Seychellois youth wins Queen Elizabeth award for commitment to sexual, reproductive health education
Demien Mougal has been recognised for his commitment to educating young people about sexual and reproductive health. (Demien Mougal)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A young Seychellois man is among the latest recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, the UK-based programme has announced.
Demien Mougal has been recognised for his commitment to educating young people about sexual and reproductive health.
Mougal, 18, is among the 60 youths from across the Commonwealth selected for the award, which was first launched in 2014.
In an interview with SNA on Tuesday, Mougal said he “feels proud,” adding that it feels good to be recognised for his efforts.
Mougal’s involvement with sexual education and youth reproductive health derives from his membership to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) – Youth Action Movement -- which is involved in addressing these issues.
“It’s the first NGO I joined and after a few years I decided to run for chairmanship and helped to organise some events and this has helped me to win the Queen’s Young Leaders Award.”
Mougal is also involved with the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub-Seychelles -- an association of young people promoting sustainable development. He is also the vice-chairperson of the Association for Rights, Information and Democracy (ARID), a local election observer mission through which he had the opportunity to observe recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Seychelles.
According to Christina Cullen, from the Queen’s Young Leaders media relations office, Mougal was up against a number of applicants from the Seychelles and other commonwealth countries who applied to be considered for the award.
“This year we had nearly 3,000 applications from around the Commonwealth that we had to get down to just 60 finalists,” Cullen said to SNA.
Mougal said that he was referred to the award by Angelique Pouponneau, the first Seychellois recipient of the recognition.
“She [Pouponneau] said it would be a good opportunity for me to build on my leadership skills and be more efficient in planning events,” he said.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Award, which targets individuals aged 18 to 29, was launched in 2014 in recognition of the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. The award aims to recognise young people from Commonwealth countries who are using their leadership qualities to make a difference in the lives of others.
It is planned that 60 individuals -- one for every year that the Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee -- would be chosen each year until 2018 for the award.
According to a statement issued by the Queen’s Young Leader’s programme this year’s winners are leading projects tackling global issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
Mougal will thus be among the third cohort of youths who will travel to London next year, to be presented with their medal by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
The award also involves training and mentoring aspects, from which Mougal is hoping to derive the maximum benefits.
“After receiving the mentorship I plan to host more events to try to inspire other youths to take leadership roles in the society,” he told SNA. “My advice to other youths is that no matter how young or how small you may think you are you can make a huge difference in the world just by trying.”
Mougal who works as on office junior at Liberty Insurance, becomes the second Seychellois youth after Angelique Pouponneau to win the Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
Pouponneau was presented with her medal by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in June this year.