Human rights activist and founder, One Day Seyoum
She is a freedom of expression activist who has been protesting against human rights abuses in Eritrea since she was sixteen years old. After his uncle, photojournalist Seyoum Tsehaye, was imprisoned in September 2001, Tsehaye began a campaign at the school to secure his release. This campaign was then extended to other high schools and universities around the world. Vanessa came to realize there were many more stories like her uncle’s, so, in 2013, she founded One Day Seyoum, a human rights organization dedicated to working for the liberation of Seyoum Tsehaye and bringing to light the repression of democratic ideals in Eritrea.
One Day Seyoum is also behind Free Eritrea, a campaign to raise awareness of human rights violations in the country. Thanks to her efforts, in 2013 she received the Dawik Isaak Award, and in 2016 she was nominated for the Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression. She is currently studying law at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, and is an ambassador for One Young World, while continuing to fight for her uncle’s release.