Sunday, 25th February 2018 added another chapter to the endless pages of YAD’s success story as the organization bags the King Hamad Youth Empowerment Award 2018. The unprecedented ceremony took place at the King’s palace in the Bahraini capital of Manama, and was witnessed by many stakeholders including all government ministers and representatives of United Nations.
A special jury team of nine individuals from various stakeholder institutions in diverse countries including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Government of Arab State of Kuwait and the Government of United Arab Emirate, conducted the reviews. According to their report, a total of 633 applicants from 87 countries applied for the awards with 21 applicants from the private sector, 488 from individual category, 111 from nongovernmental organizations and 22 from the government sector.
After careful reviews and verification of application documents including recommendations received from referees and evidence of impacts independently obtained elsewhere, Youth in Action for Development (YAD) was selected as the winner from the non-governmental organizations sector; Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kingdom of Bahrain selected from private sector, Youth Foundation under the President of Republic of Azerbaijan from the government sector, and Ms. Hadia Ali Sheerazi of Parkistan from individual category.
In a carefully worded letter dated 29th January 2018, the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Hisham Bin Mohammed Al Jowder wrote YAD prior to the award:
“GREETINGS FROM THE MINISTRY OF SPORT AND YOUTH AFFAIRS OF BAHRAIN. IT’S MY PLEASURE TO EXTEND TO YOU MY SINCERE GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATIONS FOR YOUR EFFORTS TOWARDS THE YOUTH. IT IS OUR HONOR TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE THE RECIPIENT OF THE KING HAMAD AWARD TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN THE NONPROFIT AND INTERNATIONAL NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION SECTOR.
WE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND TO YOU AN INVITATION TO ATTEND THE AWARD CEREMONY IN BAHRAIN. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING THE RECIPIENT OF THIS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD AND WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU AT THE AWARD CEREMONY IN BAHRAIN.”
In his keynote address before presenting the awards, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Kalifa thanked the awardees for their tremendous contributions to empower the youth and to accelerate attainment of the global Sustainable Development Goals in their various countries. He then admonished them to keep up the good works regardless the herculean challenges they might be facing. He further commended youth organizations like YAD for recognizing themselves as the catalysts of global peace and development. “Our youth are on the right path, and are preparing themselves academically and practically as they are responsible for building the future”, he stated.
Receiving the award, the Programme Coordinator of YAD, Simma Sheriff, reaffirmed commitment and dedication of the staff and management of YAD to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals in post conflict Sierra Leone regardless all oddities, and further promised to utilize the award judiciously and for the intended purpose. “We have implemented series of community development projects over the years but the most remarkable one which I would like to take this opportunity to invite all and sunders to come and see, is our ongoing Multipurpose Youth Resource Centre (MYRC) construction project in the central heart of Kenema city. The project entails an assembly hall, cafeteria, digital library, administrative offices and a 20KVA solar package that shall provide YAD with a standalone power grid. The successful completion of this project shall ensure a long term sustainability for YAD as a true partner in development”, Sheriff boastfully concluded.
The King’s award included a trophy, certificate, and cash money.