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Carys Mihardja Earned the Diana Legacy Award 2021

Carys Mihardja, a twelve grader from Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) Lippo Village and founder of Carys Cares, has been chosen as one of the winners of the Diana Legacy Award through her Down-syndrome awareness campaign work. From all 20 recipients of this award around the globe, she is the only and the first Indonesian representative who received this award and the second youngest from all the recipients.

Carys alongside other Legacy Awards 2021 recipients met HRH Prince Harry virtually. For this year’s award ceremony, Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, welcomed the winners at Diana’s childhood home in Althorp House on 9 December.

The Diana Award is a UK-based charity initiative that honors young people who work to improve the lives of others. The Diana Award is nominated to aspiring leaders, role models, and visionaries aged 9-25 from all around the world for their humanitarian works. Every two years, 20 outstanding individuals who are nominated with the Diana Award will be granted the Legacy Awards.

Carys founded Carys Cares to promote the rights and breaking the stigma of Down syndrome individuals as well as empower them through arts and creativity. Through Carys Cares, she featured artworks produced by the Down syndrome community and turns them into sellable items such as tote bags and other accessories.

Over the course of her initiative, Carys raised over $74,000 and donated these funds to POTADS (Persatuan Orangtua Dengan Anak Down Syndrome), a community for parents with Down Syndrome children. As an inspiration to many, Carys has been featured in several national media and spoken on Indonesia’s renowned talk show such as ‘Kick Andy’. She also received the Social Impact Award from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference for Women Entrepreneurs last year. The Diana Legacy Award is the most prestigious accolade Carys has received so far.

At SPH, Carys has been exposed to a wide range of socially driven activities such as the Service and Action and Mission Service Learning (MSL). MSL is at the heart of education at SPH where the school aims to not just open its eyes to society at large but also contribute to those in need. “Having been at SPH since 2007, I have gained various experiences that opened my eyes to civic responsibility. My teachers constantly pair theoretical textbook knowledge with real-life matters, where that framework birthed Carys Cares.   Through this journey, we are blessed to be able to share this cause on the global stage. It’s easy to look at it on a wider scale, but it’s actually can be traced back to what I learn in the classrooms,” Carys said.  

Carys believes that she can create a great impact on society and other people can too. “We want to show the world that if a 17-year-old can do it, then anyone can, and we should start now because it’s never too late!” she added.