First-ever Afghan recipient of the prestigious Diana Award

Mohammad Habib Abdullah, Master student at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Public Policy (NU GSPP), is the first ever Afghan recipient to be awarded the prestigious Diana Award for his work to combat the illiteracy and poverty rates in Afghanistan.


As someone who grew up in Afghanistan, Mohammad has witnessed how individuals become trapped in situations of poverty due to illiteracy, how educational opportunities were unfairly distributed between men and women, and how the illiteracy of Afghans has led to many years of war and political instability.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Afghanistan, Mohammad established the Yuz Yigit Charity Foundation to recruit and mobilise volunteers to raise awareness and distribute COVID-19 kits as well as daily necessities to the most affected families.

Furthermore, as the pandemic decimated the education system in Afghanistan, Mohammad also created an online learning and networking platform called ‘YOUTH for YOUTH’ and established a wider network of Afghan intellectuals to deliver talks on a range of topics for Afghan youth.

Mohammad says, “I am so delighted and proud to be the first-ever recipient of The Diana Award from Afghanistan. I received this award mainly for my community level, national level, and international level initiatives. As a recipient of this prestigious award, I am now inspired and motivated more than ever to go above and beyond in my daily life in order to create and sustain positive changes for the lives of others.”

The purpose of the Diana Award is to honour and celebrate the impact young people have on society and their work to improve the lives of others. The award was launched in honour of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as a charity legacy to her belief that young people have the power to change the world.