Barbadian youth among 20 to be recognised by Commonwealth
Bridgetown – The first virtual Commonwealth Youth Awards ceremony will be held next Wednesday, with four people from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) among 20 young inventors, activists and entrepreneurs who have been named finalists.
Barbadian youth leader Taahir Bulbulia is among the youth to be recognised. Bulbulia is founder of the Sports Science Society, a student-based organisation that promotes the holistic benefits of sport and provides mentorship to at-risk youth on mental health, sports law and drug prevention.
The awards recognise outstanding young people in the Commonwealth whose projects are transforming lives in their communities and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The show, which is being done virtually due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will be live-streamed on Facebook and aired in partnership with major regional outlets and news agencies, such as the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) via its pan-Caribbean channel, CaribVision and terrestrial stations across the region. It will feature A-list regional acts such as Skinny Fabulous and capture the journey of the finalists.
Five regional winners and the 2021 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will be announced. A select number of young people will also be recognised as “COVID-19 Heroes” for their efforts in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic in their communities.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards recognise outstanding Commonwealth young people whose projects are transforming lives in their communities and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 20 finalists from 18 countries were chosen from more than 1 000 nominations received from 43 Commonwealth countries.
Among them are Taahir Bulbulia of Barbados and Dawsher Charles of Trinidad and Tobago, whose focus is SDG 4 – quality education.
Grenadian Bevon Chadel Charles, whose focus is on SDG 2 – zero hunger, and Jubilanté Cutting of Guyana, with a focus on SDG 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure, were the other two finalists from the region.
Bulbulia is the founder of the Sports Science Society, a student-based organisation that promotes the holistic benefits of sport and provides mentorship to at-risk youth on mental health, sports law and drug prevention. The programme has trained 30 volunteers across 10 organisations and reached 500 young people in the region, particularly helping to tackle bullying and mental health issues.
Dawsher is the founder of Survival Scholars, a project that promotes self-care, good mental health and well-being to at-risk and disadvantaged youths through social and emotional learning skills, the arts and storytelling. The project has reached over 6000 young people and parents and equipped youths with stressor coping mechanisms for school and life, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bevon founded Akata Farms, which is an organisation that aims to create sustainable farms and livelihoods across the Caribbean through climate-smart agriculture. The farms operate across 100 acres providing fresh, quality goods in-person and online, and the organization provides peer-to-peer mentorship to young people, particularly women, looking to start businesses in agriculture.
Jubilanté is the founder of the Guyana Animation Network, which raises awareness and advocates for youth opportunities and skills training in digital media, animation and the STEM subjects. The programme includes Digital Summer Camps, a Girls in ICT initiative and mentorship support.
The programme has trained over 300 young people in ICT and entrepreneurship, and supported critical online training in business marketing and digital skills. (CMC)