Since 1991, the Hermann Gmeiner Award has honoured individuals who as children were cared for in any SOS Children’s Villages programme and have grown into adult role models in their community. The candidates for this award have overcome true hardship, demonstrating courage and resilience – proof that when children are supported in reaching their full potential, this does not just benefit the individual but also their local community and society.
The award recognises unique individuals with special social, cultural, athletic, academic or professional achievements. This year’s finalists include, among others, a scientist with a pilot’s license, an architect working to improve her community as well as buildings, and a nurse who has dedicated her life to caring for others as her SOS mother cared for her.
Ms Maya Dhal of India and Mr Deepak KC of Nepal were voted winners of the 2014 award
. They are pictured at the award ceremony in Innsbruck, Austria, in October, 2014.
Since 2014, the award, which is named for the founder of SOS Children’s Villages, has been presented every other year and honours both a man and a woman. The two winners receive cash prizes of €5,000 each and will travel to the Hermann Gmeiner Academy in Innsbruck, Austria, in June 2016, to be honoured in the awards ceremony.
SOS co-workers and individuals who spent time in SOS care as children or young people had the chance to nominate an inspiring friend, colleague or family member. This year, 140 nominations from 47 countries were received – all stories of inspiring individuals using their strengths and what they gained from SOS Children’s Villages to make a difference in their local community. The Hermann Gmeiner Academy Board has selected eight finalists from which two winners will be chosen by the public.
Now, it’s your turn to take part and vote for who you think should win this award! Voting is available to all and everyone can vote for one man and one woman. Voting is open from 7 March to 7 April so get voting and share this with your friends and colleagues!