The Legacy Award is presented to twenty young changemakers who embody Princess Diana's qualities of kindness, compassion and service, from around the world. Recently, Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi, was presented with the award from Earl Spencer, Princess Diana's brother, at a ceremony in London. The winners were selected from a poll of nominations by an independent judging panel, which included Baroness Lawrence OBE, Holly Branson and Alex Crux, CEO and Chairman, British Airways. The Legacy Award and the development programme, which included a three-day residential experience, is sponsored by Gilead Sciences.
Shomy is a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) activist and the co-founder of Awareness 360. After losing her mother to diarrhea, she was determined to work towards ensuring clean water and sanitation for people. "I have reached out to vulnerable communities to raise awareness of different aspects of WASH among sex-workers, sewerage workers, slum dwellers, underprivileged school children and people with disabilities," said Shomy, a graduate from the Faculty of Economics and Management at Universiti Putra Malaysia. In the past seven years, she has reached out to over 70,000 people through her WASH talks.
She regards Princess Diana as an inspiration. "Princess Diana was empathetic and full of positive energy. She always motivated others to give back," Shomy added. She hopes that this award will be a positive step towards her future projects. "This accolade will motivate me to continue my work and inspire other young people to take up volunteerism, particularly in the WASH sector," she added.