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News: 7 Mar 2024

Irish Humanitarian and Chernobyl Charity Founder, Adi Roche, to be presented with the Ahmadiyya Peace Prize in London

7 Mar 2024

On Saturday, 09 March, the Founder and Voluntary CEO of the Chernobyl Children International charity, Adi Roche, will be presented with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize at the National Peace Symposium in London, in recognition of her life-long “contribution for the advancement of the cause of peace”.

The ceremony will take place at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, in London, which is one of the largest Mosques in Europe.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is dedicated to establish peace at all levels, promotion of inter-faith dialogue and to protect the basic human rights of all around the World. Their charitable work, domestically and internationally, and their faith is underpinned by 5 values that are largely shared with Adi and her life-long work; Loyalty, Freedom, Equality, Respect and Peace.

Adi has dedicated her life, since 1977, campaigning for and publicly active in issues relating to the environment, peace and social justice. Having worked for a number of years in the Irish national airline, Aer Lingus, Adi left to work full-time as a volunteer for the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). She devised a Peace Education Programme and delivered it in over fifty schools throughout Ireland promoting peace and active citizenship.

Adi began her pioneering work for Chernobyl’s victims and survivors in the immediate aftermath of the accident in 1986 and formally founded Chernobyl Children International (CCI) in 1991. CCI has since gone on to deliver over €108 million in humanitarian aid to the Chernobyl affected regions, including the front-line of war-torn Ukraine, and is the only UN recognised NGO working in the area.

Speaking in advance of the awarding ceremony, Adi said;
“It is an honour to receive the Ahmadiyya Prize for the Advancement of Peace. Awards like this highlight that when we come together, we renew our commitment not to give up, not to stand idly by, but stand up, speak out and give witness and be on the frontline of humanitarian efforts! Offering that most precious of gifts – hope.”

Particularly needed, in these turbulent times of war and planetary degradation, it is easy to become despairing, paralysed and hope-less. So much is lost in the cacophony of noise from the beating drums of winnerless wars; it is easy to forget the power of all the goodness around us. The Ahmadiyya Peace Symposium allows us to renew our commitment to the human race, and by extension to each other. Saying, YES! We are taking a side – we are on the side of peace with justice.” Roche concluded.

Though Adi was chosen as the recipient of the Award in 2020, the global pandemic inhibited the award being bestowed until now. In that time, Chernobyl Children International’s work adapted quickly and nimbly to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, and have remained on the front-line of the humanitarian response. This includes CCI’s groundbreaking Cardiac Programme, which was chased from East-to-West during the outbreak of the war, whilst saving lives of newborn babies born with conditions such as ‘Chernobyl Heart’.

Notable recipients in recent years have included peace activist and Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow, and Former Mayor of Hiroshimi, Tadatoshi Akiba. Adi will be the first ever Irish honouree, and the only honouree to have worked in the Chernobyl affected regions.