On Tuesday June 26, 2018, Queen Elizabeth II presented Guyanese Marva Langevine with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.
According to her bio published on www.queensyoungleaders.com, Marva is transforming the lives of bereaved, sick and underprivileged children and families in Guyana. She is the founder of the Guyana Golden Lives Organization, which she has used to open up a national conversation about the loss of a loved one in childhood. The organisation provides financial and psycho-social support services for bereaved children, job opportunities for widows, and food hampers and building materials for low income families.
Marva has also created Camp Golden, a camp for bereaved young people, which provides counselling, food, shelter and educational opportunities. In addition, Marva is a founding member of Den-Amstel Dynamic Network, a youth group focused on restoring the cultural art forms for which her home village of Den-Amstel was once famous.
The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. With this support, Award winners will be expected to continue and develop the amazing work they are already doing in their communities.
Two years ago, Marva was a finalist of the 2016 Miss World Guyana Pageant, and won the “Beauty With A Purpose” segment of the Pageant. Following the competition she posted the following very touching statement to her Facebook Page.
“As a finalist in the MissWorld Guyana 2016 pageant and the eventual winner of the Beauty With A Purpose award ,I was able to use my voice to spread awareness of Childhood bereavement through various initiatives. I worked with an amazing team to create the first “grief camp “in Guyana which provides support through mentoring for children who lost a parent or loved one. With Support from my generous sponsors, friends and family, assistance was also provided for financially burdened bereaved families. Giving grieving children a chance to cope, grow and succeed has definitely changed my life !”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched, but are felt in the heart, hope is grief’s best music.Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.” ~ Marva Langevine
In the future, Marva hopes to hold ‘grief in the classroom’ workshops for teachers and community outreach initiatives on bereavement.