The Global Good Awards has today announced this year’s finalists for the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award. The awards recognises young leaders who are driving positive change across any area of sustainability and use their examples to encourage others to take action.
Now in its fourth year, the category is sponsored by and encourages young people from around the world are invited to share their story of making positive change in the world. The category was originally inspired by Canon EMEA’s Young People Programme, which gives young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle sustainability issues that matter to them using creativity and critical thinking.
A total of 10 finalists have been shortlisted, following judging by a panel including art activist and Dianna Award winner, Ally Zlatar, Sustainability advisor and author of Be the Change Books, Georgina Stevens, WaterAid’s Head of Corporate Partnerships, Katie Grace, and photographer and Canon Ambassador, Laura El-Tantawy. The winners of the under 16s and under 21s categories are both set to be announced in a virtual awards ceremony on 12th July:
Under 16s category
• Raheen Fatima – Activist
Raheen is a 15-year-old trailblazer, inspiring activist and podcaster who has educated over 5,000 young minds through her theatre plays on child abuse and gender equality. To achieve this, she has conducted over 500 online and in-person sessions on topics including climate change, education, and peace, helping people from more than 20 countries.
• Gauri Gupta – Art ki paathshala
Gauri is an activist who has worked to build a community of young girls worldwide who aspire to be future changemakers. So far, she has taught free virtual computer programming lessons and leadership classes to 500+ students and successfully organized and led a girls-only coding contest on the Sustainable Development Goals for 80+ middle school girls from 10 states and 3 countries.
• Ethan David Hill – Heart Bags4Blessings
After noticing an unhoused man when he was 6 years old, Ethan used his money to purchase supplies for him. Since then, he has helped to create the first of its kind ‘Ethan’s Heart Free Mobile Store and Educational Unit’, which is a fully customised trailer that serves as a mobile store where individuals shop free of charge for the supplies that they need.
• Madiha Javed and Sarah Javed – Book-o-phile Library
Madiha and Sarah helped to set up Book-o-phile, a free library project that aims to provide access to books and other reading material to individuals who may not have access to traditional libraries. This project involves buildings small libraries typically in public spaces, that are stocked with books donated by the community members.
• Kushal Khemani – Redefining Education for Teachers
Kushal is a trainer at a teacher’s training institute, STEM academy instructor and a research intern at a sustainable development organisation who has helped to not only teach students himself, but also enable teachers to educate 1,000s of students online through innovative new ideas in the education sector.
Under 21s category
• Ahamisi Godsfavour – I Go Vote – Redeeming Africa’s Democracy
Ahamisi helped to set up and run Igovote, a mobile application designed to revolutionise the electoral process in Nigeria by helping citizens to access critical information about candidates, monitor elections, report electoral malpractices, and provide real-time feedback to electoral officials.
• Victórya Leal Atlmayer Silva – Thinking Beyond and Game-changing with Circular Economy
Victórya has developed a number of different projects to help advance the circular economy in Brazil and the wider Global South, including an app that connects thrift stores to consumers, a mathematical equation to help understand the behaviour of young Brazilians in the circular economy, and an educational board and mobile app game.
• Jodie Bailey-Ho – Teach the Teacher
Jodie is a coordinator for Teach the Teacher, a global, student-led campaign to embed effective, informative, and well-integrated climate education into schools. She has helped to provide training, resources and support for young people, empowering them to deliver climate education training to their own teachers.
• Manyasiri (Pear) Chotbunwong – HER (Health. Equity. Respect.)
Manyasiri is the founder of HER (Health. Equity. Respect.), a feminine health non-profit organisation providing period products, education, healthcare, and employment to underserved women. To date, they have distributed over 10,000 reusable and FDA-approved sugarcane fibre pads to women in five countries, supported by partnerships with 30+ schools and NGOs.
• Olivia Mandle Navarro - #Noespaisparadelfines
Olivia is an animal rights activist, environmental warrior and leading youth voice on environmental issues in Spain. Her current campaign, #noespaisparadelfines, has gathered more than 155,000 signatures calling for the Spanish government to close all of the dolphinariums in Spain and the end to cetaceans in captivity.
Judge, photographer and Canon Ambassador Laura El-Tantawy said, “Judging the global good awards provided great insight into the pulse of the future generation — their drive, ambition and dreams for a better and healthier planet and self. It’s an incredibly positive outlook into what is to come. The future is bright with young people like that in our world.”
Runners up will receive a Canon EOS 4000D camera and kit lens to help them to their efforts and achievements through visual storytelling, as well as a certificate, while the winners will each receive a Canon EOS 250D, kit lens and 50mm lens.
Last year’s winners included Netra Venkatesh and Nabilah Chowdhury, who were recognised for their work in supporting their local communities across education, equality and wildlife conservation.
For the first time, Canon has also sponsored a new education category at the Global Good Awards called the YPP Partner of the Year Award. The category is designed to recognise organisations that have played a major role in supporting Canon’s Young People Programme, which to date has helped more than 6,750 young people across EMEA to make their voices heard on sustainability issues.
Following a review of entries by a panel of judges including Steve Kenzie, Executive Director UN Global Compact Network UK, and Hassan Raja, former Canon Young People Programme participant and now Digital Comms Officer for the Mayor of London, five finalists have been announced for the award:
• Lens on Life DRC
Lens on Life partnered with Canon Central & North Africa in 2021 and 2022 to run photography and education workshops for young people in the DRC. Alumni from the programme now have access to paid field-based internships through Lens on Life’s partner Eastern Congo Initiative to kick-start their photography careers.
• Ilmastonmuutos lukioihin - Oulu Climate Change in Secondary Schools
In 2022, photographer Harri Tarvainen and the Ilmastonmuutos lukioihin project worked with Canon Finland to organise photography courses for young people in the Oulu area, with a focus on climate change. The courses were hold in two different schools with almost 40 participants. After the course, each participant selected portrait of herself and best photo to participate local exhibitions.
• Ça Bouge GRAVE 93
Social impact organisation Ça Bouge GRAVE 93 partnered with Canon France and photographer Axelle de Russé to run a series of workshops dedicated to creating an exhibition showcasing equality between men and women. The young participants created stunning photographic works that were showcased publicly in Saint-Ouen, France.
• Manos Unidas
Education charity Manos Unidas, in collaboration with Canon Ambassador Jaime de Diego and Canon Spain, ran three face-to-face workshops and several online sessions for student in eight different regions of Spain. A total of 158 participants learned about the SDGs, resulting in 29 different photographic stories covering a range of sustainability topics including gender equality, climate action and responsible consumption.
• Everyday Refugees Jordan
With support from Canon Middle East, the Everyday Refugees Foundation ran a programme where 15 Jordanians and 15 refugee students took part in a six-week course on the SDGs and visual storytelling. The students were able to learn from one another, and the refugee students left their camp to explore SDG topics in a new environment to help advance their education.
The Canon category winners will be showcased alongside other GGA award winners at the virtual awards ceremony on 12th July and will be included in a GGA Winners’ event on 12th October, which will bring the 2023 finalists together from all backgrounds to discuss how we make positive change.
For full details regarding the finalists and the Global Good Awards, please visit: https://globalgoodawards.co.uk/2023-gga-finalists/
The Global Good Awards are already accepting interest for the 2024 awards, and you can register your interest here: https://globalgoodawards.co.uk/rewarding-young-people/