Graduate Student, York University
Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu is currently pursuing a Masters in Leadership and Community Engagement at York University. His life and career have been driven by a strong passion to alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged and marginalized populations around the world, especially women and children.
In 2011, he co-founded HOPE for Children Cameroon with the goal of ensuring that every child is in school and learning with equal opportunities for all irrespective of their zip code. “I am very optimistic of the future of global development but for us to be able to leave no one behind we must invest in the future of young people,” says Joannes. As a Global Youth Ambassador for A World At School, Joannes continues to mobilize and organize other young people to stand up for education, and through the HeForShe UN Women initiative he engages young men and boys to advocate for gender equality. Joannes is a Women Deliver Young Leader and recently joined the Board of the Women's Economic Imperative - a global, collaborative initiative to promote women’s economic empowerment in response to the Call to Action of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
The SDGs provide an unparalleled opportunity to lift up marginalized populations across the world, but will require more than simply public financing. “It’s imperative that we make a business case for why corporations like private banking institutions are crucial in achieving the SDGs,” says Joannes. “But for this to happen, there must be a major cultural shift among both small and large financial institutions – one that fosters collaboration rather than competition.” In his free time, Joannes enjoys documenting the world through photography.