Country: United Arab Emirates
Issue: Community Safety & Sustainability
Simran Vedvyas (17, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) is a passionate environmentalist and social campaigner. She founded SynergY youth group, which promotes environmental sustainability in the region. She engages youth across the UAE and focuses on major issue areas covering the environment, education, and healthcare. SynergY provides opportunities for youth to make the world a better place through participating in various environmental projects, including tree planting in urban areas.
Simran came up with the idea of creating SynergY Youth group in 2012 after she attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) – Rio+20 summit. She was inspired by the concept of collective responsibility for the environment and has led over 75 successful campaigns that engage young people. One of her initiatives, “Green Space New Life”, resulted in 3,000 trees being planted across the UAE. Through another initiative called “Convoy to Feed,” Simran provided food supplies to over 3,000 workers at different landfills during Ramadan.
Even before Simran took a leadership role in SynergY, she was actively involved in her neighborhood. When Simran was only 12 years old, she helped US-aided AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) distribute 3,000 pairs of shoes to diabetic patients in Africa and Middle East. Simran was the youngest torch bearer at 2012 London Olympic games and has received the Princess Diana International Award, John Muir Youth Conservation Award, and International Eco Hero Award USA.
Simran truly believes that everyone must adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle respect the environment’s resources. Her work has motivated many young people to take action and achieve success. Simran has become a role model for 25 student groups, while SynergY Youth group has gained over 300 members.
Experts 1Katie Zach Goldman, Lead Evaluator Katie Reusch, Partnerships Expert
Experts 2Carla Friedman, Youth Expert