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Her Majesty The Queen to award Zambia’s young people with first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Award

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will present the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Awards to two young people from Zambia

Regina Mtonga and Brighton Kaoma photo
Regina Mtonga and Brighton Kaoma

The presentation takes place at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 22nd June.

Regina Mtonga and Brighton Kaoma are among 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who have been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.

Regina is co-founder of Asikana Network, an organisation that trains Zambian girls and young women in information and communications technology skills, so that they can find better jobs and realise their potential.

Brighton is a second year student at the University of Zambia, who has been instrumental in starting Unite4Climate and other environmental clubs in surrounding schools in Kitwe district.

Before receiving their Award at Buckingham Palace the winners will meet the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, visit the headquarters of global social networking company, Twitter and meet with senior executives at the BBC World Service.

Brighton Kaoma said:

“I am so happy to be one of the first recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. To be recognised for my work and be presented with an Award by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace is such a huge honour. I can’t wait to meet all the other Award winners in London and get involved in all the exciting activities that are taking place throughout the week.”

This year’s Award winners are aged between 18 and 29 and are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

Following the ceremony on the 22nd June, Award winners will spend four days in the UK to take part in a residential development programme as part of the Award prize. The programme includes workshops at Cambridge University, meetings with UK businesses leaders, and visits to life changing social action projects.

Further information

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. Guided by the values of the Commonwealth Charter, the goal of the Programme is to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.

To see a full list of Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, and read more about their stories please visit www.queensyoungleaders.com.

If you or someone you know is doing inspiring work like this year’s Queen’s Young Leaders, from 7pm on Monday 22nd June you can apply or nominate someone for a 2016 Award at www.queensyoungleaders.com

Award details

Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 exceptional young people will be selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award and become ‘Queen’s Young Leaders’ – one for every year that The Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee.

As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge. Award winners will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June, when they will receive their Award at Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty The Queen.

Regina Mtonga

Regina is co-founder of Asikana Network, an organisation that trains Zambian girls and young women in information and communications technology skills, so that they can find better jobs and realise their potential. Regina is planning to link Network members to mentors in order to develop their skills further in the future. She is a recipient of the 2014 SETAfrica award and has had training in several IT sectors including website and software development. Discovering a recent passion for entrepreneurship, she is currently pursuing a Bsc in Business Computing. Regina is also a 2015 Skoll Young Leader and 2015 Queens Young Leader award recipient. She hopes to spark an interest in STEM careers for all women in Zambia and eventually have Asikana Network a fully functional school club in order to support all the young women who are interested in STEM, especially IT.

Brighton Kaoma

Brighton is a second year student at the University of Zambia in Lusaka pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Education. He became a UNICEF Child Climate Ambassador in 2010. He has been instrumental in starting Unite4Climate and other environmental clubs in surrounding schools in Kitwe district. He also mobilized other climate ambassadors to plant 500 trees in schools as well as undertake clean up campaigns and recycling. Brighton also presented a weekly programme on Radio Icengelo in Kitwe between 2011 and 2013 discussing climate change issues and HIV prevention.

Brighton was in 2011 trained as a Facilitator under a programme between UNICEF Zambia and the Children’s Radio Foundation (CRF) to train children in radio and other media productions so that they could speak out on issues that affect them.

Criteria to win an award:

** Nominees will have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and will show evidence of their achievements ** Nominees will be aged between 18 and 29 for the year of the Award and be citizens of a Commonwealth country

** Nominees will demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities

** Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals

** All nominees will need to be supported by a suitable referee.

The Partners

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation, established in 2012, to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust has received donations from governments, corporate partners, trusts, foundations, community groups and individuals from across the Commonwealth, and its programmes work in alliance towards eliminating avoidable blindness and to empower a new generation of young leaders. With a five-year timeframe in which to deliver successful programmes, the Trust’s aim is to leave a lasting legacy, owned by the whole Commonwealth, to honour Her Majesty The Queen. For more information go to: www.jubileetribute.org

Comic Relief

Established in 1985, Comic Relief is a major UK fundraising and grant making charity which uses the power of entertainment to create long-lasting change. Its vision is a just world, free from poverty. It strives to make this vision a reality by supporting poor, disadvantages and vulnerable people in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest communities to change their own lives for the better. Discover more at: www.comicrelief.com

Royal Commonwealth Society

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Working through a range of educational, civil society, business and governmental networks, the RCS addresses issues that matter to the Commonwealth citizens. For more information go to: www.thercs.org

For more information contact:

Anouska Russell at Comic Relief on 020 7820 2500 or a.russell@comicrelief.com

Published 23 June 2015