British Cypriot Phoebe Coles, Founder of Vicinus and Co-Founder of Bubble Out was awarded at this year’s Global Youth Awards on November 12, in London.
The 26-year-old won the award for ‘Empowering Change’ in recognition of her humanitarian work, fundraising, and advocacy work in Cyprus.
As founder and director of the voluntary humanitarian group ‘Vicinus’, she organises education initiatives, fundraising projects, and advocacy campaigns related to human rights and humanitarian topics in Cyprus. Her work particularly focuses on women, youth, refugee and migrant rights and empowerment.
Notable projects she has led includes raising 10,000 Euros for the devastating fires in Cyprus, an online concert fundraiser called ‘Artists for Refugees’ which had artists from all over the world performing in solidarity with refugees on the island, an online Gender Conference, and raising money for support survivors of domestic violence across the divide.
Additionally, as Co-Founder of the social action group ‘Bubble Out‘, Phoebe aims to create safe spaces for people who have experienced mistreatment in Cyprus to share their story and to receive support from peers and professionals. Bubble Out also aims to raise awareness to the mistreatment of marginalised groups on the island with the objective to inform policy change in Cyprus.
“The Bubble Out concept was inspired by the idea that as humans, we often tend to stay in our own groups or ‘bubbles’ and many of us do not step out and immerse ourselves in diverse multi-communal spaces,” Phoebe explains and highlights that “our project gives a voice to the voiceless, empowering women, youth, and other marginalised groups with solidarity and support regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race and disability”.
In her awards speech, Phoebe highlighted the importance of the youth coming together in Cyprus and how it is special to witness all communities on the island building bridges to deliver collective positive change.
The Global Youth Awards 2022 is organised by RoundTable Global, which is “an international award-winning learning and development organisation dedicated to bringing Planet Conscious and Symbiotic Leadership to the world”.
The awards were created to change the narrative around young people, focusing on the brilliant and innovative things that they are doing to change the world, rather than the few that are anti-social or destructive. It is run by young people for young people to show that they are capable of anything they put their minds to when supported.
The winners of the Global Youth Awards 2022 will be given the opportunity to become part of the RoundTable Global Youth Ambassadors/Collective for 12 months, and access to all their ambassadors, global goal projects, events, mentoring and training. The winners are also invited to support the design and delivery of the awards in the following year.