The Youth Commission is the body of the governance of the IFRC that is responsible for advising on matters that relate to young people and development of National Society youth sections. It also promotes the implementation of the International Federation Youth Policy and seeks youth opinions worldwide to ensure that these latter are considered at the governance level of our Movement. If you would like to find out more about the governance of the IFRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, visit this section.
The commission is made up of young volunteers and staff of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. There is a chairperson and eight members, all under 31 years old at their appointment, which is for a four year term. Appointments are made at alternating IFRC General Assemblies. The current Youth Commission was appointed at the General Assembly in 2011. Members of the commission are:
- Ms. Ashanta Osborne-Moses (Chairperson) – Guyana
Chair of the Youth Commission Ashanta Osborne-Moses works as HIV and AIDS programme manager at the Guyana Red Cross Society. In addition to her knowledge on HIV/AIDS she has experience on First Aid actions as well as youth leadership and volunteer management. In the Youth Commission she represents continuity as she served as the Youth Commission chair also during 2010-2011. As the chair of Youth Commission Ashanta represents youth at the IFRC Governing Board.
- Ms. Salimata Konan – Côte d’Ivoire
Salimata Konan is the National Youth Coordinator of the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire. She has been involved in many different kind of projects from promoting children’s rights to YABC programme (Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change). She is keen to promote and carry out humanitarian work and she is particularly interested in contributing to youth development. Salimata speaks French.
- Mr. Geoffrey Korir – Kenya
Geoffrey Korir from the Kenya Red Cross Society has successfully combined his passion as a volunteer and his profession as a practitioner of law. His volunteering career has included actions such as dissemination of international humanitarian law and fundamental principles, campaign against emblem misuse, and promotion of health. He continued his volunteering also while studying law and serves currently as the National Youth Chairman. He believes that by sharing experiences and knowledge youth can bring a lasting change in the society.
- Mr. Michael Joseph – Antigua and Barbuda
Michael Joseph from the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross has experience in volunteer management and volunteering development. His merits in the field of youth participation don’t only limit to those he has achieved as a Red Cross volunteer and he says that he hasn’t regretted for a second for doing all this voluntary work. He is experienced in the field of blood donation activities and has launched the Club 25 initiative in collaboration with local blood bank. He challenges youth by saying: This is our world and if we as youths don’t start correcting and fixing some of the problems that have gone wrong then who will?
- Ms. Sandy Tesch – USA
Sandy Tesch from the American Red Cross has volunteered for many years serving in very different kind of tasks including many roles in service delivery and governance. While studying at UC Berkeley, Sandy founded and served as president of the campus Red Cross Club, recruiting hundreds of active volunteers and creating an accredited student-run class about the Red Cross. She now chairs the National Youth Council Alumni Board that aims at retaining talented youth leadership volunteers focusing on young professionals. She tells that her experience as a Red Cross volunteer has transformed her from a shy wallflower into a confident young leader.
- Mr. Abdullah Al Razwan – Bangladesh
Abdullah Al Razwan (you might know him better by the name Nabin) from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has been a volunteer from a very young age. He has great experience on climate change actions both inside and outside the Movement and has focused on bringing youth voices to decision making processes. He tells that he is especially proud to be a YABC (Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change).
- Ms. Marium Lodhi – Pakistan
Marium Lodhi from the Pakistan Red Crescent Society has experience as a volunteer but also as a staff member of the National Society where she has worked as the assistant director for the youth and volunteer department. She finds it important to find ways to better engage youth in volunteering activities in regions that suffer from economic or livelihood challenges, and sees that Youth and Volunteering policies, when done carefully and implemented well, can truly help to build the capacity of community volunteers.
- Mr. Mads Espersen – Denmark
Mads Espersen, the Youth President of the Danish Red Cross has a lot of experience on youth leadership, humanitarian diplomacy and advocacy work. Under his leadership the number of members of the Danish Red Cross Youth has more than doubled and the youth budget increased by more than 40%. He was actively involved in the process of establishing the Strategy 2020 participating in several hearings and he believes that youth will play a key role in its implementation. He thinks that youth can do great things when united and that Youth Commission will have to promote the message of the strategy and revised youth policy in order to empower youth all over the world to take action.
- Mr. Milan Mirkovic – Serbia
Milan Mirkovic from the Red Cross Society of Serbia started with the Red Cross in a quite unique way: as a fourth grader he participated in a contest of written works about blood donation. His poem on the topic “Blood means Life” won a prize and Milan could participate in a Red Cross summer camp. This is where he got his first knowledge and diploma in First Aid. And this was no small thing as First Aid helped him in deciding to become a medical doctor. His active volunteering career has included also climate change activities and volunteering management, just to name two. He is grateful that through meeting other Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers from other parts of the world he has learned what diversity truly means.
In 2007, the IFRC Constitution was revised and approved by our General Assembly in Switzerland. In the revised constitution, the youth commission became a constitutional body, meaning that its composition and functions can only be changed by changing our constitution. The functions of the IFRC Youth Commission are defined in Article 30 and are:
- to give advice on all matters concerning youth and youth-related activities throughout the International Federation;
- to promote and assess the implementation of the youth policy decided by the General Assembly or the Governing Board, as well as to consider and study as requested by the Board matters of policy development in the area of youth;
- to review and suggest revisions of the youth policy to the Governing Board or the General Assembly (as the case may be) for adoption;
- to seek youth opinions on the implementation of relevant International Federation policies and to ensure that those opinions are communicated to the Statutory Bodies of the Movement;
- to advise the Secretary General in the implementation of the youth policy and all other policies and strategies as they relate to youth within the Movement; and
- to report to the General Assembly and Governing Board on its general activities on a regular basis.