Amnesty International launches youth award

Photo: File.

Amnesty International is launching an 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.

Gary was co-leader of the Amnesty International Tauranga Moana Group for more than 40 years and served multiple terms on the Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand Board.

The Tauranga Moana group wrote thousands of letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience.

Amnesty International community manager Margaret Taylor says the 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."

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

"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 awards are open to any human rights topic as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Applications will be offered to schools and youth networks across the country and it will be open to all ages under 25 years.

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

"We're excited about the possibilities this 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."

The closing date for applications is April 15, 2020.

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