Introducing Edmund Page, founder of the Xavier Project.
Queen’s Young Leader Edmund left the UK to set up the Xavier Project in 2008. The charity aims to improve the lives of urban refugees in Kenya and Uganda by enabling them to participate in education. Here he answers some questions about the project and talks about how winning the Queen’s Young Leaders Award has helped him:
Can you just tell us about your project?
We work with refugees in the area of education. We’ve notice that refugees aren’t able to access the same opportunities or levels of protection as other citizens, and we think that education is the best way to change that. We provide sponsorship for children, but we also try to improve the quality of the education that they access as well. We provide lifelong learning opportunities for refugee adults so they can better integrate into their local community.
How did you feel when you found out you has been chosen to be a Queen’s Young Leader Award winner?
It was a great a honour, but I also felt like it was a recognition of the whole team of Xavier Project, as we wouldn’t have got this far without all of the different members. I felt like it was a way of recognising and congratulating them as well for all of their hard work.
How has being a Queen’s Young Leader Award winner helped you?
The Leading Change course, which is run by Cambridge University, has been really insightful. I’ve found I’ve learnt a lot and I have been able to look at things with a totally different perspective than I would have expected, so that has actually had an impact on the Xavier Project.
What are your hopes for the future?
Xavier Project is now working as an implementing partner for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nairobi, and other areas of Kenya, and we’d love to do the same thing in Kampala in Uganda. We’ve already seen gaps where we think we could expand our work into settlements and camps.
What advice would you give to young people who may be thinking about applying for the Award this year?
I think leadership doesn’t have to be about having a certain position or rank, or even being a CEO of this or that. I think leadership is about just giving to your community and setting good examples. If you think you do that, then I think anyone has a good chance of winning.
For more information about the Xavier Project, check out this video: