Nigerian Ayodeji Osowobi named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 (picture, video)

Nigerian Ayodeji Osowobi named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 (picture, video)

A 28-year-old Nigerian, Ayodeji Osowobi, has been named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 Year, becoming the first Nigerian recipient of such prestigious honour.

She won the award on Wednesday, March 13, and was presented the gong by Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth secretary-general at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s London headquarters.

Nigeria’s Osowobi was recognised alongside other “exceptional young people from India, the Solomon Islands and Saint Lucia have won prizes at the 2019 Commonwealth Youth Awards in recognition of their efforts to end hunger, sexual violence, sanitation issues and climate change.”

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The winners shared a £12,000 grant for their innovative projects.

The Commonwealth Youth Awards regional winners are:

Africa and Europe: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Nigeria, focus on SDG 5: Gender Equality

Asia: Padmanaban Gopalan, India, focus on SDG 2: Zero Hunger

The Caribbean and Canada: Johanan Dujon, Saint Lucia, focus on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The Pacific: Bobby Siarani, Solomon Islands, focus on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Owosobi won the award with her project tagged the ‘Stand to End Rape’ (STER) initiative.

A survivor of sexual violence herself, she set up the service to offer support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse in Nigeria.

STER trains healthcare workers on how to deal with survivors and provides them with free health kits such as HIV tests.

Speaking at the awards, she said: “I dream of a future where this work is not required. I dream of the day when sexual violence is completely eradicated from this world.”

Owosobi’s work has reached over 200,000 people providing pro-bono medical, legal, mental health, educational and empowerment services.

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Meanwhile, in the later part of the year 2018, another young Nigerian, Ugenyi Igbokwe, made Nigeria proud in the Atoms Empowering Africa youth video competition.

Ugenyi's video tagged “sustainable development goals” was adjudged as 'special' by the jury of the competition.

The award ceremony to honour Ugenyi and other young Africans with outstanding videos submitted for the competition took place in Johannesburg on Tuesday, October 16.

Winners also travelled to Russia on all expenses paid trip in late November 2018. The competition was open to the public and an independent jury who cast their votes to determine the winners.

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