Prince William hosted a very special group of young people from around the world at the palace on Tuesday.
The Diana Award, the only charity set up in the late royal’s name, is honoring an exceptional new group of youngsters in the latest Legacy Awards. The inaugural awards took place in 2017, the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris.
After meeting William, 37, at Kensington Palace, the 20 honorees are set to pick up their awards from Diana’s brother Charles Spencer at a glittering dinner in Greenwich, London.
All the Legacy Award recipients — who come from across the U.K., Canada, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Nepal and India — have made an important impact on society. Many of them only know Princess Diana as a historical figure, but they carry the honor with pride and admiration for the award’s namesake.
Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award, says, “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 program ensuring they continue to be positive trailblazers for their generation.”
Three of the 20 honorees are from North America. Read on for more about each of them:
Aditi Sivakumar, 23, My Empowerment Packs
Aditi is a passionate philanthropist, leader and advocate for women’s empowerment and global health, and her My Empowerment Packs is a wellness kit for homeless youth. The Ontario resident volunteers at Chrysallis House, a shelter for women and families fleeing violence, and supports Courage for Freedom to end trafficking of adolescent females and has helped support the mental health of elderly people.
The Diana Award says in a statement, “Aditi does not wait for change, but instead creates her own initiatives to see a tangible difference in her community.”
Victoria Ibiwoye, 25, OneAfricanChild foundation
Ibiwoye created OneAfricanChild foundation to address the inequality in education, particularly for children in under-served communities in her native Nigeria. Victoria, who now lives in Chicago, overcame dyslexia and financial difficulties, and her organization has worked with 4,000 youngsters to teach them critical skills as well as the importance of taking active roles in their communities. There is still a long way to go: 13 million children are not in school in Nigeria.
The Diana Award charity says, “Understanding the power of education to transform lives, break the cycle of poverty and build peaceful and resilient societies, Victoria works selflessly to empower children to receive the best education possible.”
Kanchan Amatya, 23, Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative
The Nepalese native, who now lives in New York City, set up the Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative when she was 16. It is currently helping the lives of more than 50,000 rural Nepalese female farmers, providing them with access to finance, technology, local assets and training.
She is also the founder and executive director of a youth-led social enterprise and has raised more than $100,000 for the 2015 Nepal Earthquake relief. In 2017, Kanchan was recognised with a Presidential Honor Roll Award by President Clinton.
The Diana Award says, “Kanchan is committed to creating a world where no person goes hungry, even for a single day.”