Aurora Humanitarian Initiative

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is committed to building a broad, global humanitarian movement. The initiative is rooted in inspiring stories of courage and survival that emerged during the Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million Armenians perished. Those fortunate few who survived were saved by the courageous and heroic acts of institutions and individuals who intervened, at great risk. A century later, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to express gratitude, share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, and celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative creates and supports projects designed to raise public awareness and address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues. These projects include the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is an enterprise of the IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia).

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Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity

On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored each year with a US$100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a US$1,000,000 award. Recipients will be recognized for the exceptional impact of their actions on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes.

The Aurora Prize Selection Committee includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former Foreign Minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.

The Aurora Prize will be awarded annually on April 24 in Yerevan, Armenia.

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About the Aurora Gratitude Projects

The Aurora Gratitude Projects are humanitarian and educational initiatives which help children, refugees and other vulnerable citizens around the world. Through these projects, the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide seek to express thanks to the memory of those who helped save the victims of genocide, by providing educational initiatives and scholarships, grants to humanitarian projects and promoting public awareness of humanitarian efforts.

In cooperation with the Near East Foundation, 100 academic scholarships are given to at-risk youth from the Middle East who have been affected by conflict, displacement, and poverty. The scholarship program will continue for eight years and will offer recipients an internationally recognized level of education within the United World College (UWC) network of schools, including in Armenia-based UWC Dilijan—a co-educational boarding school currently hosting students from over 72 countries. The scholarship program is valued at $7million.

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Aurora Dialogues

The Aurora Dialogues is an international platform for discussion among leading experts from across the international humanitarian community, business, philanthropy and media on the most pressing challenges facing the world today. The Dialogues are held annually in Armenia as part of a weekend of events culminating with the presentation of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

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Aurora Humanitarian Index

The Aurora Humanitarian Index is a special survey that examines public perceptions of major humanitarian issues. It explores the international public’s attitudes toward both responsibility and effectiveness of humanitarian intervention, as well as the motivations that urge people to intervene on behalf of others.

The annual survey is conducted across multiple countries and its findings are presented each April during the Aurora Dialogues, an international platform for discussions among leading experts in the humanitarian community, as part of a weekend of events culminating with the presentation of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

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100 LIVES Initiative

The 100 LIVES Initiative was launched in March 2015 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in which the overwhelming majority of the Armenian population perished. Those who survived did so thanks to the benevolent intervention of institutions and individuals – often strangers. In recognition of their humanity and courage, 100 LIVES seeks and shares the stories of Armenian Genocide survivors, their saviors and their descendants. Each story captures the unique transformation of each victim to a valuable contributor to society.

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