Two young persons from Lagos State have been honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.
Oluwananumi Dawodu and Akingbola Adewunmi aged 22, have 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.
Adewunmi Akingbola is the founder of ‘HealthDrive Nigeria’, an initiative in the South-West of Nigeria, which aims to raise awareness, test and vaccinate people against the deadly Hepatitis B virus.
Adewunmi’s awareness-raising campaigns have reached a good number of people in the region itself, whilst also engaging national audiences through mass media.
His free screening programmes have tested alot people so far, and ensured carriers of the virus gain access to specialist support via referrals. On top of that, Adewunmi has delivered a highly subsidised vaccination programme to people in the region.
His work has inspired and engaged other young people to get involved in the initiative and set up similar health programmes themselves. He is a 2020 recipient of the AfriSAFE Awards and IKapture’s Africa 25 Under 25 Awards.
For his part, Dawodu Oluwananumi discovered 1 in 10 people in his community had Hepatitis B.
Keen to curb the spread of the virus, he launched the ‘End Hepatitis’ project, which has helped over 1,500 people get screened and vaccinated against Hepatitis B.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in March 2020, Dawodu supervised a team of 20 volunteers to share information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, fielding over 1,000 calls daily.
Dawodu has also organised sessions on social impact topics and leadership skills for organisations like the Gates Foundation and was awarded the ‘SME 100 Africa 25under25 Most Enterprising Person Award’ in 2020.
Speaking, Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe 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 positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
LEADERAHIP reports that 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 12 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 quality of youth social action.