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Tutu Fellow awarded Commonwealth 2015 Youth Worker of the Year

Tutu Fellow awarded Commonwealth 2015 Youth Worker of the Year

The 2011 Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen has been named Commonwealth Youth Worker of the Year for 2015.  The award was announced at a ceremony in London on 5 November 2015.  Ochen and his organization, AYINET, was one of five outstanding youth workers recognised by the Commonwealth for their efforts to support young people in building peace.  Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: "The contribution of youth workers is vital to community cohesion and nation building. Their impact on individual development and public wellbeing is beyond measure – but not beyond recognition."

On receiving his award, Ochen said he was grateful for the recognition from the Commonwealth.  "In Africa we need peace. So we must look to the ingredients of peace - democracy, participation, generational inclusion, gender inclusion, diversity - and focus our positive energy on acknowledging, profiling and amplifying the voices of the voiceless."  He shared that peacemakers like Archbishop Desmond Tutu had been a beacon of hope to him.

African Leadership Institute Co-Founder Peter Wilson congratulated Ochen.  He said: “AFLI is proud of the recognition Ochen has received for the outstanding work he has been doing for victims of the war in northern Uganda. Victor epitomises the leadership values of the Tutu Fellowship – a selfless servant-leader of high moral and ethical standing, for whom our Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an inspiration and who has played a big role in shaping his life. Victor and his team are not only rehabilitating the victims of the horrific war, but also empower them to promote democratic leadership and civic engagement in communities that have suffered from the war. Victor is a remarkable young man, and we are delighted that his selfless dedication has been recognised. Congratulations Victor – we are proud to have played a small part in your remarkable career.”

Ochen won the African region award prior to being selected as the Youth Worker of the Year. The full text of the award with all the other regional award winners is at the Commonwealth website.

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