The Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme, is a global search for a young icon of the future and aims to catapult them onto the international stage and into space.
Thirty young people were short-listed, myself included (article here) and it was eventually whittled down to three impressive young finalists. All three finalists will deliver a speech and the winner will be chosen at the One Young World Summit in Bangkok, happening November 18th to 21st.
FREEMAN OSONUGA is founder of Heal the World Foundation in Nigeria and recently completed a 6 month medical humanitarian mission to Sierra Leone as part of African Unions Ebola Response Team. He has received numerous accolades including an award from the president of Sierra Leone. Freeman wants to use his adventure into space to initiate awareness of climate change. Support Freeman using the Twitter hashtag. #SENDFREEMANTOSPACE
I am a humanitarian and do a lot of charity work. I do advocacy for poverty allegation and disability rights. I am a medical doctor by training and spent six months helping victims of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.
The rising star programme aims to give one young leader a global opportunity to increase their sphere of impact, to make impact on a larger scale. I love to alleviate human suffering, so when I saw the programme, I knew it was going to allow me to increase the scope of my work. It is an honour and a privilege to be making the continent proud, making the black race proud. It’s really big.
It will also allow me to inspire young people, telling them that they can achieve their dreams. I want to encourage others to be agents of positive change, to join hands with governments and bring solutions to societies. From space I can view the world from a very different perspective.
I want to go to space so I can raise global discussions on climate change and figure out what we can do about it. I want to make an impact and touch human lives more positively. It’s going to be a very good source of inspiration for me and an opportunity to be mentored by people who have done this before.
HUSSAIN MANAWER is a poet and You Tuber from London. He is a firm believer in humanity and takes every opportunity to give back to the world. He has completed various mountain climbs for charitable causes, including Mount Kilimanjaro. He regularly speaks to young people in schools on issues ranging from cyber bullying to the importance of self-expression through the arts. He wants to use his journey into space to raise awareness of emotional well-being and to encourage individuality. Support Hussain using the Twitter hashtag. #SENDHUSSAINTOSPACE
I saw the Rising Star Programme online and viewed it as an amazing opportunity and so surreal. Going into space was not something I ever contemplated to happen in my life time. Being one of the youngest people to go to space is monumental for me, a feeling I cannot explain. To view the planet from above would fully assure me that anything is possible.
I want to raise awareness of emotional wellness. In society we take more care of our physical appearances than we do our emotional well-being. A lot of us are not confident, we don’t know how to deal with out psychological injuries. Through this programme I can implement more educational strategies to help people better understand mental health.
I would tell young people everywhere to be themselves. Be who you are and sometimes it’s okay not to be okay. In society we try too hard to be like other people. Nobody wants a duplicated version of somebody else. If you can be yourself, you have truly won the battle of life.
I want to go to space because this is a real life opportunity and my chance to work with real life influential people to create change. Whichever one of us gets to go, its inspirational and game changing.
KEREN JACKSON runs the social enterprise, Blue Fire. With her creative team she created an annual event celebrating cultural diversity in Dublin. She had a difficult journey to achieve her dreams, struggling with depression and even lived homeless. She has since spoken at events like One Young World and TEDx Dublin. Keren wants to use her trip to space to encourage young people to ignore the limitations placed on them by society. Support Keren using the Twitter hashtag. #SENDKERENTOSPACE
I left school at fifteen and I’ve lived in Dublin’s homeless system, my journey hasn’t been easy.
I’ve come into contact with so many young people over the years who do not believe in themselves. The Rising Star Programme is a global platform for me to share the message, if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything and make a difference along the way.
It’s an absolute privilege to think I could be one of the first Irish women in space. It’s amazing to be entrusted with that responsibility. If I did get to go, I would want to use the opportunity for all the good it can possibly be used for.
We all have dreams of changing the world, I think society is so plagued with unconscious prejudices. I really want to be a shaker and a mover and a leader in showing people that we all have unconscious biases and the more we are aware of them, the more we can move beyond them. I also believe in youth recognition, I think society often undermines the abilities of young people, I want to prove that young people are competent and can make a difference.
If I see the world as one from that incredible perspective, I can really help empower people to come together. Cultural diversity is about us coming together as one race to solve the most pressing issues.
You can listen to the podcast, created by Stuart Russell, here…