The Cyprus Commissioner for Volunteerism, Yiannis Yiannakis, on Tuesday emphasised the importance of involving young people in volunteering.
Yiannakis was speaking at a news conference for the launch of the Energy Globe 2014 awards.
He congratulated Cypriot charity Cans For Kids for putting volunteering at the centre of their project, which won the World Energy Globe Award (2013) in the ‘Youth’ category.
Austrian Ambassador Karl Mueller said the award brought Austria and Cyprus closer together in the vital field of care for the environment and he also emphasised the importance of involving young people in the issue.
Television coverage of the awards ceremony a fortnight ago was watched by millions around the world, who saw a film of the work being done by Cans For Kids to raise awareness of recycling issues, and foster a culture of volunteering in Cyprus, as well as supporting the children’s wards at Makarios Hospital with donations of medical equipment which have so far exceeded €260,000.
Rosie Charalambous, Vice-President of Cans For Kids, and Ambassador for the Energy Globe Foundation in Cyprus, said this was just a beginning. “Environmental organisations from all over Cyprus can apply for the Energy Globe. There are five categories: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Youth. As the Energy Globe Ambassador for Cyprus, I’d like to see many more organisations and associations working in this field applying for what is undoubtedly the world’s most prestigious environmental award – it has been dubbed the ‘Eco Oscar’,” she said.
“Not only does participation promote Cyprus abroad but it is a great way to encourage Cypriots to address the subject, which has a bearing on the quality of life of us all – and that’s particularly true of future generations, which is why we feel that the inclusion of young people is so important – indeed, we would like to see voluntary community service included in the public school curriculum as soon as possible.”
The Energy Globe Award was founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and is one of today’s most prestigious global environmental awards.
The goal of the Award is to present successful sustainable projects to a broad audience, for “many of our environmental problems already have good, feasible solutions”.
From more than 1,000 entries, the international Energy Globe Jury headed by Maneka Ghandi nominated 16 projects from all continents, ranging from simple initiatives to use our natural resources carefully, high-tech innovations for energy efficiency to the intelligent employment of renewable energies and large scale awareness-building focusing on sustainability.