Nozizwe Dube, the 21-year-old Flemish Youth Council President, has been named “Young European of the Year”.
This prize has been awarded by the Schwarzkopf Foundation since 1997. It is awarded to youngsters in Europe for their societal commitment.
The winner explained on Friday, “The organisation was impressed by my personal journey and how I have involved myself in Europe.”
Nozizwe Dube fled Zimbabwe, her native country, at the age of 14 and settled in Belgium.
Almost seven years on, she is studying law at the University of Leuven and is President of the Flemish Youth Council.
Although this young lady believes very strongly in Europe, she indicates that there are several major aspects which need to be worked upon all the same.
Nozizwe Dube considers, “I believe that diversity constitutes Europe’s strength. Although the current discussions appear to indicate otherwise, I think that there is a strong desire for greater inclusion.”
She goes on, “We should not always agree with each other, but we should at least listen to one another.”
The prize “Young European of the Year” is also synonymous with a grant worth 5,000 euros. This sum must finance a six-month work placement with an MEP or within another European institution, or be used to finance a Department of European Integration project.