Young Sierra Leonean - PJ Cole to speak alongside Her Majesty The Queen at Opening Ceremony of the C

Queen’s Young Leader and Insight contributor - PJ Cole has been invited to speak alongside Her Majesty The Queen and world leaders at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), taking place in London on Thursday 19th April.

PJ Mandewa-Cole

PJ Cole (from Sierra Leone) is a Queen’s Young Leader Award winner, chosen in recognition of his work to help change lives in his community. He will be representing the Programme at the Opening Ceremony of CHOGM, which is taking place at Buckingham Palace in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and heads of government from across the Commonwealth.

PJ will speak alongside The Queen, the British Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prime Minister of Malta and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

In his speech, he will celebrate the important role that young people can play in responding to some of the global challenges that the Commonwealth faces today.

PJ says: “It’s an amazing opportunity to really give a voice to some of the things that I and many young people believe in.

“To be sat with heads of government from the Commonwealth, talking about why it’s important to invest in young people and how that can be a catalyst for real and lasting change in nations across the Commonwealth, where you have about 1.2 billion young people, is a fantastic opportunity.

“To be the one to deliver that kind of message to the heads of government who are shaping our future; to be in that room and to be part of that, is a very rare and great opportunity.”


PJ is the Executive Director of Lifeline Nehemiah Project (LNP) which his late father founded to offer support to former child soldiers. LNP runs four schools, a safe home for vulnerable children and a vocational training centre. They also work with farmers, running businesses and doing everything they can to bring economic and social restoration to Sierra Leone

During the Ebola crisis, PJ and his team opened an emergency response clinic which treated patients, provided food, other necessities and counselling support to over 12,000 people quarantined in their homes, and provided lifesaving Ebola education to over 80,000 people

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