HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco awards the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy to Amitabh Shah of YUVA Unstoppable
The 2015 Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy has been awarded on January 26th at the Yacht Club de Monaco to Amitabh Shah of YUVA Unstoppable. YUVA Unstoppable is an Indian non-profit organisation that aims to inspire kindness amongst the youth by encouraging them to volunteer for two hours a week. YUVA volunteers and its partner corporations improve school infrastructure, spread digital literacy, and create traffic awareness and cleanliness campaigns across the country. In the last nine years, they have mobilised over 100,000 young people across 30 cities, benefitting more than 240,000 people.
Amitabh Shah, the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at YUVA Unstoppable, decided to launch this volunteer movement at the age of 23 after he discovered the immense suffering experienced by an elderly friend when she was abandoned by her family. He gathered friends and began volunteering at homes for the elderly, slums and orphanages. Touched by the stories he came across every day, and inspired by the enthusiasm of other young people to volunteer, he founded YUVA Unstoppable to act as a catalyst in the development, improvement and growth of children.
YUVA has gained immense support from communities across the globe. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Actor Amitabh Bachchan, Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel and Author Chetan Bhagat are a few of the many people who have endorsed YUVA’s efforts.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco highlighted that “YUVA Unstoppable’s commitment to mobilising young people to stand up and play an active role in poverty reduction is inspiring. Their innovative approach to social change through digital education programmes and cross-sector partnerships demonstrates the importance of collaboration between civil society, industry and governments to achieve sustainable models of development”.
“In life there are defining moments such as meeting your soul-mate, where you go to study, or finding out your life's mission. Winning the 2015 Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is one such defining moment for Yuva Unstoppable and for me,” said Shah when informed he was being awarded the Prince’s Prize. “I am truly grateful for such a terrific recognition by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This platform can create new ideas, culture, and partnerships to engage youth globally around activities that promote kindness.”
The Prince’s Prize jury has also chosen to honour the association Seacology as a laureate this year for its excellent work in conservation. Seacology protects island inhabitants and assists local communities by offering villagers a unique deal. If they agree to create a forest or marine reserve, Seacology will provide funds for something the village needs, like a schoolhouse or a health clinic.
“Environmental preservation is an issue very close to my heart. We all have a duty to ensure the world’s ecosystems are protected, and Seacology’s commitment to achieving this is highly commendable” said the Prince of Monaco.
In response to the jury’s decision to name Seacology as a laureate, the Executive Director, Duane Silverstein, said, “We are delighted to be selected for such prestigious recognition particularly since HSH Prince Albert II has a stellar reputation as a marine conservationist and philanthropist. Being named as a laureate of the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is not only gratifying but will help us do even more for island conservation. This is particularly true as in May of this year Seacology will announce its first national level program to combat global warming.”
The Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is a global initiative developed jointly by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation in Paris, France. Its aim is to promote inspiring and innovative initiatives in the field of strategic philanthropy. The Prince’s Prize results from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s close involvement in the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy, a closed-door discussion of leading international philanthropists which takes place every year in Monaco immediately following the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
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The Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is an initiative developed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Tocqueville Foundation. Its goal is to highlight projects and initiatives that have triggered innovative activity in the field of philanthropy, seeking out individuals and organisations that inspire others. The Prince's Roundtable on Philanthropy, a closed-door forum of leading international philanthropists, takes place in Monaco every year following the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, and many of the Roundtable's members serve on the nominating and evaluating committee for the Prince's Prize.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, created by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2006, addresses the alarming threats hanging over our planet’s environment. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation works for the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development. The Foundation supports initiatives conducted by public and private organisations within the fields of research, technological innovation and activities to raise awareness of the social issues at stake. It funds projects in three main geographical regions: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions and the Least Developed Countries. The Foundation’s efforts focus on three main sectors: Climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity, and integrated and sustainable water management together with the fight against desertification.
The Tocqueville Foundation is an international grant-making, prize-awarding and operating foundation registered in France under the auspices of the Institut de France. Its mission and vision are deeply rooted in Alexis de Tocqueville’s social and political thought, and particularly his belief in the fundamental contribution of civil society to democratic and economic development. The Tocqueville Foundation fosters a dynamic civil society through learning, innovation and engagement. By promoting strategic philanthropy and social investing, building bridges across borders and generations, the Tocqueville Foundation promotes a well-developed and effective civil society where individuals, acting together, address common problems and build sustainable social equity for future generations.