A young person from Nigeria is honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.
Toluwalashe Soyemi aged 20, from Nigeria, has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.
PROTOSTAR INITIATIVE LAGOS, NIGERIA, AGE: 20
After losing his friend to suicide, Tolu co-founded Protostar Initiative, a youth-led social venture committed to providing mental health education in communities whilst advocating for the destigmatisation of mental health conditions. As the Team Lead, Tolu works with local communities to train young people in mental health first aid and raise awareness in schools and other youth organisations. These training sessions dispel common myths and help people to recognise symptoms and access support mechanisms for mental health conditions. Tolu is campaigning for a world in which everyone is educated on mental health and where every person with a mental health condition can access the support they need. In lieu to the pandemic, his team has launched an online platform www.protostar.com.ng where they would be providing online mental health services to youths for free while allowing people to share their own stories of stigma and bullying as it relates to their mental health conditions.
Apart from his work in the mental health space, Tolu also runs an Incubator where he facilitates sessions on social entrepreneurship and impact for groups on students in his university- training on personal development, capacity building and social impact sessions (logical framework, M&E etc).
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says:
“We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make a positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
WHAT IS THE NOMINATION PROCESS?
Award recipients have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.
There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further three panels representing countries outside of the UK. Each panel consist of three judges; one young person, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation/country will receive The Diana Award.
Nominations are judged using the Criteria Guide and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure the quality of youth social action.
About The Diana Award
Being the most prestigious award any young changemakers below 25 can receive, the Diana Award develops and inspires positive change in the lives of young people through three key programmes which include; a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led anti-bullying ambassadors campaign and a prestigious award which publicly recognises young people – The Diana Award.
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