Haja Isatu Bah, the founder of Uman4Uman, a social enterprise that produces and sells reusable sanitary pads, has been nominated for the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Awards 2023.
Haja’s journey began with a thirst for knowledge and a deep passion for her environment. With scholarships, she pursued her education, earning her International Baccalaureate (IB diploma) from the United World College, Red Cross Nordic, and a degree in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College, New York.
During her formative years, Haja gained a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of global challenges and the need to address them collectively.
In 2019, Haja established Uman4Uman, an initiative aimed at breaking the cycle of period poverty while promoting gender equity and economic opportunities for young girls and women. The initiative focuses on providing affordable and reusable sanitary pads made from eco-friendly materials to reduce the environmental impact of disposable alternatives.
Haja’s vision extends beyond addressing menstruation-related challenges. She envisions a world where every individual has access to basic necessities, education, and healthcare. Additionally, she is committed to mitigating the effects of climate change through research, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards recognize young leaders who contribute tangibly to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s awards hold special significance as they commemorate the declaration of 2023 as the ‘Year of Youth’ by the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
Haja is among the fifty shortlisted individuals, alongside social entrepreneurs, environmental champions, innovators, and human rights activists from across the Commonwealth. Their collective efforts bring hope and progress to diverse communities, showcasing the power of youth-led action in fostering sustainable development.
The twenty finalists will receive recognition in the form of a trophy, certificate, and £1,000 grant to support their endeavors. The top finalist from each region will be named a regional winner and receive £3,000 to continue their work. One exceptional individual will be honored as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2023, receiving £5,000 to further their mission.
Haja’s vision goes beyond personal recognition. She calls for a united effort towards global progress by advocating for sustainable practices, gender equality, and accessible education and healthcare. Her commitment serves as an inspiration for youth to make transformative changes in their communities and beyond.
As we await the results of the Commonwealth Youth Awards, let us celebrate Haja Isatu Bah and the remarkable achievements of all the finalists. Their passion, dedication, and innovative spirit inspire hope and confidence in a sustainable and equitable future.
May their stories ignite a spark within the next generation of leaders, urging them to step forward, embrace the challenges of our time, and work together to build a brighter world for all. Together, we can forge a path towards a future where everyone’s dreams and aspirations are realized, leaving no one behind in the pursuit of progress and lasting change.