MCF Scholar honoured for work combating terrorism
When Imrana Buba experienced personal tragedy amidst the rise of terrorism in his home country of Nigeria, he felt compelled to take action. This year, his action was recognised and he became one of the 2017 JCI 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World.
The Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide membership-based non-profit organisation of young active citizens from the ages of 18 to 40 who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities.
Founded in 1915 by Henry Giessenbier, it began as a social club before evolving into the organisation it is today. Its partners include UNESCO, the International Chamber of Commerce and several elements of the United Nations.
Each year, the JCI honours ten outstanding young people under the age of 40. Over the years, these honours have been bestowed on people who have gone on to do great things, such as Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder and chief executive of Mary’s Meals.
Imrana was selected because of his work founding the Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT)
You can also find out more about YOCAT on the United Nations website:
Growing up in Nigeria, Imrana witnessed first-hand the atrocities of terrorism. While many of us feel horror at the war torn images that fill our media channels, Imrana has had his family and once thriving community torn apart by the realities of the extremist activity in the region.
Finding himself fuelled in the face of adversity to make a difference, Imrana founded the Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT). A volunteer based, youth led organisation, YOCAT works to unite youth against violent extremism in North-Eastern Nigeria. YOCAT organises enlightenment and empowerment programs for young people, and visits villages to collaborate with other like minded organisations, holding meetings with citizens and village heads to discuss actions to end violence, and offering skills training and counselling services.
With more than 600 coalition members and such a range of services and activities offered, the visibility of YOCAT and Imrana could be dangerous – often those who mobilise against extremism are met with execution. Imrana stays strong in the face of this threat, steadfast in the purpose of YOCAT and determined that peace will one day be possible again.
Imrana is a Mastercard Foundation Scholar, studying MSc Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh.
To find out more about the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, please visit their website: