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Outstanding young people are being recognised on BBC NEWS all this weeek ahead of the Rotary conference in Edinburgh on 25th April
ROTARY CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE
Rotary Young Citizen Awards 2009
The amazing achievements of young people will be celebrated this week when the winners of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards are announced. Rotary Young Citizen, a project started by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) in association with the BBC News Channel, celebrates the positive citizenship and vital responsibilities assumed by many young people.
Rotary Clubs were asked to identify valued young people (under the age of 25) in their communities and nominate them for an award involving a trophy, a cash donation of £500 to their project and a visit to the BBC News studios and tour of BBC TV Centre in London.
Former Blue Peter Presenter Konnie Huq will present their awards at Rotary's annual conference in Edinburgh on Saturday 25th April, which will be televised by the BBC News Channel.
Ian Thomson, President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: "Rotarians worldwide are totally committed to the support of young people regardless of their race, sex, or religious persuasions. It would be simplistic to say that 'they are or future' but without them we do not have a future. Many are confused, apprehensive, and somewhat critical of what we, the older generation, are doing to our world. They desperately need our support."
"Rotary is very proud to have a very active Youth Opportunities Programme and be able to sponsor competitions such as Young Citizen of the Year. Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders and we feel it is so important to invest our time in their development.
"If you stop believing in young people how do you expect them to believe in themselves"
The Award winners are being featured in a series of features being broadcast on the BBC News Channel this week.
THE FIVE ROTARY YOUNG CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS ARE:
19-year-old Kirsty from Manchester suffers from a rare nerve condition, which means that she has 100 tumours at any one time in her body and needs regular treatment. Despite this, Kirsty has already raised £73,000 for the "When You Wish Upon a Star" charity to send 94 children with life-threatening and terminal illness to Lapland before Christmas during the past three years. Her next charity venture is to raise more than £80,000 to send thirty/forty families to Center Parc for a five day holiday. She runs her own website and is writing a book. Kirsty was nominated for the Award by the Rotary Club of Didsbury and District.
16-year-old teenager Leanne from Nottingham has overcome family adversity and being a very young carer – at the age of five she was looking after her three siblings. She has been adopted along with her two younger brothers and sister and now mentors young children going for Adoption and writes for Adoption and Fostering magazines. She is determined that children who are in care and going for fostering or adoption can make something out of their lives. Leanne was nominated by the Rotary Club of Mapperley.
22-year-old University of Lancaster graduate Charlie, who lives in Wanstead in East London, started his "Ambulances to Mongolia" project and raised £22,000 in three months and bought and fully equipped an ambulance which he then drove 8,000 miles to Mongolia last July. At least ten more ambulances will follow this summer and he is busy coordinating teams from all over Britain to head out to Mongolia in July, including a number of students from different universities. Next year, he is starting an "Ambulances to Nepal" project. Charlie was nominated by Rotary Club of Redbridge.
18-year-old Christopher from Kent has total body cerebral palsy which requires him to use a voice communicator to be a special needs sports coach and referee to other young disabled people with the goal of competing in the 2012 Paralympics in Boccia (Paralympic sport of adapted bowls). He is also a mentor in the use of communication aids. He is intelligent and has a great sense of humour and positive outlook. Christopher was nominated by RC of Sevenoaks Amherst.
WOODMILL INTERACT CLUB
A group of twelve school pupils in Scotland aged from 14 to 17 who are fundraising to help the "Schools 4 All in Africa" project (coordinated by Leonard Cheshire Disability) by making eco-friendly cotton shopping bags and have managed to raise more than a thousand pounds so far by selling the bags. The project enables children with disabilities in Africa to get an education which they otherwise would not receive. 90 per cent of disabled children do not go to school in Africa. The youngsters are also helping as volunteers with The Seal Association, a local charity which helps children with learning difficulties and behavioural problems and they also visit the elderly at local care homes each week and help by doing gardening, etc. Woodmill Interact Club was nominated by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline Carnegie.