Sara WesterbergSweden (Org: ECPAT Sweden)
Sara Westerberg is a human rights professional with a broad range of experience from countries and organizations at the intersection of human rights and development. Sara grew up in Sweden and later moved to the UK to pursue a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. With stints in Turkey, Vietnam, France, and Sweden, Sara spent more than a decade in the UK. She later completed a master’s degree with distinction in International Development at the London School of Economics. In 2015, she returned to Stockholm to work for ECPAT Sweden, where she established and later led international programs. She has also recently taken on the role of Advocacy Manager and is a member of the organization’s strategic management group. These roles fit well with Sara’s experience in policy, advocacy, campaigning, and project management gained at organizations such as Amnesty International, Plan UK, and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. One particularly formative experience was working for the Helen Bamber Foundation. There, Sara had the great privilege of working closely with founder and director Helen Bamber, an iconic human rights champion and great inspiration. Sara gained further insight into the impact of human rights violations and the craft of advocacy for empowerment. Sara finds it very rewarding to volunteer for refugee and migrant rights, as well as women’s rights. Sara thrives in contexts where diverse people work together to achieve positive change.
Gabriella RaskSweden (Org: SOS Children's Villages)
Gabriella Rask has seven years of experience working for a non-governmental organization focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics at Södertörn University in Sweden followed by a Master’s degree in International Relations at Webster University in Austria. Gabriella is currently working as a Project Coordinator at SOS Children’s Villages International where her focus areas include youth participation, capacity building of child and youth care professionals, and improving outcomes for care leavers. She has worked on several EU co-funded projects, including “Training Professionals Working with Children in Care”, “Prepare for Leaving Care” and “Leaving Care”. The Prepare for Leaving Care project won the European Social Services Award in the category innovation because of the strong participation of young people as co-trainers. Working in these dynamic project teams that demanded strong organizational skills and teamwork inspired Gabriella to continuously improve and strengthen participatory approaches in the projects she works in. She is especially passionate about empowering young people with care experience to take a leading role in designing, implementing and evaluating projects and programs. Together with two of her colleagues, she is also facilitating SOS Children’s Villages International Youth Coalition, which brings together young people from around the world, to identify and advise on topics that affect their care, ensuring that their perspectives are considered in the development of programs, services and policies targeting young people.