SAWA Blog 46: SAWA Receives Awards of Recognition
November has been an exciting month for SAWA as the team gains recognition from local and global organizations for our commitment to promoting a peaceful and just world. Founder, Daphne Nederhorst has been officially accepted as an Ashoka Fellow (a true honour from a prestigious global organization made up of the worlds’ leading social entrepreneurs), and was nominated for the YMCA Power of Peace Award. Meanwhile I, Claudia Goodine, your SAWA blogger, received an award of recognition from The Art of Living Foundation for my commitment to SAWA over the past 2.5 years with the blog. At SAWA we are always honoured when our efforts to support the real heroes of the world are recognized, and ultimately, it is the amazing work of SAWA heroes that inspires us and so we dedicate our awards to them. I would like to share with you the speech I made the night of the Art of Living award ceremony:
Thank you very much for this award. It is an honour to be a part of such a wonderfully positive celebration. I want to thank Daphne Nederhorst, the founder of SAWA Global, for nominating me for this award. And I want to accept this award on behalf of the whole team at SAWA - of which I am only one part. And want to dedicate this award to all the SAWA Heroes out there - heroes from the poorest countries of the world who, through their leadership and vision, create hope in seemingly hopeless situations. I just want to say a few words about SAWA Global, the organization that I write for.
I started writing for SAWA 2 years ago when the organization was still forming, and I have seen how it has grown from a handful of individuals brainstorming in a boardroom - to a whole network of talented, compassionate individuals whose collaboration has led SAWA down the path of presenting to the UN last year. Being a part of SAWA has taught me the power of collaboration and community.
On a personal level, SAWA has been integral in my re-evaluation of what is possible in this world. If you watch the news, read newspapers, or go online, you will know that in many ways, the world is a mess; but what you rarely hear of is how in just as many ways, there are amazing individuals out there working very hard to improve their communities. One of my favourite quotes is: Everywhere, life is full of heroism. And SAWA reminds me of that every day.
As SAWA shares stories about SAWA heroes we are bringing together a community that is already changing the world. A community that can share ideas, solutions and inspiration on how to how to improve the world - equally. Because SAWA means equal in Swahili.I just want to leave you with one last quote, they say: “The First Step To Better Times Is To Imagine Them.” And that is our challenge today, in our society – made easier by the hope we are given from heroes like the ones SAWA connects to the world. We owe it them, to ourselves, and to each other, to find our own way to do our part to make a difference. Thank you!