Commonwealth Youth Programme

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Commonwealth Youth Programme, also known as CYP, is an international development agency working with young people between the ages of 15 and 29. Part of the Commonwealth Secretariat, CYP is active in the Commonwealth's 54 member countries. CYP has a head office in London with four centres in Africa, Lusaka, Zambia, Asia Chandigarh, India, Caribbean Georgetown, Guyana and Pacific Honiara, Solomon Islands. Currently there are Four Regional Directors and 16 programme officers plus support staff are working there.


The CYP's programme of work is decided mainly by Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting. Funded by Commonwealth governments through annual pledges to a voluntary fund, CYP is not a funding agency and does not provide financial support to any other organization.

CYP supports, and is supported by, a body of youth representatives called the Commonwealth Youth Caucus. The Youth Caucus meets at national, regional and pan-Commonwealth level to advise the programme. The Youth Caucus has a seat at Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting, and helps to organise the Commonwealth Youth Forum which meets prior to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The Programme is supported by Queen Elizabeth II in her role as head of the Commonwealth. Princess Anne visited the Commonwealth Youth Programme Regional Centre for Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, in September 2012 as part of her four-day official visit to the country to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.[1]

In 2017 the Commonwealth Secretariat released a review of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.[2]


CYP provides government and youth-centred organisations with technical assistance in the areas of:

  • Enterprise/vocational training and microcredit
  • Youth participation in decision-making and youth policy
  • Professionalisation and training for youth workers
  • Citizenship, peace-building, and human rights education
  • HIV/AIDS awareness and counselling
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Democracy (through Commonwealth election observer missions)
  • Youth mainstreaming
  • Youth Development Index


All of CYP's work falls within The Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (2007-2015), which is the Commonwealth's organising framework for cooperation on youth affairs. Through the Plan of Action, Commonwealth Heads of Government have affirmed that: "empowering young people means creating and supporting the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their own terms, rather than at the direction of others."

CYP's mission statement states that "CYP works to engage and empower young people (aged 15-29) to enhance their contribution to development. We do this in partnership with young people, governments and other key stakeholders. Our mission is grounded within a rights-based approach, guided by the realities facing young people in the Commonwealth, and anchored in the belief that young people are:

  • A force for peace, democracy, equality and good governance
  • A catalyst for global consensus building; and
  • An essential resource for sustainable development and poverty eradication.

CYP advocates the effective participation of young women and men in the development process and for social transformation. We value their full engagement at all levels of decision-making."

Youth Awards[edit]

The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate the contribution of young people to achieving global development goals. The awards, presented to Commonwealth citizens aged 15–29, showcase the work of outstanding young people who are leading initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to peace building.

Each year an outstanding entrant is named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, with regional awards given for Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe. The awards demonstrate to leaders and other policy-makers the importance of young people’s role in development. The awards also serve to inspire other young people to take action in their communities.

Development work can be within any number of areas, such as skills training, arts and culture, environment protection, education, health and well-being, human rights, technology, sport, science and many more areas.[3]

Commonwealth Youth Award Winners (2012 - 2020)
Year Asia Africa Pacific Americas Young Person of the Year
2012[4] Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne (Sri Lanka) Evans Wadongo (Kenya) Julian O’Shea (Australia) Kemar Saffrey(Barbados) Evans Wadongo (Kenya)
2013[5] Priti Rajagopalan (India) Gilbert Addah (Ghana) Ariel Chuang (New Zealand) Christaneisha Soleyn (Barbados) Priti Rajagopalan (India)
2015[6] Gulalai Ismail (Pakistan) Julius Shirima (Tanzania) Brianna Fruean (Samoa) Nolana Lynch (Trinidad and Tobago) Julius Shirima (Tanzania)
2016[7] Achaleke Christian Leke (Cameroon) Shougat Nazbin Khan (Bangladesh) Bal Kama (Papua New Guinea) Shamoy Hajare (Jamaica) Achaleke Christian Leke (Cameroon)
2017[8] Krystle Reid (Sri Lanka) Charles Lipenga (Malawi) Jacqueline Joseph (Papua New Guinea) Tricia Teekah (Guyana) Krystle Reid (Sri Lanka)
2018[9] Vanessa Paranjothy (Singapore) Sherifah Tumusiime (Uganda) Usman Iftikhar (Australia) Jonathan Barcant (Trinidad and Tobago) Usman Iftikhar (Australia)
2019[10] Padmanaban Gopalan (India) Oluwaseun Osowobi (Nigeria) Bobby Siarani (Solomon Islands) Johanan Dujon (Saint Lucia) Oluwaseun Osowobi (Nigeria)
2020[11] Hafiz Usama Tanveer (Pakistan) Galabuzi Brian Kakembo (Uganda) Sagufta Salma (Fiji) Sowmyan Jegatheesan (Canada) Galabuzi Brian Kakembo (Uganda)

The Awards Programme added a new region to give more visibility to young people across the commonwealth.

Commonwealth Youth Award Winners (2021 - Onwards)
Year Asia Africa Pacific Caribbean Europe & Canada Young Person of the Year
2021[12] Faysal Islam (Bangladesh) Jeremiah Thoronka (Sierra Leone) Maselina Iuta (Samoa) Bevon Chadel Charles (Grenada) Siena Castellon (United Kingdom) Faysal Islam (Bangladesh)

For the 2022 Awards, to mark the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Head of The Commonwealth, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT) has joined as a partner to offer to a selected applicant two years of flexible funding of £20,000 a year, as well as coaching opportunities and organisational development support.[13]


The Commonwealth Youth Programme works in partnership with a range of organisations including


  • Commonwealth Youth Programme Strategic Plan 2006-2008, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment 2007-2015, Commonwealth Secretariat
  1. ^ "Princess Royal to visit Commonwealth youth centre in Zambia". The Commonwealth Secretariat website. Archived from the original on 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  2. ^[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ "Youth Awards". 9 June 2015.
  4. ^ "2012 Commonwealth Youth Award Winners | YourCommonwealth". 12 September 2012.
  5. ^ "2013 Commonwealth Youth Award Winners | YourCommonwealth". 10 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Winners of Commonwealth Youth Awards 2015 Announced | YourCommonwealth". 6 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Cameroonian named as Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2016". 17 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Sri Lankan named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2017". 15 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Exceptional young people recognised for their contribution to development work". 18 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Winners of Commonwealth Youth Awards 2019 announced". 13 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Young leaders from Canada, Fiji, Pakistan and Uganda win Commonwealth Youth Awards 2020". 11 March 2020.
  12. ^ "2021 Commonwealth Youth Award Winners 2021". 10 March 2021.
  13. ^ "2022 Commonwealth Youth Awards 2022 Announcement". 12 August 2021.

External links[edit]