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ANBAN ASHLAN RAJ
WORLD YOUTH LEADERS ORGANISATION_PENANG, MALAYSIA_20 

When Anban was 16, he and his classmates were introduced to a higher level of mathematics in which many of his peers struggled. He came up with his own special set of notes and after many painstaking hours of preparation, freely shared his notes with his classmates. Anban believes that with quality education, one could change the world given the opportunity. More recently, his ambitions to make education more accessible for all have grown, and he is now the Head Mentor for the ‘Youth Leaders Programme’, independently leading a team of international young leaders towards youth empowerment and leadership education. 

ASWINI RAMESH
LAW REWIRED_CHENNAI, INDIA_24 

In 2020, as the pandemic hit, Aswini started ‘Law Rewired’ – a portal aimed at enhancing legal awareness and legal aid amongst the lower-earning members of the society. Simultaneously, she also worked with several organisations and projects towards improving medical access for underprivileged children, promoting menstrual health and hygiene and combatting bullying. Through these initiatives, Aswini founded the first anti-bullying committee for her school, facilitated medical camps that have impacted over 3,800 students aged 5-17, and helped identify and refer 40 individuals requiring immediate medical attention and distributed biodegradable sanitary napkins to around 10,000 women who lacked access to basic menstrual hygiene products. 

KANTO RAVELOSON
BETTER TOMORROW_ ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR_21 

Kanto founded ‘Better Tomorrow’ in 2021, as a global youth organisation that works to give underprivileged young people the opportunity to study in a safe educational environment. Lack of access to adequate facilities and learning materials can lower educational achievement in schools, which is why Kanto launched this program in developing countries, where they renovate schools, provide water and adequate sanitation facilities, and offer resources and materials they need to thrive. Over the last 14 months, ‘Better Tomorrow’ has impacted over 200 lives and empowered over 80 local volunteers through chapters and programs in seven different countries and created a community of 120 changemakers from eight different countries around the world. 

ANWISHA REDDY
INCREDIBLE ART_HYDERABAD, INDIA_15 

Anwisha, founder of ‘Incredible Art’, strives to bring about economic development in local artisan communities. Having identified a core problem among these communities – lack of market access – she was prompted to take action, building an e-commerce platform to bring the market to the artisans. Unfortunately, the pandemic made communicating with the remote artisans impossible, and the platform had to be shut down. Yet she persevered, and learning from this experience, initiated phase two of her project, creating a self-sustaining, teachable, replicable platform to be owned by the artisans themselves. Since then, she has taught her platform to five artisan communities and helped over 1,100 people. 

GABRIELLE ROBERTS
CODE YOUR CHANCES_HINSDALE, UNITED STATES_25 

Gabrielle believes inequality in computer science education impacts equality in society. Her non-profit, ‘Code Your Chances’, offers free introductory computer science workshops focused on the creative uses of code including AR, VR, game development, visual effects, virtual production and creative uses of AI. The number of women in computer science has declined since the 90s, but the programmes Gabrielle runs for young girls are closing the gap, building confidence and preparing her students for success in the face of prejudice. Last year, Gabrielle expanded ‘Code Your Chances’ to include a Youth Leadership Board, with an international team of young leaders in STEM, many of whom Gabrielle has personally mentored. 

JACOB ROSENBERG
BITE BACK 2030_SUTTON, ENGLAND_17 

Jacob is passionate about creating a food system that makes it easy for all children and young people to be healthy, no matter who they are or where they live. Currently Vice-Chair of ‘Bite Back 2030’s National Youth Board’, he has played a central role in developing engaging campaigns, working to ensure the voices of other young people are heard by decision-makers, businesses, and the general public. Jacob’s advocacy work has been wide-ranging, from advising a BBC documentary team to giving evidence to government ministers. Whether he’s improving school food or making sports environments healthier, Jacob is changing the way we eat for the better. 

ISHA RAJEEV NAIR
GREEN GRATITUDE AND EMIRATES ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_9 

Isha’s vision is to create a greener world through her environmental initiatives. She has held the role of the Ambassador for ‘Green Gratitude’, a student led initiative for the preservation of environment, since the age of 4 and, more recently, school Head of Environment. She is responsible for mobilising volunteers to recycle used paper and reduce the usage of single use plastics. She also launched an ambitious and successful campaign to collect and donate pre-loved books to under-privileged schools who lack libraries in rural India. Currently Isha is working on more projects to set up libraries in North Eastern parts of India for children at the tea plantations. 

AANYA RAO
ART:CONNECT_SINGAPORE_16 

In 2018, Aanya was accompanying her father to his dialysis sessions, when she was struck by the monochromatic feel in the dialysis centre. In June 2020, Aanya founded ‘Art:Connect’, a student-led initiative connecting the student art community with residents and patients of healthcare centres. Their philosophy is underpinned by the slogan, “Art can, and will, heal the world”. In the last 18 months, the organisation has grown to 40+ volunteers from schools across Singapore, aiming to showcase the immense talent of young people and their art for the good of the community, and leverage the “healing power of art” to help patients and healthcare workers through their most difficult times. 

AYAN RAY
TAVISHI CHILDREN FOUNDATION_MUMBAI, INDIA_24 

Ayan has been an advocate for social change from an early age. He has made a considerable impact in raising funds and developing digital solutions that support underprivileged children, assist senior citizens with everyday tasks, and providing critical resources during the pandemic. His dedication towards the prevention of child abuse and passion towards empowering children led to the formation of ‘Tavishi Children Foundation’. Over the years, he has grown from leading a team of five people, to that of over forty that work to educate children and parents on topics such as anti-bullying, abuse prevention, and gender sensitisation.  

ABIJITH REJI
GEMS OUR OWN INDIAN SCHOOL_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_18 

Abijith’s project ‘Amma’, has initiated a sense of responsibility and goodwill in his school through its branches: ‘Warm Love’ – a campaign that aims to ensure that no one prays for warmth by donating clothes, ‘Nature’s Breath’– an initiative that has generated funds to several charities over the years, and ‘A Letter to Tomorrow’– a program that has reduced the usage of newspapers. During the holy month of Ramadan, Abijith has also visited labour camps for the past five years to distribute over 10,000 food packets to labourers so that they are able to break their fast, and over 5,000 labour kits for their safety and hygiene. 

ISABELA RODRIGUES SILVA
GIRLUPMUM_BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL_17 

When she was nine, Isabela shouldered many of the childcare responsibilities that her single working mother could not, including for her older brother who has cerebral palsy. It meant she couldn’t attend school full time, but instead she got up at 3 am every morning to study independently, investing in extra Spanish lessons, which she then taught to others in her community for free. In admiration for her mother’s strength in raising her and her siblings alone, she and her twin sister decided to honour strong women through campaigns, lectures and workshops on women’s rights, impacting a total of 300 people. 

VINI RUPCHANDANI
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF SHARJAH_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_19 

Vini’s overarching vision in university has been to empower youth to unlock their full potential and act on their dreams. She was instrumental in organising the first ever international chapter of the ‘Alpha Lambda Delta Honours Society’ at AUS and in doing so helped establish a community of young scholars and connect them with hundreds of other bright students across the USA. She also created a podcast called TeaWithGenZ that has thousands of listeners in over 30 countries, helping them to become more comfortable with their vulnerabilities, while providing them with tactile advice on how to overcome the challenges they are facing. 

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ALFREDO LORENZO SABLAY
MOVERS PROGRAMME_MANILA, PHILIPPINES_25 

Twelve years ago, Alfredo Lorenzo saw the need for urgent help to solve the lack of quality education and youth empowerment opportunities in his community. Starting back in high school, he taught children from a nearby slums area during the weekends, and his interest in making a positive impact in the community and lives of young people started to grow. As part of the ‘Movers Programme’, he has conducted 40 workshops for over 1,800 young people, aiming to help youth reach their full potential through awareness, knowledge, and meaningful engagement. Seeing the urgent need of fellow physicians, frontliners, and communities, he co-created an initiative providing relief and assistance during the start of the pandemic. 

ZIYA SAIFI
ADORE INDIA_GHAZIABAD, INDIA_21 

For over a year now, Ziya has conducted and organised nearly 400 activities at ‘Adore India’, a network of students and professionals that volunteer to create positive societal change in India. Her volunteering journey has included sessions for school students, workshops and webinars for college students besides several other initiatives like ‘Down-to-Earth’ and ‘Young Leaders Program’. From career development webinars to yoga workshops to arts and crafts sessions, Ziya is helping to create a positive impact on young people, enabling them to learn, grow and improve their knowledge and skills for better personal, professional, physical and mental wellbeing. 

RAFA SATTAR
FERA FOUNDATION INC_NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES_24 

Rafa has always been passionate about women’s and children’s rights and was alarmed by the scale of learning losses during a nationwide school shutdown in Bangladesh. As she began remotely teaching English at a girls’ orphanage, she was saddened to see her students losing their motivation to pursue higher studies. During school shutdowns, Rafa founded a non-profit and a global teaching fellowship from the United States to provide remote schooling and tele-health services to disadvantaged children in Bangladesh. For the past two years, she has coordinated 100 weekly online classes for 450+ underprivileged children in four orphanages, six village schools, and a childcare center in the Daulatdia brothel. 

VICTORIA (TORY) SELWYN
HEADUCATE_HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND_25 

In 2019, Victoria was elected President of ‘Headucate’ – a university student-led society, established in 2012 at the University of East Anglia, that promotes mental health awareness, tackles stigma and combats discrimination. When the pandemic hit, Victoria led the team in developing innovative online interactive webinars, reaching over 1,000 students throughout the academic year, as well as leading several outreach and fundraising projects and events, including 24-hour live stream shows about mental health, sponsored walks, fundraising galas, a mental health conference and Q&A sessions. Her efforts have raised almost £3,500 for 11 different mental health and wellbeing-related charities in 2020 alone. 

AKSHAT SHAH
CHANGE IS US_MUMBAI, INDIA_21 

At the age of 18, Akshat co-founded the organisation, ‘Change Is Us’ with a friend, holding regular beach cleans up at the Girgaum Chowpatty Beach, spreading environmental and societal awareness while offering an active solution for the problem. To date, the organisation has diverted more than 150 tonnes of waste from the beach. Akshat has also coordinated distribution of food and menstrual products to people in need, as well as conducting webinars and online competitions aimed at motivating thousands of people to make small or big positive changes and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. 

SIDHANT SHARMA
GET SET LEARN WITH YUVA UNSTOPPABLE_MUMBAI, INDIA_17 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sidhant enabled uninterrupted education for over 9,000 children from economically challenged homes, while supporting reading literacy. In 2019, seeing the state of public-school libraries, he founded ‘Get Set Read’, with curated library kits and reading programs. He then created and distributed story videos reaching 300,000 views. Recognising the large digital divide, Sidhant initiated ‘Get Set Learn’, raising an initial ₹ 9.5 million, which grew with ‘YUVA’ and corporate support, for digital devices to help students continue their education. Almost 70% of tablets have been given to girls. Sidhant also initiated a drive involving free internet connectivity to young people taking the COVID-19 vaccine. 

PRASIDDHI SINGH
PRASIDDHI FOREST FOUNDATION_CHENGALPATTU, INDIA_9 

Prasiddhi has always been interested in nature, drawing her inspiration from trees, bees, and seas. In 2018, she founded ‘Prasiddhi Forest Foundation’ with two missions: to keep planting trees to enhance biodiversity, and to bring people together to continue to spread awareness about the environment and climate change. Prasiddhi has planted 45,000 saplings and created 28 fruit forests to enhance biodiversity, curb climate change and support the local community. With over 16,000 eco-warriors across the globe, she has conducted over 200 awareness sessions and inspired over 50,000 participants to get involved. For all her efforts, she has been awarded ‘Prime Minister National Child’ and ‘Earth Day Rising Star’. 

HARMANJOT SINGH
JODHAMAL PUBLIC SCHOOL_JAMMU, INDIA_14 

During the pandemic, Harmanjot used his spare time at home to teach himself to code, and began developing free apps that help to address social issues, including women’s safety, mental health, and cyber-bullying. The ‘Raksha-Women Safety app’ provides features like messaging family members instantly, finding and calling nearby police stations, and guiding users through various safety tips. The ‘Calmify-Mental Healthcare app’ has helped many to adapt to changes and adversity during the pandemic, and the ‘CyberBuddy-Anti Cyber Bullying app’ has helped many children in the school to use technology safely and responsibly. 

ROSALIND SKILLEN
KEEP NORTHERN IRELAND BEAUTIFUL_ BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND_23 

Rosalind is driving an important conversation about the climate crisis in Northern Ireland. She is passionate about the importance of a ‘just transition’ and ensuring that no one is left behind in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Through her outreach work at ‘Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’ and her voluntary contribution to non-profits like Friends of the Earth and Tearfund, she has educated diverse groups of people on climate change and delivered countless climate action projects across communities. As an environmental journalist and youth advocate, she promotes youth participation in environmental policymaking, encouraging young people to engage in politics and inspiring them to use their voices to shape the future. 

DIVYA SREE SURESH BABU
DELHI PRIVATE SCHOOL, SHARJAH_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_17 

Divyasree has been actively involved in spreading breast cancer awareness for the past seven years. She is the founder of ‘Save Your Queen’ and director, brand ambassador, and volunteer of the ‘Protect Your Mom’ campaign through which she has spread awareness about self-examination and early detection. She has conducted many awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and other social platforms, donated her hair three times and interviewed doctors to share authentic information. She has conducted pink chess tournaments and art competitions to spread the message to young people in a simple and effective way. 

RAMNA SAEED
PUNJAB, PAKISTAN_20 

Ramna was brought up in a male-dominated society, where she has seen women suffering under patriarchal oppression inside and outside their homes. After seeing a documentary on the honour killing of a girl from her city in 2016, she dedicated herself to pursuing a career in media and journalism to give a voice to the voiceless. As well as shining a light on the issues, she has also set up mentoring sessions for the victims and survivors of domestic abuse and bullying and helped create safe spaces for girls and women in her community to speak about sexual harassment and bullying they experience on a day-to-day basis. 

ZAIN SAMDANI
EXOHEAL_BREMEN, INDIA_21 

In the summer of 2015, during Zain’s family vacation, he met one of his distant uncles for the very first time. He was shocked to learn that his uncle was paralyzed, unable to even use a spoon. Since then, Zain has strived to make robotics rehabilitation more affordable and accessible for paralysed patients. He started his initiative, ExoHeal at the age of 16 and has since helped more than 50 patients have faster rehabilitation and has enabled over 100 patients to feel empowered. In addition, Zain is an avid advocate for mental health, now developing a platform to eliminate loneliness. 

SHREY SAXENA
GROWDIESEL CLIMATE CARE COUNCIL_NEW DELHI, INDIA 

In April 2020, governments were looking for ways to increase detection and control of COVID-19, to break the chain of transmission of this deadly virus while keeping healthcare workers safe. Shrey thought of an innovative solution and delivered a world-class mobile testing clinic, made on a 30ft-long bus which had artificial intelligence and self-sanitation equipment for the safety of doctors. The mobile clinic could go to rural areas to carry out testing services. The first two clinics were operational by April 2020 and, in 2021, he deployed three mobile vaccination clinics reaching over 200,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. The mobile clinics were blended with biofuels. 

AAKANSHA SETHI
LEO CLUB, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI_DELHI, INDIA_19 

Aakansha’s parents worked night and day to ensure she received a good education like they never had. This instilled in her a passion for inclusive education that drove Aakansha to become the Head of ‘Project Dhruvtara‘ – a social initiative under the motto “empowering with education”. She works tirelessly on collaborations such as with ‘eVidyaloka‘, which prepares educational modules to be broadcasted in rural and underprivileged schools. She has also conducted various drives to provide books, stationery, clothes, and food, as well as providing peer support and educational resources for victims of human trafficking and others in need in India.  

UDITI SHARMA
ELEVATE TECH_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_16 

Uditi founded her non-profit organisation, ‘Elevate Tech’, with a mission to empower gender minorities – women and nonbinary people – in technology and entrepreneurship. She has now been running the organisation for nearly two years, leading a team of over 30 members internationally, impacting over 5,000 individuals in over 35 countries through various initiatives like the hackathons, fellowship programmes, mentorship programmes, workshops, and online Discord community. She continues to work at the intersection of technology and social justice to encourage more young girls to join STEM and ensure that no young girl is left behind due to lack of finances or opportunities. 

PRITHAK SHRESTHA
PROJECT IN HER HANDS_CHITWAN, NEPAL_19 

Growing up in a household of women, Prithak noticed that menstruation was a taboo topic and how women were subject to certain rules and regulations during their periods. He realised that most of the menstrual hygiene challenges are rooted in gender inequality and that entrenched patriarchy and societal gender norms were acting as major barriers. As a Project Coordinator for ‘In Her Hands’, he has passionately led the menstrual hygiene management projects specifically for men and boys, training over 700 of them on their role in bridging the gender gap, fighting patriarchy and changing the narrative. 

AVNI SINGH
GURGAON, INDIA_17 

In 2020, Avni realised that the already-existing gaps in the Indian education system were quickly turning into chasms. As she and her classmates adjusted to online lessons during the pandemic, Avni learnt that 64% of rural school children were forced to drop out ofschool. This led to ‘Project Neev’, later transforming into the ‘Society for Inclusive Education(SIE). Through SIE, Avni has partnered with over 200 member schools and garnered more than 1,100 members. Based on her own experience, Avni created a model for SIE members to fundraise for their beneficiaries and mentor them in academics and extracurriculars. 

GITALI SINHA
BACHPAN BACHAO FOUNDATION_ DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_16 

Gitali firmly believes that education is for improving the lives of others. When she contacted the ‘Bachpan Bachao Foundation’ in Delhi, it was struggling to support all the underprivileged children it serves. Gitali persuaded her mother, who has her own online education platform, to create a programme to provide them with online education, as well as providing the funds to provide books, a projector, and a laptop. For the past year, she has been working on this program, gathering more than 50 volunteers worldwide to teach, and providing syllabus to teachers, creating timetables/schedules for the classes, and ensuring that the children are provided with the quality of education they deserve. 

HARISHRI SURESH BABU
DELHI PRIVATE SCHOOL, SHARJAH_DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES_14 

Since 2014, Harishri has been actively involved in spreading breast cancer awareness. She is a brand ambassador of the ‘Protect Your Mom’ campaign, which aims to spread awareness about breast cancer. She co-founded the ‘Save Your Queen’ campaign along with her sister, which uses innovative methods to spread awareness about self-examination and early detection. She has conducted many awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and other social platforms, and donated her hair three times to make natural wigs for cancer patients. Through her work with ‘Hair to Hope,’ Harishri supports in motivating more people to donate their hair. 

MOAZZAM SHAH BUKHARI SYED
THE WALKWAY SCHOOL_ HYDERABAD, PAKISTAN_24 

As a young child, Moazzam was lucky enough to attend an excellent private school, but that all changed when his family experienced a huge financial crisis. Experiencing the stark difference between the best and the rest of educational opportunities became his inspiration to build a school that would help all children get a good quality education regardless of their financial status. Through ‘The Walkaway School’, Moazzam has provided early childhood education to over 3,000 children, sent over 1,400 children to schools for sustainable education on scholarships, and has recently opened multiple schools for over 1,500 children in remote villages near the Indo-Pak border. 

FIND MORE 2022 DIANA AWARD RECIPIENTS

Browse our 2022 Roll of Honour page to find this year’s Diana Award recipients who represent some of the most inspirational young people from across the UK and around the world.

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