USP staff, Ms Alzima Elisha Bano receiving her award from Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace.
Being a recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders (QYL) award is a journey that has just begun for Ms Alzima Elisha Bano, a staff of The University of the South Pacific (USP).
Elisha, a Campus Life Officer and former part-time Psychology tutor was first informed of being an award recipient in December 2014.
“I remember it was almost midnight when I received the call from London and I was screaming in the house, I am sure I woke up the neighbours. It was overwhelming,” she shared.
She said she was very humbled when the QYL programme confirmed that they would be flying her over to the UK in June 2016 to attend the residential week with the second cohort of QYL winners and to receive her award from Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
“Once again I was over the moon with excitement and gratitude,” she recalled.
Elisha said the programme in itself is a great one.
During the residential week, the participants received media training from Media Trust, had sessions with United Kingdom charities namely UpRising, Media Trust, Reprezent Radio and Centrepoint.
“We visited Twitter, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), #10 Downing Street, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Standard Charters, Cambridge University (CU) and eventually Buckingham Palace for the awards. We were hosted for dinner at the Australia House after the award ceremony and at the Shard before heading back home,” Elisha said.
She added that having completed the leadership training from CU, networking with fellow QYL’s from across the Commonwealth, hearing from and engaging with experts from the around the world and being able to streamline the work we have started has been an amazing journey.
“Now that I am an alumni of the programme I am even more grateful that I have been elected to serve on the QYL alumni Legacy Panel. The journey doesn’t stop here, it has just begun,” she stated.
Elisha has been volunteering and working in the area of youth and community development since 2010 when she enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF), the young women’s leadership programme from Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM).
After graduating she joined the alumni ELF and worked with them on a number of projects. She has also worked for the Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) as its Youth Coordinator and has served on the Executive Committee for the National Youth Council of Fiji (NYCF).
She further founded her own youth group called Advocacy Creative Techniques: Fiji (ACT:Fj) in 2014, which uses creative arts to advocate on social issues.
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