Lankan wins Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development
Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne with High Commissioner Dr
Sri Lankan Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne, 23, won the 'Commonwealth Youth
Award for Excellence in Development Work 2012' for the Asian region at
the Commonwealth Youth Awards Ceremony held on March 12 at the
Marlborough House in London.
She was the youngest and only female among the four award recipients.
The other three award recipients were from Australia, Barbados and Kenya
representing the Pacific region, the Caribbean region and African and
The award ceremony was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and
Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Abeyrathne was nominated from Sri Lanka through the British Council.
The awards celebrate young people (age 15-29) in the Commonwealth who
are making a positive difference to the lives of others through
development initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to education
and protection of the environment.
With a track of record of excellence, she was the 2010 SAARC Youth
Award recipient for outstanding environmental protection and climate
change mitigation, and was featured third rank on the 25 World's Most
Influential and Powerful Young People list of the Youth Services of
America in 2012.
She started volunteering and activism for social development and
environmental protection at 14, while actively working to create
sustainable development in underprivileged communities in Sri Lanka.
Her work revolves on poverty alleviation through economic incentives,
providing skills training for better employability such as IT training
and basic resume making, eco-tourism guide training, handicrafts making
and organic produce making to make communities a better place through
youth employment, capacity building and changing perceptions regarding
the environment through interactive workshops and dialogues.
Her project is being replicated in Bangladesh and India.