V Awards – “Shining a light on those who serve in Silence”

10 Aug 2011

V Awards is a project initiated this year by the IYV+10 National Steering Committee in collaboration with News 1st, as it marks the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers [IYV+10]. The concept behind this project is to honour individuals who make extraordinary contributions to society and will identify the role models and champions who can inspire a nation to volunteer for social causes.

“V Awards is an initiative to celebrate the inspiring volunteer efforts of Sri Lankans across the island” says the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, Mr. Douglas Keh.  “The partnership between the IYV+10 National Steering Committee and News 1st demonstrates exceptional leadership in the country's efforts to rebuild in this new era of peace” he adds.  

Minister of Social Services, Hon. Felix Perera quotes, “V Awards will not only be the ideal platform to recognize the outstanding volunteer efforts by our Sri Lankans but also to inspire many more to engage in volunteer activities in their given capacities”. He also adds, “The Ministry of Social Services hopes that many would utilize this initiative to volunteer for the national development of Sri Lanka. “

It is a noted fact, that Sri Lanka lacks a solid platform which recognizes the enormous contributions made by volunteers to the economy and society at large. V Awards aims to fill this void. It is an initiative designed to recognize and reward the most outstanding volunteer contributions at a national level.

V Awards will consist of four main awards; Volunteer of the Year- Gold Award, Volunteer of the Year- Silver Award, Volunteer of the Year- Bronze Award and a Youth Award. All nominees must be citizens of Sri Lanka and must be above the age of 15. The Youth Award age limit will be from ages 15 to 25. The nominations have to be carried out through an application process where a non-related third party should nominate an outstanding volunteer and his/her project initiative. The nominated volunteer should be an individual who is engaged in the cause out of his/her free will and does not work for any monetary gains by any means and who is working towards making a positive difference in his/her local community or Sri Lanka at large. The deadline for the applications is one month from the date advertised.

Speaking about the V Awards, The Group Director, Electronic Media Hub of The Capital Maharaja Organisation (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Mano Wikramanayake says “This initiative to recognize outstanding Sri Lankan Volunteers not only highlights the exceptional contribution these individuals make to society, but will inspire many others to follow their shining example”.
Further to that he adds, “This propagation of volunteerism is a most worthy cause which we as a media organisation serving the people are proud to be a part of”. 
Applications received for the V Awards will be passed through two filtering panels, evaluation panel and then a judging panel, before the semi finals where individual case studies will be aired for a month from December to January on News 1st. The final selection will be based on judges’ votes. This project is non-discriminatory and unbiased and invites nominations from all individuals. The decision of the panel of judges will be final.
“IYV+10 National Steering Committee has embarked on this journey with the nine partnering organisations, not only to recognize our volunteers, but to reach out to our volunteers and say thank you, whilst ensuring volunteerism is noted in national policy discussions” says the National Coordinator for IYV+10, Mr. Fadhil Bakeer Markar.  “V Awards is a quest, a search for the ultimate volunteer hero of our country” he adds. 
For further information on this project initiative please contact Mr. Fadhil Bakeer Markar  email:  fadhil.bakeermarkar@undp.org, Tel. : +94 11 2580691-7 (Ext. 365)