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Co-creator of UNESCO-supported TV show wins prestigious Rolex Award
Bruktawit Tigabu, co-creator of the popular Ethiopian television show “Tsehai Loves Learning”, has been selected as a winner of Rolex’s Young Laureates Award. Bruktawit was among five outstanding social entrepreneurs who impressed the judging panel with their passion and conviction to overcome challenges facing our planet. UNESCO’s Office in Addis Ababa has been a long-standing supporter of the Ethiopian show.

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Co-creator of UNESCO-supported TV show wins prestigious Rolex Award

21-04-2010 (Geneva)
Co-creator of UNESCO-supported TV show wins prestigious Rolex Award
Bruktawit Tigabu
© Rolex Awards/Marc Latzel
Bruktawit Tigabu, co-creator of the popular Ethiopian television show “Tsehai Loves Learning”, has been selected as a winner of Rolex’s Young Laureates Award. Bruktawit was among five outstanding social entrepreneurs who impressed the judging panel with their passion and conviction to overcome challenges facing our planet. UNESCO’s Office in Addis Ababa has been a long-standing supporter of the Ethiopian show.
To find exceptional young pioneers, Rolex invited a range of institutions, organizations and individuals worldwide to nominate potential candidates. A rigorous screening process followed, in which the candidates’ projects are examined in detail to choose those that best meet the criteria.

An expansion of the long-standing Rolex Awards for Enterprise, the Young Laureates Programme honours men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 with inventive ideas. Each Young Laureate will receive US$50,000 over the course of two years. During the first year, funding of $25,000 will give the recipients time to focus on their pioneering projects, while the second instalment will help them move forward in implementing them. The Rolex Awards international network of innovators, comprised mainly of former Laureates, is available to help the winners take the projects to another stage.

Quick to share recognition for her award, Bruktawit gave thanks to the UNESCO Addis Ababa Office, who foresaw the potential of this project from the beginning and have consistently helped build its capacity.

Bruktawit plans to use the award money to tackle pressing health issues. “Most death of children under five in Ethiopia is preventable,” said Bruktawit. “With the help of our popular children’s character “Tsehai” I hope to educate children and parents on the causes, prevention and treatment of such killers as diarrhea and malaria. We’ll use animation to make these concepts easy to understand and songs to make the messages stick.” Proceeds from the Rolex award will also be used to conduct an impact study aimed at determining if the episodes result in a decline in child mortality. The Ethiopian Ministry of Health is currently working with Whiz Kids Workshop to identify which health issues will be showcased on “Tsehai Loves Learning”.

“Rolex is delighted to support these exceptional young men and women who represent the best of their generation,” said Rebecca Irvin, director of philanthropy at Rolex. “In tackling the problems that face humanity, they do not think in traditional ways or stick to old ideas. Their innovative projects have begun to have a profound effect on their own communities and potentially could improve the lives of millions of people.”

Whiz Kids Workshop is an Ethiopian production company that focuses on serving children through educational media. The UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa has been a long-standing supporter of Whiz Kids Workshop’s efforts and has assisted them regularly with capacity building programmes.

For further information, interviews, high resolution photos or videos please contact:

  • Amina Abdella, Whiz Kids Workshop
  • Co-creator of UNESCO-supported TV show wins prestigious Rolex Award
    Tsehai the Giraffe exchanges advice with the five-year-old girl on healthy eating habits.
    © Whiz Kids Workshop

    Co-creator of UNESCO-supported TV show wins prestigious Rolex Award

    The first five winners in the Young Laureates Programme
    © Rolex Awards/Jess Hoffman

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          · Ethiopia
          · Youth and ICT
          · Switzerland
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