IOC unveils latest list of Young Change-Maker+ projects

A ground-breaking initiative enabling young social entrepreneurs around the world to deliver life-changing projects in their local communities, the IOC’s Young Change-Maker+ (YCM+) scheme is now in its third year and bigger and more ambitious than ever.

IOC unveils latest list of Young Change-Maker+ projects
© Olga Ponomar-Becker

Launched in 2016, the YCM+ programme will enjoy its most impactful year in 2018 after the IOC announced funding for 42 new community-based projects across the globe. The IOC has made up to 5,000 Swiss francs available to deliver each individual scheme in countries including Pakistan, Croatia, Senegal and Colombia.

The latest raft of projects is more than double the 17 YCM+ programmes successfully rolled out in 2017. Applications for this cycle of YCM+ initiatives opened after the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The new batch of schemes will focus on themes including gender equality, education and social inclusion, as well as promoting greater participation of young people in a wide range of sports.

The ongoing mission statement for all YCM+ initiatives is to make a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives, physical health and mental well-being of youngsters globally.

Olga Ponomar-Becker
© Olga Ponomar-Becker

This year’s schemes include Olga Ponomar-Becker’s anti-doping educational initiative in Russia, which she actioned with two other YCMs; Ty Walker’s project to introduce free gym training specifically for women in the US to help avoid injury; and Rania Rahardja’s project to promote wheelchair fencing in her native Singapore.

“With the IOC’s endorsement and support, I believe the Singapore sporting and disabled community will benefit greatly from my YCM+ project,” said Rahardja, who reached the last 16 of the women’s épée competition at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Singapore 2010. “It means a lot to be able to spread my love of fencing.”

Twenty-three of 2018’s successful YCM+ applicants (including Rania and Ty) will attend the YOG Buenos Aires 2018 in October in the role of Young Change-Makers (YCM).

Nominated by their respective National Olympic Committees, the YCMs will be on hand in Argentina to support the young athletes, encourage them to interact with competitors from different sports and countries, and ensure they get the most out of their YOG experience in South America.

Waleed Abu Nada
© Waleed Abu Nada

Among those fulfilling dual YCM+ and YCM roles in 2018 is Waleed Abu Nada, who is organising an educational road trip across Jordan.

“Becoming part of the YCM+ group is a big honour and milestone in my Olympic journey,” he said. “Receiving this grant will help me to further use sport for change in my country. I’m looking forward to sharing the Olympic values across communities in Jordan to encourage for more local youth integration in sports.”

IOC unveils latest list of Young Change-Maker+ projects

For the second year running, the IOC is delighted to welcome the support of TOP Partner Panasonic, which has made it possible to expand the YCM+ programme with its generosity.