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Commonwealth announces finalists for youth awards in development work

1 February 2013
The 16 finalists will each receive a £1,000 grant to advance their development work

The Commonwealth has announced the finalists of the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work.

The awards celebrate young people (aged 15-29) in the Commonwealth who are making a positive difference to the lives of others through development initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to education and protection of the environment.

Young people were nominated from more than 36 countries across the Commonwealth for the awards, which are run by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Affairs Division (YAD). YAD manages the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP)

The 16 finalists will each receive a £1,000 grant to advance their development work and guidance from CYP on how their work could be further expanded and sustained.

Four of the finalists will also be awarded a further £2,000 as Regional Winners, and a further £2,000 will be awarded to the Pan-Commonwealth Winner, to be announced at an awards ceremony at the Secretariat’s headquarters in London on 12 March, following Commonwealth Day.

This year's Commonwealth theme is 'Opportunity through Enterprise' - unlocking potential with innovation and excellence.

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said: “The nominations we have received for the awards demonstrate that young people are making a wonderful and significant contribution to human development in our member states. As partners in development, young people are using creative ideas, new technologies and are bringing tremendous energy to meeting national development goals. All the nominees are remarkable. I am extremely proud of the young people in the Commonwealth, especially this year when we are celebrating 40 years of youth empowerment through the CYP.”

The finalists are:

Africa and Europe:

    Ellen Daphine Chilemba, founder of Tiwale (http://www.facebook.com/tiwaleorg)

Malawi

    Area of work: Enterprise development, youth development

    Foglabenchi Lily Haritu, sexual and reproductive health nurse-activist and Supervisor of the Women’s Health Programme of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (http://www.cbchealthservices.org/)

    Cameroon

    Area of work: Health and well-being, HIV/AIDS

    Isaiah Owolabi, founder and Project Director of HACEY’s Health initiative (http://www.hacey.org/)

    Nigeria

    Area of work: Health and well-being, HIV/AIDS

    Evans Muchika Wadongo, founder of 'Use solar, save lives' programme (http://sustainabledevelopmentforall.org/projects/our-model.html)

    Kenya

    Area of work: Sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction

 

Asia:

    Hanan Ali Abbasi, President of the National Youth Assembly (http://www.nya.com.pk/)

    Pakistan

    Area of work: Human rights and democracy

    Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anoka-primrose-abeyrathne/post_3270_b_1441...) eco-entrepreneur

    Sri Lanka

    Area of work: Agriculture, small enterprise, skills training

    Gaurang K Chauhan, founder of Leher (https://www.facebook.com/groups/leher)

    India

    Area of work: Education, peer education

    Sikander Sabeer (http://www.sikandersabeer.me/) , youth leader

    Sri Lanka

    Area of work: Climate change/environment protection

 

Caribbean (including Canada):

    Randy McLaren, founder of International Kreative Aktivism Network (http://issuu.com/ezineslimited/docs/teen_spirit_ezine_-_22.5.12)

    Jamaica

    Area of work: Arts and Culture

    Nadine Muschette, initiated ‘The Campaign to improve the dining culture at the Allman Town Primary School’, ‘The Project Hope Foundation Summer Day Camp’, and the participation of Moneague College in the British Council Global School Partnerships Programme (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080709/news/news2.html)

    Jamaica

    Area of work: Education, peer education

    Kemar Saffrey, Chairman and President of The Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (http://www.barbadosvagrantssociety.com/)

    Barbados

    Area of work: Sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction

    Gordon Swaby, founder of EduFocal (http://www.facebook.com/EduFocal)

    Jamaica

    Area of work: Education, peer education

Pacific:

    Melissa Edwards, founder of Heyday Festival (http://www.heydayfestival.com.au/)

    Australia

    Area of work: Arts and Culture

    Julian O’Shea (http://www.makeitso.org.au/profile/julian-oshea) , Director of the Engineers Without Borders Institute and volunteer

    Australia

    Area of work: Science and Technology

    Chanel Tauveve, employer and recipient of the Young Farmer Award 2012 from Samoa’s Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development

    Samoa

    Area of work: Sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction

    Jill Wai, Vanuatu Monitoring and Evaluation Program Managers at Youth Challenge

    Vanuatu

    Area of work: Education, peer education

The finalists were selected at the CYP Regional Centres in Guyana, India, Solomon Islands and Zambia.

Each CYP Regional Centre judging panel was comprised of two representatives from Commonwealth member governments, two representatives from the regional Commonwealth Youth Caucus, and the CYP Regional Centre Director.

The four Regional Winners and the Pan-Commonwealth Winner will be determined by an adjudication panel under the chairmanship of Mrs Masire-Mwamba. The adjudication panel will comprise of the YAD Director, Katherine Ellis, high commissioners and youth leaders.  

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