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Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Four Nigerian Youths were among those honoured by Queen Elizabeth II of England on Monday night, at the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders (YQL) awards at the Buckingham palace. The award which was first of its kind was designed to reward exceptional youths from across the Commonwealth nations.

The awardees include; Isaiah Owolabi, Kelvin Ogholi, Nkechikwu Azinge and Oladipupo Ajiroba.
All the award winners, who are aged between 18 and 29, are being recognised by the UK monarch for taking the initiative to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues. Areas in which they have excelled include education, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

According to the profile of the awardees, Nkechi Azinge, runs a Sickle Cell Foundation. The organisation encourages people to get tested to know their haemoglobin genotype, and has set up sickle cell clubs in schools to inform and educate young people about their condition. She also got support for her work from David Beckham and the executive producer of 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen.

Mr. Isaiah Owolabi, co-founded HACEY Health Initiative, helps disadvantaged women and children to lead healthy lives. In 2012 HACEY launched Hands Up For Her, which promotes the rights of African girls.The award will help HACEY develop its Women’s Health and Productivity project; ensuring women in rural areas have access to health services and training.

Mr. Kelvin Ogholi, after seeing livestock farmers – including his father struggle to pay for feeds, co-founded UNFIRE. This social enterprise has found a way to produce poultry feeds from organic waste such as mango seeds, seaweeds. It costs half the price of normal feeds, and so far it has helped more than 70 farmers.

Mr. Oladipupo Ajiroba growing up with bronchitis made Oladipupo very conscious of pollution. He set up The Environmental Advocacy and Management Initiative, which has engaged more than 10,000 volunteers in campaigns and workshops. Oladipupo intends to use The Queen’s Young Leaders Award to encourage greater respect for the environment and to create green jobs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the awardees will undertake training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK in association with Cambridge University.

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