Having won a competition of a lifetime to venture to space, Astronaut-in-training and Westminster graduate Hussain Manawer took stage in Canada in the company of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Ambassador for UN Women and actress Emma Watson, to address the global population to unite against mental health issues.

Journeying to Ottawa, Canada, for the One Young World Summit 2016, Hussain took to the stage to present his spoken word poetry piece ‘Mother Tongue’.

At last year’s One Young World Summit 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand, Olympic torchbearer and YouTube star Hussain blew judges away with his powerful spoken word keynote speech, raising awareness for mental health. He received a standing ovation from over 1,300 young delegates from 196 countries at the summit. Hussain, who graduated in Quantity Surveying BSc Honours (now Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management BSc Honours) from the University of Westminster in 2012, will make history as the first British Muslim to go into space after winning the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme.

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Mother Tongue | Hussain Manawer | One Young World Canada 2016

Mother Tongue | Hussain Manawer | One Young World Canada 2016
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“One Young World welcomes delegates from nearly every country in the world so to be able to speak to them about such an important issue, I hope that I can impact them all to take the message home with them, that mental health matters. Mental health transcends cultures, race, profession, so by delivering what I hope to be a memorable performance, hopefully I can let the world know that no matter how difficult times can get, you are not alone,” Hussain says.

Since winning the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme in November 2015, it has been a busy year of campaigning for the young spoken word artist. Just last month, Hussain visited a refugee camp in Greece, raising awareness of the plight that thousands face. Proving to the world that the mental health of refugees is something we should all engage with, he raised funds to personally deliver much needed aid and positivity to hundreds of children who have been struggling in the harsh conditions of the camp. From schools to corporates, Hussain travels the world, using poetry as a form of self-expression. By leading discussion on a global scale, he hopes to highlight the importance of emotional and mental health, and the need to implement more emotional wellness practices within the educational system and society.

Having already undergone round one of space training in Holland in preparation for his trip of a lifetime, Hussain continues to use this platform as a means to raise awareness of mental health. After what will be a truly moving performance later this week, the young campaigner will take on the challenge of hosting the World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson and hopefully breaking the Guinness World Record next month.

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