A Pakistani social entrepreneur Hafiz Usama Tanveer won the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Award for his exceptional work in providing clean drinking water to rural communities in Pakistan and contributing in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year the Commonwealth secretariat received 500 nominations from around the world.
The awards ceremony was held at the Commonwealth headquarters in London where winning candidates received a £3,000 grant for expanding projects in their respective regions, according to an official statement issued by the Common Wealth Secretariat on Thursday.
Hafiz was concerned about the spread of waterborne illnesses in poor communities, Hafiz established an enterprise PakVitae, which has reached more than 11,000 people including victims of the Kerala flooding and Afghan refugee camps.
Reaching out to more than 11,000 people including victims of India’s Kerala flooding that occurred in the past two years, the young entrepreneur said: “This award is an encouragement to continue on this trajectory to reach more people and to make water non-exclusive.”
Another Pakistani Jaya Rajwani was also shortlisted for the same award. Rajwani, who is the technical lead for ‘Aurat Raaj’ – a social enterprise which creates technology-based products and services to educate girls on health, hygiene and safety– was in the category of Gender Equality.
Other winners belong to Fiji, Canada and Uganda where they are running their successful social enterprises for the betterment of their regional communities.