Earlier this year we launched our first ever Humanity Awards to celebrate outstanding young people in our communities. The award was created to recognise a child who is following in the footsteps of our founder and legendary New Zealander, the late Professor Fred Hollows. Keep reading to see who has been chosen as The Fred Hollows Humanity Awards 2019 Junior Ambassador.
Fred became famous for being a social justice activist who championed the right of all people to have high quality and affordable eye care. We wanted to recognise a young person who also strives to make the world around them better for others and who embodies the values of compassion, integrity and kindness.
In a year that has seen our country face some extraordinarily difficult times, something that has shone through has been the incredible humanity demonstrated by New Zealanders. So we were not surprised to receive over 70 nominations, but we were overwhelmed by the impressive calibre of children who were nominated. New Zealand is in good hands if these nominations are an example of the emerging generations and Fred would be proud to be associated with such outstanding and talented young people. They are engaged at school, show compassion to strangers and their younger peers, fundraise for amazing causes without prompting, support their teachers, establish wonderful programmes, and genuinely make the world a better place with their positive, can-do attitudes.
In Sari’s nomination, submitted by her teacher, it’s apparent Sari has the biggest heart. She shows so much empathy for those around her and to members of the community. Sari wrote a speech on "How to be a Superhero". Reading it to the class, she explained that not all superheroes wear capes, but really superheroes are the ones who are kind, empathetic and caring towards others.
Sari’s teacher gave examples of her empathy, integrity and compassion for others. She saw her helping an old lady who fell over, helping a member of her class find her school work and protecting a child who was being bullied – and all of this was just in one week!
Sari’s teacher explains, “Writing this nomination put a lump in my throat as I'm so proud of the person she has become. Sometimes, all you need is someone to believe in you. I believe in Sari.”
We would also like to acknowledge our charity partner Specsavers, who has very kindly donated $5000, allowing Sari to extend her humanity by allocating these funds to a Fred Hollows Foundation NZ Pacific programme of her choice, to help us end avoidable blindness!
We will be opening nominations for next year’s Humanity Awards in the middle of next year.