From Bonteheuwel to the UN - Khadija Mayman Receives UN Award on Behalf of Forest Whitaker FeaturedWritten by Ryan Swano
Khadija Mayman, a young lady from Bonteheuwel representing the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, has on behalf of Forest Whitaker received the 2022 *SDG Vanguard Award at the annual United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Awards held in New York on Thursday 3 November.
The awards recognize extraordinary individuals and organizations whose work embodies the values and purposes of the UN: to create a safer, healthier, and fairer world for everyone, everywhere.
Forest Whitaker is of course well known as an award-winning actor and he has many times visited Cape Town where his Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative is active in areas of the Cape Flats.
*SDG - Sustainable Development Goals
Khadija has since 2019 been doing sterling work as a Youth Peacemaker of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) in and beyond her hometown of Bonteheuwel, Cape Town.
"I was born in 1997 and I’m the child of a community activist, Nadia Mayman. I live in Bonteheuwel, a community within Cape Flats." "Here, youths are suffering, and there are a large number of school dropouts, lots of unemployed youths, and a high level of gang violence. I have always had an interest in becoming a community leader to help fight against drugs and gangs, and I am a founding member of the Bonteheuwel Youth Movement Against Violence."
In recognition of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative's work helping some 1.3 million children, including former child soldier, cope with trauma and learn to thrive in their communities, Mr. Forest Whitaker received the SDG Vanguard Award. The Award was presented by Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon and UN Foundation Board member, to Khadija Mayman, Youth Peacemaker for the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, who accepted the Award on behalf of Mr. Whitaker.
On her WPDI profile Khadija describes the work she does as a Youth peacemaker.
"Since I joined WPDI as a youth peacemaker in 2019, I have become more determined than ever to help bring transformative change to Bonteheuwel. The training I received has enhanced my leadership abilities and WPDI has helped me learn more about myself and how I can use my personal strengths and skills to empower other youths in my community. I want to be an activist for peace, change, and addressing the injustices I see."
"There is a lot of work that needs to be done in order for us to grow and develop as a community. We need to work to solve inequalities and injustices here in order to build a more peaceful environment in Cape Flats to present opportunities for future generations."
Not only is she actively making a positive impact on her own community but Khadija is also becoming adept at stepping out onto the global stage.
In September Khadija was on stage as part of a panel at the 10th Anniversary celebrations of the WPDI held at a gala event in New York.
We at Bruinou.com along with the people of Bonteheuwel and the Cape Flats are hopeful that all of South Africa and the rest of the world will not only recognise her leadership but that through Khadija's work, they will see that even with all the negativity around us, there is also huge potential for greatness among the youth of our areas.
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