More than three dozen young African leaders have been recognized among international recipients of the Diana Award, an annual award beginning in 2017, that honors youth for their contributions to positive social change in the spirit of the late Princess of Wales. Of the thirty Africans selected, eight(8) are Nigerians.
Among those selected is Precious Adebola, 25 year old leader and founder of Precious Fount Foundation., a community-based foundation devoted to helping disadvantaged students in Nigeria.
“She started a scholarship for students in the Nigerian village of Ufodo and has also initiated a project that prepares students for their return to school by providing them with Back to School packages. In addition, she supervises mentoring sessions and an online academic support group. Precious has overcome challenges including sourcing the funding for her projects, requiring her to leverage on her social skills and inspire others towards her mission to strengthen Nigeria’s educational system”.
Other recipients include:
Founder: Voice to the Street
EEDEE-BARI BAWOH is the founder of ‘Voice to The street’ After seeing so many children falling into the traps of the street, Eedee-Bari made it her mission to empower children through education, giving them the best life chances possible. Since founding ‘Voice to the Street’, Eedee-Bari has supported over 1,350 street-children through counselling events, scholarship funds and the distribution of educational materials. Thanks to her hard work, and the coordination of over 50 volunteers, Eedee-Bari is building new futures for children throughout Lagos. Eedee-Bari used to find it hard to speak out but now she has gained enough confidence to see a wrong and opt to make a difference. And that difference is only going to keep on growing.
Founder: WADI BEN-HIRKI Foundation
Wadi founded her non-profit organisation at the age of 18, focused on improving the lives of women and children, and now uses her voice to amplify the issues surrounding education, peace and gender inequality. Wadi’s organisation runs four main projects and campaigns to empower marginalised and disadvantaged people. ‘Street to School’ focuses on free and inclusive education. ‘Girls Not Wives’ advocates against child marriage, ‘Love in the Midst of War’ rehabilitates survivors of insurgency. ‘SHEROES’ empowers young girls and women to be the best version of themselves, helping them to dream beyond their present and become great leaders. Wadi’s work is changing the lives of young people across Nigeria.
Founder: Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights
Kennedy’s work addresses the scourge of female genital mutilation (FGM), gender-based violence and the stigma attached to menstruation in Nigeria. He established the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights and, through research and advocacy, worked with partners to establish and run safe houses for victims of FGM. His work distributes menstrual products to Nigerian girls unable to afford them – focusing on children at risk of dropping out of school, and prisoners. Additionally, his work seeks to empower women: the safe houses are also schools for the residents, and he has worked with The Girl Generation in Nigeria to help bring STEM education to schoolgirls.
Founder: ONE African Child Foundation
Amidst the responsibilities of studying for her law degree, Victoria founded the One African Child Foundation to address the inequality in education. Having faced difficulties herself, Victoria understood the power of education in transforming lives, breaking the cycle of poverty and building peaceful and resilient societies. Through activity-based workshops on global citizenship education, life skills and peace building in violent communities, the One African Child Foundation has worked with and trained over 4,000 children from disconnected communities and provided mini grants to 25 young change makers across Africa. Victoria is youth representative of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee and is a strong voice for education both in Nigeria and globally
Founder: Financially Literate Africa.
After witnessing first-hand the level of poverty prevalent in her community, Chidinma founded Financially Literate Africa – a financial education organisation for young Africans to bring themselves and their families out of poverty. In this capacity she provides young people with financial advice to become economically empowered and financially literate. Through her campaign “Be Financially Intelligent” over a thousand young people took part in activities that would benefit their future financial self. She has mentored over 50 young girls on financial literacy through the G7 initiative and has become passionate about bringing financial stability to young people in poverty.
Founder: Lekeh Development Foundation
Muekara has been volunteering with an environmental group called Eco-Club, aimed at educating primary and secondary school students to learn about their environment and how to take action. Through campaigning, he has raised awareness of issues from dropping litter in the playground to the illegal cutting down of trees and engaged his community to take responsibility for their planet. Muekara also teaches subjects including Maths and English, educating students on the Sustainable Development Goals. His aim is to raise global leaders across the 24 schools his Eco-club has reached, empowering young people to make a change.
Founder: The Invasion Foundation Nigeria
Marvellous founded “The Invasion Foundation” which carries out free breast and prostate cancer screening in Nigeria – a country which has one of the worst cancer:death ratios in the world. Cancer statistics in Nigeria were so alarming that Marvellous became determined to lead the fight against cancer and so far his efforts have directly affected 8,000 lives and saved more than 50 Nigerians from needless deaths. Through the foundation, Marvellous has gathered a volunteer base of 350 college students, making it the first youth led cancer initiative in the country. Marvellous is a trail blazer, he identified the gap in the healthcare system and plunged into it.
Founder: Pearls Africa Foundation
Described as a ‘strong and fearless’ leader in the volunteering field, Mariam inspires and educates young people to also become volunteers. At the age of just 22, Mariam has already volunteered for over 100 organisations. After attending a developer meet-up where she was the only female present, Mariam was inspired to encourage more girls to take up coding. Currently volunteering with Pearls Africa Foundation (popularly known as Girls Coding, a CNN Heroes Top Ten Nominee 2018) Mariam motivates young women with her communication, negotiation and programming skills, leading them through their own personal and professional development.
About The Award
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.
This is the longest running award for young people that is given to individuals and groups through a retrospective nomination process only. We believe this is special. “Young people do not work towards the award, rather they demonstrate their suitability through their actions, without any expectation of reward”.