By Victoria Onehi
A young Nigerian, Mariam Haruna, 25, has been awarded as the outstanding young hero by The Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.
The award is giving to Haruna in recognition of her selfless service in creating and sustaining positive change in the society.
Haruna founded ‘MAYBAL Global Foundation’ a Non Governmental Organization, which is focused on improving the lives of poor and marginalised people, especially women and children.
Her foundation has also provided clothing and food to over 5,000 people, promoted the recycling and re-using of clothes. As a volunteer, she has provided menstrual hygiene and sexual and reproductive health education for over 500 young women.
During the pandemic which ravaged the world globally, Haruna along with other volunteers launched the #COVID19InMyLanguage campaign, creating videos containing information about COVID-19 in different languages and sharing them online, to ensure that information about the virus and safety measures were accessible to all.
She speaks on the award
“I am excited and honoured to have received The Diana Award. I did not see this coming and it assures me that I am doing something right, it also serves as a boost to continue.
I have always been inspired by and admired the late Princess Diana, so I’ll forever cherish this honour. July 1st would have been her 61st birthday and I am beyond humbled to be continuing her legacy.”She said.
The awardee was recently invited to the Chatham House London conference where she gave insights and solutions to issues affecting young people; she also addressed issues of technology and governance, mobility and medical tourism.
The Diana Award is the longest running award for young people through a retrospective nomination process only.Young people do not work towards the award, rather they demonstrate their suitability through their actions, without any expectation of reward.