On Sunday, November 29th, Tammy Darcy – Our Founder and CEO and members of the Shona team attended a small gathering of the 4th annual Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards. We nominated for three awards. The nominations included Innovation for Change Award, Digital Influence Award and the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award  

We are so incredibly proud to announce that Tammy has been named this year’s Irish Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year!



Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian of the Year Award is the highest honour bestowed by the Irish Red Cross on an individual for exceptional humanitarian achievement. The individual will not only have demonstrated extraordinary leadership but will have made a positive difference in the lives of others. This individual will also have inspired others to make societal changes a reality. It is only fitting that Tammy was the 2021 winner of this award. Tammy was nominated for her tireless effort to create a positive impact on the lives of the young girls of Ireland. As many of you know, Tammy has turned the significant trauma she experienced as a teen into a story she shares beautifully through her book and The Shona Project workshops and our engaged online community. So many adults just don’t understand what is happening with our teens, they really don’t get it. Tammy can help with that, as she has heard thousands of stories through her work. She believes in not telling girls what to think and how to act, but in listening to them, validating their feelings and helping them to really believe that they are enough.


Innovation for Change Award

Change and innovation is the only constant in society. This is nowhere more true than in the field of humanitarian endeavour. The Innovation for Change Award recognises the achievements of an individual or team who have had a humanitarian impact on society through innovation. The winner of this award will have recognised a humanitarian issue, implemented a solution and have consequently made a positive impact on society.

The Shona Project team was humbled to have our hard work recognised by receiving this award for 2021 and equally as delighted to keep the award in Waterford, having been awarded to Cian Ó Maidín of NearForm in 2020 for his work on the Covid-19 Tracker App. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a crippling impact on the self-esteem and mental health of Ireland’s young people. This fact can be seen in the shocking statistic that Ireland has the highest rate of suicide among teenage girls in Europe. We saw the shift of teenagers’ socialisation from in-school and in-person to online. Through innovation and the ability to change with the times, we have grown our online community to an engaged army of girls and women from all over the world. The Shona Project uses our social media and website to share stories from young girls and advice from experts to ensure no girl ever feels truly alone.

COVID saw the need for us to move our annual SHINE Festival online in 2021 due to the pandemic and it turned out to be the biggest event The Shona Project has run to date. With a team of just 15 women, we, our 4 media partners ( Beat 102-103, iRadio, SPIN South West and SPIN 1038) and corporate sponsors brought SHINE Festival to life. A first of its kind event that saw 40,000 young Irish girls spend 3 days at the online event which gave them an opportunity to hear from 100 inspirational and authentic female leaders across areas such as mental health, diversity, self-esteem, resilience and mindset, sports, STEM, arts, leadership, social issues.


Speaking to Frank Phelan from The Irish Red Cross, he said:

We are absolutely delighted that Tammy and The Shona Project have won The Humanitarian of the Year Award and The Innovation for Change Award. Tammy and The Shona Project do amazing work empowering young women all across Ireland by giving them the tools and a voice to go out and achieve their goals.

Speaking about the awards, Tammy Darcy said: 

This is a huge honour, especially coming from the Red Cross, an organisation we admire so much. I started the Shona Project as a tribute to my sister, and it has been a joy to have started a movement that is now not just about Shona and myself but is about every teenage girl, in every corner of Ireland. We are so proud of all that we’ve achieved and are more committed than ever to getting louder, bigger and stronger in the years to come.


It’s a totally emotional day for us but we just want to thank every single person who has supported us and the work we do. We are so proud of all that we’ve achieved and are more committed than ever to getting louder, bigger and stronger in the years to come. 


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