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Women’s Month youth spotlight – Cherop Soy


Cherop Soy, participant in the SDG7 Youth Ambassadors programme


My name is Cherop Soy from Kenya. I pursued a passion in International Relations (Diplomacy and Foreign Policy), and I am currently in the policy-advocacy field for SDG7.

What motivated you to participate in the SDG7 Youth Ambassadors programme? 

The SDG7 Youth Ambassadors programme was tailored to leverage the voices of technically abled young energy leaders from underrepresented regions and raise awareness in driving youth engagement to advance SDG7 in these regions. 

I was motivated to participate in the programme because I wanted to highlight the milestones achieved within the sustainable energy sector in Africa. Despite the continent lagging in the actualization of SDG7, there are leaps and progress that have been attained over the years. Furthermore, my motivation was to enhance the critical role of young energy professionals and entrepreneurs in making contributions towards the sector. 

How has your experience as a Youth Ambassador contributed to your personal and professional growth? 

From a professional standpoint, I have sharpened my public speaking and communication skills as I have been propelled into multiple events such as the Student Energy Summit and COP28. This enhanced my advocacy and policy analysis as a result, as I engaged in various discussions on analysing the impact of existing policies and policy frameworks. 

From a personal perspective, I have been fortunate enough to be paired with my mentor Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, the Energy Efficiency and Cooling Specialist at SEforALL. This mentorship has given me a glimpse of what working in the sustainable cooling is like and how women are also pioneers in the field. She has also been monumental in expanding my networks within the region and in the field of sustainability.

All in all, this programme has cemented my leadership development as I have taken on advocacy roles in the region and within my country and community by organizing events, leading discussions and inspiring others to take action. 

What is one memorable moment or key insight you experienced during your time as a Youth Ambassador? 

My most memorable moment during my time as a Youth Ambassador was the youth day at COP28. Together with my fellow Youth Ambassadors, we chaired a workshop on “The Climate of Emotions.” This raw and open discussion was refreshing as all the participants in the room got a chance to unpack how they truly felt about climate change and how, based on our feelings, we can learn to become more empathetic towards one another.

This entire experience stands out, as it made me introspect about the work that I do in sustainable energy, and it inspired a project that I will be undertaking for the last half of my term as a Youth Ambassador. 

How have you used your experience as a Youth Ambassador to contribute to the empowerment of women at the local, national or international levels? 

I am one of two Research Coordinators of the Energy Working Group of YOUNGO, the UNFCCC’s official children and youth constituency. As a first step in making contributions towards empowering women at local, national and international levels, we are working towards research on the gender gaps within the sector and areas for building the capacity of stakeholders to mainstream gender within the energy sector. 

What advice would you give to women and youth who aspire to build a career in sustainable energy?

The first step is to put yourself out there. Identify the areas of the sector that pique your interests then work towards gaining the technical skills and hands-on experience that is relevant to these areas. Additionally, I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a mentor to provide valuable insights, support and encouragement as you navigate your career path. Above all, do not shy away from selling yourself when attending networking events or online forums. 

Follow Cherop on X (@ecowarriorKE) and Instagram (@ecowarriorkenya).