2023 Changemaker Grantees


2023 Changemaker Grantees

Since 2020, the Changemaker Grants program has provided financial support to select EE 30 Under 30 alumni, enabling them to bring new transformative ideas to life and sustain their ongoing work. Our grantees receive small grants and a community of support to boost their impact as they implement projects that aim to build a more sustainable and equitable future. 

In 2023, NAAEE was thrilled to present Changemaker Grants to eight EE 30 Under 30 alumni. Learn more about these grantees and their projects below!

Achare Elvis Ayamba

Founder & Executive Director, Environment and Food Foundation (E2F)


EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2021 

Project: Blue Children Initiative: Empowering the Next Generation of Ocean Warriors through Interactive Ocean Education in Cameroon

Ayamba is promoting ocean education among youth by organizing public events that facilitate knowledge exchange and inspire collective action, aligning with the overarching goal of the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030): to “Change (restore) humanity’s relationship with the Ocean.” Participants in these events will learn about marine, coastal, and aquatic ecosystems, green career opportunities, and participate in marine debris removal and tree planting activities. Ayamba’s project is expected to directly impact over 5,000 youth and indirectly reach over 10,000 individuals.

Anghy Sayury Aquino Martínez

Regional Ambassador, Tunza Eco Generation


EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2023

Project: Creating Green Generations 

Anghy’s project comprises two initiatives: one targeting youth and the other older adults. The overarching goal is to increase environmental knowledge among these groups and promote positive actions for sustainability.

The primary objective of the youth project is to provide accessible and engaging environmental education materials for Spanish-speaking children aged 8-12. These materials include compilations of environmental readings, interactive games, and multimedia activities.

For the older adult project, the goal is to continue hosting knowledge-sharing sessions on environmental and social topics through virtual platforms like Zoom and WhatsApp video calls. These interactions aim to harness the insights and experiences of elders, fostering intergenerational knowledge transfer. 

Brigitta Gunawan

Youth Leadership Council, EarthEcho International


EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2023

Project: DiverSEAS (30x30 Indonesia)

DiverSEAS is a project planned by 30x30 Indonesia to document ocean ecosystems in a 360-degree virtual reality diving experience. This footage will be used as learning material for students under 25 via ocean literacy workshops. The aim is to provide insights and inspire students to love and protect the ocean, raising awareness of restoration efforts, potential career opportunities in conservation, and the critical need to protect these ecosystems. This grant also supports 30x30 Indonesia’s mission to inspire intergenerational action through education, policy advocacy, and habitat restoration.

Jo Leen Yap

Founder, Langur Project Penang 


EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2018 

Project: Working Together for Coexistence: An Environmental Education-Based Approach to Conserving Urban Monkeys in Penang, Malaysia

Jo Leen Yap and Langur Project Penang (LPP) aim to foster coexistence between humans and urban wildlife. With this grant, environmental education and community engagement activities will be scaled up in two ongoing projects:

  • Bridge to Coexist: Reducing roadkill incidents of arboreal wildlife in Penang and working with the Tanjung Bungah community to develop a management plan and recommendations for humane and sustainable approaches to mitigate negative human-primate interactions.
  • Coexistence for All: Addressing issues related to humans feeding monkeys and poor waste management

Musa Kondeh

Co-founder and Programs Coordinator, Ikon Initiative

Sierra Leone

EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2022 

Project: Teach for Climate Project

The Teach for Climate project is a school-based initiative that aims to educate 5,000 students across 20 schools in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, about climate change, its impact on ecosystems and society, and steps to mitigate its effects. The project will host a 10-day training for a cohort of 10 volunteer climate peer educators, primarily university students pursuing climate and environmental-related degrees, to become certified environmental educators capable of facilitating and engaging secondary students in discussions about climate change and environmental sustainability. 

Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka

Founder, Finafinau

United States, American Samoa 

EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2022 

Project: Nursery and Umu Development

This grant will be used to expand Finafinau’s plant nursery to accommodate a diverse array of vegetable and fruit plants, providing a protected haven against inclement weather, pests, and local wildlife. An expanded nursery offers more opportunities for hands-on learning, particularly for youth, allowing them to gain practical experience in planting, nurturing, and harvesting crops, teaching them about agriculture and sustainability. Additionally, the project aims to construct an authentic Samoan above-ground oven, an "umu," reviving this traditional cooking method with deep cultural significance, showcasing and celebrating Samoan culinary practices.

Taiji Nelson

Climate & Rural Systems Partnership Senior Program Manager, Learning Resources, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

United States 

EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2018 

Project: Future-Visioning and Arts-Based Learning at the Intersections of the Food Justice and Climate Justice Movement(s)

This project will use Hadestown—a Broadway musical that explores themes of hunger, survival, climate change, collective action, solidarity, and karma—as a catalyst for discussing environmental and social issues. Program participants will:

  • Recognize and articulate how their own values, interests, identities, and actions relate to the broader food justice and climate justice movements.
  • Recognize and articulate areas of sameness, difference, and solidarity with the values, interests, identities, and actions of people in other roles within the food justice and climate justice movements.
  • Recognize and articulate opportunities to put their ideas and values into action in their everyday lives to promote solidarity within and between the food justice and climate justice movements.

Wendy Adhiambo Omanga

Founder, Moonlight Initiative


EE 30 Under 30, Class of 2023

Project: Green leaders Academy

This project will develop and implement an innovative environmental education program for underserved middle and high school students. Over six months, a series of workshops and hands-on activities will increase environmental awareness and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. For example, participants will visit local nature reserves, parks, and eco-friendly facilities. Additionally, the project aims to foster leadership skills among the youth involved in the Green Leaders Academy.