Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore says his latest high profile award is testament to “family, friends, community, and the people of Derry.”
Richard, who was blinded as a ten year-old after being hit with a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier while making his way home from school, was named Person of the Year at this year’s 2012 iBAM (Irish Books, Art & Music), held in Chicago last week.
“What I said when I received the award was that in my thoughts were my family, my friends, all the people who taught me so much in life,” Richard told the ‘Journal’ this week.
“Everything is underpinned by the values my mother and father gave me, not least among them the gift of forgiveness. I’m very conscious that I came through a traumatic experience. But I realise the reason I was able to do that is because of family, friends and the community here in Derry. The people here have always been so good, so kind to me, they have always been the wind in my sails,” he says.
The charity founder says he hopes the recognition will encourage people to continue to support the work of Children in Crossfire.
“The support Children in Crossfire gets is the means that allows us to keep doing what we do. I owe this award to the children we work with, it would be a dead end if we can’t make it something that benefits those children.
“We still have much more to do and we can’t do it alone.”
Children in Crossfire’s work includes collaborating with local organisations in Ethiopia, Gambia and Tanzania to protect and promote the rights of vulnerable children. The charity also identifies sustainable development opportunities.
“These children are facing injustices every day of their lives,” Richard says.
“What I would like this award to do is encourage people to continue to support the work of Children in Crossfire.”
At the gala dinner at which the Children in Crossfire founder was honoured, Derry’s Phil Coulter was also recognised for his achievements in the world of music.
The Chicago festival, organised by Derry ex pat Seamus Coyle, was this year geared towards celebrating Derry’s City of Culture year.
As well as two Phil Coulter concerts with guest appearances by Derry Glee star Damian McGinty, a whole host of high profile figures from the city were in attendance.
Among those promoting Derry at iBAM were Shona McCarthy and Grainne Devine (both of Culture Company), Jim Roddy (Centre City Initiative), Seamus Heaney (Old Library Trust), Maureen Hetherington (The Junction), Eamonn Deane (Holywell Trust), Reverend David Latimer, and Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin, PSNI.
Richard says it was “fantastic” to be part of ‘Team Derry’.
“Everyone who was out there flying the flag, saying to people we have an amazing year coming up and we want you to be part of it. But at the same time, acknowledging where we have come from while showing a real positive, upbeat, forward looking city. I believe this city has so much to offer. City of Culture to me, represents a new plateau. We are now on a different level from which we can go forward. The people of Derry deserve this,” he says.