Her Majesty The Queen will present Gift Chansa and Sela Kasepa from Zambia with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, on Tuesday 26th June. The Awards recognise the work that young people from across the Commonwealth are doing to transform lives in their community and beyond.
Gift from Lusaka will receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for the work he is doing using his skills as a circus performer to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people in Zambia after co-founding Circus Zambia which provides participants in the township of Chibolya with circus, academic and life skills.
Sela from Kitwe will receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for the work she is doing to explore how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can help solve some of the challenges faced by her country by applying knowledge gained from her own engineering studies to found and teach on Zambia’s first robotics development team.
Gift, 26, and Sela, 21, were selected following a competitive process involving thousands of applicants across the Commonwealth. Together they join a network of 240 powerful young leaders, from 53 Commonwealth countries, who are driving change to make the world a better place.
The 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners take part in a year-long leadership course run by the University of Cambridge and receive bespoke mentoring. They will visit the UK for a programme of high-profile networking opportunities, meetings and training designed to help them develop as leaders and work with ever greater impact.
Later this month, during their time in the UK, Gift and Sela will visit 10 Downing Street, take part in masterclasses at the BBC World Service and the UK Headquarters of Facebook. Award winners will then meet with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and High Commissioners from across the Commonwealth, before receiving their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. They will also attend workshops at the University of Cambridge and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said:
“Through selfless determination, the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2018 are dedicating their lives to bring positive change to those around them. Their visit to the UK this June provides them with a unique opportunity to connect with each other and gain valuable lessons from experts and leaders from all walks of life which we hope will help transform the reach of their endeavours for many years to come. I am delighted that the work they are undertaking is being recognised by Her Majesty The Queen and I look forward to meeting this year’s winners and celebrating the remarkable difference that they have already made all over the Commonwealth. Now that we are in the fourth and final year of this special programme, we look proudly on the network that is the Queen’s Young Leaders and feel confident that the future will be driven by their courage and commitment towards making the world a better place.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief, The Royal Commonwealth Society and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, in recognition of The Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.