Monday, July 8, 2013

When the World is in Chaos, Give Me a Hero

 THE ONE Winner 2013, Valerie Ann Taylor. 

8 Jul 2013 10:42 Africa/Lagos

"When the World is in Chaos, Give Me a Hero"

THE ONE celebrates its second year honouring the heroes of tomorrow 

HONG KONG, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rotary International District 3450( ) continues to honour the world's unsung heroes and healers with its life-changing International Humanitarian Award, THE ONE.

Conceptualised and founded by Immediate Past District Governor (2011-2012) David Harilela, THE ONE is dedicated to finding the hero of all heroes. Tired of waking up to news of violence, pain and suffering, Mr. Harilela was inspired to offset this negativity by drawing attention to the goodness of mankind that still exists in the world. It was the story of Dr. Hendrick Wuebben, a true angel who gave selflessly to serve the impoverished of Nambia, which drove Mr. Harilela to establish an award to honour and promote the pure goodness that continues to reside in the hearts of many. THE ONE Award seeks to find and empower people like Dr. Wuebben, unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to alleviating pain, suffering, poverty and hunger.

THE ONE was created with the intention to honour an individual who is the epitome of the compassion and selflessness that lives within us all. Inspired by the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self," THE ONE is an individual who dedicates his or her daily life to serving others and helping those in need. Now in its second year, THE ONE has received applicants from over 20 countries thanks to a contingent of 100 global representatives in over 30 countries who scour the world to find the tomorrow's leading humanitarians.
To celebrate its second year, THE ONE Award Gala Dinner was held on the 6th of June 2013 at The Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Hong Kong. As one of the highlights on this year's social calendar, the gala was attended by leading members of the community and local celebrities including THE ONE Ambassador Donnie Yen Ji-Dan and his wife Cissy Wang, Michael Wong and Janet Ma, David & Mahnaz Lee, supermodel Qi Qi, former Miss Chinese International Sharon Kwok and power couple Anthony and Jocelyn Sandstrom who were MCs for the evening. The four finalists were also flown in especially for the event.
Donnie Yen Ji-Dan has served as THE ONE Ambassador since the Award's inception in 2012. His compassion and dedication for helping Rotary International District 3450 find the heroes of our world has been instrumental to THE ONE Award's success. Regarding his choice to become involved with THE ONE, Donnie says, "In our society, there are so many problems that we face. Having the compassion to help others around you, regardless of how wealthy you are, I believe that is what it means to be a hero."

The winner of THE ONE award will receive US$100,000 to further their respective humanitarian cause and service projects, while the 3 remaining finalists will be awarded with US$50,000 each by our major award donor, The Peter Bennett Foundation. The winner's reward of US$100,000 has been generously endowed by respected Hong Kong businessman and Chairman and Founder of Noble Group, Richard Samuel Elman. The winner will also receive THE ONE Trophy created especially by David Harilela and sponsored and brought to life by the artistry of Baccarat.

Nominations for the award were received from Rotary's powerful network of over 1.2 million people in countries spanning the globe from Asia to Africa. The panel of judges featured top professionals from the local community as well as journalists, professors and experts working in the micro-finance field for the third world countries. All judging was completed based on an explicit list of Award Criteria. In order to be eligible for the award, candidates must (1) provide outstanding and remarkable services to mankind, (2) demonstrate daily dedication to the improvement of mankind, (3) demonstrate a continued devotion to humanitarian efforts, (4) work to the highest standard of good, (5) act with compassion and kindness, and (6) promote integrity, goodwill and peace through his or her humanitarian efforts.

In order to ensure a fair and rigorous judging process, the Organising Committee has established a three-tiered judging system. Judges in all three panels are comprised of volunteers who have signed confidentiality agreements. The initial screening panel is comprised of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotary Peace Fellows and representatives from local and international NGOs. They are tasked with selecting the top twelve applicants that will move on to the Senior Rotarian Panel. This panel is comprised of Past District Governors of Rotary International District 3450. The top four candidates from this round advance to the Final Judging Panel which consists of significant guests both within and outside of rotary. Among the final judging panel are: Past Rotary International Director Sushil Gupta; Formerly Secretary General of the Legislative Council Secretariat, Ms. Pauline Ng; Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr. T. Brian Stevenson; THE ONE major award Donor, Mr. Peter Bennett; and THE ONE Founding Award Donor, Richard Samuel Elman.

The final four finalists, along with their inspiring stories, were revealed in May and include: Christina Noble who works in Vietnam and Mongolia; Dr. Cynthia Maung from Myanmar; Enrico Sala who works extensively in Cambodia; and Valerie Ann Taylor whose cause is in Bangladesh.
THE ONE is proud to announce Valerie Ann Taylor as THE ONE Winner 2013. A British born physiotherapist and humanitarian, Valerie Ann Taylor was granted Bangladeshi citizenship in 1998 for her 43 years of selfless sacrifice to the poor and the disabled. Appalled at the neglect and maltreatment of those who were paralysed by spinal injury or disease, Valerie established the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in 1979, where 15,000 outpatients are treated every year. CRP also works to reduce accidents and provides schooling and vocational training for patients. To empower the community, Valerie established the Bangladesh Health Professions Institute to train medical personnel.

Her compassion truly knows no bounds, as Valerie became a legal guardian to two girls, Joyti and Poppy, who had been disowned due to their disabilities. Though she is often called the Mother Theresa of Bangladesh, Valerie speaks modestly that, "I am just very simple plain old Valerie Taylor. Never in our wildest dreams would we have realized that one day we would be able to offer a service to this number of people."

THE ONE Organising Committee traveled to Lisbon, Portugal in the end of June to promote THE ONE at the 104th Rotary International Convention. THE ONE 2014 will be held on the 14th of July, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile and applications for the 2014 Award are out now.
For more information, or to nominate a candidate, please visit THE ONE website at

About Rotary International & District 3450
Rotary is a volunteer organisation of 1.2 million business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace. Over 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries conduct projects to address today's challenges -- including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water and environmental concerns -- while encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations.
As the world's largest private provider of international scholarships, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International helps about 1,000 students annually to study abroad and serve as cultural ambassadors. Rotary also partners with seven prestigious universities around the world, providing opportunities to earn a master's degree in peace and conflict resolution.

PolioPlus is Rotary's flagship programme. By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary club members will have contributed US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rotary International District 3450, with over 80 years of history, now comprises of 66 clubs in Hong Kong, Macao and Mongolia. Hong Kong consists of 52 clubs (including 1 E-Club), 6 in Macau and 8 in Mongolia.
Detailed biographies of David Harilela, Richard Samuel Elman, the finalists and judging panel are also available on request.

Kindly contact Sheeva Harilela or Catherine Chan for further information and press interviews:
Tel: +852-2376-2811
Email: or
SOURCE Rotary International District 3450

  submit to reddit 


No comments: