pei-hi-kandace-hagen-4col

Kandace Hagen is one of two Islanders chosen as youth ambassadors. (ACIC)

The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) has selected two Islanders, Kandace Hagen and Jordan MacPhee, as its 2012 ACTIVE-8 campaign youth ambassadors, under the theme Empowerment of Women and Girls.

Hagen is best known for launching the P.E.I. Reproductive Rights Organization in November, in response to living in the only province without access to legal abortions.

Hagen had to travel to Fredericton and paid nearly $1,000 at a private clinic for her abortion. She said her physician did not give her sufficient information about the procedure.

Hagen is from Charlottetown, and she said she hopes the youth ambassadors and online pledges will improve the lives of women in their communities.

"For any work to ensure that women's voices and opinions are heard and respected in our community, to let government officials, peers and family know that you support women's rights, are some ways to work within this year's theme."

The other Island ambassador is Jordan MacPhee of Charlottetown, an active volunteer with Oxfam Canada and 350.org, a global climate change campaigner.

They and six other young Atlantic Canadians will hold presentations for youth groups on various topics. This is the third year of the program.

The chosen participants will also promote a website where people can pledge to small acts of social change until the end of February. Hagen said the ambassadors hope to reach 1,000 pledges.

According to ACIC, in 2010 and 2011 there were 5,433 online pledges made across the region.

The ambassador program is part of International Development Week, held annually during the first week of February and sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency.