The Queen’s Young Leaders programme is today delighted to reveal that Bazil Mwotta Biddemu, Elizabeth Kasujja and Stephen Katende from Uganda have been chosen as three of the final ever Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners in recognition of the lead they are taking in their communities to change lives.
The prestigious Awards programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 from across the Commonwealth and the work they are undertaking to improve lives across a diverse range of issues, from supporting people living with mental health problems, helping children to receive a quality education, to promoting gender equality.
Bazil, Elizabeth and Stephen, all from Kampala, will now join the Queen’s Young Leaders network of 240 Award winners, a unique community of influential change-makers, who represent all 52 Commonwealth countries. The winners announced today will receive their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, UK, next year.
Bazil has been chosen in recognition of the work he is doing to help farmers in his community thrive and Elizabeth has been chosen in recognition of the work she is doing to use technology to transform the lives of people living with mental health issues. Stephen has been chosen in recognition of the work he is doing to ensure that children in rural areas of Uganda are able to complete their education.
Bazil Mwotta Biddemu, aged 23, said: “I’m so delighted to be made part of this great cohort of young enterprising leaders. This recognition of the work I do for my community will always serve as a motivation for me to continue helping in making the world a much better place than I found it, as well as inspiring my fellow youth to take on the lead to address the challenges in their communities. I’m humbled by this great opportunity. I pledge to work more and more for the betterment of the people in my community and the world at large.”
Elizabeth Kasujja, aged 27, said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled to have been selected as an Award winner for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. The best way to do great work is to love what you do, and I am excited for the opportunities this Award will open for others in the community and for raising awareness on mental health. I feel so happy and extend my deep heartfelt gratitude to my family, for they are true giants on whose shoulders I stand. Thank you for selecting me – I am excited to join the list of inspirational change makers as well as past recipients whom I have long admired and respected.”
Stephen Katende, aged 26, said: “I’m so honoured to be among the Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners in its last year. The Award is a reassurance to me and the whole team at Kisoboka Africa that it is very important to ensure every person, no matter their status, lives a meaningful and productive life. It’s a blessing to be part of the exceptional young people all over the world driving positive change in communities for vulnerable people to live better lives. I dedicate the Award to all vulnerable children struggling to get an education. Never lose hope. I am so excited and look forward to meeting the other Award winners, learning from their work, and to see what the year ahead holds for me.”
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, said: “In this, the final year of The Queen’s Young Leaders programme, once again we have outstanding Award winners, leading the way in transforming people’s lives for the better in every part of the Commonwealth. We congratulate them all for their remarkable achievements. Over the coming year the programme will nurture and develop their talents, and equip them to go further in making a lasting change in their communities. I hope they find the experience to be truly life-changing and I’m delighted to welcome today’s winners to the now complete network of Queen’s Young Leaders.”
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.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners receive bespoke training, mentoring and networking opportunities, and take part in a residential programme in the UK, to help them build on the work they are leading in their communities. They join a now complete network of Award winners and, in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen’s lifetime of Service, will continue to connect and collaborate and change lives for years to come.
To see a full list of Award winners and highly commended runners up, and to read more about their inspirational stories, please visit www.queensyoungleaders.com.