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'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.
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