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There was no reason to think Harry Phinda would become a hero. At age 13, he was a child refugee — forced to flee his home country of Zimbabwe due to national political turmoil and domestic violence. But Harry is now a #changemaker, advocating on behalf of the rights of women and girls.
Harry co-founded Youth for Change (YFC), a global youth-led organization that works in partnership with both NGOs and governments to tackle the challenge of gender-based violence.
YCF’s main aim is to eradicate early forced marriage (EFM) and female genital mutilation (FGM) in this generation. Its #TraintoProtect campaign trains teachers to protect girls from FGM and EFM in the UK, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Ethiopia. To date, Harry and his team have trained over 100 teachers in six London schools. They also partnered with the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation and Not in My Classroom to hold the first UK Schools’ Conference on ending gender-based violence and to train more than 200 professionals.
The team also collaborated with the UK Government to host a Global Youth Conference called the Girl Summit, where they equipped 400 young people from across the world to campaign on women’s rights.
Witnessing domestic violence first hand was a huge motivation for Harry to advocate for the rights of women and girls. “My passion to work on these issues has come from growing up in a household full of women.” Thank you, Harry, and congratulations on your Queens Young Leaders 2018 Award!