The Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Affairs Division has scooped ‘Communicator of the Year Award 2012’ for its innovative youth-led website YourCommonwealth.org.
Director Katherine Ellis and Youth Affairs Officer Layne Robinson received the award on 26 April at an inaugural ceremony in London to mark 63 years since the establishment of the modern Commonwealth.
Mr Robinson asked for continued support for the site, and accepted the award in the name of the young people of the Commonwealth.
The Nexus Commonwealth Awards recognises the achievements of individuals, organisations and businesses that are helping to move the Commonwealth forward.
YourCommonwealth.org, designed by London agency Earth Branding, was launched in 2011 as an interactive site for young people, students and youth leaders from across the Commonwealth to engage with each other and contribute to global debates from a youth perspective.
The ceremony was presided over by Lord Watson of Richmond, Chairman of Nexus Strategic Partnerships, and was attended by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, Deputy-Secretaries General Ransford Smith and Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, High Commissioners and eminent Commonwealth guests.
The site enables young people below the age of 30 to get involved in Commonwealth issues, either by writing articles, submitting short films, or commenting on other posts. It is also linked to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
Importantly, YourCommonwealth.org houses the work of ‘Commonwealth Correspondents’ – a pioneering network of young and aspiring journalists from around the world who publish their interviews and comment on issues of concern.
Ms Ellis said the site was created to enable young people to directly participate in the work of the Commonwealth and to contribute to fresh thinking around the future of the association.
“Youth empowerment is an active process. A key part of advocating for young people is providing the space for them to be part of the change.
“With more than 50 per cent of Commonwealth citizens under the age of 25, the contribution of young people is an essential part of development and progress. It is an honour that YourCommonwealth.org has been recognised in this way.
“Our congratulations go to all the young people who have led the way by using and developing the site into a dynamic, inclusive online space.”
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