Queen Elizabeth II has honoured a South African woman with a Commonwealth Point of Light Award.
Marlene le Roux, the Artscape Theatre’s chief executive received the award for her volunteer work advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.
Le Roux, who has a disability herself, says she wants to ensure “full access and equitable opportunities for all people with disabilities, as well as their families”.
The award was created to thank “inspirational volunteers across 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond”.
Only one volunteer is selected from each nation and is given a personalised certificate from the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen herself.
Le Roux says she is grateful to receive the honour and adds: “It is a privilege for me to represent the African continent. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to have a son, Adam, also with a disability. This has taught me about life challenges, especially for mothers and caregivers who are tasked to nurture such gifts,” le Roux adds.
Other recipients of the award included Nigeria’s Itoro-Eze-Anaba, who was honoured for founding Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral in 2013, which has since helped more than 3100 rape victims and survivors.
The Commonwealth Point of Lights Awards form part of a build-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting taking places on 19 and 20 April in London.