Her Majesty The Queen has presented two Malawian youths Chikondi Violet Mlozi and Pilirani Khoza with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, in honour of the work they are doing to transform lives in their community.
The Queen was joined at the Award ceremony by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Created in 2014, the Young Leaders Awards honours the incredible work of young people across the Commonwealth.
Her Majesty awards the recipients before hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace. This is the final year for the program.
Chikondi Violet Mlozi, 24, said: “I can’t believe that I have finally received my Award from Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of the work I am doing in Malawi. I have had priceless experiences in London and the Award is a once in a lifetime opportunity which I shall live to cherish. I have also learnt much from the amazing young leaders from across the Commonwealth. The world is looking up to me to do more and I am so fired up right now. This is beyond blessings and I just don’t know the right word to describe how I am feeling right now.”
Pilirani Khoza, 26, said: “I am honoured to receive the prestigious Award from Her Majesty The Queen. The training, mentoring, networks and above all, the Award, challenges me to do more for my community when I return to Malawi.”
This year’s cohort from 38 Commonwealth countries are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.
Guests included David Beckham OBE, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Nicola Adams OBE, Neelam Gill, Caspar Lee, Tina Daheley, Ore Oduba and Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Sir John Major, joined Award winners at Buckingham Palace to congratulate them on their remarkable achievements.
Chikondi received her Award for the work for the work she is doing to find new ways to improve the lives of women and children within her country. As a district co-ordinator for Youth Net and Counselling in Malawi, she helps to free girls from forced, early marriages, supports victims of abuse and provides women with mentoring opportunities.
Pilirani received her Award for the work she is doing to provide disadvantaged young women in Malawi with an education. After becoming the first woman in her community to attend the University of Malawi, Pilirani founded the Bunda Female Students Organisation (BUFESO) in 2012 to help young women and girls to become involved in the fields of science and agriculture.
As a Queen’s Young Leader, Chikondi and Pilirani have gained access to bespoke mentoring and training through the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, designed to develop their leadership skills further and ensure they are best placed to lead the way in the future to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.
The now complete Queen’s Young Leaders network forms a unique, dedicated and powerful group of young people from 53 Commonwealth countries who will connect, collaborate and change lives together for years to come.
To further support them in their future endeavours, a £200,000 Legacy Fund has been created. It will be open to all 240 Queen’s Young Leaders and 282 highly commended runners-up to apply for grants that will help elevate their work and enable them to work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the Commonwealth.
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