been by the conference and its outcome.

The Halo Foundation announced three commitments which included:

  1. Providing free public transportation for persons with disabilities from Barbuda if they wish to travel home before the end of the year.
  2. One scholarship per year for a child with special needs to attend the victory centre.
  3. An annual award for a person with disabilities who have demonstrated exceptional abilities.

Wasting no time to prove their commitment, the first award of the person with exceptional abilities was awarded to an entrepreneur with disability who made concrete statuettes. He was awarded with a shield with a check of 1000 USD.

Minister Joseph revealed that he had spoken to the Honourable Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and received the cabinet approval to set up an I am ABLE commission. He expressed that it was now his responsibility to ensure that the Commission will have an office, staff and full-time staff. The Commission will harness the optimism and ideas that emerged from the conference. Additionally, it will serve to monitor, implement and enforce the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will be a place where persons with disabilities can register their complaints to ensure an accessible and inclusive society.

Sujae Boswell, the regional representative for the Caribbean and Americas expressed his thanks to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the High Commission to the UK for supporting the implementation of the ideas of youth. He further announced that the Commonwealth Youth Council will run a pilot of an I am able youth disability advocate programme in the schools of Antigua and Barbuda which will seek to create effective disability advocates. Additionally, a collaboration with the National Youth Council of Antigua and Barbuda will lead to running a Vote Like a Boss campaign for persons with disabilities to help with the analysis of policies and encourage us to participate in the electoral process. 

He was followed by Mr Calvin Ayre, the President of the Calvin Ayre Foundation, who expressed his content with funding such an initiative and the need to continue to invest in the abilities of all persons in Antigua and Barbuda.

Inspiring the audience, was Hassan Khan, a blind professional cricketer from Pakistan, who shared his story of acquiring a disability at the age of 3 and not having an education for the first 10 years of his life. It was when he was in the United Kingdom when he saw his name in braille that Mr Hassan began his renewed sense of life. He is an advocate for the use of sports to empower persons with disabilities as he reminisces on how far he came from to now having played cricket in the World Cup and various countries including Barbados, Pakistan, and Australia.

The night included performances by Mr Ulric Matthews on the clarinet, poems by Mr Sylvannus Barnes and Mr Neville Peter ended our evening with a series of Christmas songs.



Chairperson’s Official Visits in Africa


Uganda – 26 July 2017

Kishva Ambigapathy with Lilian Aber, Chairperson of the National Youth Council of Uganda, Rugumayo Edson, Co-Chair of the Youth Leaders Forum Taskforce, Lawrence Muli, Youth Division Commonwealth Secretariat & Sam Ogwal. They had fruitful discussions on the strategic agenda for the Commonwealth Youth Leaders Forum, the CYC, and youth opportunities in Uganda.




Kenya – 27 – 28 July 2017

The Chairperson met with Tony Rilley from the British Council in Kenya to discuss the CYC’s impact on youth in Kenya and the Future Leaders program by the British Council.

The Vice Chairperson of Partnerships and Resources, Faith Manthi, and Kishva visited the United Nations Headquarters in Africa. They met the Director-General Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia & had productive meetings with Dr. Abdul Rahman Lamin and the team at UNESCO Eastern Africa.

Kishva was also welcomed by the Kenya National Youth Council Chairperson, Dishon Atemo-Dfo, and the executive board in Nairobi. The Youth Council and Kishva had discussions about youth development and empowerment to strengthen their relationship and empower youth in Kenya.

The Chairperson had a casual catch-up session with Commonwealth Youth Network Leaders and recipients of the President’s Award Kenya to discuss the Commonwealth Youth Leaders Forum and how the CYC can engage with local leaders to impact more Kenyan youth.

Kishva Ambigapathy met with the Directorate, Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender of Kenya on the works of the Commonwealth Youth Council and had very fruitful discussions on partnerships to help the Commonwealth youth. 


Lesotho – 11 August 2017

During the Chairperson’s Africa Tour, Kishva was welcomed by the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki; he also had productive meetings with Lesotho’s Minister of Gender & Youth, Sports & Recreation Hon. Kabelo Mafura, Ministry’s Principal Secretary Fetsane Seoka & Johane Mahao Executive Secretary of Lesotho Youth Council. Kishva discussed the work of the CYC and opportunities for youth in Lesotho.





Virtual engagement with youth in Cameroon – 12 August 2017

This year, on International Youth Day, with the theme “Youths Building Peace” for International Youth Day, Kishva Ambigapathy was invited to join youth via Skype at the Local Youth Center in Cameroon. Kishva spoke about the CYC, and about the importance of this day in recognizing the efforts of young people in conflict prevention and countering violent extremism. 

Opening of the IAMABLE Conference in Antigua & Barbuda

Monday 4th December 2017

The #IamABLE campaign for youth with disabilities stems from the request of young people from across the Commonwealth including Antigua and Barbuda’s Commonwealth National Youth Delegates Jonelle Walsh and Kurt Williams. The campaign seeks to contribute towards the development of a more inclusive society by addressing the marginalisation and discrimination of people with disabilities in the Commonwealth. Only one year into the campaign, we are in Antigua and Barbuda to discuss current status, challenges and solutions to problems being faced by youth with disabilities in the country, and around the Commonwealth. This conference is a culmination of the partnership between the High Commission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Kingdom, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Commonwealth Youth Council.

Moderating the opening ceremony, Her Excellency. Ms. Karen Mae- Hill, High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Kingdom said, “Working with the Government and the Commonwealth Youth Council over the past months to formulate this conference has been very inspirational for me, and has changed my perception of disability.” Stressing that people with disabilities should be treated with respect and be given equal opportunities, she encouraged the audience to look at the ability and not the disability. She also acknowledged the presence of H.E. Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda and Lady Williams, who serve as patrons of several disability groups and organisations on the Island.

This idea of empowerment of people with disabilities is not new to Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the first countries to have a blind permanent representative to the United Nations, and it was only fitting then that Ambassador Dr. Aubrey Webson shared his experiences with the gathering. He commended the current efforts that included paratransit services, accessible airport facility and the legislation to realise the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was ratified in 2016. He expressed his optimism, and encouraged the participants to be hopeful, tolerant and more inclusive, besides working together to change what it means to have a disability. British High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, H.E. Janel Douglas emphasised the support of the UK to the IAMABLE campaign and announced that disability would be a topic of focus at the Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018.

Ron Tatar, Director of the Calvin Ayre Foundation, the platinum sponsors of the conference, expressed the organisation’s pleasure to be associated with the campaign. He expressed his eagerness to learn about the outcome document and action plan that seek to provide tangible and concrete implementation measures as a result of this conference.

Angelique Pouponneau, Seychelles, the vice-chairperson for inclusion and engagement of the Commonwealth Youth Council traced the origins of the campaign and shared her experience organising the conference. Highlighting several success stories of people with disabilities, she reinforced the rationale for the campaign, and implored young people to bring solutions to the table, to collaborate, to be willing to join organisations that can make a difference.

This was followed by an inspirational talk by Aaron Philip, a 16-year-old high achiever, model, writer and disability rights advocate. He encouraged people with disabilities to accept who they are and be proud about it. “I am happy to be a model with a disability.” Sharing the lack of awareness and insensitivity that continues to prevail in our society, he shared anecdotes of discrimination and insensitivity, and called upon the audience to be more considerate and accepting.

Hon. Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Environment, Botanical Gardens and Heritage Sites, in his keynote speech, urged the audience to accept their personal responsibility towards changing the social fabric of Antigua and Barbuda. Stressing on the need to disregard the “dis” in disability, he emphasised collaboration and suggested the creation of a group of organisations to keep the focus on the mission to continue the objectives of the I am able campaign in Antigua and Barbuda.

As the ceremony drew to a close, a renewed sense of purpose filled a room of 200 participants as they pondered over what they could do as individuals, as employers and as people with power or influence to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

View the full album of the Conference opening here!

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