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Nigerian woman named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year for abuse support programme

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A young Nigerian woman, who is helping thousands of sexual and domestic abuse victims, has been named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year.

Twenty-eight-year-old Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, from Lagos, was presented with the award by Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s London headquarters.

She also received a prize of £5,000, which she will use to expand her activities in Nigeria.

Oluwaseun, herself a survivor of sexual violence, set up the Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) to provide support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse.

She said: “This award reminds me that when young people don’t look away in the face of injustice, and say ‘no’ to cultural biases, we have the capacity to create change because we are magic.

“Winning this award encourages me to keep working hard to build a safe community for women, girls and men in Nigeria and that my story is valid.

“To my team and I, the award is a reminder that our work is seen, felt and should not stop now.”

Oluwaseun explained: “Our organisation provides medical, legal, mental health and psychosocial support, and empowerment services – depending on the requirement. In certain instances, we provide shelter access and financial support to survivors.

“Having experienced sexual violence myself, I understand the cultural barrier of speaking up, and the lapses or lack of services available.

“This award is a reaffirmation that elimination of sexual violence in Nigeria and other Commonwealth Countries is important and a core agenda of the Commonwealth Secretariat as we work towards achieving a ‘Connected Commonwealth’.”

The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work aim to raise the profile and highlight the contribution young people make to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Examples range from poverty alleviation to conflict prevention and resolution, to promoting and enhancing democracy and development.

The Secretary-General, who presented the awards, said: “The Commonwealth has remained at the forefront of youth engagement because we recognise – within the diversity and broad distribution of our worldwide family – the powerful individual agency of young people.

“With many of our nations experiencing a demographic bulge of younger people, partnering with youth becomes ever more important.”

Oluwaseun was selected from 16 finalists and four regional winners. More than 500 people from across the Commonwealth were nominated for the award.

Daily Trust

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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa stuck inside train during his Campaign

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South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa has in a passengers that has reportedly stopped for hours with no reason given for the delay.

Journalist who are accompanying Mr Ramaphosa, who is campaigning in the northern province of Guateng for the 8 May election – have been sharing updates on social media.

Some frustrated passengers have climbed out of the train to look for alternative means of transport, while traders operating near where the train stopped have been selling their wares to passengers, BBC reports.

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Homeless Nigerian Boy becomes Chess Champion in US

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A homeless eight-year-old boy has become a chess champion in United States. Tanitoluwa Adewumi left his home in the north in 2017, as a result of attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

He lives in a shelter in the US with his mother Oluwatoyin, father Kayode and older brother, and when he showed an interest in chess his mother got him to join a local club.

He has been playing for just over a year, but with hours of practice he won top prize in his age category at the New York State Chess Championship.

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Many injured as Man opens fire on Dutch tram

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Several people have been injured after a man opened fire on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht, police have said.

A square has been cordoned off by authorities, and emergency services are at the scene.

Details later…

BBC

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