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6 October, 2004

Awards recognize young people's commitment to human rights

The impetus awards celebrate the commitment made by schools, colleges and youth organisations to explore shared values and to put these into practice in their communities in the context of the Human Rights Act, which celebrates its fourth anniversary this year.

The impetus awards 2004, led by the Institute for Global Ethics UK Trust and developed in association with the Citizenship Foundation, CSV and other partners, were held on Friday 1st October.

Entries covered a wide range of real issues including global rights, anti-social behaviour, racism, homelessness, the environment and health.

Young people from Northern Ireland tackled the roots of sectarian conflict; pupils from Cardiff reduced bullying through their ‘student listeners’ initiative and primary children in London explored the history and present realities of homelessness in Tower Hamlets.

The aim of the projects is to promote social cohesion, civil renewal and good citizenship.

The impetus showcase celebration at the Museum of London was presented by young people who had put the projects into action using a variety of dance, video, art and presentations.

The participants benefit through increased interpersonal, vocational and creative skills, as well as increased self-esteem.

“The originality and creativity put into each project was incredible", said Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation.

"It is amazing to see young people’s enthusiasm and drive to improve their communities; they are leading the way in tackling real issues and are an inspiration to us all.”

impetus is not a competition. Project submissions are judged against the four impetus criteria, not against each other:

- exploration of shared rights and responsibilities;

- creative application of values across and beyond the school, college or youth organisation;

- whole school/youth organisation involvement;

- active engagement with local and wider communities.

The projects which are entered have to show a commitment to good practice in values-based approaches to education for citizenship or Personal and Social Education (PSE) in the context of the Human Rights Act.

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