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The AUV Alumni Awards ceremony was held during the AUV Day on Saturday 2 November. First prize was awarded to Antonia McGrath and Lisa van Holsteijn. Through educate. they provide poor young people in Honduras with an education and support them with a local library. Second place went to Jacqueline Tizora of ZIMBO, who distributes bicycles among the most vulnerable sections of the community in Zimbabwe. Ruud Goedknegt received both third prize and the audience award for the Barbarugo Foundation, which is planting bamboo in the Ghanaian savannah.

Winners AUV Alumni Award 2019
The winners of the AUV Alumni Award (from left to right): Jacqueline Tizora, (second prize), Lisa van Holsteijn and Antonia McGrath (first prize) and Ruud Goedknegt (third prize and audience prize) (photo: Christina Chouchena)

More than 30 socially engaged alumni submitted an entry for the AUV Alumni Award 2019. The entries provide a picture of the many social projects in which Dutch and international alumni of the University of Amsterdam are involved. Ten alumni with eight projects were eventually selected for nomination under the guidance of jury chairperson Benjamin Gomes Caixinha Knaff. Those alumni pitched their projects to the jury and the audience in the auditorium.

Education, sustainability and social welfare

With educate., Antonia McGrath, alumnus International Development Studies and Lisa van Holsteijn, alumnus Liberal Arts and Sciences, provide an opportunity for poor young people in Honduras to advance their careers via education and training. The social status and conditions of the project's participants improves noticeably. The jury praised the project for its idealistic concept and realistic implementation. The winner of the first prize receives a contribution of 3000 euros towards their project.

Read the interview with the winners

Jacqueline Tizora, alumnus Communication Science, distributes surplus Amsterdam bicycles among the most vulnerable sections of the community in Zimbabwe via ZIMBO. Removing the reliance on public transport enables women in particular to provide for themselves on an economic and social level. The jury rewarded the project with the second prize and hopes that the prize money of 2000 euros will help the project succeed.

Ruud Goedknegt, alumnus Mathematics and Physics, establishes bamboo plantations in Ghana via the Barbarugo Foundation. The project boosts the financial self-sufficiency of part of the illiterate local population. In addition, the bamboo it produces is used in a number of products. The jury was impressed by Ruud's idealism and the manner in which he has examined every aspect of the project. The audience also sees the potential of this project. The third prize and the audience prize are each worth 1000 euros.

The winners are engaged in projects for education, sustainability and social welfare on an international stage. According to the jury report, the combination of societal relevance, originality, impact, long-term sustainability of the project and the contribution of the nominees to the project makes these alumni worthy winners.