Young people at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals

In early February, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) hosted the annual Youth Forum to discuss what it will take to transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and youth involvement in the process. During the two days conference that brought together youth leaders and advocates from different countries and backgrounds, issues of access to quality education, peace and security, achieving gender equality and employment, were synonymous with every participant. READ FULL POST

Change Starts From The Moment We Start Talking About

In her speech at the Medicus Mundi Switzerland's conference on gender-based violence (GBV) Vivian Onano stated that gender-based violence is endemic across the world – it is a crisis which has to be addressed urgently. Some evidence: in South Africa, where Onano currently lives, one in four women is sexually abused by an intimate partner during their lifetime; every six hours a woman is killed by a current or former intimate partner; 110 rapes occur per day in the country. In other words, a woman is raped every 15 minutes.

Breaking the taboo: Ending Stigma around menstruation

It is very exciting to be speaking this week at the Women Deliver event in Copenhagen. The conference is the place to be for concrete discussion and examination of the rights of women and girls around the world and covers a host of topics from education, health and gender rights, to legal rights, land rights, and FGM.

Where You Come From Does Not Determine Your Power

One year ago, in front of the entire UN General Assembly, the then 24-year-old Vivian Onano gave her first keynote speech. Not many 24 year olds can claim such an achievement, neither can they say they dined with FLOTUS, hung out with Bill Clinton or met all living American presidents, Jimmy Carter excluded. Coming from a small village in Nyanza province, Kenya, Vivian has grown into one of Africa’s most passionate youth advocates with credentials that have earned her a seat at the table with the greats of the world.

Voices of Hope: A Conversation with Youth Activist Vivian Onano

Across the globe, there are more young people today than at any point in human history. In the United States alone, persons between the ages of 15 and 34 now make up the nation’s largest living age demographic.

Speak up! Education alone is not enough

Everyone says, “Empower a woman, and she brings the whole village with her.” But when the girls in the village marry instead of going to high school and have their first baby before girls in the U.S. have their first date (ages 12-14), how do you break the cycle of poverty? There has been a lot of global conversation on how to produce the next generation of women leaders in the developed world by focusing on education — both in academics as well as health and reproduction. This is imperative, but we must also focus on leadership training. Leadership training gives women in the village a voice they have never known in their culture, and sparks sustainable social economic transformation that will create even more opportunities for other girls.


Water and education equals freedom for young girls

When I watched the film Girl Rising, I noticed a common trait in all the girls: DETERMINATION. Determination helped unlock the potential of these 10 young and brave girls who had been raised in dire poverty. It was because of this trait that girls like Amina were able to brave the harsh and backward culture in Afghanistan to access education. Their boldness and curiosity to learn was unparalleled and one to emulate. READ FULL POST

Never too young to affect change

Recently, I was amazed to receive an invitation from a 13 year old boy to speak at his fundraiser. This brilliant young boy, Max Bryant, decided to organize a local event in his community to raise awareness on Girls Education globally. The thought of a young American boy organizing an event to raise awareness in his community really baffled me but at the same time got me thrilled. Out of curiosity, I decided to engage the mother to learn where the boy’s passion for service emanated from.


Kenyan Gender Advocate for Innovation Summit

Kenyan gender advocate Vivian Onano is one of the key speakers at the Liberty VUKA Knowledge Summit. In this Q&A, we find out what her entrepreneurship lessons are for women and young people in the workplace.

Vivian Onano is on top of the world at only 24

It would be incorrect to say that Vivian had never in her wildest dreams imagined that she would be on the world stage because hers has been a life defined by dreams; the more outrageous, the better. She just never thought that it would come so early, at the age of 24.

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