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Rewarding unsung heroes

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Zimbabwe is emerging from a period of economic collapse and social distress.

While many are facing social, economic and personal challenges, there are however, ordinary Zimbabweans who are doing extraordinary things to help others and who contribute to their communities in various meaningful ways.

To bring such good work to light, NewsDay launched the NewsDay People’s Choice Awards in October this year.

The NewsDay People’s Choice Awards is a programme that seeks to reward unsung heroes in our communities by allowing Zimbabweans to identify them, giving them prominence and presenting them with resources to enable them to extend their outreach.

There are many people doing great voluntary work to improve lives of disadvantaged members within their communities, but more often than not, their work is not recognised.

This community project is the first of its kind to be launched by a newspaper in this country. The project seeks to elicit the voice of readers in nominating people from their own communities who are involved in projects that benefit the marginalised.

“The NewsDay People’s Choice Awards is our flagship community project,” said Alpha Media Holdings Chairman Trevor Ncube.

“It’s an important part of the various ways in which we put into practice our guiding principles. Our readers must know and understand that when we talk about nation-building we really mean it; when we talk about celebrating the best in our communities, it is not just talk,” he added.

Nominations for the awards programme were opened to the public in July and the process asked readers to choose people they knew were carrying out activities that helped others without getting paid for it.

AMH Group Editor-in-Chief Vincent Kahiya who headed the editorial team that was monitoring the project said NewsDay readers were passionate and vocal.

“By launching this programme, we wanted our readers to express themselves about both the positives and the negatives in our country.

The project inspired a lot of young people with its feel-good factor, and highlighted the many causes for celebration that are often drowned out in the day-to-day struggles of making a living.”

He added: “We called it the People’s Choice Awards because we want Zimbabweans to choose their own heroes, to have a voice concerning whom they choose to honour and appreciate.”

In its guiding principles, NewsDay — the country’s largest circulating daily newspaper — has promised to play an active role in nation building and reconstruction and the awards are one of the vehicles through which this is done.

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