Kiana Rawji, 19, from Calgary, Canada has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.
Kiana received this award for her inspiration to found Gentr (www.gentr.org), an online entrepreneurship and networking programme for girls in East Africa, after visiting a school in Nairobi, Kenya where she saw the limited opportunities given to girls. Over 100 girls have received Kiana’s mentorship and instruction on how to use technology, and she has raised over $50,000 in awards and contributions for Gentr. Kiana has leveraged her strong public speaking skills and filmmaking abilities to an even wider audience with Gentr’s story, and has recently travelled to Kisumu, Kenya to film a documentary to raise awareness of girls’ sexual abuse, with the aim of inspiring initiatives to combat it.
“We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.” Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award
Kiana Rawji ( https://www.kianarawji.me/) is a rising junior at Harvard College studying Art, Film, Visual Studies, History, and Literature. For her academic excellence at Harvard, she was a recipient of the prestigious Detur Book Prize and was named a John Harvard Scholar; she has also been a recipient of an Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association scholarship and the Charles Noble Scholarship. For several years, Kiana has spoken and written passionately about promoting pluralism and understanding Islam; she has delivered two TEDx talks, both with 40,000+ views and was the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Cadillac Fairview Youth of Distinction Award (YODA) for advocacy.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Diana Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. 2020 Award ceremony which was done “virtually” this year can be viewed here. Learn more about the Diana Award here: https://diana-award.org.uk/