Commonwealth Youth Council – CYC chair Kim Allen, who comes from the Papua New Guinea, urges talented youths ‘not to hesitate’ to apply to the Commonwealth Youth Awards.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards, held each year in March, celebrate the outstanding contributions young people (aged 15-29) are making towards tackling global issues, improving lives and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Previous winners have enjoyed international acclaim, cash prizes and invaluable networking opportunities to help boost their projects.
The deadline for nominations has been extended by two weeks and will now close on the 31st October. Talented youths with inspiring projects are particularly urged to apply by the CYC – a nine-member executive that works to mobilise the voices of young people and advocate for governments to meaningfully engage young people in policies and decisions.
Kim said: “As a Commonwealth young person, and Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council, I am keenly aware of the talent, vision, and dedication to improving the lives of others my demographic possess; many of whom I had the pleasure of meeting during the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Rwanda.
“These awards rightly give young people working on incredible projects a global stage to show off their talent and their ideas to help leaders tackle burgeoning global issues and see the realisation of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“Previous winners have networked with global experts, presented their ideas to change-makers at key global conferences like COP, and seen their projects thrive from coaching and collaboration with established organisations.
“As such, I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of applying for a Commonwealth Youth Award to send off an application. These awards can be life changing. Do not hesitate – there are only two weeks left to apply.”
Next year’s awards are even more special as 2023 has been declared ‘Year of the Youth’, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
A shortlist of exceptional young people from each Commonwealth region will be announced in the next few months, with the winners announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in March.
Last year’s ceremony was filmed at Marlborough House in London. It attracted world-class acts including Nigerian Afropop singer Yemi Alade, and media coverage from mainstream outlets across the Commonwealth. It was broadcast on TV and online by major broadcasters in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.
Young people from the 56 Commonwealth countries can enter five regional categories: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Canada, and the Pacific.
An independent pan-Commonwealth jury will judge the nominations based on impact, sustainability and innovation.
The jury will shortlist finalists, who will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £1,000 in cash, and from them, regional award winners will be chosen. These will receive an additional £2,000.
One of the regional award recipients will be accorded further recognition as Commonwealth Young Person of the Year and a total cash prize of £5,000.
For the second year running the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) has joined the Commonwealth Secretariat as a partner to offer one winner up to two years of flexible funding worth £20,000 a year, as well as coaching opportunities and organisational development support.
QCT has a Network of 850+ mission-aligned global young leaders creating positive social change in their communities across the areas of agriculture and food, education and employability, the environment, health, and inclusion.
Being a member of QCT’s Network opens opportunities to connect and collaborate with a peer network of other social impact minded young leaders, as well as exclusive access to resources, materials, and opportunities for funding and support.
To submit an entry, an applicant must be:
a Commonwealth citizen;
between the age of 15 to 29 years; and
have been engaged in development work for at least 12 months as a professional or volunteer.
Nominees must show a strong track record of implementing impactful development work which contributes to at least one of the 17 SDGs.
To be eligible for the additional QCT prize, applicants must be aged 18 to 29 years old, and the founder or co-founder of a social enterprise.
Nominations must be submitted and received by 23:59 BST on 31 October 2022.