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.
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