“V Awards is a project initiated by the National Steering Committee on Volunteering in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers and News 1st as 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers [IYV+10]. The concept behind the project is to recognise individuals who make extraordinary and selfless contributions to society at large and reward the most outstanding volunteer at a national level. All nominees must be citizens of Sri Lanka. The nominations are carried out through an application process where a non-related third party recommends an outstanding volunteer and his/her initiative. The nominated volunteer should be an individual engaging out of free will in a cause, not providing the services for monetary gains and working towards a positive difference in his/her local community or Sri Lanka at large.
For V Awards 2011, the V Awards secretariat had received over 450 applications from Sri Lankan citizens who had nominated individuals that they believed had significantly contributed to positive change in their communities. 15 finalists were selected out of which 6 were commended and 1 awarded the trophy as Volunteer of the Year 2011.
The second edition of V-Awards 2013 featured three awards; “Volunteer of the Year”, “Youth Volunteer of the Year” and a special award on “Volunteering for Water” to celebrate the International Year of Water Cooperation. Twelve volunteers were selected as finalists and their work was celebrated in a two hour live television event on the 6th of December 2013.
Continuing this tradition of recognising, honoring and inspiring acts of volunteerism, the third edition of the volunteer awards (V-Awards 2015) concluded with the grand finale held on the 13th of February 2016 at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapakse Theatre. Over 600 nominations reached the V-Awards Secretariat, and following a comprehensive and independent evaluation process, 10 volunteers were shortlisted as finalists for their work to be celebrated at the ceremony. Hearing impaired himself; Kasun Jayathunga from Matara was named Volunteer of the year for his volunteer initiatives aimed at reducing inequalities endured by the deaf community. 29 year old Danesh Maduranga was named Youth Volunteer of the Year for his rural community development initiatives carried out through his foundation, whilst Anuradha Nilupul was awarded the thematic award for V-Awards 2015, ‘Volunteering for Disaster Risk Reduction’ for volunteering for the conservation of the Bolgoda River eco-system.