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LONDON, Mar 15 2017 – Tricia Teekah from Guyana has been named Commonwealth Caribbean Young Person of the Year.

Teekah co-founded the Guyana National Youth Council with the aim of enhancing youth empowerment, engagement, inclusion and participation.

She led the ‘Vote Like a Boss’ campaign, a youth voter education initiative which used private sector partnerships to educate young voters. The campaign reached more than 16,000 young people within a month and more than 1,300 young people participated in an online geo-mapping exercise on voter issues.

She also pioneered the formation of a core committee for the establishment of a National Students’ Movement in Guyana and lobbied for student bodies in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.

On learning of her award, Tricia said: “I hope it will inspire young people not only in Guyana and the Caribbean region but across the Commonwealth to be bold and to take ownership of the future of their communities and the world at large.”

“Receiving this award for a project crafted on the principles of democracy, human rights, youth political participation and engagement is a reflection and commitment of the Commonwealth Secretariat to Article 13 of the Charter of the Commonwealth. It promulgates the rewards and fruits of teamwork, partnership and private sector collaboration in light of the tremendous success of the project.

“This award will increase awareness of a relatively new, youth-led and independent National Youth Council in Guyana and its innovative initiatives that are intended to encourage youth contribution to development and creating a sustainable environment. It will be leverage to further engage all stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and collaboration.”

The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work, an initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s youth programme, celebrate outstanding young adults aged under 30 who are leading initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to peace-building.

This year’s winners, drawn from over 200 entries, are recognised for spearheading projects that will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals – a set of 17 global targets that governments have committed to achieve by 2030.

The awards ceremony was held on March 15 at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth’s headquarters in London.

Awards were presented by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who praised all this year’s finalists for their efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s winners were drawn from a shortlist of 17 finalists from 13 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Uganda and United Kingdom.

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