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Youth worker with a group of young people

Call for entries for Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards

7 July 2015

The countdown has begun to the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards, which celebrate the achievements of youth work professionals of any age, and their enduring positive impact on young people.

In just four months, the Commonwealth Youth Worker of the Year 2015 will be announced alongside regional winners for Africa and Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, and the Pacific.

Announcing the opening of nominations, Katherine Ellis, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Director of Youth, said: “Youth workers are champions of young people, who help build their confidence and skills. The Commonwealth Secretariat is committed to supporting the vital contribution of youth workers to improving young lives throughout the 53-nation Commonwealth.”

Entries for the awards close on 12 September 2015, after which 16 finalists will be shortlisted from four regional categories: Africa and Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, and the Pacific. A winner will be selected from each region, and invited to London, United Kingdom, for an awards ceremony during Youth Work Week in November 2015.

Entries will be judged by a panel of representatives from the Commonwealth Youth Programme and young people from across the Commonwealth. Nominees can be of any age and must be from a Commonwealth member country.

Mr Abdikadir Aden Hassan, founder of the Youth for Environmental Sustainability Network in Kenya and a 2014 Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards finalist, applauded the awards scheme as an important platform to acknowledge youth workers who are giving back to society. He said: “The Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards recognise the efforts of people from the Commonwealth who promote youth work and development by offering their services to the community”.

Youth Work Week, organised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme in partnership with the UK’s National Youth Agency, celebrates the contribution of youth work, youth workers and youth organisations throughout the Commonwealth.

The international theme for Youth Work Week 2015, between November 2-8 is ‘Youth Workers Creating Paths to Peace’, acknowledging the role youth workers play in fostering social cohesion, peace and security in society.

Nomination process

Entries must be received through an online entry form before 12 September 2015. Entrants can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone who is not a relative and can testify to their work.

Selection Criteria:

  • Impact on young people’s lives—evidence of how the youth worker has made an impact on the lives of young people.
  • Impact of youth work skills—evidence to show that it was their use of youth work skills that made the difference in working with young people.
  • Impact on the wider community—the impact of the youth worker’s intervention on a community and/or families.
  • Challenges in delivery—obstacles overcome in delivering their work with young people.

For more information about the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards, and to apply or nominate a youth worker, please visit: http://thecommonwealth.org/commonwealth-youth-worker-awards-nominations-2015