By Prudence Arobani
The Commonwealth has shortlisted Nigeria’s Omowumi Ogunrotimi among the 20 finalists for the 2018 Youth Awards tagged: ‘Powering our Common Future’.
Ben Maloney, Communications Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said Ogunrotimi was selected for her project’s focus: Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality.
Omowumi is the founder of ‘Gender Mobile’, which aims to increase the reportage of, and reduce the incidence of, gender-based violence through coordination of linked services.
It also works to provide survivors with information, referrals, assistance and longer-term help to close the gap in service delivery through creative use of technology.
Maloney said: “Campaigners, entrepreneurs, and innovative industry experts are just a few of the 20 talented young people who have been shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards.
“The awards recognise outstanding young people aged between 15 and 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities”.
This year’s focus is on celebrating young people’s contribution towards a ‘fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous future for the Commonwealth’.
They are the four sub-themes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place in London in April.
The 20 finalists spaned every region of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, and the Pacific.
They were shortlisted from more than 400 applications from across the globe and the programme is being coordinated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Regional Young Persons of the Year would be selected, with one exceptional entrant being recognised as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year during the Commonwealth Youth Forum, in London in April.
“In addition to a grant of 1,000 Punds to continue their development work, finalists will each be awarded a trophy and certificate.
“The Regional Young Persons of the Year will receive £3,000, and the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will pick up 5,000 Pounds,” Maloney said.
The Pan-Commonwealth adjudication panel for the final shortlisting of the overall regional and overall winner of the 2018 awards, has been convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
They included the High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, representatives from the High Commissions of Fiji, Malaysia, and Kenya, a trustee of the British Youth Council and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
The 2017 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year was Krystle Reid, an advocate for empowerment of young persons living with disabilities in her native country Sri Lanka.
“It was a highlight of my life and a great opportunity and platform to further scale up the work of the Enable Lanka Foundation for an incubator space for young entrepreneurs with disabilities.
“This award will allow me to reach out to even more marginalised groups and communities. It is an opportunity no young person should miss,” Reid said of winning the award.
The Commonwealth said the 2018 finalists had initiatives and projects that aimed to build a more secure, prosperous, fairer and a sustainable future for all in the grassroots levels.
Their initiatives and projects “exemplify the outstanding contribution of young people from across the Commonwealth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and realising the CHOGM2018 aspiration: ‘Towards a Common Future’”.