The Junior Chamber International (JCI), a youth-oriented civic organisation, seeks to recognise young people who are doing well in their various fields through an initiative called Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP).
Every year, the initiative identifies ten people doing exceptionally well in creating sustainable development in their communities and then send them to the JCI world congress.
The programme, which is open to people between the ages of 18 and 40, will this year be held in India.
Tendai Muchena, the JCI Zimbabwe TOYP project director, told TellZim News that the programme's goal was to support youths making a positive impact in their communities through sustainable development.
"The programme is open to all people who are doing something for their communities. Young men and women may be nominated in one of ten categories for the JCI TOYP honour. An international panel of distinguished judges will select honourees. Up to ten top honourees will be selected from all nominations received, regardless of category entered," said Muchena.
The initiative covers such categories as business, economic and /or entrepreneurial accomplishment, political, legal, and/or governmental affairs, academic leadership and/or accomplishment, cultural achievement, moral and/or environmental leadership, contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights, humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership, scientific and/or technological development, personal improvement and/or accomplishment, medical innovation.
The original programme was developed by Durwood Howes, President of The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce during 1930 – 1931. Howes conceived the idea of recognising outstanding individuals by publishing a yearbook entitled "America's Young Men" which highlighted the work of twelve exemplary leaders each year.
Honourees selected in past years have represented the heights of progress in all human endeavours. Many have gone on to even greater achievements. All have continued to serve humanity in a great variety of ways.
Zimbabwe has a number of honourees who took part in this initiative. These include Charlene Ann Hewat (1995), Strive Masiyiwa (1999), Sabelo Sibanda (2004), Betty Makoni (2007), Tendai Concilia Wenyika (2012) and Sibongile Sichelesile Ndlovu (2016). local.