• In the spotlight

    October 9, 2015

    Member Spotlight: Juan Jose Diaz

    What first got you interested in youth issues?

    I was always curious about how in my country’s political and civil society spaces, young people never got the important decision-making roles; we were not even taken into consideration. That is why since I was a youngster, I decided we should have an important representation in these spaces, but for this we have to earn them. So I would say I didn’t get interested in specific youth issues, instead I am interested in general Costa Rica’s development goals and how we as youth, can contribute to achieve them.

    On the International side of my activism, as a member of a Costa Rican Youth Liberal movement, I got involved in a trip, where I had the opportunity to share with young activists from the Latin American region. Of course I was aware of the Human Rights violation people suffered in other countries, but hearing those experiences from them was a mind opener, so I decided it was time for me to join their fight for freedom and that I could also create consciousness inside my party’s youth, through these experiences.

    What are some of the groups and activities you are involved in?

    Nowadays, I have the opportunity to be part of two organizations. Locally, I am a member of the “Juventud Libertaria” executive committee, the youth wing of Costa Rica`s Liberal Party, “Movimiento Libertario”. From this role, we try to empower our youth to take on decision-making roles and promote their participation in Costa Rica’s elective positions.

    In the region, I am also involved as the General Coordinator of the Latin American Network for democracy. In this network, we raise our voice against government degradation of freedom, political human rights and democracy. We also compare good initiatives for youth that have been effectives in our countries and try to apply them in countries with a poor democratic background.

    Recently, we also started an electoral observation mission, where we gather activists and give them the opportunity to learn about each country’s democratic processes.

     What is the situation in your country right now that makes your organization’s work particularly relevant?

    The youth’s perspective on the political class is really negative. This has caused that we as youth, don’t go out to execute our democratic rights such as voting or applying for democratic positions.

    We as a youth network for democracy, incentivize youth to participate in these democratic expressions and teach them that nobody is going to open up these spaces for them, they have to take them. We also give them the tools they need to overcome these democratic processes the same way an adult would, because in the end, they can do it as good as they do.

    If you could have any policy or law reform happen in your country right now, today, what would it be?

    Personally, I would change the policy that establishes a minimum age requirement to be elected in political spaces. I think that with good guidance, training and specific skill sets, youth can participate in each and every one of the different areas as well as people meeting those age requirements can.

    What is your favorite quote and Why?

    “The Youth are not the future; they youth are the present”

    This phrase comes to life in our region, where we can find that youth represents a big percentage of the demographic distribution, but we need to know how to open up our own spaces to bring this phrase to reality.


  • In the spotlight

    September 11, 2015

    Are you Ready for World Youth Day for Democracy? Get Excited, Get Involved!


    World Youth Day for Democracy 2015

    Every year, we celebrate World Youth Day for Democracy on October 18th! This year, the theme isHonoring Democracy Youth Leaders: Heroes in our Global Communities

    Young people around the world have been making strides to #MoveDemocracy forward. Their commitment and dedication to promoting human rights, reinforcing democratic values and affecting change has been instrumental in building and sustaining strong democratic institutions and movements. Every day, youth leaders challenge the norms and stereotypes around them that are constructed to stifle their voices. They relentlessly continue to #MoveDemocracy in spite of the injustices and inequality they may face simply because they are young. Youth leaders continue to mobilize and inspire change in the face of marginalization, the restrictive laws their governments enforce, the conflicts within their countries, and the threats made on their lives. Activism is a dangerous job. On World Youth Day for Democracy, join us as we honor democracy youth leaders who we consider to be heroes in our global communities.  

    How to Apply: Please nominate outstanding youth activists in your communities that continue to #MoveDemocracy forward.  Submissions should include a picture of the youth activist and include 3-5 sentences about how they are: promoting human rights, reinforcing democratic values, and affecting change.

    *Youth will be able to nominate themselves.

    Submissions should be emailed to world@ned.org with the subject line: “honoring democracy youth leaders”

    Submissions are due: October 7th, 2015.

    A selection of entries will be featured on our website, social media platforms and disseminated across our global networks.

    Let the world see how you #MoveDemocracy!

    world youth day photo

  • In the spotlight

    August 18, 2015

    Meet our New Hurford Youth Fellow: Makoi Popioco

    Hi Everyone!

    I am Makoi Popioco, the new 2015 Hurford Youth Fellow!

    I am a journalist from the Philippines. In the last three years, I have been assigned to covering major disasters—super typhoons, earthquakes, and armed conflicts—that ravaged the Philippines.

    I have documented the life of disaster victims, their plight to survival and recovery, after disasters. Doing stories about them, I have always been frustrated about the government’s neglect in providing timely and just aid for these victims. Humanitarian relief is a noble endeavour and it is so sad, that even this, is not spared from corruption.

    An internally displaced family in conflict-torn Zamboanga City, in Mindanao, Philippines eats their lunch inside a flooded evacuation center. Since the Philippine government has no concrete housing program, internally displaced people have been living in the evacuation center for almost two years.

    In the Philippines, government disaster funds and donations are unutilized, misused, and the disbursements are postponed so that government officials could use them to win votes for the upcoming elections.

    According to the March 2015 data of Zamboanga City Social Welfare office, 1063 internally displaced families have been living in poorly managed evacuation centers since the armed conflict between the Philippine military and rogue moro rebels in September 2013.

    I know these issues are not only present in my country. Recently, civil society organizations in Myanmar raised concerns over the delayed provision of aid to hundreds of thousands of flood victims of the recent typhoon. In Haiti, thousands are still homeless, more than five years after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010.

    yolanda community
    Brgy. 88 in downtown Tacloban City, Philippines was completely wiped out by the storm surge during the monstrous Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

    Disaster transparency, and the protection of the rights of disaster victims are global issues. I am looking forward to hearing your stories in one of my online discussions here.

    This is the link to my profile here. You can also keep in touch with me via Twitter and on Instagram.

  • In the spotlight

    July 1, 2015

    WYMD supports the World Movement's #Set Them Free Campaign

    Find out more about how you can #help set them free




  • In the spotlight

    February 11, 2015

    Iniciando conversaciones sobre Latinoamerica y el Caribe


    latinoamericaParecer ser una realidad para todos que la situación de los Derechos Humanos en Latinoamérica es un tema que amerita atención y mucho trabajo en estos dias. La represión, la intimidación y el intento de supresión de derechos como la libertad de expresión, el derecho de asamblea o de asociación, el derecho a protestar o a pensar distinto (disentir) están en el ojo del huracán desde unos meses en nuestros países latinoamericanos.

    Esto por un lado ha impulsado a muchos más jóvenes a trabajar por lograr el respeto de las libertades y establecimiento de mejores condiciones en sus distintas naciones,  muchos más jóvenes nos hemos involucrado con temas políticos, con activismo y organizaciones de sociedad civil. Aunque por temas que no suelen ser positivos, esas situaciones adversas han estado sacando un lado positivo de nuestras sociedades: el espíritu de lucha democrática de muchos de sus jóvenes.

    Y el World Youth Movement for Democracy es un espacio que trabaja para apoyar estos liderazgos, por eso que queremos  fortalecer la presencia de temas relacionados a Latinoamérica y el Caribe en nuestros espacios digitales. Fomentar las publicaciones de noticias, oportunidades, reportes o consultas referentes a la región, y propiciar espacios para la interacción de la comunidad miembro del WYMD en torno a estos contenidos.

    Para iniciar estas publicaciones queremos conocer sus opiniones sobre el anuncio del restablecimiento de relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, anunciado el pasado 17 de diciembre de 2014 por los gobernantes de ambas naciones.


    ¿Crees que esta es una nueva oportunidad para el activismo democrático en Cuba?

    ¿Crees que ahora habrá oportunidades para los jóvenes cubanos de tener acceso a las tecnologías y nuevas formas de comunicación?

    ¿Qué retos crees que implica esta medida para el activismo democrático de la isla y la región?

    ¿Cómo ves la gestión de libertad y amnistía para los presos políticos de la isla, tras este anuncio?

    ¿Cómo crees que influirá esta decisión en la cooperación democrática entre jóvenes de la región?

    Por favor comparte tus opiniones, esperamos sus comentarios. – ATNC

  • In the spotlight

    October 21, 2014

    Thanks for your involvement with World Youth Day for Democracy 2014

    World Youth Day for Democracy was a success! Thank you for sending in all of your photos and videos in support of prisoners of conscience. We received many photos and videos from around the world. We look forward to using your contributions in our larger campaign with CIVICUS to urge the release of these human rights activists!


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