Meet Heela

Afghan Youth Ambassadors for Peace Organization

Heela Yoon

Founder and CEO

Heela Yoon is the Founder of Afghan Youth Ambassadors for Peace
Organization (AYAPO), a grassroots NGO working in the Eastern provinces of
Afghanistan focusing on UNSCR 1325 and 2250 and local peacebuilding.
Through AYAPO, Heela has trained more than 80 young girls in Nangarhar,
Laghman, and Kabul on gender equality, leadership, and first responders to a
humanitarian crisis. With her NGO, she has engaged with religious and tribal
leaders through community peacebuilding dialogues in the Eastern zone to
advocate for Afghan girls’ education.
She has more than five years of experience working with humanitarian and
human rights organizations. She has worked with the Global Network of
Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) as a Cora Weiss peacebuilding fellow focusing
on localizing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in Myanmar,
Bangladesh, and The Philippines. Before joining GNWP, she worked with the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan as a program coordinator for UNFPA.
Heela Graduated from Kabul University with a bachelor’s in political science
and a bachelor’s in business finance from the American University of
Afghanistan. She completed her master’s in International Trade and Finance
from Leeds Beckett University as Chevening Scholar. She is a Research
consultant with Amnesty International focusing on the human rights situation in
Afghanistan and works as a trainee with Oxfam Great Britain.
She was the Civil Society briefer for the 64the Commission on the Status of
Women at the United Nations in 2020 and was awarded one of the young
emerging peacemakers from Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. Heela is also
part of the 30 for 2030 youth leadership network that brings together young
decision-makers, eminent civic and business innovators, feminists,
entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, educators, activists, artists, journalists,
and more by U.N Women.
Heela is currently the Afghan Coordinator for the International Parliamentary
Network for Education.

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