Exceptional young people can now submit entries for the 2021 Commonwealth youth awards to win prestigious titles and cash grants.
The awards recognise and reward young people whose work has made a major impact on people and communities in their country.
Young leaders from across the 54 Commonwealth countries can enter five regional categories: Africa; Asia; Caribbean; Europe and Canada; and Pacific.
A Pan-Commonwealth panel will judge the entries based on the impact, sustainability and level of innovation.
- Judges will choose 20 finalists who will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £1,000 in cash.
- Of the 20, five regional winners will be chosen and awarded an additional £2,000.
- The finalists and regional winners will be announced during Commonwealth week in March 2021.
- There will be an overall winner who will receive the title of Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2021, and a total cash prize of £5,000.
This year’s award includes special recognition for young people who have made outstanding efforts to tackle development challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has severely upended the lives and prospects of our young people. It has created an unprecedented health challenge, unavoidable disruption to work, training and education, and a future full of uncertainty.
“Without a strong, global response, young people could be staring down the barrel of decades of poverty, unemployment alongside the social upheaval that comes with economic setbacks.
“But despite these challenges, we are seeing a youth population that is ahead of the curve, harnessing their talent, passion and ingenuity to turn adversity into advantage.
“To recognise their contributions in these turbulent times, the Commonwealth Youth Awards will give young people a global platform to showcase their ideas, solutions and technologies. It will highlight the powerful and positive impact they are making in their communities, countries and across the globe.”
To be eligible, you must:
- be a Commonwealth citizen aged 15 to 29 years;
- have been engaged in development work for at least 12 months as a professional or volunteer; and
- show a strong track record of implementing impactful development work and contribute to one of the 17 sustainable development goals.
Entries must be received by 23:59 on 21 October 2020.
The awards were launched today at a Commonwealth Action Series webinar to mark International Youth Day.
- The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.
- The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
- The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.
- Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.