Founder of Afghan Youth Ambassadors for Peace Organization
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 100 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 WPS and YPS agendas in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and The Philippines. Before joining GNWP, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan as a program coordinator for UNFPA.
She has a bachelor’s in political science from Kabul University and a Bachelor's in BBA from the American University of Afghanistan. She completed her master’s in international Trade and Finance in UK as Chevening Scholar. She worked as is a Research Consultant with Amnesty International and as a trainee with Oxfam GB. 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 with U.N Women. She has been recognized by the United Nations and the Office of Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth as one of the young Leaders for the SDGs and UK Youth Leader by Global Partnership for Education. She is Currently working as Integration Officer with International Rescue Committee.