Tongan Woman Selected To Receive Queen's Young Leaders Award

Elizabeth Kite recognized for work on disability and education programs

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Dec. 7, 2016) – Elizabeth Kite from Tonga is one of 60 young people selected across the Commonwealth to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award from HMQueen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in London next year.

This year’s award winners are leading projects tackling global issues, including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

Elizabeth was selected in recognition of her commitment to leading educational initiatives for young people and those living with disabilities.

She co-hosts a radio programme led by the Talitha Project, aiming to help young women and girls make wise, informed life decisions on issues such as reproductive health.

She also volunteers at The Mango Tree Centre for the disabled, which provides rehabilitative therapy, education and vocational training to disabled Tongans. She currently teaches a braille class to visually impaired students.

“I am humbled and very happy to accept this honour. I accept that with this great privilege comes greater responsibility,” said Elizabeth.

“I am very greatful for the current support I have from certain figures here in Tonga which will compliment the support from the Queen's Young Leaders Programme in achieving the goals we have for our Kingdom.” 

She intends to use the opportunity “to address the concerns of the under-represented groups whose rights I believe need to be recognised equally; women's and girls, youth and those living with disabilities.”

Elizabeth already has projects in progress for 2017 and other projects planned to address those issues.

Driving change

The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards, in its third and penultimate year, recognises exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 years in the Commonwealth who are driving change in their communities and transforming people’s lives.

The Award winners will join the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme while in London and receive bespoke training, mentoring and networking opportunities. This includes a week-long residential programme to empower them and build on the work they are leading in their communities to positively change people’s lives.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme was established in 2014 by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief, the Royal Commonwealth Society and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, in recognition of the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

Chief Executive of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said the work undertaken by the 60 winners is addressing some of the most crucial issues facing the Commonwealth today.

“We cannot wait to see how their impressive endeavours grow and develop over the course of the year to come and beyond.”

A list of Award winners are published at www.queensyoungleaders.com

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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