YPFP Brussels is thrilled to announce that Rebecca Bushby has been crowned the winner of our inaugural award: the YPFP Rising Star in Foreign Policy Award 2017.
Unveiled at our annual Gala last night, Rebecca, a project coordinator volunteering for NGO Young Water Solutions, saw off a number of talented nominees to be declared winner for her fundraising efforts for refugees in Lebanon near the Syrian border.
Commenting on her win, Rebecca said: “This is such an honour. My fellow nominees are so incredibly talented that it is hard to believe that I was chosen as the winner! I am unbelievably grateful for this opportunity as it will enable me to continue growing and learning within the sector.
“The award to me represents an amazing trend that, despite not being a very sexy topic, water and sanitation issues are increasingly being recognised as being of vital importance in humanitarian aid and foreign policy. I look forward to bringing the knowledge from YPFP, its network and ISPD into my projects at Young Water Solutions and further into the water and sanitation sector.”
Unanimously agreeing that Rebecca’s application was a worthy winner, our external panel of judges which included Politico’s Ryan Heath were full of praise for the talented young professional, who took it on herself to fundraise 5,000 USD to purchase and deliver water tanks for the community, ensuring that 190 refugees could access clean water.
“The level of nominees was incredibly high, making this a very tough choice”, said judge Pauline Massart, Head of Communications and Media at the European Defence Agency. “Rebecca stood out from the pack with her educational background, her strong personal initiative, her caring about those less fortunate than her, and her ability to bring about real change, at a down-to-earth level.”
To recognise her success, Rebecca has been awarded a 6,000 EUR scholarship for training at the prestigious ISPD Protocol and Diplomacy, together with a Visionary membership of the ISPD+ Innovation in Diplomacy network. She has also received a cash prize and annual membership of YPFP Brussels.
Further praise is also given to Matti Tetřev, whose work in an eight-month innovative project called ‘P2P: Challenging Extremism’, an online campaign that aimed to challenge violent extremism and hate speech, saw the judges award him the runner-up prize.
Discussing Matti’s application, judge Thomas Sladko, Head of Protocol and Public Relations for ISPD Protocol & Diplomacy in Brussels, said: “Matti Tetřev participated actively in a project that underlines the innovative part in bringing down radicalisation, and should therefore receive the runner-up prize.”
Matti will receive a free spot at a one-day training organised by communications specialists Clear Europe, as well as annual membership of YPFP Brussels.
The award, celebrating an individual aged under 35 and based in Brussels who has achieved outstanding work in the past year, attracted a high level of entrants. More information about all our nominees can be found here. Following the success of this year’s award, YPFP plans to run the competition again next year.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of their employer or Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.