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Tilak de Zoysa wins humanitarian award



Tilak de Zoysa (Chairman HelpAge International), Richard Blewitt (CEO HelpAge International), Steven M. Hilton (President and CEO Conrad N. Hilton Foundation at the Awards presentation

Tilak de Zoysa, Chairman HelpAge International received the Hilton Humanitarian Prize at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington, DC. HelpAge International is the only global organisation with a singular focus on providing assistance to and advocating for disadvantaged older people. It helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.

The current Chairman of HelpAge International and HelpAge Sri Lanka is well-known Sri Lankan business leader Tilak de Zoysa, President of Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd. and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. At $1.5 million, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is the world's largest humanitarian award. Inaugurated in 1996, the annual award is presented to a non-orofit organisation judged to have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions in alleviating human suffering. Following initial background and legal review, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize staff conducts an extensive evaluation of the candidates, before submitting to an independent, international jury that makes the final selection.

D.C. Robert Zoellick President of the World Bank made the keynote address at the award ceremony. HelpAge International CEO Richard Blewitt accepting he award paid tribute to the millions of older people throughout the world who struggle daily with extreme poverty and discrimination. "It is through their considerable achievements and passionate selflessness that the world has become a better place for their grandchildren and ours. This day is theirs. This award is theirs. It is our privilege to accept it on their behalf," he stressed.

Past winners

Some past recipients of this award are Handicap International (2011) Aravind Eye Care System (2010), International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) (2003), SOS Children's Villages/SOS-Kinderdorf International (2002), Doctors Without Borders/Medicines Sans Frontiers (1998) and International Rescue Committee (1997).

Hilton Humanitarian Prize jury

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation selects independent jurors from around the world whose experience in the humanitarian and development sectors uniquely position them to identify exceptional organisations. The following individuals currently serve on the Hilton Humanitarian Prize jury: Princess Salimah Aga Khan International Ambassador, SOS-JKinderdorf International, Professor Catherine Bertini Professor of Public Administration, Syracuse University, Former Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Former Executive Director, Untied Nations World Food Program Gro Harlem Brundtland, M.P.H. Former Director General, World Health Organisation, former Prime Minster of Norway, James R. Galbraith Director, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Hawley Hilton McAuliffe Director, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Strive Masiyiwa Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless, Professor Amartya Sen Nobel Prize laureate in Economics Lamont University Professor, Harvard University.

 

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