The founder of a youth-led organisation in Papua New Guinea that uses sport as a tool
to end violence against women, and the owner of a Nigerian company which uses
‘geo-mapping’ to recycle waste, are among the finalists of the 2017 Commonwealth
Seventeen young change makers from 13 countries are in the running to be named
Commonwealth Young Person of the Year at an awards ceremony held on 15 March
at Marlborough House in London.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate
outstanding adolescents and young adults aged 15–29 from Asia, the Pacific, the
Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe, who are leading initiatives ranging from
poverty alleviation to peace-building.
This year’s group of finalists are recognised for spearheading projects that will
contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals – a set of 17 global goals that
governments have committed to achieve by 2030.
Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said, “Through
their own initiative, young leaders in communities across the world are delivering on
the ambitious agenda set by governments on everything from eliminating hunger to
protecting the environment.
“All of the outstanding finalists recognised today have demonstrated that young
people are central to bringing forward positive change. Through these awards, we
seek to celebrate their achievements and inspire others to follow in their footsteps, and
encourage high level support for youth-led development efforts.”
The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including representatives of
Commonwealth High Commissions, Commonwealth organisations and young leaders.
The overall winner will be announced on 15 March alongside regional winners for
Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe.
The shortlisted finalists hail from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica,
Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent and The
Grenadines, Uganda and United Kingdom.
One of the judges, Angelique Pouponneau, Vice-Chair of the Commonwealth Youth
Council, commented that “each of the youth awardees’ stories has brought inspiration
and faith that today and tomorrow are in good hands with young people as equal
partners of development.”