The shortlist for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards has been announced, with campaigners, innovative industry experts and entrepreneurs among the finalists
The shortlist for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards has been announced, with campaigners, innovative industry experts and entrepreneurs among the finalists.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards are coordinated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme and recognise young people aged 15-29 who have made a significant impact in their communities through innovative programmes and projects.
This year, the focus is on celebrating these young people’s contribution in relation to the four sub-themes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018: a fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous future.
The 20 finalists were shortlisted from over 400 applicants from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries in every region, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific.
Regional Young Persons of the Year will be chosen and one exceptional entrant will be recognised as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year.
The awards will be given during the Commonwealth Youth Forum in April, with each finalist being granted £1,000 to continue their development work, as well as a certificate and trophy.
Each Regional Young Persons of the Year will receive $3,000, whilst the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will be awarded £5,000.
The adjudication panel for the awards shortlist was convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat and included the High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, a trustee of the British Youth Council and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, and representatives from the High Commissions of Fiji, Kenya and Malaysia.
The finalists from Asia this year are Mrinalini Dayal and Yogesh Kumar Rao from India, Zain Ashraf from Pakistan, Vanessa Paranjothy from Singapore, and Khairul Azmi Salleh from Brunei.
From Africa (and Europe), the finalists are Elia Timotheo from Tanzania, Omowumi Ogunrotim from Nigeria, Gerlad Matolo from Kenya, and Sherifah Tumusiime and Okettayot Lawrence from Uganda.
This year’s finalists from the Pacific are Lazarus Towa from Papua New Guinea, Josevata Rotidara and Elvis Anal Kumar from Fiji, and Kate Crowhurst and Usman Iftikhar from Australia.
And finally, the shortlisted applicants from the Caribbean and Americas are Kehkashan Basu from Canada, Patricee Douglas from Guyana, Jonathon Barcant from Trinidad and Tobago, and Raylon Mclean and Sophia Bryan from Jamaica.
The Commonwealth Young Person of the Year in 2017 was Sri Lankan Krystle Reid, an advocate for the empowerment of young persons living with disabilities.
Speaking about her experience, Krystle said: “It was a highlight of my life and a great opportunity and platform to further scale up the work of the Enable Lanka Foundation for an incubator space for young entrepreneurs with disabilities.
“This award will allow me to reach out to even more marginalised groups and communities.
“It is an opportunity no young person should miss.”
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