Three Caribbean nationals are among the 17 youth leaders named as finalists for the prestigious 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work. They are Asha Farrell of Barbados, Shamoy Hajare from Jamaica and Tevin Shepherd of Saint Lucia. Asha is an assistant coordinator with A Ganar Barbados Sport for Development Programme which trains young people, particularly juvenile offenders, to develop life skills, such as teamwork and communication, through sport.
Shamoy is the founder of the Jamaica School for Social Entrepreneurship, an NGO that promotes the development of social enterprises by young people. She is also co-founder of the Youth Entrepreneurship Project. Tevin is the co-founder of ProjectCan, a youth group that engages young people in education, entrepreneurship and leadership. He also served as vice-president of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council. The awards recognize outstanding people under the age of 30 from Commonwealth countries whose work has significantly contributed to local, national, regional and global development. Over 300 nominations were received this year.
Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “These finalists are deeply inspiring young people who deserve to be celebrated. The incredible work that they do, and the impact they make, underscores the important role that young people play in driving development and democracy.”
The judging panel for the awards includes representatives of High Commissions, Commonwealth organisations and young leaders. Four regional winners will be announced in London during Commonwealth Week (14-18 March) when the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will also be revealed.
In addition to a cash prize, the four regional winners will receive a trip to London to meet Commonwealth leaders. All finalists will receive a cash prize and trophy. Commonwealth Week is celebrated by governments, young people and schools, communities and civil society organisations every year in March. The occasion is marked across the Commonwealth with a range of activities including a multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey in London on Commonwealth Day which this year is 14 March.
– Caribbean News Service