Resilient Realities

Strengthening youth response and recovery for youth civil society.

Resilient Realities is a youth-led research project that will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth civil society around the world, and identify the kind of resourcing and support needed to strengthen the youth response and recovery.

Resilient Realities will use an innovative methodology designed and implemented by young people, because they know better than anyone else the right questions to ask.

Read Gioel’s blog about the participatory research approach

This report will be an opportunity for 12 young people from 12 different communities around the world to help us understand how youth civil society organisations are being affected by COVID-19 and how they are responding.

Meet the researchers.

Americas Research Team

Daniel Calarco

I’m a 23 year old  law student, originally from Vila Vintem Favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’ve founded the International Youth Watch as part of my commitment to support other young leaders in the promotion of human rights and sustainable development at the local and international level. 

Young people are leading the response to COVID-19, helping to save lives and support our communities, both online and offline. Our voices need to be heard, so we can keep leading our communities to a new and better normal.

Emilia Gonzales

I am a young researcher passionate about exploring wellbeing through movement, creativity, nature and community-building. As a graduate student in Social and Cultural Psychiatry at McGill University, I am exploring the role that community-based youth-led organizations play in supporting newcomer youth in Montreal. My work is  inspired by and centered around the resilience and meaningful participation of young people.

Bonnie Devine

Im an independent social worker, traveler, researcher, activist, and musician from Colombia. I am passionate about environmental and gender activism and I promote participatory and emancipatory research experiences in the independent arts community in South America.

Jimena Almario

I am a psychologist, musician, composer, and researcher passionate about the rich social and cultural realities across South America. I co-funded ‘la Múcura; (, a youth led organisation focused on exploring the relationship between the arts and social transformation in South America. My work wants to contribute to life, beauty and consciousness. 

Oceania Research Team

Kim Allen

Growing up on an island called Tubetube, on the remote southeast coast of Papua New Guinea, I have witnessed first-hand development challenges. Inspired by my childhood experiences, I am passionate about development work, community affairs, environment and social justice.  I have a background in communication studies. 

I look forward to presenting the voices of fellow young people and youth-led organisations in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region. The Resilient Realities initiative encourages youth participation in research whilst presenting a collective youth voice to Governments, policy makers and youth partners to catalyse the COVID-19 response.

Lia Inguanti-Pledger

I am a Public Health graduate in Melbourne, Australia. I am passionate about local civic engagement, strengthening youth participation in public policy and improving urban liveability. I believe in the power of community and grassroots campaigning, and in the capacity of young people to tackle institutional, structural and social barriers to health.

I believe it’s important that we look beyond how COVID-19 is affecting young people. I’m eager to discover how young people are shaping their communities and finding new ways to activate, adapt, respond and build resilience.


Africa Research Team

Eric Morgen Moyo

I am a community development practitioner and an activist from Zimbabwe. I am active in youth movements building and development of advocacy strategies for addressing issues affecting African youth. I founded Community Climate Action Trust as a way of mobilising and supporting grassroots communities in tackling impacts of climate change. I also  founded Africa’s Youth Anti-Corruption Movement – AYAC. My academic background is in Agricultural Science.

With many global issues affecting youth today including unemployment, armed conflicts, migration crises, and climate change impacts; engaging in this research project is an opportunity to explore yet another serious challenge which is impacting the lives of young people severely.

Rim Menia

I am a pan africanist, feminist and cultural activist from Algeria. I study architecture and urban planning at Ecole Polytechnique d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme of Algiers, with focus on cultural heritage and earth architecture. I work on the intersectionalities of feminism, culture and identity in North Africa, with a focus on the Amazigh identity.

Asia Research Team

Aurona Sarker

I’m a 23-year old graduate from Bangladesh, with an academic background in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).  My experience of belonging to a religious minority group has made me passionate about connecting individuals with the right resources and opportunities regardless of their backgrounds. I’m also a strong advocate for mental health and I’m currently involved with an organisation that provides mental health and wellbeing services to people of all ages.

Ting Zhang

I am a development practitioner, researcher, and trainer originally from China. A graduate of global affairs from the U.S. and active in the field of youth-led social impact initiatives, I aim to strengthen the development of China’s social sector and make visible China’s impact initiatives to the world. 

Europe Research Team

Lauryn Mwale

I am a 21 year old Zambian Mathematics student at the University of Edinburgh. My passions include  youth leadership, behavioural economics, education, equitable development and feminism. I am currently developing a project to close the gender-STEM gap for black women.

Mirre Beek

I’m a 28-years old graduate in Migration and Multiculturalism studies that loves the Arabic language and culture. I used to work on children’s rights, diversity, and polarisation issues. Now, I’m passionately working as a Youth Advisor for the successful integration of 50 young refugees in Amsterdam.   

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