A seven-year commitment to improving educational and health outcomes for remote communities in Papua New Guinea by an ANU College of Law PhD student has been rewarded at the highest level in the Commonwealth this week.
Bal Kama, who is completing his PhD with the College, was named Commonwealth Pacific Young Person of the Year 2016, and announced as the regional winner in 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work in London on 17 March.
The awards recognise the efforts of people under the age of 30 who have significantly contributed to local, national, regional and global development, and attracted 300 nominations from countries across the Commonwealth.
Bal’s nomination was based on the work his Kama Scholars Foundation does in providing scholarships for children in remote villages, advocating for girls education, conducting health awareness on hygiene and lifestyle, and empowering disadvantaged youths to escape drugs, crimes and other social challenges.
“It’s a great privilege to receive this award from the Commonwealth Secretariat. I also want to acknowledge the many other young people in the Pacific who also initiate positive change in disadvantaged but resilient communities,” Bal said.
“Issues of social justice, good governance and climate change remain some of the big issues for states across the Pacific.
“Attempting to address injustice and inequality – in a sustainable and culturally sensitive way – has its challenges.
“I hope to see Kama Scholars Foundation partner with other change agents to address some of these issues, especially at the grassroots level.
“With more support, I believe we can work towards a truly inclusive society in our aspiration for an inclusive Commonwealth.”
For more information on the work of Bal’s Kama Scholars Foundation, see ANU Law PhD student recognised in awards.
BY LYN LARKIN