Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has recognised Madam Cordie Aziz, representing Ghana, as the 105th Commonwealth Point of Light.
The award was in honour of her exceptional voluntary service to the environment, training hundreds of people to become recycling entrepreneurs.
A statement issued by the British High Commission, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency said as part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, The Queen- as Head of the Commonwealth - is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country each week in the two years following the Summit.
"By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time," it said.
It noted that the award ceremony was hosted by the British High Commissioner; Ian Walker at the British High Commission, Accra on Tuesday, 17th September.
It noted that, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive and Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, attended the occasion to show their support of the tremendous contribution of Madam Aziz towards waste management and recycling.
It said ahead of the award ceremony, Madam Aziz said: "I am absolutely humbled and honoured to be the third recipient of the Points of Light Award in Ghana. It is such a great privilege to be recognised for doing something that I absolutely love."
She said through her work with informal waste sector workers, she sought to not only reduce the poverty gap among a vulnerable population, but also create waste collection systems that stop plastic waste from devastating the communities and waterways.
"I think that by empowering the vulnerable, we can create a ripple effect that will undoubtedly change the way the world works. Through my work, I envision creating greater social equity, inclusion and a cleaner Ghana that we all can enjoy. I thank everyone at the British High Commission in Ghana for championing these causes and recognising the importance of this work."
Presenting the award on behalf of the The Queen, Mr Iain Walk, the British High Commissioner to Ghana said the UK Government was now diverting much more of its money into environmental protection, waste management and recycling and recognised that it is a global effort, not just an issue for governments, and that, communities and individuals can also make a difference.
Mr Walker said: "I am delighted to present the Commonwealth Point of Light award to Cordie Aziz of Environment 360 on behalf of The Queen."
"Cordie is bringing together communities and businesses to change the culture around recycling. Together with her dedicated team at Environment360, Cordie has become a key partner to the British High Commission at our flagship events, helping us to reduce and recycle our waste," he added.
Mr Walker noted that Madam Aziz's work had already led to the collection of 600 metric tonnes of waste paper.
He said Madam Aziz's innovative workshops in schools had resulted in 15,000 children setting up their own recycling programmes; stating that "The future looks green".
Mr Boamah said: "I want to encourage the youth of this country to emulate the shining example of Madam Aziz so that not only would they find solutions to the myriad of challenges in the country but also they would be creating employment for themselves and others".
Mr Adjei Sowah said: "Waste disposal has been a challenge in Accra. We need to be conscious of how we generate and dispose of waste to reduce its impact on the climate. It is not only the responsibility of the city management but all of us. We are thankful for what Madam Aziz has done and we will continue to support her."
The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.