A St. Lucian, Johanan Dujon, has joined four other young people as winners of this year’s Commonwealth Awards. The others are from Nigeria, India, and the Solomon Islands. They were rewarded by the body for their contribution to ending sexual violence, hunger, sanitation issues, as well as climate change.
The four beneficiaries of the award will share a £12,000 grant for their different innovative projects. The St. Lucian won in the Canadian and Caribbean category which focused on UN SDG 9. SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals. The number 9 means it focuses on infrastructure, innovation, and industry.
Dujon is the founder of a St. Lucian indigenous biotech company called “Algas Organics.” The company produces commercial quantities of agricultural products from the harmful Sargassum seaweed. The other winners are:
Padmanaban Gopalan from India. He won the Asian category for SDG 2 focusing on hunger. He established a program known as “No Food Waste” in India. The program sees 12,000 volunteers visit restaurants and parties to collect leftover food. The food is delivered to hunger spots scattered around India where the hungry gain access to the food.
Bobby Sirani from the Solomon Islands is an advocate for sustainable livelihoods. He set up a biogas initiative with the aim of addressing sanitation and waste disposal issues. Over 500 young people have been trained by the program and clean energy has been provided to several rural communities too.
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi from Nigeria won the Africa and Europe category. She focused on SDG 5 which deals with Gender equality. She also won the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 for her “Stand to End Rape” initiative. The initiative helps people, both men, and women, who are being faced with gender-based abuse.
The awards are held yearly to recognize the efforts of young people from 15 to 29 from 53 Commonwealth nations.