Tuesday, 21 February 2012

And the winner is....

This year’s IAR Malta animal welfare award went to Shauna Vassallo, an eleven year old student from St Thomas More College at Santa Lucija, Malta. As well as being an animal welfare campaigner, Shauna is also a singer. She has successfully participated in local festivals with her song ‘Fejn’ which is about the suffering of abandoned animals. During 2011 Shauna also participated in a number of protests in Malta to raise awareness of animal issues. At the beginning and end of the protests Shauna would reinforce the message by singing her song. On one occasion she insisted on taking part, even though she was feeling unwell.

IAR Malta picked Shauna from a shortlist of four and notified the headmistress of her school that one of her students was the winner. The award was presented at the school which helped to raise even greater awareness among the pupils.

It came as a complete surprise to Shauna when the headmistress called her out during morning assembly in front of 600 students and all the teachers. When she found out that she had won the award, Shauna reacted with joy and disbelief!

IAR Malta Chairman Max Farrugia explained to all those present the purpose of the award and explained that Shauna had been awarded the trophy for her constant support for animal rights in Malta by singing and participating in local events, two of which had been organised by WEEACE (Malta) (World Events to End Animal Cruelty) and also for promoting animal awareness among her school mates and friends. After the presentation Shauna sang a piece of her beautiful song Fejn. When asked what the award meant to her, she said that she had never expected anything for the modest amount she does to promote animal welfare. She added that it was a very special award and she would treasure it all her life.