Queen Elizabeth recognises Ghanaian volunteer with Commonwealth Points of Light Award

Accra, May 31, GNA – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth, has recognised Mr Eric Asamoah Awuah, representing Ghana, as the 221st Commonwealth Point of Light.

A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the award was in honour of Mr Awuah for his exceptional voluntary service engaging thousands of school pupils in debating and critical thinking.

It said Mr Awuah, aged 32, is a debate and communications coach who created ‘Speech Forces’, an organisation which had engaged over 30,000 school pupils in Ghana, Nigeria and other African countries in critical thinking and public speaking programmes.

It said Mr Awuah set up the organisation in 2014 with the aim of empowering young people to better express themselves and to support their personal development alongside their studies at school.

The statement said the initiative hosts major international debate events, such as its flagship Accra Open, and since 2017 has managed the Ghana National Debate Team, training selected high school students from all over Ghana to participate in events including the World Schools Debate Championship.

It said as part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – was 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.

It said 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.

Mr Awuah said: “I am honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Points of Light Award in Ghana.

“Our work at ‘Speech Forces’ – of which I am privileged to lead – empowers young people of all backgrounds to think critically on issues, appreciate differences in perspectives in the quest to developing thoughtful leaders and active citizens in Africa.

“I receive this recognition on behalf of all the volunteers, sponsors and curious young minds who have kept the mission moving.

“My sincere appreciation to The Queen and the British High Commission of Ghana for recognizing our efforts.”

Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said: “The Points of Light award is given to the truly inspirational working amongst us on projects that impact our communities; so often these people silently do exceptional things and today we have been able to celebrate them properly”.

“It was my honour and delight to award Eric, the founder of Speech Forces, the 221st Commonwealth Point of Light award on behalf of The Queen.

“Their work to support young people across West Africa to feel able really to express themselves has changed lives as these same young people go on to further education, internships and careers feeling empowered and confident.”

The statement said the Commonwealth was a diverse community of 54 nations, that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.

It said 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.

It said Voluntary service was a vital part of this agenda, which was why The Queen had chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.

The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.

Source: Ghana News Agency