Guyana’s very own 26-year-old Dr. Patricee Douglas is among four Caribbean youths shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards. The awards recognized outstanding young people aged 15 to 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities.
This year’s focus is on celebrating young people’s contribution towards a fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous future for the Commonwealth: the four sub-themes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place in London in April.
Dr. Douglas’s project is in keeping with Sustainable Development Goal # 3-Good Health and Well-Being—with an emphasis on family planning and contraception in Guyana.
The 20 finalists span every region of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. They were shortlisted from more than 400 applications from across the globe.
The programme is being coordinated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Douglas also known, Pat, a Medical Doctor, is a women’s and girls’ health and rights advocate. He is also a lover of volunteerism. She is also very passionate about youth empowerment.
This 26-year-old has volunteered with Women Across Differences (WAD) in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) counsellor. She is a Shaper at the Global Shapers Georgetown hub and has worked at the Ministry of Public Health: Adolescent Health Programme – Peer Educator.
She has also volunteered at the same ministry as a Community Volunteer Worker. She’s also a Project Ambassador (PA) at One World Youth Project (OWYP). Most of her voluntary work has been centred on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
For instance, at WAD she was tasked with doing sessions on family planning with the adolescent mothers.
Her grass root organization’s main aim is to promote SRHR in Guyana.
The organization hosts sessions on family planning, adolescent pregnancy, abortion and other SRHR topics at health centres, churches, youth groups and wherever invited.
Late last year, Dr. Douglas was among 10 youth recognized by ASPIRE Youth Network Guyana for their unwavering contributions to society. During an interview with ASPIRE, Dr. Douglas said, “2017 has been the breakthrough year in terms of my advocacy work. SRHR Adventures was officially launched on the 1st of January, 2017 and from then to now we have had a series of opportunities to spread our message. In addition, I have connected with a wonderful bunch of young ladies and one young man aka the SRHR Adventurers who are the backbone of the group.”
Campaigners, entrepreneurs, and innovative industry experts are just a few who have been shortlisted for this year’s awards. Regional young persons of the Year will be selected, with one exceptional entrant being recognised as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year during the Commonwealth Youth Forum, in London in April.
In addition to a grant of £1,000 to continue their development work, finalists will each be awarded a trophy and certificate.
The Regional Young Persons of the Year will receive £3,000, and the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will pick up £5,000.
The Pan-Commonwealth adjudication panel for the final shortlisting of the overall regional and overall winner of the 2018 awards , convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat, , included the High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, representatives from the High Commissions of Fiji, Malaysia, and Kenya, a trustee of the British Youth Council and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
Last Year, Guyanese Tricia Teekah was named the Commonwealth ‘Young Person of the Year’ for the Caribbean and Canada Region. The 27-year-old is the co-founder of the Guyana National Youth Council and successfully led the ‘Vote like A Boss’ campaign in 2015.
The finalists this year have initiatives and projects that aim to build a more secure, prosperous, fairer and a sustainable future for all in the grassroots levels and exemplify the outstanding contribution of young people from across the Commonwealth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and realizing the CHOGM2018 aspiration “Towards a Common Future.”
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