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Press Releases

LUI Che Woo Prize Holds 2018 Prize Presentation Ceremony

03 Oct 2018

The LUI Che Woo Prize was officially presented at tonight’s ceremony, attended by honourable guests including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Dr Lui Che-woo

(Hong Kong, 3 October 2018) – Motivating positive change by supporting the selfless efforts of people and organisations working to build a better world, the LUI Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilisation, held its annual Prize Presentation Ceremony tonight at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

(From left) Mr Hans-Josef Fell, Dr Lui Che-woo, Dr Rukmini Banerji, and Prof Petteri Taalas at the media session before the Ceremony.

Laureates with Officiating Guests, Board of Governors, members of the Prize Council, Prize Recommendation Committee and Selection Panels.

The three laureates receiving the 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize are Mr Hans-Josef Fell, the World Meteorological Organization and Pratham Education Foundation. 

The ceremony was attended by VIP guests including The Hon. Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Mr Tung Chee-hwa, Vice Chairman of the 13thNational Committee of the CPPCC; Mr Wang Zhimin, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong; Dr Lui Che-woo, Founder of the LUI Che Woo Prize and Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize; and Prof Lawrence J. Lau, Chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee. Members of the LUI Che Woo Prize governing bodies – the Prize Council, the Prize Recommendation Committee and the Selection Panels – were also in attendance.

Dr Lui Che-woo presented at the ceremony to commemorate the occasion. "No distance is too far for like-minded people," he said. “We have travelled thousands of miles to come together because we have a similar vision and philosophy. The three laureates this year share the same vision with the LUI Che Woo Prize. They not only believe in making a better world, but also overcome difficulties with courage, wisdom, and selflessness. They are role models in their fields and have greatly contributed to the world; inspiring more people to participate and jointly create our future. It is our honour to have the three laureates attending in person tonight to accept the Prize.”

Dr Lui Che-woo gives a speech to commemorate the occasion.

Mrs Carrie Lam also gave a speech at the ceremony and extended her congratulations to this year's awardees. “Their singular contributions to the elimination of illiteracy, the reduction of the impact of natural disasters, and the development of renewable energy respectively, match perfectly the laudable mission of the Lui Che Woo Prize,” she said. “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is proud to have this home-grown international prize built on Dr Lui’s vision and generosity.”

Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, shows her support at her speech at the Prize Presentation Ceremony.

Laureates of the 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize

Accepting their respective awards at the Prize Presentation Ceremony were the three laureates of the 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize – Mr Hans-Josef Fell, the World Meteorological Organization, and Pratham Education Foundation.

The 2018 Sustainability Prize – this year with the Specific Area of Focus Development of Renewable Energy – was officially presented to Mr Hans-Josef Fell. Internationally recognised as a founding figure of the global renewable energy movement, Mr Fell has worked as an environmental pioneer since the 1970s. He established the world’s first energy community to produce solar power in 1994, transforming the market for renewable energy, and successfully fought for the adoption of the Renewable Energy Act in the German Parliament. This law has since been replicated over 100 times around the globe, contributing to changes in renewable energy practices worldwide.

Mrs Carrie Lam presents the Sustainability Prize to Mr Hans-Josef Fell.

“Thank you, Dr Lui, for establishing the prize, honouring and encouraging activities for a better world,” said Mr Fell during his gratitude remarks at the Prize Presentation Ceremony. “We, as humanity, have the chance to stop global warming with the help of 100% clean renewable energy and a clean carbon-reducing agriculture. This is what I plan to work on together with the Energy Watch Group, with the strong support of LUI Che Woo Prize,” he added.

The 2018 Welfare Betterment Prize – with Reduction of the Impact of Natural Disasters being this year’s specific area of focus – was awarded to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO sets worldwide standards and provides the framework for international cooperation by supporting its 191 member states and territories toimplement the adopted policies, leading to better monitoring, forecasting and communication of meteorological hazards on a global scale. Its persistent effort is pivotal in the tenfold reduction in global loss of life from extreme weather, climate and water-related events observed over the past half-century.

Mr Tung Chee-hwa presents the Welfare Betterment Prize to Prof Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization.

Representing WMO at the Prize Presentation Ceremony was Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization. “The growing amount of natural disasters is a very timely theme. The Lui Che Woo prize will allow WMO to support disaster risk reduction worldwide. We have planned to use the resources for education of developing country experts, for improving the global meteoalert system and for early warning services for humanitarian UN organizations. I would like to express my greatest gratitude to Dr Lui Che-woo and the selection committee for offering us this great honour.” he said during his acceptance speech.

The 2018 Positive Energy Prize – which this year had the Specific Area of Focus Elimination of Illiteracy – was awarded to Pratham Education Foundation. Pratham directly helps one million children attain basic literacy and numeracy annually. Profoundly wedded to evidence-based models, it is now one of the largest NGOs in India and focusses on high-quality, low-cost interventions which address gaps in the education system. Through replicable, scalable models that emphasises on result-driven accountability, Pratham is able to achieve lasting and widely influential success in India’s educational landscape and beyond, creating an adaptable demonstration model for governments.   

Dr Lui Che-woo presents the Positive Energy Prize to Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation.

Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, accepted the recognition at the Prize Presentation Ceremony. “We are extremely honoured and privileged to have been selected for this Prize. The opportunity to share this stage with our fellow laureates today is an indication that a world of possibilities of collaboration exist in our region as well. In our work we have seen millions of lives changing, creating waves of hope and positive energy for millions more. With the support of the LUI Che Woo Prize, we hope to continue to grow this positive energy,” she said.

Spreading Positive Energy Through Musical Performance

The Prize Presentation Ceremony also included a special performance by Mr Warren Mok and the Music Children Foundation. A non-profit organisation providing free orchestra and choir programmes to hundreds of underprivileged children in Hong Kong, the Foundation is dedicated to transforming young lives through the power of music. It shares a belief with the LUI Che Woo Prize that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

In preparation for the Prize Presentation Ceremony, world-famous tenor Mr Mok worked closely with the children to teach them new skills as they rehearsed the performance together. In line with the aim of the LUI Che Woo Prize to promote harmony and positive energy, this was a fantastic and rare opportunity for the children to see how a person just like them can grow up to achieve exceptional things, through the power of effort and hope. At the ceremony, the children and Mr Mok showed off their hard work by singing an empowering song; in harmonious celebration of the LUI Che Woo Prize and all the hard work done by the 2018 laureates to help build a better world.

Mr Warren Mok sings with the children from the Music Children Foundation at the Ceremony.