Greek philanthropist Marianna Vardinoyannis was declared as one of the laureates for the United Nations 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize, along with Guinean doctor Morissana Kouyaté.
The announcement was made on Friday, July 17, by UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. The award is given to individuals who dedicate their lives to helping humanity, recognizing the impact that they have made through their efforts.
Marianna Vardinoyannis herself, has been involved for around 30 years in the fight against childhood cancer, with her services saving the lives of thousands of children.
Muhammad-Bande’s spokeswoman Reem Abaza, also elaborated that Vardinoyannis is a world advocate for human lives, protecting the health and welfare of children everywhere.
Both Vardinoyannis and Kouyaté will receive the award during a virtual ceremony scheduled to take place on Monday, July 20. An in-person celebration is also being planned for a later date, and is expected to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York.
During Friday’s announcement, Muhammad-Bande congratulated Marina Vardinoyannis and Morissana Kouyaté, expressing his thanks to the selection committee as well.
News of the 2020 laureates comes just before Nelson Mandela International Day, which falls on July 18. The day is in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who is hailed as the country’s anti-apartheid icon and an international symbol of unity.
The Mandela Prize was established by a UN General Assembly resolution in June 2014, with the purpose of the award being to promote the principles of the United Nations, help enact social transformation and celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela.