By LOVETH AZODO, Lagos
An 18 year-old 400 Level Medical student of the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Toluwalashe Soyemi has been honoured with the 2020 Diana Award Roll of Honour.
According to the Head Centre for Information Press and Public Relation (CIPPR), Ademola Adekoya, the young champ was awarded for going above and beyond in his daily life to create and sustain positive change in their community.
Soyemi’s profile shows that he is an outstanding Hero who at age of 18 years old, co-founded Protostar Initiative, a youth-led social venture committed to providing mental health education in communities whilst advocating for the destigmatisation mental health conditions.
As the Team Lead, Tolu works with local communities to train young people in mental health first aid and raise awareness in schools and other youth organisations. These training sessions dispel common myths and help people to recognise symptoms and access support mechanisms for mental health conditions.
In lieu of the international pandemic that has restricted movements, Tolu and his team have been working on a project that aims to provide online mental health services (counseling, therapy etc) to 1000 people within 6 months for free! www.protostar.com.ng
Tolu is campaigning for a world in which everyone is educated on mental health and where every person with a mental health condition can access the support they need.
Adekoya noted that This is not the first time that Tolu would be putting LASU on the global map as last year, he was recently selected on a fully-funded scholarship to represent Nigeria in Shenzhen, China for the UNLEASH Innovation Lab as a United Nation SDG Talent to pitch his project on mental health and has gotten multiple international opportunities in support of his project on mental health.
The Diana Award established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, is the highest accolade and most prestigious award a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.
After rigorous selection process, Toluwalashe was selected alongside 184 recipients from 35 countries, of which he was one of the 9 Nigerians selected.
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are changemakers 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 twenty 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.”