In June this year, I met Her Majesty The Queen of England at the Buckingham Palace during the Queens Young Leaders Award.
Aside from the fact that I was very happy and humbled to meet her, I was even more touched by the number of Young Leaders from across the Commonwealth Nations who received their awards that night. It was because of them we were gathered that evening, to celebrate their selfless contributions to their societies.
Their stories were diverse and very touching, and it made me realise that no idea, no contribution to help improve others’ lives is too little. It doesn’t matter what it is you choose to do, just do it as long as it is positive and it impacts members of the society in a good way.
Isaiah, a winner from Nigeria, 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.
Another winner from Nigeria, Nkechikwu grew up with close family members who have the hereditary blood disorder sickle cell anaemia. After witnessing the physical, mental and emotional challenges it can lead to, she set up The Sickle Cell Aid Foundation. The organisation encourages people to get tested to know their haemoglobin genotype, and has set up sickle cell clubs in schools to inform and educate young people about the condition.
In Uganda, Deo Sekandi did not know what was affecting his speech and mobility until he won a university scholarship and learnt that he had cerebral palsy. He now works for the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda and is very active in supporting young people with cerebral palsy. He aims to change negative attitudes towards disabled people.
I could go on and on about their amazing stories but I’m sure you already get my point. Nothing is too small.
All around us, there are opportunities for us to touch others positively. It’s time we start taking advantage of those opportunities.
Another opportunity is now open to award exceptional young people who’ve proved themselves to be inspiring leaders in their communities. To make sure you’re eligible for the Queen’s Young Leaders Award this year, CLICK HERE. The closing date for applications is 7th September 2015.
I wish you good luck!