About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
Founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of basic humanitarian aid and thus continue the cycle of giving internationally. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is Gratitude in Action. It is an eight-year commitment (2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) to support people and promote projects that tackle the needs of the most helpless and destitute, and do so at great risk. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Aurora Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan
who have, already in the second year, been joined by several dozen new donors and partners. The Initiative welcomes all who embrace a commitment to our shared humanity.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations – Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York, USA), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the IDeA Foundation
The Aurora Community of Supporters
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative was founded in 2015, by three people committed to honoring the memory of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide by supporting projects that honor their saviors. Since that time, more than 200 individuals and organizations have been inspired to join the founders in transforming a nation’s gratitude to action. We welcome all those who support this vision and join this movement. With growing resources, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative will expand programming that tackles new crises and challenges, and offers life and hope to the vulnerable. Aurora will urge those fortunate enough to have been rescued and given a new chance on life to express their own gratitude by becoming the next generation of savior. Thus, the cycle of giving will continue, empathy will replace sympathy and in memory of the survivors, we will embrace all those who believe in a shared humanity.
The 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 between 2015 and 2023 (in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) 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; former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Lord Ara Darzi; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.
More information on the Laureate of Aurora Prize 2017 is available here.
The 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.
Further information about the Aurora Dialogues 2017 is available here.
The 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 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.
More information on the 2017 Humanitarian Index is available here.
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 run between 2015 and 2023 (in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) and will offer recipients an internationally recognized 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 82 countries. It has individual scholarships named after Lamya Haji Bashar
that is given to Yazidi students and after Amal Clooney
that is given to a female student from Lebanon who demonstrates strong interest in human rights. In addition, in cooperation with Scholae Mundi Armenia, scholarships are granted to students from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to study at the American University of Armenia. The scholarship program is valued at $7million.
The 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.