Introducing Aubrey, Jodie, Benedict and Jean-Claude
Each week we are introducing you to the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders, sharing their stories and celebrating the incredible work that they are doing in their communities. Take a look at last weeks post featuring Lakeyia Joseph, Jenella Edwards, and Marva Langevine.
This week we are getting to know Aubrey Stewart, Jodie Dennie, Benedict Bryan, and Jean-Claude Cournand.
Aubrey from Jamaica
He is the founder of the Youth Organisation for Upliftment, which provides a space where young people can come together and make a difference in their community. Since its establishment in 2009, the organisation has run a number of campaigns, including The Crime Out Campaign, a youth-led peace movement which inspired young people to speak out against violence. In his current role as country co-ordinator for the RuJohn Foundation in Jamaica, Aubrey helps provide underprivileged schools and students with resources such as computers, school lunches and sporting equipment. It also arranges yearly activities like celebrity sports camps and acting workshops.
In addition, Aubrey serves as chairman for the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica, which represents young people in policy making and he is a Jamaica House Fellow where he works with senior officials at the Office of the Prime Minister to contribute to national development.
“I am proud to have been selected as a Queens Young Leader for Jamaica in the final year of the programme, it is truly an honour to have worked with many young people across Jamaica.”
Jodie from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
She is the creator of The Mind Matters SVG campaign, which aims to teach people aged 10 to 30 about the importance of good mental health. Her work, which has the support of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment, has included giving presentations to young people at three summer programmes and holding art therapy and sports sessions to show how these activities can help to improve people’s mental health. Jodie’s interviews of two local people about their experiences with depression were used by the World Health Organisation on World Health Day as part of its ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’ campaign. She created social media sites to promote the campaign at a local, regional and international level.
“I am honoured to be selected as a Queen’s Young Leader and I will continue to do my part to raise awareness on this topical issue.”
Benedict from Trinidad and Tobago
He is the founder of the Humanitarian Association of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (HARTT), which focuses on providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. Its programmes have included an initiative which taught refugees English and extra-curricular activities to help them integrate into their new culture. Benedict also sits on the committee for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Trinidad and Tobago.
Currently, he is working alongside other young people throughout the Caribbean to launch a Youth Peace and Security Think Tank, the aim of which is to promote peace and security for all, especially for those from minority backgrounds.
“I am humbled to have been selected for a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. I hope my work in community development, human rights and public policy can contribute to the progress that activists, youth advocates and community leaders have made to shape the world we live in by protecting the most vulnerable, while creating a sustainable future.”
Follow Benedict & HARTT – Facebook
Jean-Claude from Trinidad and Tobago
Jean-Claude and his team, which includes 12 young people and 10 poets, has led workshops and performances at more than 70 secondary schools and 30 primary schools. In 2017, the team’s focus was on gender-based violence, so Jean-Claude partnered with the University of the West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies to train poets on the issues, before they took their messages into schools. The group has also hosted two annual national spoken-word events in which 25 secondary and 17 primary schools participated. Each year more than 40,000 young people in Trinidad and Tobago engage with the programme.