LONDON: Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom presented awards to the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders from Pakistan, Zainab Bibi and Muhammad Usman Khan, in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday.

Prince Harry attended the event in support of The Queen, which recognized exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who are making lasting change in their communities. Former Prime Minister and Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Sir John Major, David Beckham and Sir Lenny Henry were also in attendance.

Zainab Bibi is a keen environmentalist, with a strong interest in renewable energy. In 2013, she established the Pakistan Society for Green Energy to increase awareness of green energy solutions in the country. She then successfully managed to develop bioethanol (a bio-fuel) from waste tissue paper, which could help in providing cleaner energy.

Zainab also introduced a plant species into Pakistan that produces bioethanol (biodiesel). ‘Camelina sativa’ has a short growth cycle and a greater resistance to drought, which means that it can even be grown in the desert areas in Pakistan.

Muhammad Usman Khan, the otheraward recipient, is dedicated to helping all children in receiving an education. After attending the British Council’s Active Citizens Programme, he designed an educational program called Back to Life Edutainment for street children. He promoted the program using social media and managed to encourage more than 500 young people to voluntarily implement the project in four cities.

Muhammad also founded the BEYLI Organization, which aims to educate and support underprivileged young people. He then returned to his home village and set up the Rethinking Education community school and created a program called Edupowerment, which teaches students computer skills, English language skills and peace education.

H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, also attended the ceremony at the Buckingham Palace. He met with the Pakistani Award winners and commended their efforts in bringing lasting change and termed them role models for the Pakistani youth.

The Queen’s Young Leaders, including Pakistan winners have all been taking part in a series of high-level engagements across London and in Cambridge over the course of the last week.

Aside from other engagements, they participated in a challenge set by global social networking company Twitter, met senior executives at BBC World News and visited 10 Downing Street.

As part of the program they also received leadership training at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, met UK business leaders from Standard Chartered, AMV BBDO and PWC and listened to talks by leaders of UK charities working to deliver life-changing projects.

Meanwhile, the search for the 2017 Queen’s Young Leaders Award Winners has also opened. If you or someone you know is doing exceptional work in their community apply or nominate someone at