By Innocent Onoja, US
Nominations have opened for the 2020 Commonwealth Youth Awards which will see winners awarded a cash grant to scale-up development work benefiting their communities.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards recognise the exemplary work undertaken by young people across the 53 member countries.
Regional winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in London on Commonwealth Day 2020.
The awards are being delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Council and the Commonwealth Youth Networks.
The awards launch coincides with the Commonwealth Asia Region Senior Officials From Youth Ministries Meeting – an event which will allow participants to assess progress on agreed youth policy priorities and finalise a regional strategy aimed at improving the wellbeing and livelihoods of Commonwealth young people.
Launching the awards in Brunei, the Secretary-General said: “The awards celebrate all that we achieve collectively when we empower young people to realise their full potential and exercise their full citizenship, creativity and innovation.”
Award, nominees must be:
- aged 15 to 29 years;
- a citizen of a Commonwealth member country;
- been engaged in development work for more than 12 months – either in a professional or voluntary capacity;
- have a strong track record of implementing innovative ideas and linking their development work and its impact to one of the 17 SDGs;
- and have demonstrated an understanding of the importance of youth engagement in key areas of development.
Entrants can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone who is not a relative and who can testify of the impact of their work.
Sixteen finalists will be shortlisted from four Commonwealth regional categories: Africa and Europe; Asia; the Caribbean and Canada; and the Pacific. A winner will be selected from each region, and one exceptional entrant will be awarded the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year.
Last year’s winner, Ms Omowumi Ogunrotim, an activist against gender-based violence from Nigeria said: “This Commonwealth Youth Award is a great honour to me and all those who champion gender equality.
“It has re-affirmed the collective responsibility we have to create safe spaces for youth across the Commonwealth and has highlighted efforts we are making to transform from aspiration to reality the right for every girl to be secure and safe and thus making our communities and nations an equitable home for all.”
This year’s finalists will receive a trophy, a certificate and cash grants to help them continue their development work. All finalists will be awarded £1,000. Each selected regional winner will receive an additional £2,000. The Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will also receive an additional cash grant of £2,000.
Click here for more information about the awards, and to apply or nominate someone.
Entries must be received online via the link by 23:59 GMT on 31 October 2019.