The process is now open to make nominations for the 2022 Commonwealth Youth Awards, which offer successful candidates international recognition and cash prizes.
Celebrating contributions by young people
The aim of the awards is to celebrate the outstanding contributions by young people delivering development and progress in Commonwealth countries and communities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Announcing the 2022 edition of the awards on International Youth Day, Commonwealth Secretary-General The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC said:
“As well as being a global health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in social and economic crises which are severely affecting young people and have far-reaching consequences for their lives and future careers.
“Yet even in these times of such uncertainty and upheaval, we are inspired by young people whose imagination and leadership are helping to mobilise positive responses so that our nations and communities can build back better and with greater resilience.”
She added: “The awards are a golden opportunity for these heroes, and those who work with them, admire them or benefit from what they are doing, to put forward their innovations and initiatives for recognition by the Commonwealth and to bring them to global attention.
“By sharing their inspiring example far more widely, we and many millions of people of all ages worldwide will learn about new and practical ways to deliver a safer, fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable future for all.”
Young people from the 54 Commonwealth countries can enter five regional categories: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Canada, and the Pacific.
An independent pan-Commonwealth jury will judge the nominations based on their impact, sustainability and innovation.
The jury will shortlist 20 finalists, who will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £1,000 in cash, and from them, five regional award recipients will be chosen and will receive an additional £2,000.
One of the regional award recipients will be accorded further recognition as Commonwealth Young Person of the Year and a total cash prize of £5,000.
To mark the celebration next year of the Platinum Jubilee of the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) has joined as a partner to offer to a selected applicant two years of flexible funding of £20, 000 a year, as well as coaching opportunities and organisational development support.
The finalists and regional winners will be announced during Commonwealth Week in March 2022.
To submit an entry, an applicant must be:
- a Commonwealth citizen;
- between the age of 15 to 29 years; and
- have been engaged in development work for at least 12 months as a professional or volunteer.
Nominees must show a strong track record of implementing impactful development work which contributes to at least one of the 17 SDGs.
To be eligible for the additional QCT prizes, applicants must be aged 18 to 29 years old, and the founder or co-founder of a social enterprise.
Nominations must be received by 23:59 BST on 17 October 2021.