World news story

Launch of the The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales launch search for The Queen’s Young Leaders

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The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales are today launching the search for exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth to receive an award from Her Majesty The Queen for their achievements in transforming their own lives and the lives of others.

On behalf of The Queen, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will host a unique reception at Buckingham Palace where they will start the search from a state of the art social media hub, backed by Google and Twitter - the first ever to be installed at The Palace.

The search for award winners aged 18 - 29 from all 53 countries of the Commonwealth who are to be celebrated, rewarded and supported for their achievements, is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, a unique new initiative that aims to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.

The life changing Programme has been established by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust) and will run in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in honour of The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, Chairman of the Trust and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir John Major said: “We wish to identify and nurture the talent of the younger generation across the Commonwealth. We’re inspired by the belief that one talented individual can be a positive force for good within their communities. This programme will celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary individuals and help develop their skills, thus creating a lasting legacy – benefiting the whole of the Commonwealth – to honour the long and successful reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II.”

From Google Hangouts to Twitter mirrors the Duke and Prince will use social media to help spread the message that #TheSearchIsOn, calling on young people from across the Commonwealth to apply or be nominated for the opportunity to become a Queen’s Young Leader. In recognition of their achievements they will receive an award from The Queen and a year of mentoring and training so that they are able to reach their full potential and go on to inspire other young people to help shape the future of the Commonwealth.

Young people who have already achieved something extraordinary for themselves and others are also taking part in the event, including Fahma Mohamed, a 17-year-old who is campaigning against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK and across the world.

Fahma Mohamed said; “Young people are the parents, the leaders and the adults of the future. We have energy, creativity and new ideas and we are the ones who can ultimately change our society and make our world a better place to live. This is why I am proud to support The Queen’s Young Leader’s Programme as it is recognising how much young people do and can achieve and supporting us to do ever more, even better.”

Inspiring young people from every Commonwealth country have been invited to attend the launch, to represent the talent and diversity of the Commonwealth and its young people.

In support of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, Martin Scholtz, CEO of the President’s Award said “The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment in South Africa, a full member of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, is delighted by the launch of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. May the young people who are selected from Commonwealth countries around the world to be part of the Programme, be examples of what can be achieved through nurturing youth potential.”

To achieve its aim of discovering, celebrating and supporting inspirational young people to lead the way across the Commonwealth the Programme will comprise two elements: * Awards to recognise the achievements of 240 inspirational young people and provide support enabling them to take up leadership roles and inspire future leaders * Grants to support organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people to transform their lives.

Young people from all across the Commonwealth can apply or be nominated to become a Queen’s Young Leader from today, 9 July 2014. Visit for more information. #TheSearchIsOn.

This is what some Chevening Scholars from South Africa had to say:

“This is an exciting opportunity for us upcoming young leaders to get the grooming that we need to effectively serve our people. For me, the mentorship part is what’s best about the award. Nothing beats real life experience and career guidance.” - Ntokozo Yingwana

“The Queen’s Young Leaders Award looks like a great initiative. The approach of using social media, a tool of the youth, to engage the youth, should have effects reaching far beyond just those who are nominated for the awards. A program such as this, spanning all the peoples of the Commonwealth, can go a long way to reminding the youth of each nation that we are the ones who will be shaping the future, not just in the future, but now.” - Caron Jacobs

“The wealth and future of every nation lies in the hands of our youth. In Africa, our greatest untapped resource lies in the minds and hearts of the young individuals who have the potential to become the next Nelson Mandela or Mark Shuttleworth. It’s initiatives like the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme that facilitate the training and provision of skills necessary to do so. I am honored to support such an initiative that will bring sustainable development to our country.” - Sanchia Jogessar

“The most successful solutions come from the people who are living with the challenges that need to be addressed. Across the world, young people are taking risks, creating innovative programmes, developing new ideas and changing their communities one small step at a time. In South Africa, we have seen how powerful young people can be in changing the history of a country. It is encouraging to see The Queen’s Young Leaders programme being launched - an initiative that not only seeks to acknowledge and honour the work of young people across the Commonwealth countries, but also aims to offer valuable resources and support that will ensure the sustainability and continued success of their work.” - Toni Stuart

“The youth of today are faced with significantly more complex challenges than any generation that came before them, but never before have we been better equipped to tackle these problems.The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is an extraordinary example of how we can use technology to find the change-agents of today and turn them into iconic leaders of tomorrow.” - Dr Leila Hartford

“Queen’s Young Leaders will most definitely be remarkable people who are not only assets to their countries and the Commonwealth but also to the world at large. The elite and very ‘royal’ opportunity for young people such as myself from across the Commonwealth to participate in such a programme will certainly be life-changing! The search is on indeed.” - Marna de Bruyn

“Our world is without doubt in need of recognition and celebration of the little contributions that individuals make in our communities. I believe that: it takes a family to give birth to a child; it takes the community to raise a good child; and it takes the world to raise a great leader. South Africa is full of unlimited potential to make this world a better place to live in; to continue in the good legacy of the late Nelson Mandela. I say this with deep excitement and optimism about the launching of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme by their Royal Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales. This global initiative will empower us (the young people) in the Commonwealth countries to unleash our full potential and be inspired to continue with our positive societal contributions in our communities, as we develop to be authentic and inspirational world leaders. I am highly excited about the mentorship aspect of this initiative, as it will afford us an opportunity to learn from the dedicated world leaders. Thank you for this impressive and distinguished young leader’s programme.” - Vusi Maupa

“The young leaders programme recognizes the impact and the passion that the youth of today have and their ability to do extraordinary things to benefit the world all those who live in it. Giving these future global leaders and icons a podium to speak from shows that we recognize the impact they can have and gives them push in their future careers. Becoming a Queen’s Young Leader will give these future giants the access to the training they need to shape their futures and go on to inspire others. I wish all those involved the best of luck #thesearchison!!!” - Brad Evan Krom

“Poverty in Africa is not due to a lack of resources. Africa has vast wealth and many natural resources. Her poverty is due to the inability of her young people to reach their full potential. In order to develop Africa we need to invest in her young people, her future. The Queen’s Young Leader’s programme aims to do exactly this.” - Adelaide Ngina Masu

” A program such as this is an excellent opportunity. It will motivate and assist young leaders to become even greater change makers in society! Young leaders often struggle to find support and guidance. A program like this will be very beneficial to them as well as their countries!” - Taskeen Adam

“I was very excited to hear about the new Queen’s Young Leader’s Programme. Following on a long tradition of supporting leadership in the Commonwealth, the partners involved are well-placed to offer support and guidance to youth who may have had to overcome great challenges in their lives. The involvement of inspirational contemporaries and the use of social media to access applicants should encourage life-changing results to a far reaching audience. Having seen the incredible things that disadvantaged youth in my own country can achieve without assistance, I wholeheartedly support this new scheme and look forward to seeing its results.” - Zara Trafford

Published 9 July 2014