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Edmonton woman wins prestigious award in honour of Princess Diana

Edmonton woman wins prestigious award in honour of Princess Diana
WATCH ABOVE: A young woman in Edmonton is getting some virtual recognition for her good work from members of the Royal Family. Community reporter Morgan Black has more on an Edmontonian receiving high praise from across the pond.

An Edmonton woman’s community work is being recognized by a foundation that honours the work of Princess Diana.

On Wednesday morning, Ravina Anand was awarded “The Diana Award” via virtual ceremony, which celebrates various young people’s social action or humanitarian work.

The prestigious accolade models itself after Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.

Anand was recognized in part for her work creating an online mentorship program for women called FLIK (Female Laboratory of Innovative Knowledge).

“Our mission is to help increase female-led ventures globally and advance women’s economic participation.

“By fostering meaningful relationships between female founders/leaders and ambitious female talent, we hope to inspire the next generation of women to pursue entrepreneurship,” said Anand.

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LISTEN BELOW: Ravina Anand joins The Ryan Jespersen Show

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said Anand’s leadership abilities made her an exceptional candidate.

“We are always looking for young people who identify a problem and find a solution,” Ojo said. “Princess Diana was always about how we can bring together a solution.”

Read more: How youth mentorship fosters confidence in Canadian women

The event also draws some notable figures, including the support of Princess Diana’s sons⁠—Prince Harry and Prince William.

“We are so grateful to our Royal Highnesses. They’ve been incredibly supportive to us,” said Ojo.

So far, 2,600 applicants from 28 countries have signed up for FLIK’s beta product that launched in January 2020.

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“We really brought together that space where we could recruit all these different women and bring them to a common space.”

Anand and her business partner Michelle Kwok created the idea while attending an entrepreneur training program.

Read more: Kate Middleton visits children’s hospice, plants garden

“Kwok and I had met years before, we both come from STEM backgrounds,” Anand said.

“We quickly realized there were no female founders or investors around us, especially women of colour.

“We decided to seek out and interview these women. They too had faced similar barriers.”

As they uploaded interviews, other young people reached out and expressed they would love to spend a few minutes with these same women.

“That’s what sparked the inspiration to create an apprenticeship portal to connect these two worlds,” said Anand.

Read more: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle prep meals with ex-gang members during COVID-19 pandemic

Young people do not work towards the Diana Award, rather they must demonstrate their suitability through their actions and receive the award retroactively.

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Anand said she was nominated for the award by Switzerland-based Global Changemakers

“Quite frankly, I didn’t even know about [the award] prior to all of this,” said Anand. “It takes young people who aren’t doing anything for recognition but instead rewards their actions within their community.”

“They deserve the spotlight. This is the Oscars for young people. That’s the way we look at it,” Ojo said.