Young Leaders Three Ghanaians recognised by UK Queen for their social responsibility work

Elijah Amoo Addo, Winnifred Selby and Efua Asibon were all selected from a pool of 3,000 applications who are “exceptional young people across the Commonwealth”.

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Three young Ghanaians have been recognised for their work in the country, winning the Queen's Young Leaders Awards 2017.

Elijah Amoo Addo, Winnifred Selby and Efua Asibon were all selected from a pool of 3,000 applications who are “exceptional young people across the Commonwealth”.

Elijah Amoo Addo, 26, is a Ghanaian chef dedicated to feeding the vulnerable and combating food waste.

He is the Founder and Executive Director of Food for All Ghana, a non-profit that takes excess food from producers and suppliers and redistributes it to those in need.

They go to schools, orphanages, hospitals and villages in their quest to make sure everyone eats. The charity estimates it has provided more than 50, 000 free meals so far.

Elijah and his team also work to educate and encourage those in the food industry in Ghana to reduce food waste.

On winning the award, he told Pulse Ghana he was excited for the recognition for his and his team.

“It tells me the efforts that myself and the team have been putting in place for the past year in terms of advocacy, in terms of recovery it is really going down. It means people are getting our messages. People are looking out to practice what we are doing.”

He has received international media coverage for his efforts, which he believed led to the award.

Efua Asibon has also been named in the awards. She helps to raise awareness of disabilities and improve teaching in special education schools. She is the co-founder of Dislabelled, an organisation which provides a teacher training programme called SustainAbility, offers a scholarship fund for disabled children and is currently organising a forum for parents of disabled children.

Dislabelled also gives teaching materials to schools, and leads the ThisAbility summer programme – an initiative which exposes children with autism to new activities like robotics, arts and crafts.

Dislabelled has so far worked with six special education schools and brought benefits to the lives of over 200 disabled people.

The third Ghanaian to be named on the programme is entrepreneur Winnifred Selby. She is committed to creating socially responsible job and educational opportunities for young women and vulnerable groups.

She is the co-founder of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, a social enterprise which builds lowcost bikes from bamboo. The organisation now employs 35 people and commits 15 percent of its profits to the EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative, of which Winnifred is President.

In this role, she promotes education and life chances for refugee children and girls from deprived communities. She leads a variety of programmes to help over 10,000 girls.

These include the provision of uniforms, educational supplies and menstrual pads to try to curb the high rates of school absenteeism. Winnifred hopes to set up an alternative education system for girls who have never previously been to school, in order to better prepare them for entering mainstream education.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is a partnership between The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Comic Relief, The Royal Commonwealth Society and The University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education. The programme “discovers, celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the commonwealth”.

It was launched last year and searches for young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from The Queen.

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