Honouring the Queen’s Trust in our Young Leaders

This article was written before the passing of our dear Queen Elizabeth II and has been edited accordingly. We felt it was important now, more than ever, to publish the piece in memory of her hard work and dedication to all her Commonwealth countries. The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust is one of many legacies Her Majesty leaves us with, reminding us of the importance of love and commitment to our country and the Commonwealth. We send our deepest condolences to all her family, friends and associates around the world.

On her 21st birthday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to the service of others, a selfless act she dutifully honoured throughout her 70-year reign. During her final year, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) celebrated Her Majesty’s lifetime of service and love of the Commonwealth and its young people by launching the QCT Platinum Jubilee Fund for Young Leaders. Sharing Her Majesty’s enduring vision and hopes of empowering young people worldwide, international supermodel and activist Naomi Campbell was named the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust’s Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador. Today, the fabulous work of QCT stands as a lasting tribute to our beloved Queen who is mourned and remembered for touching so many hearts around the world.

Since its launch, the positive impact QCT has had on these younger generations has been truly remarkable. In Uganda, they have supported OneDay Health which works with communities living in Northern Uganda that are currently not served by health care facilities by establishing safe, accessible clinics; while in St Lucia, QCT’s support is helping a non-profit organisation with a special focus on the economic development of rural women. The organisation’s support has facilitated the scaling of small businesses by supporting a revolving fund in Zambia and Malawi, helped tackle youth unemployment in Rwanda, and in Nigeria, schoolchildren have been given the tools to learn through the provision of e-literacy education in public schools.

Home to 2.5 billion people, the Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries and includes both advanced economies and developing countries across the world. Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth was the head of the Commonwealth, with all governments agreeing to shared goals of democracy, development, and peace.

Of the collective Commonwealth global family, a staggering 60 percent of the population is under the age of 30, a generation of changemakers with the collective potential to transform their communities – given the right opportunities. In 2018, in recognition of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s lifetime of service to others and her love for the Commonwealth and its young people, QCT was launched, providing support for young leaders to do vital work for their communities and enact positive change. Through the provision of flexible funding, practical tools and support, these leaders are empowered to develop the organisations within their community that matter. These are in the QCT thematic areas of agriculture and food, education and employability, environment, health, and inclusion. QCT also provides the young leaders with access to a mission-aligned global network of over 850 young leaders who are driving positive change. This world-wide connection helps them support each other and access insights and resources to further their work and impact.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth long-recognised the collective positive effect of a global community. Quoting Her Majesty’s annual Christmas speech in 2016, “We sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagined.” This is why the individual actions of young leaders who are cumulatively driving positive change is so vital. QCT brings over 850 young leaders together, enabling connection, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, that can itself help to grow communities. QCT’s funding support enables young leaders and their organisations to deliver more value and impact to communities around them. In addition, practical tools and support helps these young leaders develop their organisations and become sustainable.

However, this positive action is only possible by unlocking the boundless potential of these young leaders, shining a light on their actions both now and into the future. That is why, in this poignant year, the announcement of Naomi Campbell as the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador marks such an important milestone for the organisation. For over 25 years, Naomi has worked closely with numerous global charities with the shared goal of improving lives and creating opportunities for young people, particularly in Africa. A passionate advocate for change, in 2005 Naomi launched ‘We Love Brazil’, to help tackle poverty in South America. Her own views of supporting young leaders across the globe closely align with QCT’s mission. The support of these iconic advocates and the joining together of philanthropic ideals is enabling continued positive, sustainable change – a realisation that has galvanised Naomi’s involvement.

Naomi says, “It is an honour to be the Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, in remembrance of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the QCT’s late Patron. As its Head, Her Majesty always believed that the Commonwealth should be a force for good in the world and always remained a champion of its young people. The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust continues Queen Elizabeth’s legacy, supporting the young leaders of the Commonwealth.

“The impact of the young leaders that QCT supports really spoke to me at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March this year. The service was filled with beautiful messages of love and hope from across the Commonwealth nations, enabling us to shine a light on the incredible work young leaders are doing in their communities.

“The impact of the young leaders that QCT supports really spoke to me at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March this year. The service was filled with beautiful messages of love and hope from across the Commonwealth nations”

“I have been involved in charitable work in the areas of global health, human rights, education, the creative industries and relief in countries around the world such as across the African continents, Syria, and Brazil for over 25 years. Empowering young leaders is very close to my heart and I will continue to do everything I can to uplift the next generation, so they can create a better future.”

For more information on the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and how you can support its work, visit: www.queenscommonwealthtrust.org