The inaugural Dóchas Awards ceremony took place Thursday 7th May 2015 at the Dóchas Annual Conference in Croke Park.
Dóchas Global Citizen of the Year award winner Breda Gahan, Concern Worldwide; Vanina Trojan, Programme Co-ordinator with Plan Ireland - winner of the Innovative Programme of the Year award; and Sharan Kelly, Dóchas Chairperson and CEO of Tearfund Ireland
The Dóchas Awards celebrate inventive, innovative and inspiring work by people and organisations in Ireland working for development and global justice.
“In Ireland and around the world there are people leading the way in their passion and commitment to global justice, and are inspiring others to do the same. The Dóchas Awards shine a light on what is being done by people in Ireland working in development,” says Sharan Kelly, Chairperson of Dóchas.
The winner of the Global Citizen of the Year Award is Breda Gahan, the county Wexford native who works for Concern Worldwide and has dedicated her life to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The winner was announced by the conference MC, Justin Kilcullen, former Director of Trócaire.
Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas said, “we are delighted that Breda Gahan has been announced as the Global Citizen of the Year. She is truly deserving of this title. We have received nominations from all over the country, which shows that there are inspiring change makers all over Ireland, making a big difference to people’s lives around the world.”
Breda Gahan is a Dublin trained nurse and midwife with a masters degree in Public Health from Liverpool University. She has worked and lived overseas since 1984 in Iraq, Sudan, Cambodia, and Mozambique, following on with frequent visits to Bangladesh, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and other countries. For the past 27 years, joining in 1988, she has worked with Concern Worldwide, principally supporting Health and HIV programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The panel of judges had this to say of Breda: “Breda is a remarkable advocate for one of the greatest public health issues. A tireless worker who is credited as one of the people without whom the Irish development sector would not have had the strong focus on HIV and AIDS that it has today.”
Hans Zomer, Director, Dóchas; Vanina Trojan, Plan Ireland, Programme Co-ordinator; David Dalton, CEO Plan Ireland and Yvonne Lennox, World Travel Centre and event sponsor.
The Innovative Programme of the Year Award went to: Plan Ireland for their programme- “Promoting Universal Birth Registration for Children’s Development and Protection’.
The programme aims to fulfil the right of children to be registered at birth to improve access to development opportunities and protection from violence and exploitation. Capitalising on new technologies, Plan supported governments in Sierra Leone and Liberia to replace the manual registration process with a digitalised system.
The Dóchas Annual Conference 2015: Seek to Innovate, Prepare for Change focused on positive change in the world, and on different sectors coming together to achieve that change. This year the conference was held in asscoiation with the European Year for Development 2015. “We must all be engaged in global development – in every sphere of society –we all have a role to play in creating a just and sustainable future,” says Zomer.
The keynote speeches at the conference were given by innovative individuals in the technology sector: Founder of Storyful Mark Little and Kate Krukiel, Director of Strategic Partnerships across the United Nations and International Organisations for Microsoft.
Speaking at the Dóchas conference Kate Krukiel, Director of Strategic Partnerships across the United Nations and International Organisations for Microsoft said, "I am excited to be part of the conversations on how to reinvent productivity - and to rethink how development organisations partner with private sector - so that we empower every person to reduce extreme poverty and alleviate human suffering."
For a full shortlist of the nominees for Global Citizen of the Year and Innovative Programme of the Year and to read their incredible stories see: http://www.dochas.ie/awards