Queen's Young Leaders Awards 2015
We were delighted when three of our Young Voices campaigners were awarded the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2015.
The three campaigners, Ashwini Angadi, Leroy Phillips and Yaaseen Edoo received their awards from Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 23 June.
The high profile accolades are part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, a unique new initiative run in partnership with Comic Relief, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the Royal Commonwealth Society. The programme enables young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.
Ashwini Angadi is from Karnataka, India. She campaigns for inclusive and quality education for children with disabilities.
She was educated at a charitable hostel, then went on to university in Bangalore, graduating in 2012 at the top of her class.
In 2013, Ashwini received the Youth Courage Award for Education from Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.
Ashwini now works through her trust and has started a small school for 15 visually impaired children from rural areas of Karnataka.
Ashwini has also been appointed as Global Ambassador on Education for A World at School. She advocates for the education of girls across the globe through online campaigns and media discussions.
‘I am passionate about disabled children going to school, as an education helps them to get a job and provide an income for both them and their family. It also gives them a foundation to make their own way in life and fight for their rights, empowering them to earn respect from their family and friends.’
Leroy Phillips is president of Young Voices in Guyana. He is a dedicated campaigner for the rights of young persons with disabilities.
He worked hard to get a good education, despite experiencing discrimination at school. He is now an established radio presenter in Guyana and his regular show does much to raise awareness of disability issues.
He is also a keen cricketer and was recently selected to play for the West Indies at the Blind Cricket World Cup in South Africa this year.
He is passionate about inclusive education and, like Ashwini, is a Global Ambassador on Education for A World at School.
‘Acquiring an education wasn’t easy for me as I faced intense discrimination because of my disability. There were no trained teachers or assistive technologies. At times I was ignored in the classroom altogether.’
Mohammed Yasseen Edoo taught himself to read despite not attending primary school in Mauritius. With the support of teachers he was able to enter secondary school and eventually gain a degree in multimedia and web technologies.
An enthusiastic campaigner for the rights of persons with disabilities, he attended the 7th Conference of State Parties to the UNCRPD and spoke about disability rights. He has given talks to students with disabilities on how to get the best out of their education. He is also a Global Ambassador on Education for A World at School.
‘It was life changing going to school. For the first time in my life I was in a class with other children. It was a great and enriching experience and I made friends and felt like any other student.’