28 Badass Young People Making The World A Better Place
Kicking ass, changing lives.
Between scare stories about selfie sticks, Snapchat, and the decline of civilisation, young people get a bad rep. Don't listen. Young people are doing incredible things.
To prove it, the Queen's Young Leader Award recognises exceptional (badass) people aged 18–29 who are transforming lives.
This year there are 60 winners, who will all receive training, mentoring, and support to continue and develop the amazing work they are already doing in their communities.
Here are 28 of the winners and their inspiring stories:
1. Tanyaradzwa Daringo, 23, Namibia
2. Mallah Enow Tabot, 26, Cameroon
3. Regina Mtonga, 27, Zambia
4. Nosipho Bele, 25, South Africa
5. Caren Nelima Odanga, 21, Kenya
Odanga founded the Sisari Women Initiative to support and educate women in rural Kenya. Having grown up in a community where domestic violence, forced marriage, FGM, and teenage pregnancy were the norm and having suffered a traumatic childhood herself, she was supported by the Yaya Education Trust to return to school after becoming a mother.
These experiences inspired her to set up the Sisari Women Initiative.
6. Alain Nteff, 22, Cameroon
7. Nkechikwu Azinge, 26, Nigeria
8. Isaiah Owolabi, 27, Nigeria
Owolabi co-founded HACEY Health Initiative, which helps disadvantaged women and children to lead healthy lives. In 2012, HACEY launched Hands Up for Her, which promotes the rights of African girls.
The Queen's Young Leaders Award will help HACEY develop its Women's Health and Productivity project, which aims to ensure that women in rural areas have access to health services and training.
Find out more about HACEY here.
9. Patrice Madurai, 22, South Africa
10. Jerome Cowans, 25, Jamaica
11. Nadia Hitimana, 26, Rwanda
Hitimana is the health and hygiene manager for Sustainable Health Enterprise. This organisation tackles the issues surrounding menstrual health by establishing businesses that produce affordable menstrual pads. Its programme also provides education to change attitudes and improve the lives of women in Rwanda.
12. Donnya Piggott, 25, Barbados
13. Emma Dicks, 26, South Africa
14. Angela Benedicto Mnagoza, 28, Tanzania
Following the death of her mother and her aunt, Mnagoza worked in domestic service, where she was abused and exploited by her employer. She now promotes the rights of child domestic workers, educating this marginalised workforce and attempting to change attitudes towards it.
15. Rosimay Venancio, 25, Canada
16. Brighton Kaoma, 21, Zambia
17. Diana Nakaweesa, 25, Uganda
Since the age of 17, Nakaweesa has strived to help vulnerable women and children in her community. Three years ago, she launched Young Mothers' Support Group, which mentors women aged 14 to 30. She has gained funding for projects to train women and children in skills ranging from knitting to shoemaking.
18. Alzima Elisha Bano, 28, Fiji
19. Erna Takazawa, 26, Samoa
20. Teocah Dove, 26, Trinidad and Tobago
Dove has 10 years of experience in the voluntary sector and worked on projects which focus on gender, vulnerable women, HIV/AIDS, and youth development. She hopes winning a Queen's Young Leaders Award will help raise the profile of her work.
21. Philip Cole, 29, Sierra Leone
22. Nondumiso Hlophe, 28, Swaziland
23. Nicola Byrom, 28, United Kingdom
In her teens, Byrom fought mental health difficulties. While studying for a PhD in Psychology at Oxford University she founded Student Minds to provide peer support for students experiencing mental-health difficulties. Today the charity has hundreds of volunteers at more than 30 universities in the UK.
Find out more about Student Minds here.
24. Kavindya Thennakoon, 19, Sri Lanka
25. Akshay Jadhao, 27, India
26. Emily Smith, 23, Australia
Smith is a community and Girl Guide leader, and works on various projects that focus on gender-based issues. She helped to deliver a campaign called Free Being Me, which encourages body confidence and self-esteem, and was also chosen to attend the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women.
She is now working to run the Stop the Violence Campaign and its Voices Against Violence curriculum.