Founder of One Africa Child Foundation, Victoria Ibiwoye, has emerged one of the recipients of this year’s Princess Diana Legacy Award. The Legacy Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex presented the inaugural legacy awards at St. James’ Palace in 2017.
Twenty-five year old Ibiwoye started the foundation to address the inequality in education, particularly for children in underserved communities in Nigeria. Beginning as a grass-roots project reaching out to two children in her immediate community, today, her foundation has worked with over 4,000 children, teaching them critical soft skills as well as the importance of taking active roles in their communities.
Education should be a fundamental human right but sadly, over 13 million children are still out-of-school in Nigeria. Understanding the power of education to transform lives, break the cycle of poverty and build peaceful and resilient societies, she works selflessly to empower children to receive the best education possible.
Ibiwoye personally overcame struggles with dyslexia and financial difficulties in order to continue her studies. Despite these challenges, she tenaciously pursued her education. Today, she shares her experiences to inspire and encourage other children to follow their own path of education.The Legacy Award was introduced in 2017 to celebrate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales in the 20th anniversary year since her death. Taking place every two years, this unique accolade is the highest honour presented by the charity and celebrates the achievements of 20 exceptional young change-makers from across the world who have demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise others to serve their communities, as Princess Diana herself did and her belief that young people have the power to change the world.
The charity fosters, develops and inspires positive change in the lives of young people through three key programmes which include- a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led anti-bullying ambassador campaign and a prestigious award which publicly recognises young people.All the Legacy Award recipients, who come from across the UK, Nigeria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania, Nepal, and India have had a monumental impact on society. Many of them only know Princess Diana as a historical figure but they carry the honour of the award with pride and admiration for whose memory it was set up in.
Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive, The Diana Award told The Guardian, “This is a landmark event for The Diana Award as we celebrate our 20th anniversary year. This ceremony is about celebrating young people for their selfless contribution to society, their courage and bravery, and demonstrating to young people that we value them. We believe that valuing young people means investing in them so we are delighted that our Legacy Award recipients will have access to our unique development programme ensuring they continue to be positive trailblazers for their generation.”
In addition to being presented the award by Princess Diana’s brother Lord Spencer, the Legacy Award recipients will have access to a unique development programme. The programme aims to provide them with the opportunity to enhance their skills in four key areas, leadership, community development, social entrepreneurship and technology for good. The winners were selected from a poll of nominations by an independent judging panel that includes Baroness Lawrence OBE, Holly Branson and British Airways CEO and Chairman, Alex Cruz.