Nominations for the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Awards, which recognise exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth, are now open.
The awards, held each year in March, celebrate the outstanding contributions young people (aged 15-29) are making towards tackling global issues, improving lives and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Previous winners have enjoyed international acclaim, cash prizes and invaluable networking opportunities to help boost their projects.
Next year’s awards are even more special, as 2023 has been declared a ‘Year of the Youth’ in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Commonwealth secretary general, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, described the 2023 Awards as a historic milestone.
“The Youth Awards are an important spoke in the wheel of youth empowerment. The fact that 2023 is the Commonwealth Year of Youth gives the 2023 Youth Awards special significance. To be recognised in the 2023 Youth Awards could change the course of their lives.”
Young people from the 56 Commonwealth countries can enter regional categories as follows: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and the Pacific.
An independent pan-Commonwealth jury will judge the nominations based on impact, sustainability and innovation.
The jury will shortlist finalists, who will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £1 000 (approximately N$19 569) in cash – and from them, regional award winners will be chosen. These will receive an additional £2 000 (N$39 138).
One of the regional award recipients will be accorded further recognition as Commonwealth Young Person of the Year and a total cash prize of £5 000 (N$97 847).
For the second year running, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) has joined the Commonwealth Secretariat, a partner, to offer one winner two years of flexible funding, worth of £20 000 (N$391 388) a year, as well as coaching opportunities and organisational development support.
The finalists and regional winners will be announced during Commonwealth Week in March 2023.
To submit an entry, an applicant must be a Commonwealth citizen, aged between 15 to 29 years, and must have been engaged in development work for at least 12 months as a professional or volunteer.
Nominees must show a strong track record of implementing impactful development work that contributes to at least one of the 17 SDGs.
To be eligible for the additional QCT prize, applicants must be aged 18 to 29 years old and be a founder or co-founder of a social enterprise.
Nominations must be submitted online at firstname.lastname@example.org and received by 23h59 BST on 17 October 2022.