Aspiring youth leaders get royal treat

FOR aspiring youth leaders, Elisha Bano and Elvis Kumar, the opportunity to highlight their work among communities in Fiji is one of their great passions but when you get to meet royalty through your work, it’s even better.

That’s what the duo got to cherish when they met the royal couple the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and his wife Meghan during their visit to Fiji last month.

Elisha Bano is a recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award while Elvis is the Commonwealth Youth Award winner 2018 and Queen’s Young Leader Highest Commendable Runner-Up 2016.

The duo were tasked with chaperoning the royal couple when they visited the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus last month where they introduced the couple formally and farewelled them when they departed.

“I was quite humbled when I was asked to carry out the role,” said Elisha.

“Especially when they are very down to Earth people and with them taking a lead role in social issues; it’s quite helpful when it comes to championing our work.”

“The royal couple met students and youth which gave them an insight to the work we do. This helps table our issues and work at various levels.”

Elisha describes her youth work as ‘growing.’ Called the Act It Network, her organisation advocates social issues and the Sustainable Development Goals and while working closely with other Queen’s Young Leaders.

For Elvis it was his second time meeting Prince Harry; the first time being early this year when he received his Commonwealth Youth Award from the prince. Prince Harry had once called him “The Elvis!” when he heard his name.

“Delivering the vote of thanks for them was indeed an honour and privilege for me and the fact that they stopped to talk to us despite their tight schedule, giving us creative ideas for projects and assuring their support for our work are the traits of true royals and ambassadors,” he said.

The two said the occasion will be one to cherish for a long time.