Adi Roche and Ali Hewson receive Princess Grace Humanitarian Award from Prince Albert Award dedicated to children still trapped by fall-out of world’s worst nuclear accident
The Ireland Fund of Monaco event attended by over 500 people
Monaco, Sunday, October 04, 2015: The founder and voluntary CEO of Chernobyl Children International (CCI) Adi Roche and CCI patron and board member Ali Hewson have overnight, at an Ireland Fund of Monaco gala event, been presented with one of the leading global humanitarian awards.
Ms Roche and Hewson were last night honoured with the 2015 Princess Grace Humanitarian Award in recognition of their incredible achievement in helping CCI raise over €100 million since the disaster.HSH Prince Albert II said, “There is a calling for us all in life but some just hear that more than others. Adi Roche and Ali Hewson are clearly among those and their response to that call has given hope where there was none. I know that their calling is as strong as ever and the need likewise. I wish them every encouragement and success going forward.”
In a message read out at the event, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins said, “This is a well-deserved accolade, honouring their great dedication to the children of Chernobyl. Chernobyl Children International was founded on a deep spirit of generosity, recognising the common humanity which binds us all. It has enabled the citizens of Ireland to reach out for many years in solidarity and support with those in our international community whose lives and futures were so drastically changed by the nuclear accident in Chernobyl on 26th April 1996. The commitment and hard work of Adi and Ali has ensured that the people of Ireland have never forgotten the children of Chernobyl.”
Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, said, “Amidst the tragedy of Chernobyl, Ali and Adi’s work shines. Through their courage and tenacity, they rescued thousands of children and have given them safe and secure lives. From what could have been a desolate childhood, these children now have the chance to forge brighter futures. We are very much aware that the work must continue and at The Worldwide Ireland Funds we wish them every success and support they can get. We are proud to salute and honor Ali and Adi.”
On receiving the award Adi Roche said: “We are eternally grateful to The Ireland Fund of Monaco, to Prince Albert and to so many people who have supported us here tonight. We accept the award in the name of the Children of Chernobyl who are so often forgotten and relegated to history but who are still very much a part of the unfolding tragedy that is Chernobyl.”
Ali Hewson said: “We are immensely proud to receive this award but Adi and I know that it belongs to the Irish volunteers and supporters of CCI over the three decades since the accident. All that CCI has achieved is due to their dedication.”
Commenting on the award recipients, President of The Ireland Fund of Monaco Olivia Gaynor-Long said it was due recognition of their selfless dedication to human rights in the region. “Adi’s and Ali’s achievements with CCI and the amazing work they continue to do leaves us all in awe. Raising over €100 million to make the lives of Chernobyl children better is a phenomenal achievement from where this all started. Despite almost insurmountable obstacles, they continue to give hope to some of the most abandoned and deprived children in Europe.”
About Chernobyl Children International
Adi Roche responded to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and formally founded Chernobyl Children International (CCI) in 1991 to develop programmes to support children and families living in the affected areas.Ali joined Adi in 1993 and together they produced the critically acclaimed Black Wind, White Land—the first documentary that exposed an international audience to the plight of the victims of the Chernobyl accident.
Roll on to 2015 and the organistion Adi Roche established, with Ali Hewson as patron and a dynamic influence, Chernobyl Children International (CCI) has raised over €100m for some of Europe’s tens of thousands of children, whose lives have been saved, prolonged or improved through CCI’s efforts to address the long-term medical and economic effects of this unprecedented nuclear catastrophe.
Adi and Ali have researched and produced several award-winning documentaries about the Chernobyl disaster. The 2003 the Oscar-winning documentary Chernobyl Heart highlighted the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the health of children in the area.
Together, Ali Hewson and Adi Roche brokered an agreement with Belarussian authorities on behalf of the Irish government paving the way for the hundreds of Belarussian children to be adopted by Irish families. CCI is today the largest contributor of aid to Belarus and the largest single purchaser of aid for the area.
Their achievements include:
•Aid Delivery:€100 million worth of aid delivered to impoverished communities and children across Chernobyl regions since 1986.
•Rest and Recuperation:25,000 children have been given on rest and recuperation holidays with host families in Ireland.
•Cardiac:CCI has developed a child cardiac surgery programme in Belarus and the Ukraine to combat the marked increase in cardiac birth defects since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.3,500 of life-saving cardiac surgeries performed and enabled over the last twelve years by CCI.
•Alternatives to Orphanages: Homes of Hope Programme – CCI’s ‘Homes of Hope’ programme provides the alternative to state institutions via30 homesthat have been purchased and renovated, this isthe equivalent of closing two orphanages in Belarus. Independent Living programme: Historic Independent Living programme for teenage boys and girls who live in Institutional care.
•Hospice:CCI has built and equipped thefirst ever baby hospice in Belarus. CCI has provided expert training to the staff to ensure the best care to patients.
•Day Care Centres: Ten new centres have been built or refurbished giving educational, medical and social services to populations of over 30,000 per centre.www.chernobyl-international.com
About The Ireland Fund of Monaco
The Ireland Fund of Monaco Princess Grace Humanitarian Award was created to acknowledge outstanding achievement by Irish men and women in the field of human rights, social justice, education and humanitarian action. Among other projects, The Ireland Fund of Monaco supports the work of the Princess Grace Irish Library and The Ireland Fund of Monaco Writers Bursary which provides Irish writers and academics with one-month residencies at the Library to pursue current writing and research projects. The Ireland Fund of Monaco is part of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, a philanthropic network with chapters across 12 countries that has raised over $500 million for worthy causes in Ireland and Irish causes around the world. The Worldwide Ireland Funds are the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development.
Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds have benefited over 3,000 organizations. Funds raised are contributed by private sources – individuals, corporations and foundations.www.theirelandfunds.orgAbout the Princess Grace Humanitarian Award
The Princess Grace Humanitarian Award, which has been presented by HSH Prince Albert II on behalf of The Ireland Fund of Monaco since its inception in 2004, is the sole such award dedicated to the memory of the late Princess Grace. Past recipients of the award include President of Ireland Mary McAleese, HG Duchess of Abercorn Sasha Hamilton and philanthropist JP McManus.