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Tammy Darcy Scoops Two Awards at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2021

The Humanitarian of the Year Award is the highest honour bestowed by the Irish Red Cross on an individual for exceptional humanitarian achievement.

On Sunday, November 29th, Tammy Darcy - Founder and CEO of The Shona Project and members of her team attended a small gathering of the 4th annual Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards. The Shona Project, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to educate and inspire Irish girls to become the resilient women of the country’s future, was nominated for three awards. The nominations included the Innovation for Change Award, Digital Influence Award and the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award - Tammy Darcy and her team took home The Humanitarian of the Year Award and The Innovation for Change Award.

Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian of the Year Award is the highest honour bestowed by the Irish Red Cross on an individual for exceptional humanitarian achievement. The individual will not only have demonstrated extraordinary leadership but will have made a positive difference in the lives of others. This individual will also have inspired others to make societal changes a reality. It is only fitting that Tammy Darcy was the 2021 winner of this award. Nominated for her tireless effort to create a positive impact on the lives of the young girls of Ireland through her not-for-profit organisation, The Shona Project, Tammy has turned the significant trauma she experienced as a teen into a story she shares beautifully through her book and The Shona Project workshops and engaged online community.

Innovation for Change Award

Change and innovation is the only constant in society. This is now truer than in the field of humanitarian endeavour. The Innovation for Change Award recognises the achievements of an individual or team who have had a humanitarian impact on society through innovation. The winner of this award will have recognised a humanitarian issue, implemented a solution, and have consequently made a positive impact on society.

The Shona Project team was humbled to have their hard work recognised by receiving this award for 2021 and equally as delighted to keep the award in Waterford, having been awarded to Cian Ó Maidín of NearForm in 2020 for his work on the Covid-19 Tracker App. Launched in September 2016, Now more than ever, the young girls of Ireland need The Shona Project and its support. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a crippling impact on the self-esteem and mental health of Ireland's young people. This fact can be seen in the shocking statistic that Ireland has the highest rate of suicide among teenage girls in Europe. The Shona Project recognised the shift of teenagers' socialisation from in-school and in-person to online. Through innovation and the ability to change with the times, The Shona Project has grown its online community to an engaged army of girls and women from all over the world and saw its biggest ever event to date with its online SHINE Festival in March 2021 which was attended by 40,000 teenagers.

Speaking to Frank Phelan from The Irish Red Cross, he said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Tammy and The Shona Project have won The Humanitarian of the Year Award and The Innovation for Change Award. Tammy and The Shona Project do amazing work empowering young women all across Ireland by giving them the tools and a voice to go out and achieve their goals.”

Speaking about the awards, Tammy Darcy said:

"This is a huge honour, especially coming from the Red Cross, an organisation we admire so much. I started the Shona Project as a tribute to my sister, and it has been a joy to have started a movement which is now not just about Shona and myself, but is about every teenage girl, in every corner of Ireland. We are so proud of all that we've achieved, and are more committed than ever to getting louder, bigger and stronger in the years to come ".

About The Shona Project

The Shona Project is a movement that tackles difficulties facing girls aged 11 and upwards living in Ireland in the era of social media – bullying, low self-esteem, body issues, anxiety, and depression. Launched in September 2016 by Waterford woman Tammy Darcy, The Shona Project CLG aims to educate, empower and inspire today’s Irish girls to become tomorrow’s resilient, capable and confident young women.

Since its inception, The Shona Project has developed:

  • The Survival Handbook for Young Girls - - (30K copies sold out in 3 days in 2019)

  • Shine Festival (2018: 350 attendees, 2019: 1,000 attendees, 2021: 40,000 online attendees, 1 million video loads, the potential online reach of 9.1 million)

  • A vibrant, empowering and engaged online community with a combined reach of 300,000 per month.

  • In-school workshops at second level, a pilot at primary on hold due to COVID-19 and an intense 1-week Summer programme.

This is an exciting time for The Shona Project. It is growing from strength to strength and is looking forward to what 2022 has in store.


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