Pakistani social activist to receive young leadership award from Queen Elizabeth
Salman Ahmed from Pakistan is one of 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community. These 60 young people are the first ever to receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
The award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in June and is part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.
This year’s award winners, aged between 18 and 29, and who come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ahmad from Lahore, Pakistan is co-founder of the GADE Foundation, which aims to encourage and support entrepreneurship among students. He has been selected in recognition of his work to champion disability rights. After gaining a Commonwealth scholarship to study at the University of Liverpool, where he was named International Business Student of the Year, Ahmad returned home determined to improve the lives of other disabled citizens. He plans to campaign for schools to become inclusive, by providing facilities for people with disabilities.
Aaron Hape, a Queen’s Young Leaders Advisory Panel member from New Zealand said, “It was a truly humbling experience to see the kind of work that young people are carrying out across the Commonwealth and across a diverse range of issues. As a panel member I feel very proud to have been given the opportunity to work with the programme and be part of selecting the very best from an already amazing pool of talented young people.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is a new initiative established by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of the queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Over the next four years, the programme will support thousands of young people. In addition to the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards, the programme will provide grants to support organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people to transform their lives.
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said, “The leadership of talented young people in all spheres of life can transform communities and societies for the better. What the 60 young people announced today have achieved is remarkable and their plans for the future are truly inspiring. The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is poised to unlock the potential of this diverse and talented group of young people and we are delighted to be supporting them to go further and achieve more.”