Swansea student wins prestigious Commonwealth Young Person of the Year award

Swansea University student Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi has won the 2019 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year award.

At a ceremony at the Commonwealth headquarters in London, Oluwaseun was also the winner of the Commonwealth Youth Award for Africa and Europe focusing on SDG5: Gender Equality.

Born in Nigeria, Oluwaseun studied a Master’s degree in International Relations at Swansea University with her thesis focusing on gender equality and sex crimes against women and children. After graduating she undertook internships at the UN headquarters and Half the Sky Movement in New York.

Oluwaseun then returned to Nigeria and is the Executive Director of the ‘Stand to End Rape’ (STER) initiative. STER is a youth led, non-profit organisation, offering support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse in Nigeria. Her work has reached over 200,000 people and she now has a team of 200 volunteers based in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

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Oluwasuen (right) pictured with Swansea University's Bev Evans

Oluwasuen Ayodeji Osowobi said:

“Being named the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year inspires me to do more and make more of a difference. This award recognises the endless possibilities young people can have when they decide to take action in the face of injustice.

“I am motivated into achieving gender quality in Nigeria and across the Commonwealth. As a survivor of sexual violence, this award is an indication that survivors of sexual violence are brave and telling their stories is powerful - just like I did. I feel honoured to be the first West African and Nigerian to win the award.

I am grateful to have received my Master’s Degree at the College of Arts and Humanities as I was equipped with the knowledge and information I needed for my career path."

Bev Evans, Head of Marketing, Recruitment and International for the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University said:

“I was so proud to attend the Commonwealth Youth Awards ceremony with Oluwaseun. I have spent the last eight years supporting and following her work with the ‘Stand to End Rape’ initiative.

“She had a clear focus during her study at Swansea University to set up an NGO to help young people who experience gender abuse in her county. She is resilient, hard-working and a role model for all young women in the world.”