Queen Elizabeth II of England is set to honour three young Ugandans with a prestigious award for improving the lives of others.
The Queen will present Bazil Mwotta Biddemu, Elizabeth Kasujja and Stephen Katende with the Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, on Tuesday 26th June.
The Award recognises the work that young people from across the Commonwealth are doing to transform lives in their community and beyond.
Bazil from Kampala will receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for the work he is doing helping farmers in his community to thrive by founding AgroDuuka, which allows them access to information about market prices for produce in their region.
Elizabeth from Kampala will receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for the work she is doing using technology to transform the lives of people living with mental health by co-founding Clear Yo Mind, which creates secure online platforms for people to express their feelings and access free help from mental health professionals.
Stephen will receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for the work he is doing to ensure that children in rural areas of Uganda are able to complete their education, founding Kisoboka Africa, which runs School Community Banks that allow parents to save, borrow and invest for their children’s education.
Bazil, Elizabeth and Stephen were selected following a competitive process involving thousands of applicants across the Commonwealth.
Together they join a network of 240 powerful young leaders, from 53 Commonwealth countries, who are driving change to make the world a better place.
The 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.
“Meeting The Queen is a dream come true,” said 24 year old Basil.
“In 2007, I compiled a book about Uganda and requested the administration at my Primary School to allow me to present it to The Queen on her visit to Uganda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but my request was rejected. I’m looking forward to meeting her this time.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners take part in a year-long leadership course run by the University of Cambridge and receive bespoke mentoring.
They will visit the UK for a programme of high-profile networking opportunities, meetings and training designed to help them develop as leaders and work with ever greater impact.
Later this month, during their time in the UK, Bazil, Elizabeth and Stephen will visit 10 Downing Street, take part in masterclasses at the BBC World Service and the UK Headquarters of Facebook.
Award winners will then meet with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and High Commissioners from across the Commonwealth, before receiving their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. They will also attend workshops at the University of Cambridge and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said, “Through selfless determination, the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2018 are dedicating their lives to bring positive change to those around them. Their visit to the UK this June provides them with a unique opportunity to connect with each other and gain valuable lessons from experts and leaders from all walks of life which we hope will help transform the reach of their endeavours for many years to come.”