The Diana Award, given in the name of Diana, Princess of Wales, “Di-amond Princess”, the “Jewel in the Crown”, universally known as “the people’s princess” is an epitome of selfless humanity worldwide. The prestigious Diana Award which honors the legacy of Diana and her belief that young people have the power to change the world has been given out to several young change-makers on June 28, 2021. Team Entreur had the privilege to converse with five inspirational recipients of this award regarding their works, vision, mission, and enduring the philanthropic legacy of the iconic Princess Diana.
Yusuf Munna, the Founder and Executive Director of Reflective Teens, a nonprofit teen-based creative platform, has been recognized for creating a change and impact in preparing teenagers for the present and future through fostering their creative abilities. He is one of 19 Bangladeshi recipients of this award. The organization stated that Yusuf has been honored because his organization, Reflective Teens has impacted the lives of more than 61,000 teenagers from different regions of the country including Chattogram, Dhaka, and Khulna for the past 8 years and aided their creative flourishing through inspiring them to take part in several innovative projects. A few notable projects of Reflective Teens are respectively Bridges Not Borders, RT Brainery, and RT Creator’s Convergence. Yusuf Munna clarified Princess Diana’s devotion to serving humanity through her selfless and dedicated approach inspired him to depict commitment for the teenagers of the nation, whom he often thinks lack opportunities to develop their innate creativity. Just like Diana, Yusuf wants to selflessly work for the teenagers and has goals to reach the students from marginal regions of the nation. He also defined the sustainable and self-funding approach of Reflective Teens instead of only relying on sponsors and donors. When it comes to carrying Diana’s legacy, he thinks that every recipient of this award symbolizes Diana’s humanitarian work through their respective organizations and projects.
Rijve Arefin from Bangladesh, Co-founder of Awareness 360, is regarded with the Diana award for doing an amazing job in creating significant changes in the fields of sanitation, gender equality, mental health, vocational training, and climate change. Moreover, he was also listed as a FORBES 30 under 30, 2021. Rijve always tried to unleash the talent and potential of young people by giving them access to proper resources and growth opportunities as he himself was subjected to corporal punishment and bullying in his earlier life. Through Awareness 360, he is giving the youth a chance to prove their competence for various career opportunities and to achieve sustainable development goals. So far, Awareness 360 has created positive changes for over 150,000 people by giving them transferable skills, resources, and monitoring hundreds of young people all over the world to carry out social action projects in support of the UN sustainable development goals.
Rijve said, “Princess Diana has always been an inspiration in kindling the flame in me to give voice to the voiceless and to always speak up for what is right”. For his outstanding work in helping the unprivileged part of the society, he was recently appointed as the United Nations Global Compact’s Gender Equality Coordinator, the world’s largest business sustainability initiative. He was also spotlighted as a featured honoree for social impact. Consequently, this year, Rijve has been perceived with the most elevated honor a youngster can accomplish for social activity or helpful endeavors – The Diana Award.
Tanha Tanjin, the founder of TransEnd is an active transgender rights activist in Bangladesh. Her non-profit organization, TransEnd is working for the inclusion of intersex, transgender, non-binary, hijra, and gender diverse communities. In Bangladesh, these communities are often deprived of their basic human rights and don’t get the chance to work in urban corporate environments. TransEnd provides them with training and necessary education to help them overcome these barriers. TransEnd is also working with tech startups like Pathao and Foodpanda to create a suitable workplace for these transgender individuals. In addition, they run various campaigns on social media to create awareness and shed some light on the transgender community. Princess Diana would have wanted to see a more welcoming and inclusive society for everyone. Activists like Tanha are working tirelessly to make this a reality.
Murshidul Alam Bhuiyan, back in 2016 when a ninth-grader, started his journey with two other friends. His creative approach to different cultural, scientific, and experience-based wisdom lead him towards the most prestigious Diana Award. He believes Scout has impacted his purpose eminently. The fearlessness and philanthropic vision of Diana has inspired “Team Bertho” to work for people. “Team Bertho” now aims to delegate their engagement in every corner of the world and focus on uplifting and inspiring all those who come across these epistles of human wisdom. Murshidul believes, “We can encounter absolute wisdom through concrete life lessons. True enlightenment comes from the essence of stories around us. Education outside the classroom creates a holistic perspective by enriching our outlook. The knowledge that procures from a deep understanding of close-to-life observation is something that guides us to better perceptiveness.”
Maria Mumu, the founding President of Moshal Mental Health, has been accredited as the youngest person to receive the Diana Award for actively advocating for mental health. Moshal, which is only a year old, has catered to more than four hundred people since its inception. With a diverse panel from home and abroad, Moshal has revolutionized the mental health sector in more ways than one. Mumu’s organization was the first to initiate a hotline for psychological first-aid amidst the pandemic. They launched programs like Youth for the World which saw participation from 7 countries. Recently, Moshal has launched its own merchandise with the idea “whatever you buy passively advocates for mental health” behind it. Mumu’s ideals align with those of Princess Diana who ardently believed in the power of youth to change the world.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you,” said Diana, Princess of Wales. Consequently, young people like Yusuf, Rijve, Tanha, Murshidul, and Maria are acting out their parts to continue Diana’s legacy as a symbol of selfless humanity and an inspiration for millions.