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9 August, 2007

Foundation wins international prize for engaging young people with their communities

The Citizenship Foundation has become the first UK charity to win the international Carl Bertelsmann Prize. The charity has scooped the top prize for its educational citizenship projects.

The international search by the Germany-based Bertelsmann Foundation scrutinised 200 programmes in 12 countries, looking for the organisation delivering the most effective educational projects encouraging young people’s engagement with society.

“The Citizenship Foundation’s programme is an excellent model for other countries to follow,” says Dr. Brigitte Mohn, member of the Bertelsmann Foundation Executive Board, “They promote a mindset of getting involved, which, ideally, will continue to influence students’ choices in their adult lives.”

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation said:

"Much of our future stability as a society depends on how well the government can implement its new Ten Year Youth Strategy. We are delighted to have received this award, and hope that it will demonstrate that we can strengthen society by giving young people the tools to get involved.

"For example," he continued, "Phoenix High School in West London, used our Giving Nation Challenge programme to set up ‘Dolly Movementz’: a series of ‘open mic’ music events to provide training and entertainment for local youth. Youth Act projects across London have helped young people tackle specific anxieties, such as gun and knife crime, bullying and racial tensions."

This year’s Carl Bertelsmann Prize was designed to spur political leaders to create the necessary conditions for children and teenagers to become involved in civic causes. “By establishing such a framework, policymakers can help the younger generation to learn what it means to become involved and, as a result, to become role models for others,” Mohn explains. The Bertelsmann Foundation is promoting this year’s Carl Bertelsmann Prize under the banner of “Creating role models.”

The Carl Bertelsmann Prize has been awarded annually since 1988 and is used to recognize countries, businesses or institutions that have implemented exemplary responses to pressing social and political challenges.


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