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

Over the past four years the programme has honoured 240 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. These inspiring leaders work on a wide variety of important issues including tackling climate change, providing education for girls and improving maternal health.

As part of their Award, the Queen's Young Leaders:

  • Received their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
  • Took part in a year-long online leadership course from The University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education.
  • Were paired with a mentor to help them to achieve their ambitions.
  • Visited the UK for an exclusive Residential Programme that included workshops with prominent businesses and social enterprises, and meetings with high-profile leaders.

An exceptional cohort of young leaders has now been established and they will work together as a strong youth network, spanning the Commonwealth.

queen with young leader students on steps

Hear how winning the Queen’s Young Leaders Award has helped young people from across the Commonwealth.

Firhaana Bulbulia Eman Borg Erna Takazawa Anael Bodwell Calvin Yoong Shen Woo
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Bangladesh

Supported Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • Cwmbran Centre for Young People
  • NYAS
  • Who Cares? Scotland
  • Scottish National Council of YMCAs
  • UpRising
  • Media Trust
  • Include Youth Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF)

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 Projects

  • 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.

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Sierra Leone

Supported Projects

  • BBC Media Action Sierra Leone
  • Sensi Hub and Indigo Trust
  • YMCA Sierra Leone

Project Profile: Sensi Hub

Sensi Hub will give small grants and training to individuals, youth-led start-ups and more established organisations working with young people to help them be more innovative and effective. As a result more young people will be able earn a living and contribute to social change in Sierra Leone.

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 included funding for organisations working in Sierra Leone.

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

Bangladesh

Supported Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • 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 Projects

  • Cwmbran Centre for Young People
  • NYAS
  • Who Cares? Scotland
  • Scottish National Council of YMCAs
  • UpRising
  • Media Trust
  • Include Youth Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF)

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 Projects

  • 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.

close

Sierra Leone

Supported Projects

  • BBC Media Action Sierra Leone
  • Sensi Hub and Indigo Trust
  • YMCA Sierra Leone

Project Profile: Sensi Hub

Sensi Hub will give small grants and training to individuals, youth-led start-ups and more established organisations working with young people to help them be more innovative and effective. As a result more young people will be able earn a living and contribute to social change in Sierra Leone.

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

By becoming a Queen's Young Leader, I and the Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies have been given a platform to highlight, and extend, our work. It has validated our vision for enhancing the lives of girls in my community, as well as my personal motivation to bring inclusive change to Barbados.

Firhaana Bulbulia, Barbados, 2016 Queen's Young Leader

Being a Queen's Young Leader has given me the validation to continue working and to attract numerous partnerships to aid my work. It also helped to link different stakeholders together in the promotion of LGBTI+ Gozo.

Eman Borg, Malta, 2017 Queen’s Young Leader

The Queen's Young Leaders Award has provided me with the recognition I needed to make a bigger impact on my community by connecting me with organisations and people who can help my work. It helped validate that work and brought attention to the importance of eye care in general.

Erna Takazawa, Samoa, 2015 Queen’s Young Leader

This Award represents valuation, recognition and celebration of young people’s contribution to their communities. We don’t set out to be leaders, we set out to make a difference. It is such an honour to be recognised for my work and a privilege to be part of the Commonwealth community.

Anael Bodwell, Seychelles, 2018 Queen's Young Leader

Being a Queen's Young Leader has significantly changed my life. It has helped me in advocating for inclusive education and also opened up many opportunities to advance this cause.

Calvin Yoong Shen Woo, Malaysia, 2016 Queen's Young Leader