The Commonwealth Youth Excellence Award is given each year by the UK government to selected young leaders, under the age of 30, who are residents of Commonwealth countries and have made a considerable and positive contribution to social sectors becoming agents of change in their local communities.

This year, one of the honourees is Mona Prakash Mahtani, hailing from the Pakistani city of Hyderabad. She is the founder and moving spirit behind the Dewan School – a primary school offering quality education to underprivileged children.

Ms. Mehtani was nominated for the award in recognition for her contribution in the field of education. She’s the only Pakistani to make it to the list of 17 young leaders selected from 53 Commonwealth nations.

This is not the first time Mona Mahtani’s endeavors have caught the attention of international welfare organizations. In 2014, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conferred the N-Peace award on her.

Mona’s goal has been to introduce modern teaching methods and resources to children in villages who do not have access to education. The Dewan School, her brainchild, began with only three students but has progressed now to 75, and Mona has her sights set on reaching out to even more kids who deserve a chance equal to that which their city-dwelling peers take for granted.