Her Majesty The Queen recognises Belizean social justice activist with Commonwealth Points of Light award
Friday, April 15th, 2022
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, has recognised Dorla Bowman, representing Belize, as the 222nd Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her exceptional voluntary service championing women’s rights and gender equality.
Dorla, aged 70, is one of the country’s leading social justice activists who has been dedicated for over 40 years to championing women’s rights and gender equality, and supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse. Dorla, who formerly served on Belize City Council, founded ‘Belize Women’s Political Caucus’ to increase the election of women to national decision and policy-making positions. Most recently, she has created ‘Building People Movement’, a project to increase awareness of rights around sexual assault laws and support those affected by gender-based violence to find new life opportunities.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week. 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.
“WOW! I am delighted and humbled! It is wonderful to receive this honour in recognition of the service I have given, especially, my long and ongoing volunteer work of building the capacities of young people, to facilitate the building of broad-based human and social capital in Belize. May this award serve as an encouragement to those involved in community development, and an inspiration especially to our young people encouraging them to get involve in building people, communities, and a better world. Thank you, your Majesty, the Queen for your acknowledgement and this prestigious award.”
Claire Evans OBE, British High Commissioner to Belize, said:
“Dorla is a worthy recipient of this award. Her vital work is helping tackle a global problem. Dorla’s commitment and determination through her voluntary advocacy work on human rights and gender based violence, over many years, has made a significant, positive impact on the lives of vulnerable women and children in Belize. In highlighting Dorla’s fantastic work, I hope this will also inspire other people to take up voluntary activity to help with their own communities. I am delighted that, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, I will get the privilege of presenting this award to Dorla. I take this opportunity to wish Dorla every continued success.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 54 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting brought together leaders from all the 54 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.
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