Jakarta. Carys Mihardja, a twelfth-grader from Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) Lippo Village and founder of Carys Cares, has been chosen as one of the winners of the Diana Legacy Award through her Down-syndrome awareness campaign work.
From all 20 recipients of this award around the globe, she is the only and the first Indonesian representative who received this award and the second youngest from all the recipients.
Last week on Friday, Carys alongside other Legacy Awards 2021 recipients met HRH Prince Harry virtually. For this year’s award ceremony, Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, will welcome the winners at Diana’s childhood home in Althorp House on 9 December.
The Diana Award is a UK-based charity initiative that honors young people who work to improve the lives of others. The Diana Award is nominated to aspiring leaders, role models, and visionaries aged 9-25 from all around the world for their humanitarian works. Every two years, 20 outstanding individuals who are nominated with the Diana Award will be granted the Legacy Awards.
Carys founded Carys Cares to promote the rights and break the stigma of Down syndrome individuals as well as empower them through arts and creativity. Through Carys Cares, she featured artworks produced by the Down syndrome community and turned them into sellable items such as tote bags and other accessories.
Over the course of her initiative Carys Cares raised over $74,000 in sales and all profits are donated to individuals with down syndrome, POTADS (Persatuan Orangtua Dengan Anak Down Syndrome), a community for parents with children with down syndrome and UNICEF.
As inspiration to many, Carys has shared her story to many Media and TV such as 'Kick Andy' and Insight with Desi Anwar.
She has also been awarded by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation for Best Social Impact in Society in 2020.
She received United Nation Women SME Award for Youth Leadership Category in 2021, Diana Award 2021 and as the youngest recipients Her World Women of the year 2021.
The Legacy Award is the most prestigious accolade Carys has received so far.
At SPH, Carys has been exposed to a wide range of socially driven activities such as the Service and Action and Mission Service Learning (MSL). MSL is at the heart of education at SPH where the school aims to not just open its eyes to society at large but also contribute to those in need.
“Having been at SPH since 2007, I have gained various experiences that opened my eyes to civic responsibility. My teachers constantly pair theoretical textbook knowledge with real-life matters, where that framework birthed Carys Cares. Through this journey, we are blessed to be able to share this cause on the global stage. It's easy to look at it on a wider scale, but it’s actually can be traced back to what I learn in the classrooms,” Carys said.
Carys believes that anyone can create great impact in society. We just have to take the first step for the real action.
She started her initiative to spread the awareness of down syndrome at the age of thirteen and wants to show the world if a 13-year-old can do it, then anyone can, and we should take the first steps now because it is never too late.