YEREVAN — The third annual $1.1 million Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was awarded on June 10 to Kyaw Hla Aung, a lawyer and activist recognized for his dedication to fighting for equality, education and human rights for the Rohingya people in Myanmar, in the face of persecution, harassment and oppression. Kyaw Hla Aung was presented the 2018 Aurora Prize, granted by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, at a ceremony in Armenia.
Kyaw Hla Aung was selected as the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate from among 750 nominations submitted from 115 countries.
Vartan Gregorian, co-founder of the Aurora Prize and a member of the Selection Committee, commended Aung, stating: “As we remember the horrors and violence experienced by Armenians — especially women and children — on the deportation route during the Genocide, it is with a great sense of responsibility that we stand ready to support Kyaw Hla Aung’s advocacy work that will hopefully lead one day to the enactment of national and international policies to protect and defend the vulnerable. Kyaw Hla Aung is doing tremendous work, at great risk to himself, and exemplifies the far-reaching impact one person can have to galvanize a movement, and to help individuals transform their lives.”
As the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate, Kyaw Hla Aung will receive a $100,000 grant and the opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by donating the accompanying $1,000,000 award to organizations of his choice. He will donate the award to three international organizations that provide medical aid and assistance to refugees in Myanmar:
* Médecins Sans Frontières (London)
* Malaysian Medical Relief – MERCY Malaysia (Malaysia)