The Intercultural Innovation Award is a partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group and supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thereby contributing to peace, cultural diversity and more inclusive societies.
Each year, thousands of applications are received from more than 120 countries, from which awardees are selected across five continents. This underlines the award’s importance and commitment to the worldwide promotion of intercultural diversity and understanding.
This year, the Routes 2 Roots organisation from India is amongst the Ten global grassroots organizations receiving the Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA).
Routes 2 Roots have been awarded the IIA Award for their unique Student Exchange Program which allowed Children in schools from India and Pakistan to connect through written, audio and visual recordings that share history before partition, thereby eliminating misunderstandings about each other’s cultures.
This engagement also enables the students to ask each other questions thus discovering common interests. At the end of the year, a trip was organized between partner schools, to see places of historical interest and directly experience the other culture. The children were empowered by experiencing the trust that they had cultivated themselves and amongst each other.
Speaking after receiving the award, Rakesh Gupta, Co-Founder of Routes 2 Roots said, “We are honored to be amongst the ten organizations that receive the IIA this year.” He further added, “It’s been our mission to bring together people from different cultures to emphasize their commonalities and enhance peace. Being awarded by prestigious organizations such as UNAOC and the BMW Group further underlines the importance and the relevance of our work.”
The award was presented at a dedicated ceremony on 26 April 2016 during the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), chaired by H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Mr. Bill Mc Andrews, Vice President BMW Group Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications.