The 2017 winner, Marcelline Budza, at Burns Cottage
An international campaign to honour humanitarians who bring hope and inspiration and transform lives, at home or abroad, is underway. Nominations are now open for the Robert burns Humanitarian Award 2018.
The award was created in honour of the man considered to be the greatest Scot ever, Robert Burns. The award, supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals as part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations, recognises courage, commitment, inspiration and hands-on humanitarian efforts from people of any nationality, race, age or gender.
Organisers are now accepting nominations to help recognise those who have saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or direct humanitarian work.
As well as the RBHA 2018 title, winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation.
The 2017 winner was Marcelline Budza who founded the women's coffee producing association Rebuild Women's Hope (RWH) in 2013. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country considered the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman, she has helped many women regain their economic empowerment as coffee farmers.
Nominations for people to follow in Marcelline's footsteps can now be submitted online at www.robertburnsaward.com
Douglas Campbell, Chair of the RBHA judging panel, said, "We've welcomed some truly inspirational people to the awards in the last fifteen years and I'm sure the 2018 winner will prove to be a fascinating and inspirational individual.
"While people may not see what they do as anything other than their job, so many times in the past the work we have honoured has helped to transform communities, and in some case has liberated people from repression.
"Named after Robert Burns, the spirit of the award honours his legacy as someone who viewed everyone as equal, and lived his life as a true humanitarian.
"Nominations are open to people who you may know in person or have simply heard about through word of mouth.
"What all our winners have in common is that they've made a tremendous difference to peoples' lives by going the extra mile to champion causes that have made a tangible difference to the lives of others."
Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2018 can be made online at www.robertburnsaward.com until Friday,15 December.
To help get ideas for nominations, details of the 2017 finalists are available here.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in January 2018, to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.