(L) Manyasiri ‘Pear’ Chotbunwong and (R) Raheen Fatima, U21s and U16s Canon Young Champion of the Year Award Winners
The Global Good Awards was founded in 2015 to recognise the businesses, NGOs, charities and social enterprises that are blazing the trail for purpose-driven sustainability and ethical leadership.
For the fourth year running, Canon and the Global Good Awards have partnered to recognise young people who are making positive change in the world through the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award, which invites anyone under 21 to share their story of driving social and environmental change. The award was originally inspired by Canon EMEA’s Young People Programme, which gives young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle the sustainability issues that matter to them using creativity and critical thinking.
Following a review of entries by a committee of judges including Author Georgina Stevens, Canon Ambassador Laura El-Tantawy and Activist Ally Zlatar. Raheen and Manyasiri were named the winners of the under 16s and under 21s categories.
The judges praised Raheen’s work as an activist, which has seen her help to educate young people around the world on a range of topics. Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a basis, she has run more than 500 online and in-person sessions covering climate change, education and gender equality, and has taught more than 5,000 young people from 20 different countries.
Meanwhile, Manyasiri ‘Pear’ Chotbunwong, founder of feminine health non-profit organisation H.E.R. (Health. Equity. Respect) was recognised for her efforts in supporting women’s access to period products, education, healthcare and employment. Through her organisation, she has helped to distribute over 10,000 reusable and FDA-approved sugarcane fibre pads to women in five countries through partnerships with 30+ schools and NGOs.
Both Raheen and Manyasiri will receive a Canon EOS 250D camera, a kit lens and 50mm lens to help them continue documenting their journeys as sustainability changemakers, inspiring others to also take action. Their stories will be showcased in October at The Purpose Summit, a new all-day event held by the Global Good Awards to both celebrate winners and discuss how to achieve sustainable change.
Non-profit organisation Lens on Life, supporting photography and computer literacy training for youth in various locations including Jordan, Congo (DRC) and Cameroon was revealed as the gold winner of the new YPP Partner of the Year award category. Recognised in silver place was Ça bouge grave, who support residents across Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine in France. through cultural, educational and integration projects. In bronze place was Finland’s Ilmastonmuutos lukioihin! who bring the theme of climate change into upper secondary school education.
Entries were judged by a panel including Steve Kenzie, Executive Director UN Global Compact Network UK, Katie Grace, Water Aid, and Hassan Raja, former Canon Young People Programme participant.
Earlier this year, Lens on Life teacher, Michel Lunanga, played a key role in the collaboration between Canon Europe and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) to ensure that a selection of youth delegates from across the 46 LDCs are present in the ten-year action plan. Michel advocates for social justice in DRC by developing and promoting a more representative range of voices and perspectives in photography. He is a graduate of the Canon Student Development Programme and is now a teacher at Lens on Life in their Congo school base in Goma, DRC.
The new, education-focused category is designed to recognise organisations that have played a major role in supporting the Canon Young People Programme, which to date has helped more than 6,750 young people across EMEA to make their voices heard on sustainability issues that matter to them and their communities.