Celebrating a Young Commonwealth

Published: 9 Mar 2015

Keesha, Award participant from New Zealand

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the Commonwealth by young people, schools, communities and civil society organisations on the second Monday in March every year. It provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

The day is marked by a range of activities, including a multi-faith Observance at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom. Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day.

A Young Commonwealth

The theme for 2015 is 'A Young Commonwealth'. 

"A Young Commonwealth recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, who play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy," said Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, announcing the theme.

"The Commonwealth is also a family of dynamic countries at the forefront of innovation, growth and contributing global value. As a diverse and increasingly connected global network, we bring fresh perspectives and new ideas.” 

Find out about youth events taking place throughout the year: thecommonwealth.org/ayoungcommonwealth

Get creative

- See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/event/commonwealth-day-2015#sthash.YTcP...

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the Commonwealth by young people, schools, communities and civil society organisations on the second Monday in March every year. It provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

The day is marked by a range of activities, including a multi-faith Observance at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom. Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day.

A Young Commonwealth

The theme for 2015 is 'A Young Commonwealth'. 

"A Young Commonwealth recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, who play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy," said Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, announcing the theme.

"The Commonwealth is also a family of dynamic countries at the forefront of innovation, growth and contributing global value. As a diverse and increasingly connected global network, we bring fresh perspectives and new ideas.” 

Find out about youth events taking place throughout the year: thecommonwealth.org/ayoungcommonwealth

Get creative

- See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/event/commonwealth-day-2015#sthash.YTcP...

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the Commonwealth by young people, schools, communities and civil society organisations on the second Monday in March every year. It provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

The day is marked by a range of activities, including a multi-faith Observance at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom. Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day.

A Young Commonwealth

The theme for 2015 is 'A Young Commonwealth'. 

"A Young Commonwealth recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, who play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy," said Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, announcing the theme.

"The Commonwealth is also a family of dynamic countries at the forefront of innovation, growth and contributing global value. As a diverse and increasingly connected global network, we bring fresh perspectives and new ideas.” 

Find out about youth events taking place throughout the year: thecommonwealth.org/ayoungcommonwealth

Get creative

- See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/event/commonwealth-day-2015#sthash.YTcP... Day is celebrated across the Commonwealth by young people, schools, communities and civil society organisations on the second Monday in March every year. It provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.The Today is Commonwealthe day is marked by a range of activities, including a multi-faith Observance at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom. Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day.

Today, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation joins members of the Commonwealth to celebrate 'A Young Commonwealth'.

Commonwealth Day, marked every second Monday in March, provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations. This year, members have chosen 'A Young Commonwealth' as its theme to showcase the contribution and potential of young people who play a vital part in development and democracy of these nations.

Leadership skills

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (the Award) empowers young people in Commonwealth countries and beyond; the Award gives young people the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and increases their involvement in their community through volunteering.

Our Secretary General, John May, has visited many young people and their adult leaders across the Commonwealth to see first hand how the Award is providing young people with opportunities to develop themselves as well as their communities.

Engaging marginalised young people

To mark Commonwealth Day, John is sharing Keesha's story; Keesha is growing up in Kawerau, a community challenged with high crime rates and anti-social behaviour. Young people here are seen by many as a symptom of the town's increasing economic problems and this desperation, for some, has resulted in the highest youth suicide rate in New Zealand.

Thanks to The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation's Special Projects, young people in Kawerau are getting the opportunity to take part in the Award, which in turn is helping to build their self-worth and enbale them to develop skills for life and work. The chance to take part in the Award, Keesha says, has "given my peers something new and positive to put their time and energy into by engaging them in positive activities rather than destructive ones."

Read John's blog for more about Keesha and the impact of the Award in Kawerau.

Commonwealth voices

We will be sharing more stories from Award holders in Commonwealth countries on our blog spot this week and also across social media. You can share your own stories, too, by emailing editor@inbox.org

Further information: