Shah Chowdhury from Bangladesh with the Project Trishna won the annual AFS Prize for Young Global Citizens for empowering communities through safe water access and ensuring safe water as a basic right for all, having reached over 75,000 people so far. The AFS Prize recognizes one extraordinary young person for creating successful social initiatives that require collaboration across differences and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The winner received a US$10,000 cash prize.
Trishna takes a community-driven approach by first analyzing potential communities experiencing water distress, installing safe water systems according to community’s water quality and demand and then training community members to become self-reliant so that these communities can sustain their water solution without any further donor support and where they can implement the same knowledge towards other community challenges. Chowdhury’s approach connects with the AFS focus on intercultural dialogue (which is necessary even within a small community) to achieve meaningful change. This work directly addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goal #6: safe water and sanitation.
An international jury had the difficult task of selecting the winner among hundreds of applications received from around the world. The top 10 shortlisted finalists for the 2020 AFS Prize included:
- Ananya Chhaochharia, Bleed in Peace by Paint it Red, India
- Ashley Lin, Digital Exchange Program, USA
- Edgar Tarimo, Green Venture Tanzania, Tanzania
- Elizabeth Nalugemwa, Seedloans, Uganda
- Johnmary Kavuma, Upcycle Africa, Uganda
- Kehkashan Basu, Green Hope Foundation, Canada
- Manoshi Saha Tuli, Narir Chokhe Bangladesh, Bangladesh
- Michael Murigi, Focuswise SHG (Focus on Cassava), Kenya
- Poornima Meegammana, NextGen Girls in Technology, Sri Lanka
- Shah Chowdhury, Project Trishna, Bangladesh
Meet all the finalists and explore their projects here.
Developing active global citizens is a key impact goal of AFS Intercultural Programs, a global international education and volunteer organization with operations in 60 countries, powered by more than 50,000 volunteers worldwide. Each year, AFS honors exceptional active global citizens and the organizations that empower young people to make an impact on the world.
The AFS Prize was awarded during the AFS Global Conference, in an atmosphere of honoring young people who make a real impact. The 2019 winner of the AFS Prize, Luisa Romero, had the honor to give the award to her peer.