The Queen's Young Leaders

More than 60% of people who live in the Commonwealth are under the age of 30. This is the largest youth population the world has ever seen. In partnership with Comic Relief, The Royal Commonwealth Society and the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, we are working to discover, support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth. The Queen’s Young Leaders programme will help to transform the lives of young people through Awards to individuals and grants to youth-led and focused organisations.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards

Each year for four years the programme honours 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. These inspirational leaders are working on a wide variety of important issues including tackling climate change, providing education for girls and improving maternal health.

Each year, 60 Queen's Young Leaders Award winners:

  • Receive their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.Take part in a year-long online leadership course from The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.
  • Are paired with a mentor to help them to achieve their ambitions.
  • Come to the UK for a week-long residential week that includes workshops with prominent businesses and social enterprises, and meetings with high-profile leaders.

By the end of the four-year programme, an exceptional cohort of young leaders will have worked together to create a strong youth network, spanning the Commonwealth.

queen with young leader students on steps

Hear from some of our Queen's Young Leaders of 2016 from across the Commonwealth?

Maletsabisa Molapo Jessica Dewhurst Brad Olsen Zainab Bibi Sara Malliue
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Bangladesh

Supported Projetcs

  • Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Help centre (B’Yeah)
  • ActionAid International Bangladesh

Project Profile: B’Yeah

B’Yeah will support young entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity, by providing training, business plan consultancy, access to finance, and mentoring. The support will enable the young people to start and grow sustainable businesses leading to youth job creation and improvements in their quality of life. This project will also build B'Yeah's organisational capacity to provide high quality support to young entrepreneurs on a bigger scale, and to learn from this work, as well as playing a leading role in coordinating the youth entrepreneurship sector in Bangladesh.

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Jamaica

Supported Projetcs

  • Sandals Foundation
  • J-FLAG
  • Jamaica Youth Business Trust
  • Digicel Foundation - Jamaica

Project Profile: J-FLAG

Young people in Jamaica who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are subject to serious harassment and stigma. They have had no organised route to voice their challenges. This project will use innovative and creative strategies to help them advocate for their rights at the national and community level. Funds will be used to train young people to meaningfully engage policymakers and others (including teachers, police, employers and the media) to change attitudes, practices and law. As a result of the project, young people will have the confidence, self-esteem, skills and support of their peers to claim their rights and there will be a positive response from policy makers and the public towards LGBT youth.

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Solomon Islands

Supported Projetcs

  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community / Youth@Work
  • Oxfam Australia

Project Profile: Youth@Work

Youth@Work is the only national initiative for unemployed youth and early school leavers, providing training and employment opportunities for young people in Honiara and in selected provinces. Young people take part in an innovative vocational training and employability training programme, or are supported to set up and run their own businesses, and can take part in a youth-run ‘Youth Market’ in the centre of Honiara to promote youth-led social enterprises. They will include all young people released from prison in their programme as well as a specific component to integrate disabled young people.

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United Kingdom

Supported Projetcs

  • Cwmbran Centre for Young People
  • NYAS
  • Who Cares? Scotland
  • Scottish National Council of YMCAs
  • UpRising
  • Media Trust

Project Profile: Who Cares? Scotland

Who Cares? Scotland, Move On and Venture Trust will deliver a pre-employment induction programme incorporating a range of skills, including problem solving, team work, confidence building, wilderness training, IT skills, health and safety and child protection training. They will carry out a baseline assessment and a skills audit with each trainee, identifying training needs. Who Cares? Scotland is user-led; 7 of the 12 Directors are care-experienced young people under the age of 30.

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Zambia

Supported Projetcs

  • Restless Development Zambia
  • BongoHive Innovations Ltd
  • ActionAid

Project Profile: BongoHive Innovations Ltd

BongoHive, a youth-led organisation, will provide a hub with office space, internet and practical business support for those starting businesses. It holds events to stimulate creative ideas and share learning. It helps young people turn those ideas into a simple business plan. They receive intensive hands-on training, follow-up advice and links to fellow entrepreneurs, investor, employers and others in the business world. As a result, they use their learning to plan and set up businesses that last.

Queen's Young Leaders Grants

The Queen’s Young Leaders grants support projects from every region of the Commonwealth that place young people at the heart of their communities.

Our vision is a Commonwealth where young people are better qualified, can secure sustainable employment, have access to job training, and are equipped to create thriving businesses. We want to help create an environment where young people are able to articulate their needs in order to influence key decision makers.

In 2015, grants were awarded to youth-led organisations in Bangladesh, Jamaica, Solomon Islands, the UK and Zambia. In 2016 we intend to include funding for Sierra Leone, where work was delayed due to the Ebola crisis.

queens youg leaders map Jamaica United Kingdom Zambia Bangladesh Solomon Islands Image Map
close

Bangladesh

Supported Projetcs

  • Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Help centre (B’Yeah)
  • ActionAid International Bangladesh

Project Profile: B’Yeah

B’Yeah will support young entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity, by providing training, business plan consultancy, access to finance, and mentoring. The support will enable the young people to start and grow sustainable businesses leading to youth job creation and improvements in their quality of life. This project will also build B'Yeah's organisational capacity to provide high quality support to young entrepreneurs on a bigger scale, and to learn from this work, as well as playing a leading role in coordinating the youth entrepreneurship sector in Bangladesh.

close

Jamaica

Supported Projetcs

  • Sandals Foundation
  • J-FLAG
  • Jamaica Youth Business Trust
  • Digicel Foundation - Jamaica

Project Profile: J-FLAG

Young people in Jamaica who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are subject to serious harassment and stigma. They have had no organised route to voice their challenges. This project will use innovative and creative strategies to help them advocate for their rights at the national and community level. Funds will be used to train young people to meaningfully engage policymakers and others (including teachers, police, employers and the media) to change attitudes, practices and law. As a result of the project, young people will have the confidence, self-esteem, skills and support of their peers to claim their rights and there will be a positive response from policy makers and the public towards LGBT youth.

close

Solomon Islands

Supported Projetcs

  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community / Youth@Work
  • Oxfam Australia

Project Profile: Youth@Work

Youth@Work is the only national initiative for unemployed youth and early school leavers, providing training and employment opportunities for young people in Honiara and in selected provinces. Young people take part in an innovative vocational training and employability training programme, or are supported to set up and run their own businesses, and can take part in a youth-run ‘Youth Market’ in the centre of Honiara to promote youth-led social enterprises. They will include all young people released from prison in their programme as well as a specific component to integrate disabled young people.

close

United Kingdom

Supported Projetcs

  • Cwmbran Centre for Young People
  • NYAS
  • Who Cares? Scotland
  • Scottish National Council of YMCAs
  • UpRising
  • Media Trust

Project Profile: Who Cares? Scotland

Who Cares? Scotland, Move On and Venture Trust will deliver a pre-employment induction programme incorporating a range of skills, including problem solving, team work, confidence building, wilderness training, IT skills, health and safety and child protection training. They will carry out a baseline assessment and a skills audit with each trainee, identifying training needs. Who Cares? Scotland is user-led; 7 of the 12 Directors are care-experienced young people under the age of 30.

close

Zambia

Supported Projetcs

  • Restless Development Zambia
  • BongoHive Innovations Ltd
  • ActionAid

Project Profile: BongoHive Innovations Ltd

BongoHive, a youth-led organisation, will provide a hub with office space, internet and practical business support for those starting businesses. It holds events to stimulate creative ideas and share learning. It helps young people turn those ideas into a simple business plan. They receive intensive hands-on training, follow-up advice and links to fellow entrepreneurs, investor, employers and others in the business world. As a result, they use their learning to plan and set up businesses that last.

queens young leaders

The Queens's young leaders programme discovers, celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth, leaving a lasting legacy for her Majesty the Queen.

Show Me

The Queens's young leaders programme discovers, celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth, leaving a lasting legacy for her Majesty the Queen.

Show Me

This week reminded me that the Queen’s Young Leaders Award in not as much about recognition as it is about a call to higher responsibility – responsibility to leadership, responsibility to foster opportunities for thousands of youth in my country and region, and across the Commonwealth. I was inspired and informed towards many new ideas that I know will change my life and enable me to do so much more in the world.

Maletsabisa Molapo, Lesotho

I learnt so much. I can’t wait to go home and implement everything I have learnt. This was the best experience of my life! I am committed to this programme and legacy and committed to working hard throughout my life to make you all proud.

Jessica Dewhurst, South Africa

I have met, and talked at length to, various influential leaders from business, philanthropy, government and media. I have taken away teachings that I will convert into resources to be used back in my home country. This has been life changing.

Brad Olsen, New Zealand

I just want to say this was the most beautiful experience of my life. I loved it and loved each and every moment. I would like to thank Her Majesty for impaction young people and special thanks to each and every member of the Queen’s Young Leaders team who spend their days and nights to organise this programme in the best possible way.

Zainab Bibi, Pakistan

It has been amazing to meet all the young people and understand more about their projects and the way I can implement my ideas in more structured and creative ways. The Queen’s Young Leaders programme Residential Week has been a brilliant way to meet people from all across the Commonwealth. It helped me create and discover a global network, which I will carry with me throughout my life.

Sara Malliue, Malta