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9 August, 2007

UK charity awarded international prize for engaging young people with their communities and creating

The Citizenship Foundation has become the first UK charity to win the international Carl Bertelsmann Prize. 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 has been awarded �100,000 by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

"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, 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 award ceremony will be held on September 6 in Gutersloh, with the keynote address delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 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.

Further information

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Notes for editors:

1. The Citizenship Foundation is an independent educational charity that exists to encourage and enable individuals to play an effective role in democratic society. Its vision is of a just, inclusive and cohesive society in which individuals have the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to engage effectively in their communities.

2. Giving Nation (G-Nation) is a platform for young people, via their schools, to give a voice to new and existing charitable activities they undertake and aims to boost young people�s awareness and understanding of the role of charity within the UK. www.g-nation.co.uk. The Giving Nation Challenge is a financially supported active learning programme. It aims to boost learning about charities, social enterprises and individual giving. It does this by providing a unique new curriculum-based active learning resource and a cash grant to help schools get going.

3. The award- winning Youth Act programme supports groups of young people, working with adults, who want to achieve social change in their school, youth club or community. It offers training in the skills of problem solving, team building and cooperation, influencing decision makers, communication, fundraising and campaigning. Groups choose their own issues: gun crime, mobile phone theft, teen pregnancy, anti-social behaviour, bullying, improving their housing estates, improving relations between young people and the police and lack of youth provision. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/youthact

The Bertelsmann Foundation, headquartered in G�tersloh, Germany, is dedicated to serving the common good. It executes projects in its four core areas of education, business and social affairs, health, and international relations, and strives to promote peaceful coexistence among the world's diverse cultures. Through the example of its civic engagement, it wants to encourage other individuals and organizations to support their own communities as well. Founded in 1977 as a registered charity, the Bertelsmann Foundation is majority shareholder of Bertelsmann AG. Structured as a private operating foundation, it is politically non-partisan and works independently of Bertelsmann AG. More information is available at www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de

Or visit the Carl Bertelsmann Prize portal for youth activities: www.vorbilder-bilden,de

Newsletter: www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/newsletter

Contact: Andreas Henke, Telephone: +49 5241 8181 129 E-Mail: andreas.henke@bertelsmann.de

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