Founder and Chairman of the Deaf Heart Project (DHP) charity, Ché Greenidge, has been selected as a finalist in the Commonwealth Youth Awards.
The awards, which aim to highlight outstanding contributions young people are making across the Commonwealth to achieve the seventeen 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recognised the charity’s work with the deaf community in Barbados.
The charity met the criteria for SDG-8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Greenidge said she was proud to be among the list of 20 finalists who will travel to London for the award ceremony on September 14, looking to win an additional prize of £20 000, delivered over two years to fund their project.
She said: “As the only Barbadian representative across the Commonwealth, I feel good to have been selected, not just for the work I am doing for the deaf community, but for young people as well. It’s really heartwarming to receive news like this, it always feels good and acknowledges that we are really heading in the right direction and it gives us more motivation to keep going.”
As a finalist, the DHP charity will receive £1 000 of funding as well as a trophy and a certificate and will have a chance to receive another £3 000 if they are recognised as the regional winner.
With that funding coming in, the charity will be aiming to transition into becoming a social enterprise.
“I think it’s important for organisations with the Third Sector (to move towards becoming a social enterprise) to build the kind of internal capacity to have financial sustainability. We’ve been able to have a really nice balance with this special project to be able to make an impact, further awareness but also keep the project running.”
The founder continued saying: “What I love about what the Commonwealth is doing for us is that they aren’t just giving us a trophy and a certificate, they are also funding our work. It’s really important for youth-led organisations to receive funding because a lot of the time it is hustle and passion, but no money to really get us where we want to go.”
Each of the 20 finalists from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada, will receive £1 000 of funding as well as a trophy and a certificate. One of the five regional winners will become the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2023 and will be awarded £5 000.
The Deaf Heart Project has recently concluded an entrepreneurship workshop with deaf women in a partnership with Caribbean Policy Development Centre with a graduation ceremony being planned for next month. (JC)