The Commonwealth: Past, Present, Future
This blog brings together leading youth activist Kavindya Thennakoon, Founder of Without Borders and Nicola Brentnall, Chief Executive of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (“QCT”). Kavindya and Nicola are members of a small team of young people (Nicola is the outlier!) working to help shape QCT’s identity as a youth inspired charity working within International Development, and one with a uniquely Commonwealth heritage.
We wanted the project to take its participants on a journey - to the past to reflect on the legacy of historic injustice in the Commonwealth context, and how this continues to shape the experiences of young people around the world. We wanted the project to acknowledge this reality and to start to shape a narrative that will show how QCT understands it and uses this knowledge to shape its worldview, its approach and its offer.
It is important to be clear about the scope at the outset. What we want to do is help shape a positive identity for a new Commonwealth organisation. This project explores how a new conversation with young people who understand this through their personal experience can help QCT to ensure its offer is well-informed, respecting the past to shape the future. The team working on the project are as follows:
- Kavindya Thennakoon, Founder, Without Borders
- Matthew Lam Joar, Kenya, Refugee Olympics Team in 2016, Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation
- Moogly Tetrault-Hamel, Indigenous Advisor to the Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces
- Michael Murigi, Kenya, Founder & Team Leader - FocusWise SHG “Focus on cassava”
- Nushelle de Silva, Sri Lanka, Founder of Building Bridges and PhD student researching Identity and Politics of Spatial Design at MIT
- Alicia Wallace, The Bahamas, Equality Bahamas
- Lisa Rapley, Australia, Co-Founder, Yuludarla Karulbo
- Noni Hlophe, Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland), Founding Curator - Global Shapers Community: Mbabane Hub
- Eman Borg, LGBTQ+ Gozo
- Benedict Bryan, Founder of Humanitarian Association of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (HARTT) and British High Commision
- Emily Milton Smith, Australia, Board Member of Girl Guides NSW and Queen's Young Leader award winner
- Frances Brown, Head of Network Development, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
- Nicola Brentnall, Chief Executive, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Over the next few weeks, through a short series of blogs, Kavindya and Nicola will reflect on the purpose of the project where it came from, its evolution and how we hope it will ultimately truly rewrite the script that underscored injustice for far too long. Watch this space!
Article published: May 2020
Main asset credit: Unsplash/Massimiliano Morosinotto
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