Sem Mandela Uutoni (26) has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.
“The Diana Award Charity is the only charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. I feel incredibly honoured and grateful to be a recipient of this award. The Diana Award and APLI share a similar ethos which is to invest in the skills and potential of young people and enable them to contribute to socio-economic development in their communities,” Uutoni told Youth Corner.
The award was established in the memory of Diana, the Princess Of Wales and is dubbed as the most prestigious accolade young persons receive for their social action or humanitarian work. This is the longest-running award for young people through a retrospective nomination process only, which has been in existence for two decades.
Uutoni who is currently the Chief Executive Officer Designate of the One Economy Foundation, a position he took as of 1 July 2020, was recognised for his leading role in launching the African Pathfinder Leaders Initiative (APLI) in 2018, a non-profit organisation formed to address the shortage of skills, resources and networks available to young people in Namibia. Since its inception, APLI has provided training to over 100 youth on entrepreneurship, community development and leadership.
“I firmly believe that Namibia’s greatest resource is its young people and I am passionate about developing and empowering young people to fully realise their personal goals, whilst also providing them with the necessary skills and resources to create sustainable change in their communities and contribute to the socio-economic development of Namibia, ” stated Uutoni.
Under the initiative, Uutoni and his team have initiated a fellowship where young Namibians between 18 and 25-years-old apply for the programmes.
He said: “The APLI fellowship plan provides all-inclusive training by assimilating three main scopes: Leadership development, community development and entrepreneurship. The exercise is delivered by experts in the mentioned disciplines.”
Over the last two years, he said, the APLI approach towards up-skilling Namibia youth in the areas of leadership, community development and entrepreneurship has proven to be efficient in addressing the challenges youth face, with regards to personal development and entrepreneurship.
“This gives the entire APLI team and I the confidence to continue our work, as it proves to us that we are making a significant and long-lasting impact. The work that our fellows do in their communities also gives me the courage and motivation I need to continue this work,” believed Uutoni.
Award recipients have been put forward by adults who know young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: vision, social impact, inspiring others, youth leadership, and service journey.
There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further three panels representing countries outside the UK. Each panel consists of three judges; one young person, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative.
The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation/country will receive The Diana Award.
Nominations are judged using the criteria guide and scoring guide, which has been created to measure the quality of youth social action.
2020-07-15 15:41:51 | 2 months ago