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The Philippines’  Reese Fernandez
Among the 5 Winners  of the Young Laureates
Programme of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise

The Young Laureates Programme of the  Rolex Awards for Enterprise has chosen the Philippines’ Reese Fernandez  as one of its 5 Awardees for the year 2010. 

The prestigious Rolex Award is given to Ms. Fernandez  in strong recognition of  her  social involvement that is  transforming  the lives of many impoverished women in the Philippines. 

Ms. Fernandez co-founded the Rags2Riches social enterprise which assists women who recycle scrap material to make rugs  for sale.  The Rags2Riches started in the Payatas waste dump and is  helping women convert rugs into “eco-ethical, elegant” products  and sell these products directly to retailers.  The project not only provides decent wages to these women, but also provides them with training in personal finance, health and nutrition.  

The Young Laureates Programme of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise was launched in 2009, with the aim of fostering innovation in the next generation.  It supports visionary young men and women in implementing their inventive ideas that tackle pressing concerns and issues in 5 areas:  science and health, applied technology, exploration,  the environment and cultural preservation. 

The Award to Reese Fernandez is under the category of Environment.  The 4 other awardees are from America, Nigeria, Ethiopia and India. They were chosen from among the  189 applicants from 60 countries around the  world. 

The awardees were chosen by the Young Laureates jury made up of 10 international luminaries with expertise in the fields of exploration, environment, science and health, applied technology, and cultural preservation. They met in Geneva in early 2010 for the selection process.   

Ms. Fernandez and the other awardees will be formally presented at the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.  The Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland, H.E. Maria Theresa P. Lazaro has been invited to and  will be attending this event.
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