Héloïse Hughes

South Africa – Cameroon



Proudly African, Héloïse started her change-making journey aged 12 with curricular service learning. Through a school project, she produced art to fundraise for the schooling of young South African girls with AIDS. As a teenager, Héloïse went on to organise an ambitious book collection for schools in Cameroon and Zambia. In 2019, Héloïse co-hosted an online concert to support vulnerable African schools in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo through the COVID-19 crisis. This musical event featured international musicians and artists as well as fellow students.

Track and field is an important part of Héloïse’s life. Two years in a row, Héloïse earned the title of Geneva and Swiss regional champion for sprint (100 & 200m) and/or long-jump. Beyond her daily practice of sports, Héloïse is attentive to how black women fare in world athletics. Cases like the South African Caster Semenya’s have inspired Héloïse to study law at university after graduating from high-school.

Recently, Héloïse earned a personal project prize for her research on the politics of African Hair. It is indeed her passion for anti-racism and advocacy that led Héloïse first, to join her school’s law club, then, in 2020, to co-found the pioneering student-led PeaceTalk Club at the International School of Geneva.

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“Peace for me is inclusivity.”

Héloïse Hughes