Maya Kriti Nanan, president of the Siblings and Friends Network, the Youth arm of Support Autism T&T, is a recipient of the 2020 Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
It is one of the most prestigious accolades a young person aged nine-25 can receive for social action or humanitarian work.
Nanan, 17, is the first Diana Award recipient from TT.
Nanan was honoured with the Diana Award for going above and beyond in her daily life to create and sustain positive change. She received the award for advocating and creating opportunities for those living with autism in TT.
She is being recognised for establishing the Siblings and Friends Network at age 12, which she has built into a formidable network with more than 200 youth volunteers. The network conceptualise, organise and run events/activities for individuals with autism in TT.
Since her brother’s autism diagnosis, Maya has sought to make TT a place that is inclusive of those with autism and other special needs. Under her leadership, the Siblings and Friends Network not only advocates for opportunities for people with special needs but they also raise funds to create and provide these opportunities themselves. Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award, said; “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are change-makers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over 20 years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.” Nanan said, “It is an honour to be a 2020 Diana Award recipient. It means that the work my team and I are doing here in TT is recognised. I have always admired Princess Diana’s humanitarian work and I truly share Princess Diana’s vision that young people have the power to change the world.
“I look forward to our Siblings and Friends Network continuing to make TT inclusive for everyone with autism and special needs.”