Giordana Montes, Changemaker

Lima, Peru

"I’m a 17-year-old leader from a humble environment and Quechua (Indigenous) roots. At the age of 13, I witnessed the prejudices of my classmates towards other friends because of their background. Passionate about helping girls improve their self-esteem and autonomy, I took on the challenge of starting a program for girls to feel safe to express themselves and share their experiences so together they can overcome their fears and improve their communities. Four years later, in 2021, the project has become an intersectional feminist community for more girls to raise their voices and affirm their rights. We started with 10 volunteers and now we’re 150. We’re an international movement called Girl Up Peru with presence in 16 of the 25 Peruvian regions. We organized over 50 social activities, and raised S/.5,000 (around USD $4,000) in 2020 alone. I have attended the Model United Nations conference 5 times. I also became the youngest Peruvian ambassador for Thought For Food, an organization that helps rural communities create resilient food systems. Being amongst so many amazing volunteers and inspiring people helped me find my voice and pursue my dream of making a better tomorrow for all. I led the drafting of two national statements to the Peruvian Congress, the first about the Escazú Agreement, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the second on sexual harassment and prevention of child pregnancy. I am always willing to help others because I truly believe that we can all be the change that the world needs.” - Giordana Montes, Changemaker

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