Lens on Life Wins Young People Programme (YPP) Partner of the Year at Global Good Awards 2023 – Recognition for its Extraordinary Impact on Youth Empowerment and Sustainable Change

This esteemed recognition highlights the remarkable collaboration between Lens on Life and Canon in empowering young individuals in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates  Lens on Life, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing photography and computer literacy training for marginalised youth, has been honoured as the gold winner of the highly prestigious YPP Partner of the Year Award at the Global Good Awards 2023. This esteemed recognition highlights the remarkable collaboration between Lens on Life and Canon (Canon-CNA.com) in empowering young individuals in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with vital vocational, computer literacy, and photography skills, and work experience.

In addition to Lens on Life’s outstanding achievement, Ca bouge grave, an organisation dedicated to supporting residents across Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine in France through cultural, educational, and integration projects, was honoured with the silver award. Finland’s Ilmastonmuutos lukioihini! secured the bronze award for its active support of the integration of the theme of climate change into upper secondary school education.

Founded in 2015, the Global Good Awards celebrate businesses, NGOs, charities, and social enterprises that lead the way in purpose-driven sustainability and ethical leadership. These awards recognise outstanding leaders who achieve practical, real-world impact that is both scalable and replicable, sharing inspiring stories of transformation. In 2023, Canon reaffirmed its dedication to empowering young individuals by partnering with the Global Good Awards and launching the YPP Partner of the Year Award. The introduction of this new education-focused category aims to acknowledge organisations that have played a significant role in supporting the Canon Young People Programme.

An esteemed panel of judges, including Steve Kenzi, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network UK, Katie Grace from Water Aid, and Hassan Raja, a former participant of the Canon Young People Programme, evaluated the entries for the YPP Partner of the Year Award.

“I’m delighted to congratulate all of this year’s Canon category winners on the fantastic work they’ve done to create positive, sustainable change for the world,” said Adam Pensotti, Head of the Canon Young People Programme. “This is our fourth year working with the Global Good Awards on the Canon Young Champion Award and I continue to be amazed by the creativity and passion shown by all entrants. This year we also congratulate Lens on Life as the first winners of our educational partner of the year category. Working with Lens on Life in the DRC and seeing our products used to create a positive impact couldn’t be a better example of Canon’s corporate philosophy – Kyosei, which is Japanese for living and working together for the common good.”

“Receiving the YPP Partner of the Year Award is testament to the transformative work carried out by Lens on Life,” expressed Sam Powers, Founder of Lens on Life. “We are honoured to be recognised for our unwavering dedication to empowering youth and providing them with the tools to express their creativity while driving sustainable change within their communities.”

In 2021 and 2022, Lens on Life partnered with Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) to conduct transformative photography and education workshops for marginalised youth in Goma, DRC. The collaborative initiative aimed to provide young people with educational opportunities, empowerment, and valuable skills. As a result, alumni of the programme can now pursue paid field-based internships through Lens on Life’s partner, the Eastern Congo Initiative, kick-starting their careers in photography.

Lens on Life’s transformative programmes have empowered thousands of young individuals by imparting vital photography and computer literacy skills. Earlier this year, Michel Lunanga, a teacher at Lens on Life, played a crucial role in the collaboration between Canon Europe and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). By embracing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, Lens on Life has successfully nurtured the talents and passions of youth across Jordan, DRC, and Cameroon, enabling them to address critical issues such as climate change, education, and gender equality.

For the fourth consecutive year, Canon collaborated with the Global Good Awards for the Canon Young Champion of the Year category, recognising young individuals under the age of 21 who are driving positive change across various sustainability areas and inspiring others to take action. Raheen Fatima and Manyasiri ‘Pear’ Chotbunwong were recognised as the winners of the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award in their respective age categories. Both winners will receive a Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Camera, Black, RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens and Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM lens to document their journeys as sustainability champions. Additionally, their stories will be showcased at The Purpose Summit in October 2023, an event also hosted by the Global Good Awards, celebrating the winners, and discussing sustainable change.

The Canon Young People Programme is a transformative initiative that empowers young individuals by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to address sustainability issues. This programme has empowered over 6,750 young individuals across the EMEA region, enabling them to voice their opinions on sustainability issues that are important to them and their communities.