Amnesty International Launches Youth Award

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Amnesty International is launching a youth award as a nod to the growing want from New Zealand youth to create a more compassionate and sustainable future for themselves and future generations.

The Gary Ware Legacy Award is thanks to a bequest from a prominent family that’s been advocating for the rights of others in New Zealand and abroad for decades. The annual Award will fund a youth-led, youth-powered initiative that has a demonstrable human rights impact domestically or globally. It could foster grassroots human rights or test out creative new ideas to get people engaged in the decisions that affect them. It is open to any human rights topic as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ideally, the winning idea would engage with economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights, and includes the possibility of exploring human rights impacts arising from climate breakdown and/or armed conflict. Applications will be offered to schools and youth networks across the country and it will be open to all ages under 25 years.

Amnesty International Community Manager Margaret Taylor says the Gary Ware Legacy Award is a response to the growing demand among younger generations for a more promising future.

“New Zealand youth are caring, compassionate and are already actively engaged in delivering on the change they want to see in the world. They want to build a beautiful and inclusive Aotearoa and we want to support them to do so.”

Taylor says the Award seeks to provide an avenue for this existing passion through creativity and problem-solving.

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“We’re excited about the possibilities this Award will generate – it could be a physical invention, a competition or as simple as an app – the sky is really the limit. We can’t wait to see the creative ideas it will inspire.”

She says the bequest will be the legacy of decades-long human rights advocate Gary Ware.

“Gary was with us for four decades as part of the Tauranga group. Nothing was too small or too great for him, if he saw a need he filled it. He will be greatly missed and we are deeply grateful to Gary and the Ware family for gifting this award. It’s humbling coming from a family full of rights advocates steeped in NZ history and it will offer yet another opportunity of empowerment for youth in New Zealand. This shows just how meaningful a single bequest can be. It really is a beautiful lasting legacy of Gary’s life.”

The closing date for applications is the 15th April, 2020.