Homepage > News > H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco has awarded the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy to Amitabh Shah from YUVA Unstoppable.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco has awarded the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy to Amitabh Shah from YUVA Unstoppable.

Copyright Fondation Prince Albert II

The 2015 Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy was awarded to Amitabh Shah from YUVA Unstoppable, at the Yacht Club of Monaco on 26 January. This non-profit organisation based in India promotes acts of kindness among young people by encouraging them to volunteer for two hours per week. YUVA volunteers and partner companies are improving school facilities, getting involved in digital literacy programmes and launching awareness campaigns on traffic and hygiene issues throughout the country. Over the last nine years, more than 100,000 young people have been mobilised in 30 cities, providing assistance to more than 240,000 people.

Amitabh Shah, the YUVA Unstoppable’s founder and “Chief Inspiration Officer”,  decided to launch the volunteer movement when he was 23, having observed the level of suffering experienced by an elderly friend who had been abandoned by her family. So Amitabh got together with his friends and donated his time to retirement homes, shantytowns and orphanages. Moved by the stories he was hearing on a daily basis and galvanised by the willingness of other young people to volunteer, he founded YUVA Unstoppable as a platform which would help children to develop and grow.

YUVA has received significant support from communities throughout the world. The organisation’s activities have been praised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actor Amitabh Bachchan, former President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister of Gujurat Anandiben Patel and writer Chetan Bhagat, among others.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco emphasised that “YUVA Unstoppable’s commitment to mobilising young people to stand up and play an active role in reducing poverty is inspiring. Their innovative approach to social change through digital education programmes and cross-sector partnerships demonstrates the importance of collaboration between civil society, industry and governments to achieve sustainable models of development”.

“In life there are defining moments such as meeting your soulmate, choosing where you will go to study, or finding out your life's mission. Winning the 2015 Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is one such defining moment for YUVA Unstoppable and for me”, said Amitabh Shah on learning that he had been awarded the prize. "I am truly grateful for such terrific recognition from H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. This platform can create new ideas, culture, and partnerships to engage young people globally around activities that promote kindness”.

This year, the jury for the Prince’s Prize also decided to recognise Seacology for its remarkable conservation work. Seacology protects island communities and assists them by offering locals a unique partnership: if they agree to create a forest or maritime reserve, Seacology will provide funds for something the community needs, such as a school or healthcare facility

“Environmental preservation is an issue very close to my heart. We all have a duty to ensure that the world’s ecosystems are protected, and Seacology’s commitment to achieving this is highly commendable”, added the Prince of Monaco.

On learning that the jury had decided to recognise Seacology in this way, the organisation’s Executive Director, Duane Silverstein, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for such prestigious recognition, particularly since H.S.H. Prince Albert II has a stellar reputation as a marine conservationist and philanthropist. Being named as a laureate of the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is not only gratifying but will also help us do even more for island conservation. This is particularly true as in May of this year, Seacology will announce its first national level programme to combat global warming”.

The Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is a global initiative, born of a partnership between the Prince Albert II Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation in Paris. Its aim is to promote innovative and inspiring projects in the field of strategic philanthropy. The Prince’s Prize is the result of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s active involvement in the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy, a private discussion between philanthropists of international standing held each year in Monaco, just after the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

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