Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today recognised Kagiso Madibana, representing Botswana, as the 169th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her exceptional voluntary service providing school shoes for children to help them continue education.
Kagiso is the founder of ‘Nayang Association’, a charity which aims to reform the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in remote areas of Botswana. One of its flagship programmes has been its ‘Soles for Souls’ project which has collected and donated more than 6000 pairs of school shoes to students living in remote communities, ensuring they are able to walk to school, even through winter, to continue their education. The charity also donates clothes, food and sanitary towels, reaching more than 3,000 pupils.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week. By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Kagiso said, “After the terrible time that most of us experienced during the Covid era of 2020, this has simply been the best news to date. I am so happy to be a recipient of this award, it has given me hope and encouragement to do even more work for my community. Having understood in the past the magnitude of what the Point of Light Award represents, I am beyond humbled. Thank you for recognizing the work that we do and bringing attention to the importance of community service. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will continue to do the best that we can.”
Sian Price, UK High Commissioner in Botswana, said, “I’m delighted to recognise Kagiso’s exceptional work in supporting vulnerable communities through her organisation Nayang Association. Kagiso’s leadership and drive are inspirational – a wonderful example of a young Batswana giving back to society. Congratulations to Kagiso on this well-deserved recognition.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 54 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting brought together leaders from all the 54 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.