Queen Elizabeth II has presented Alimatu Bawah Wiabriga, Derick Omari and Shadrack Frimpong from Ghana with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, in honour of the work they are doing to transform lives in their community.
The Queen was joined at the Award ceremony by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in recognizing their success.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of some of the most exciting young change-makers from across the Commonwealth.
This year’s cohort from 38 Commonwealth countries are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.
Guests including David Beckham OBE, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Nicola Adams OBE, Neelam Gill, Caspar Lee, Tina Daheley, Ore Oduba and Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Sir John Major, joined Award winners at Buckingham Palace to congratulate them on their remarkable achievements.
Shadrack received his Award for the work he is doing to improve the lives of people living in rural communities, running a free girls’ school and medical clinic, funded by proceeds from a community cocoa plantation.
Derick Omari, 22, said: “This award from Her Majesty The Queen is not only a laurel of a lifetime for me but also evidence that Ghanaian youth have a recognizable duty to serve and lead change in the country. My residence here in the UK and interaction with fellow Queen’s Young Leaders sums up an amazing and unforgettable experience. This entire programme has been remarkable in setting up an important foundation for scaling up and replicating; it’s a renewal of my commitment to serve my community and to make it a better place. I’m really excited for what lies ahead.”
As a Queen’s Young Leader, Alimatu, Derick and Shadrack have gained access to bespoke mentoring and training through the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, designed to develop their leadership skills further and ensure they are best placed to lead the way in the future to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.
The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH, Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said:
“I extend my warmest congratulations to all the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders. Together with our Award Winners from the last three years, they complete a unique, 240-strong cohort of Young Leaders from all across the Commonwealth. This is such an invaluable resource for the Commonwealth that The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust will be launching a legacy fund, to ensure that our support and encouragement to our Young Leaders will continue beyond the lifetime of the Trust.
Each and every one of our 240 Young Leaders is a remarkable and exceptional young person, who I have no doubt will play an important role in shaping our future world. It has been an absolute privilege and delight to get to know them.”
The now complete Queen’s Young Leaders network forms a unique, dedicated and powerful group of young people from 53 Commonwealth countries who will connect, collaborate and change lives together for years to come. To further support them in their future endeavours, a £200,000 Legacy Fund has been created. It will be open to all 240 Queen’s Young Leaders and 282 highly commended runners-up to apply for grants that will help elevate their work and enable them to work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the Commonwealth.