The Diana Award: Young people who inspire the lives of others.

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International Award Holders

International

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Georgina’s story

Georgina Lara Booth, aged 18 is a law student living in The Netherlands. She received the prestigious Diana International Award in 2013 for her commitment and deciation to humanitarian work.

“I admire all the good work that Princess Diana has done for the world. She was a genuinely kind and wonderful role model and it therefore means a lot to me to receive the International Diana Award in honour of her inspirational life and admirable work.

Since a very young age, I have been an advocate for the rights of others, particularly the rights of children and young adults in Europe and the rest of the world, and I have promoted the importance of unity amongst young people.

When I was 10 years old, I saw the devastating pictures of the 2004 tsunami in the Far East. As a result of seeing the unsuitable environment for the local school children of the areas affected by the tsunami, I wrote to the mayor of the municipality where I live in The Netherlands and asked if he would like to help my sister (Natasha) and I to organize a benefit music festival in order to raise money for the young tsunami victims. The music festival was a huge success and we raised enough money to build playgrounds and sports fields in four different places in Aceh, Indonesia. Soon after, the mayor appointed me as a Humanitarian Youth Ambassador to encourage humanitarian work amongst other young people. I also had to emphasize the importance of education and I therefore appeared in a school inspector’s film encouraging young people to do their best at school as I was 15 years old when I began studying for a law degree at my university.

At the age of 16, the local district court judge granted me special permission to establish my own foundation: 4U&U (for YOU and YOU) Foundation. 4U&U Foundation (www.4uandu.org) organizes benefit events (such as concerts, fashion shows, sports events, etc.) in order to raise money for children from underprivileged backgrounds around the world and to encourage young people to volunteer and participate in charity work.

In September 2012, I founded an Embassy of Peace for which I was the Ambassador of Peace. My Embassy of Peace was the main point of all world peace and security related activities during ‘Peace Week’ and the ‘National Day of Peace’ in The Netherlands. As an Ambassador of Peace, I organized a peace debate with the former secretary of defence and other experts, a ‘peace art’ workshop, a peace lecture with a Dutch MP and a fantastic peace masquerade ball in the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology. I also wrote a children’s peace musical.

If you are interested in knowing more about my foundation, please visit my foundation’s website: 4 U and U and please do not forget to ‘LIKE’ our Facebook page 4UU – Foundation Facebook Page

First Angolan teens receive International Diana Award

Christian Aid partner, Women’s Christian Union of Angola, received the International Diana Award for their ‘Girls Building Bridges’ project and their work on HIV awareness in the Angolan capital city, Luanda.

The 12 teenage girls, aged between 11- and 15-years-old, receieved the award for their commitment to improving HIV awareness among young women in their communities and challenging the stigma and discrimination associated with the virus. Despite official estimates that national HIV prevalence rates in Angola are between two and four per cent, some heath centres in Luanda are reporting rates of up to 20%, particularly amongst young people, with new cases presenting every day.

“We are really proud that Girls Building Bridges are the first Angolans to receive the International Diana Award,” said Tuiku Kiakayama Elisa, General Secretary at the Women’s Christian Union of Angola.

“In a county where the population is young and HIV prevalence is high, their work is so important; they are role models in their community and provide vital support to young girls and women. They have had the confidence and courage to discuss the issues that affect women and girls and they inspire others to follow their example. This is helping them empower themselves to make positive life decisions.”

As part of the Girls Building Bridges programme, the girls start by developing ‘competencies for life’,  so that instead of just saying ‘no to HIV’, they can say ‘yes, to themselves’. They then perform interactive role plays in schools and churches and encourage debate on topics such as gender equality, domestic violence and reproductive health in the context of HIV/AIDS. They also help to inform young women about their fundamental rights and encourage them to take ownership of their relationships.

Around 70% of the girls in the group go onto become peer educators and volunteers providing post-HIV test counselling at local health centres. They also offer moral support to many girls and women in the community who experience domestic violence. Tellingly, all girls from the first courses – now young women – are currently doing university courses and working, breaking the reproduction of poverty and exclusion in their lives.

On receiving the International Diana Award 14 year old Maria Gloria Santos said: “We are delighted to be the first recipients of this International Award in Angola. We are passionate about raising the awareness of key issues affecting young girls. We are the women of the future and we want it to be a better future.”

For more information on the International Diana Award click here.

For more information about the work of Christian Aid click here.

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