Odisha Sun Times
Bhubaneswar, Feb 27 :
Philanthropist and social entrepreneur Madam Albina du Boisrouvray of Switzerland was honoured with the KISS Humanitarian Award for 2013 on Wednesday at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, here.
Rabbi Julia Neuberger, the Baroness Neuberger DBE and Founding Trustee, Walter & Liesel Schwab Charitable Trust, U.K. presented the award to her in the presence of Hon’ble Gyétrul Jigmé Rinpoché, Founder and Director, Ripa International Centre for Buddhist Study and Practice, Switzerland, Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Netherlands, Saswati Bal, President, KIIT & KISS and Dr A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS.
Madam Boisrouvray is the founder of Association François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB International), which works with vulnerable children all over the world. The organization is named after her son, who was killed in an accident in 1986.
Born into a wealthy family, Boisrouvray is a former journalist and film producer. However, the tragic loss of her son changed the course of her life and she established FXB International, which now leads over 100 programmes in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe.
Her son – François-Xavier Bagnoud – was a rescue pilot, who dedicated his life to providing assistance to others, and FXB International takes forward his compassionate mission, she said in her acceptance address.
“I am humbled to see the fantastic work that is being done in Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). It is absolutely remarkable and I congratulate the Founder of KISS Dr. Samanta for it”, she said. Investing in children is investing in world peace, she said, adding that she wishes to share the honour with FXB team in India.
Albina du Boisrouvray is a remarkable woman who was inspired by her grief, said Rabbi Neuberger, while presenting the KISS Humanitarian Award – 2013.
The world has hundreds of thousands of suffering children and needs many more Albinas, she added.
Appreciating the concept of the KISS, Neuberger said, “I was delighted to see little children learning here in their own mother-tongue”.
Aspirations on the face of boys and girls of the institute make the occasion very special, said Ms. Lisa Jordan. Bernard van Leer Foundation has partnered with the institute to implement multi-lingual education, she informed.
Speaking to thousands of tribal children present at the award presentation ceremony, Venerable Gyétrul Jigmé Rinpoché said, everyone is born equal and possesses tremendous potential to become great. But this potential remains untapped in the absence of guidance. He said he was happy to see KISS doing its best to offer a platform to the marginalised children.
Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries to the presentation ceremony, Dr. Achyuta Samanta said that it was a great honour for KISS to felicitate Madam Boisrouvray, who had been helping millions of children in distress across the world.
KISS, which is the largest free residential institute for tribal children, shares her concern, he added.
The KISS Humanitarian Award was instituted by Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar in 2008 to honour and recognize individuals with exceptionally great contributions to the society . The award is presented annually and the recipient is chosen by a high-level jury. The award is being presented every year since its inception to great compassionate leaders of vision and concern for human values from different parts of the world.
Madam Albina du Boisrouvray is the sixth KISS Humanitarian Laureate. Previous recipients of this prestigious award are : His Excellency Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Hon’ble Prime Minister, The Royal Government of Bhutan (2012); Rt. Hon. Lord Nicholas Addison Phillips, President (Chief Justice) of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2011); Rt. Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Eminent Social Worker & His Excellency the President of Mauritius (2010); Dr. Ham Kee-Sun, Eminent Educationist & Physician and Hon’ble President & Founder, Hanseo University, South Korea (2009); Ms. Edna Bomo Molewa, Noted Social Worker & Hon’ble Cabinet Minister, Social Development, South Africa National Assembly, South Africa (2008).
The award ceremony was presided by Smt. Saswati Bal, President, KIIT & KISS. Prof. N. L. Mitra, Chancellor, KIIT University, Shri R. N. Dash, Secretary, KIIT & KISS and Dr. P. K. Routray, CEO, KISS also spoke on the occasion.