A BRADFORD teenager has won the Rotary Young Citizen Peacemaker Award 2020 for her community efforts.
Iqra Khan, 16, was nominated for the award by Bradford Rotary.
Growing up in Bradford has been difficult for 16-year-old Iqra Khan who experienced a racist attack and racial abuse as a child with her family.
“That was the defining moment in my life and I have always wanted to be at the helm of the fight to bring my community together," Iqra said.
“I did not want to be known as the British Pakistani girl in the Hijab. I wanted to be known as the girl who fought for others."
The teenager is a founding member of Team Theology, set up in her school Bradford Academy, as a faith discussion group.
Iqra organised and led whole year group assemblies on the true meaning of Ramadan but also took Team Theology to a community Iftar evening, speaking to parents and religious leaders.
Iqra also delivered a message of peace at the local cathedral, looking at key readings from all faiths and how everyone can unite with their hopes of peace.
Iqra also works with some of the district's most vulnerable children as a Jiu-Jitsu coach.
As the first Muslim Pakistani coach at her school, Iqra has inspired a number of locals and young girls to take up Jiu-Jitsu.
Iqra says: “Winning the Rotary Young Citizen Peacemaker Award means a lot to me and I would like to say thank you to everybody who has helped me achieve all that I have, including my family, friends and teachers at school and Onna Ju-jitsu Club coach, Sensei Mumtaz.
"They have been truly supportive and inspirational. I am grateful for the countless opportunities that they have provided me with and I hope that it inspires others to push the boundaries and try new things.”
Iqra will receive a trophy, certificate and £300 to go towards her chosen project or charity.
The Rotary Young Citizen Awards Presentation had been due to take place at the UK’s first-ever Volunteer Expo, organised by Rotary International at the NEC in Birmingham this month.
The event has now been postponed until May 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Donna Wallbank, Rotary in Britain and Ireland president, said: “Iqra is an inspiration to us, she has created a positive out of a negative experience and developed a spirit of determination to undertake change for good.
"Iqra deserves this award as she is leading the way for others to follow with positivity and shows that all faiths or none can create peacefulness within society.”