April 24, 2019
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity recognizes three extraordinary humanitarians for their noble commitment to liberating women from ISIS captivity, challenging a network of secret prisons in Yemen and negotiating the release of kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria.
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity’s Selection Committee has named three outstanding 2019 Aurora Humanitarians, recognized for performing acts of exceptional courage and their commitment to saving human life. The 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate will be announced at a ceremony in Armenia on October 20, 2019. With a $1 million award the Laureate will get an opportunity to continue the cycle of giving and support the organizations that have inspired their work.
The 2019 Aurora Humanitarians are:
“These are awe-inspiring humanitarians, fighting the good fight for our common humanity. The Aurora Prize acknowledges the immense humanitarian impact that can be made by the persistence and commitment of single individuals and deserves the world’s gratitude for the way in which it highlights their achievement and maximizes their capacity. This Prize, like no other, gives these heroes the recognition they deserve and empowers them to continue their work,” noted Gareth Evans, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group.
The Selection Committee had chosen the three Aurora Humanitarians from 719 nominations for 523 unique candidates submitted from 72 countries.
Dr. Tom Catena, Inaugural Chair of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and the 2017 Prize Laureate said,“The three heroes chosen by the Aurora Prize Selection Committee are extraordinary individuals who have worked to better people’s lives at huge personal risk and cost. As an Aurora Prize Laureate, I have first-hand experience of the impact the Aurora Prize has made on the lives of local actors pursuing humanitarian causes in places around the world that are often overlooked. Perhaps most importantly, the cycle of giving supported by the Prize – the opportunity to divide the award between other humanitarian organizations – is a true demonstration of gratitude in action.”
The 2018 Aurora Prize was awarded to Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung, a lawyer and Rohingya Muslim leader who, despite being imprisoned for a collective 12 years for peaceful protests against systematic discrimination and violence, uses his legal expertise to fight for equality, improvements in education and human rights for his community. Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung has decided to support international organizations that provide medical aid and assistance to refugees in Myanmar.
The 2019 Aurora Prize ceremony will take place during the first Aurora Forum, an ambitious and sweeping week of activities, which will be held on October 14-21, 2019, in Yerevan, Armenia, highlighting the best of the world’s social, scientific, educational and humanitarian practices.