A Look Back at Residential Week by Safaath Ahmed, Queen’s Young Leader 2016

Jul 25, 2016
Maha Elley
Safaath Ahmed Zahir, Maldives. The 2016 Queen's Young Leaders today recieved their award from her majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Also in attendance were His Royal Highness Prince Harry, Sir John Major and David Beckham.

Safaath Ahmed Zahir, Maldives

As I recall the last week of June, I remember a good fast paced but energizing week with a handful of world-class knowledge to grasp on to, inspirational meetings with aspirational high–profile people and the 59 other awe-inspiring young change makers of the world that came from 45 countries whose extra-ordinary work left beautiful memories to reminiscence in my heart. It was a week that left thousands of memories to cherish for a life time.

It all began with crazy professional workshops centred to develop leadership skills. For instance, there were media trainings and it offered a safe place to practice performance based skills and an opportunity to get expert feedback. Interestingly, one particular workshop with Uprising, a leading UK charity was focused on how to manage and respond as a leader at times of crises. There were also trainings to improve the efficacy of my project (to really take my project to the next level), and self-reflections of every day learning experiences making each moment of the entire residential a very learning experience as a whole. It felt like every day I was learning something new, something useful that I could utilize for the betterment of my community.

The week also ended up being the most professionally engaging week of my life. It included a series of high-profile events and inspiring meetings with influential people. It was not just about meeting them, it was about being inspired to have met the living proofs that people can overcome anything. It made me realize that we the ordinary people do the most extraordinary things when we seek the opportunity. Not to mention, meeting the Queen became a surreal thing for most of us, but there was this special moment, a moment that time could never steal away. So many emotions ran through my mind as I saw her for the first time and her first words to me was “Well done!” That moment made me realize that maybe nothing will be the same again and it felt like my life is going to change forever.

On an intensely personal note, the Queen’s Young Leaders Award has touched my heart in many ways and have taught me the essence of “good leadership”. While, this award has given me more confidence to continue my quest to empower women in leadership, it has also sparked a new chapter of my life for the future of my nation. In countless ways it has given me the courage to stand up for my country, at times when my country needs me the most. Also, having said that this award has exemplified the pathways of good leadership, this award has given me another grave reason to become a great leader.

– Safaath Ahmed Zahir, Queen’s Young Leader 2016

Safaath is one of 2016’s recipients of a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. The Award, which was presented by Her Majesty The Queen in June, is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, and celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in the communities.

If you, or someone you know is doing exceptional work in your community, applications are now open for the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2017. Visit www.queensyoungleaders.com/apply-now

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