ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Four remarkable humanitarians were recognised last night for their outstanding efforts and contributions to society at the World Citizen Awards in Istanbul.

The World Citizen Awards were hosted last night at Raffles Hotel on the first day of TRT World Forum, a summit of renowned international opinion leaders and dignitaries.

The awards were all about people who have made exceptional efforts to help others around the world, living under the most difficult of circumstances.         

The first award, the Educator Award, was given to Dr Sakena Yacoobi, Founder and Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Dr Yacoobi pioneered a ground-breaking approach empowering women and communities to bring education and health services to girls living in rural as well as poverty-stricken urban areas of Afghanistan.

Jérôme Jarre, Founder of the “Love Army” Movement, received the Communicator Award. Amongst other things, the movement, which now has more than 120,000 members in 49 countries, helped raise nearly $2m to deliver aid to those suffering from drought in Somalia.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Dr Hawa Abdi Diblaawe, Somalia’s first gynaecologist. Dr Abdi Diblaawe began providing free medical care to her community in 1983, later housing more than 90,000 refugees on her own land in 2012.

Finally, the Citizen of the Year Award was given to Mohamed Bzeek, a Libyan-American Foster Parent in Los Angeles. Since 1990, Mr Bzeek has served as the only foster parent in LA who focuses on caring for terminally ill children.

Launched in 2017, the awards are a first for a global media network whose employees are on the ground, working on grassroots humanitarian-based initiatives.

The keynote speech on the significance of recognising humanitarian efforts was delivered by the Director General and Chair of TRT Ibrahim Eren.

For more information about the Forum, visit http://researchcentre.trtworld.com/forum/forum-2018

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