PRESS RELEASE: Communities join forces to reward inspirational young people
6th IARS Annual Research and Youth Leadership Awards
The IARS International Institute in partnership with the 99% Campaign held the 6th Annual Research and Youth Leadership Awards on 28th May 2019, 6pm at the Canada Water Theatre. Over 100 young people, youth workers and projects were shorlisted for the prestigious awards sponsored by a multi-sector partnership including Southwark Council, Natwest, Eurodesk and numerous NGOs and businesses.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS Founder and Director, said: “In the last year, we have seen a concerning increase of discrimination, racism and hate crimes at local, national and international levels. As we head into further political and policy uncertainties these awards send a positive message about the unique contribution of our young people and youth workers. Led by the youth and for the youth, our 6thawards ceremony is reassuring global message of demogracy in action. Thank you to all those who supported the event and congradulations to all the nominated projects and winners”!
Naomi Lunguma, Member of IARS Youth Advisory Board and winner of the The Peacemaker of the Year award said “this awards ceremony is important because it recognises the achievements and talents of young people, it is an honour to have received the Peacemaker of the Year award”.
This unique, youth-led event brought together local communities to celebrate and reward aspiring young leaders and their projects who strengthen and unite their communities. The event placed emphasis on promoting equal opportunities to young people from under-representative backgrounds for social action and participation and recognising their talents and commitment.
Simon Goldhill, Trustee of IARS said “one of the reasons I wanted to become involved in IARS was due to its commitment to justice to young people. Justice can only be delivered where the environment allows its measured processes to take root. So, the starting point for many of those of areas of societies in which we look to work is peace. Young people are often dragged into conflicts created by their elders and to have the nominees for this award leading their efforts to create peace is truly awe-inspiring”.
At the awards ceremony there were a number of high-profile individuals from businesses, research and policy fields including Liberal democrat councilor Nick Johnson of Surrey Dock Ward, Sharniya Ferdinand – Business Inclusion Program Coordinator, Commercial and Private Banking, NatWest, Robert Posner – Director of 5Rights Foundation, and Eva De Luis – Eurodesk, Erasmus and UK National Agency.
Alongside receiving an award, recipients were also presented with special prizes for each of the six award categories. Examples include scholarship with RJ4All, mentoring with leading experts and private companies, and a one to one session with leading market entrepreneurs and business leaders. Keeping the audience entertained with her thought-provoking songs was Antiqu’e a well-renowned expressionist, songwriter, singer and performing artist.
Highlighting the importance of such award ceremonies for young people like himself, Mark Tsagas, said “The youth awards are more than just a set of awards. They are a gateway to future possibilities allowing young people to express their views uninhibited and free with the ultimate goal being the betterment of society”.
A special feature of this year’s event was the 4th edition of the 99% Campaign Magazine, an established youth-led initiative which provides a platform for young people to express their views on issues affecting their daily lives.
Notes to Editors
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The IARS International Institute is user-led and user-focused charity with a mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. Since its inception, the Institute has been providing world-class and cutting-edge educational, research, policy and networking services of local, national and international significance. We are focused on empowering the most marginalised communities through direct service delivery, while enabling organisations to achieve measure and improve their social impact. We are experts in the fields of Youth | Equalities | Justice. To find out more about the IARS International Institute please follow the link www.iars.org.uk
The 99% Campaign is a youth-led initiative that aims to dispel negative stereotypes of young people, and promote their involvement in decision-making processes and civic life. The campaign is hosted by the IARS International Institute (IARS), an independent think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society.