Anyone can put forward a life-saving modern hero
June 1, 2022 – Yerevan, Armenia – The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has announced that the nominations are now open for the 2023 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, given on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. Anyone can put forward modern-day heroes who risk their own lives, health or freedom to save the lives, health or freedom of others suffering as a result of violent conflict, atrocity crimes or other major human rights violations.
“The Aurora Prize sheds light on some of the most crucial issues in the world, raise awareness on these particular dark corners where we need the voice of humanity and humanitarian engagement. For me, it is an honor and a privilege to have been named one of the Laureates and to get a chance to expand my work, providing medical care and rehabilitation to the victims of ISIS terror, as well as strengthening the sustainable peace and development in a region where the last Genocide had happened. There are still atrocities like that happening all over the world today, and we need to focus on the human values to survive this crisis. We need to get involved, we need to support the people who are fighting the injustice and the indifference,” said 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate Mirza Dinnayi, Co-Founder and Director of Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge Iraq).
The Aurora Prize Laureate is selected based on the candidate’s demonstration of courage, commitment, and impact, and receives a US $1,000,000 award to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the most destitute. Nominations for the 2023 Aurora Prize can be submitted until October 31, 2022.
To nominate a candidate, one needs to fill out an online form on the Aurora website. The nominations are then assessed according to the selection criteria by the Aurora Prize Secretariat and Expert Panel to narrow the overall list to 20 nominees. Members of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee later review this shortlist, drawing upon their own expertise, nomination forms, and additional information assembled by the Secretariat to determine the Aurora Humanitarians and eventually, the Aurora Prize Laureate. Since the launch of the Aurora Prize, the Secretariat has received more than 4,100 nominations from 144 countries and territories all over the world.
“Every year, we receive more and more testaments to the strength and resilience of the spirit of humanity that compels extraordinary people around the world to help others while facing unimaginable danger. Despite the risks and challenges, these humanitarians put the life and safety of others above all else. Their stories are a source of hope in our trying times, and members of the Selection Committee and I cannot wait to hear more of them,” noted Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of Aurora Prize Selection Committee and Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.
On April 24, 2022, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announced the names of 2022 Aurora Humanitarians. The announcement was made in the Matenadaran, the national repository of ancient manuscripts located in Yerevan, Armenia. One of the Humanitarians will later be named the 2022 Aurora Prize Laureate.
Photo: 2020 Aurora Humanitarian Sister Angélique Namaika with displaced people in Dungu, 2013. © VOA French
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About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is a foundation that seeks to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the most destitute. Its mission is rooted in the Armenian history as the Initiative was founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors and strives to transform this experience into a global movement.
All Aurora’s activities are based on the universal concept of Gratitude in Action. It implies that countless people around the world who have received aid in time of crisis can best express their gratitude by offering similar assistance to someone else. By involving Aurora supporters around the world, this will become a global endeavor that will snowball to expand the circle of saviors and most importantly – the number of those saved.
Addressing urgent humanitarian challenges, the Initiative provides a second chance to those who need it the most. True to its vision – “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who are committed to giving others help and hope” – Aurora welcomes all who embrace this philosophy.
This commitment aims to promote action-based philanthropy focused on tangible results. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, Aurora for Artsakh, #AraratChallenge movement, Aurora Dialogues, Aurora Grants, Aurora Community, Aurora Index, and the 100 LIVES Initiative.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have been joined by thousands of supporters and partners. Aurora’s Chair, Dr. Tom Catena, draws on his experience as a surgeon, veteran, humanitarian and the 2017 Aurora Prize laureate to spread the message of Gratitude in Action to a global audience.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations – the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (USA), the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation (Switzerland) and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Charitable Foundation (Armenia).
About the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is a global humanitarian award. Its mission is to recognize and support those who risk their own lives, health or freedom to save the lives, health or freedom of others suffering as a result of violent conflict, atrocity crimes or other major human rights violations. The Aurora Prize Laureate is selected based on the nominee’s demonstration of courage, commitment and impact.
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate is honored with a US $1,000,000 award, which gives the Laureate a unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by supporting the organizations that help people in need.
The Aurora Prize Selection Committee is comprised of Nobel Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières Co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede, former CEO of Unilever and Co-founder and Co-Chair of IMAGINE Paul Polman; human rights activist and Co-founder of The Sentry John Prendergast and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021). The Committee is chaired by the Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Lord Ara Darzi.
World famous peace and human rights activist Benjamin Ferencz and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney are the Committee’s Honorary Co-Chairs.
We honor the memory of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), inaugural Selection Committee Co-Chair, President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; Nobel Laureate.