Dalai Lama honours Newham teen at Royal Albert Hall

15:00 05 July 2012

His Holiness the Dalai Llama with Voltaire Taiwo de Campos on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

His Holiness the Dalai Llama with Voltaire Taiwo de Campos on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.


A Newham teenager who overcame the murder of his cousin to promote peace was honoured by The Dalai Lama in front of thousands on Wednesday.

Tragically, Voltaire Taiwo de Campos’s cousin, Ailton Campos de Oliveira was stabbed to death aged 16 by a gang of youths in Denbigh Road, East Ham on July 4 2010.

But Voltaire, 16, overcame his family’s tragedy to transform the lives of his peers as a young mentor and role model through his involvement with Community Links, a charity based in Canning Town, and Think Big Theatre, a social enterprise promoting community cohesion.

As part of his 10 day tour of Britain, His Holiness The Dalai Lama presented a Youth Compassion Award to Voltaire in front of 6,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall, in Kensington.

The Dalai Lama said: “This young boy is just 16, but already taller than me so you’re warm-heartedness equally should be very strong and tall, that’s important. Thank you.”

On receiving the award, Voltaire said: “At the time Ailton died it was hard. I was very angry and had a lot of negative thoughts.

“I transferred that into positive energy and worked hard for peace.

“Finding out I’d receive the award from the Dalai Lama was a real honour. A lot of people spend their whole lives trying to meet him.

“I’m so honoured and proud to receive this award from such an inspirational man as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I’m only 16 and yet I know that his moment will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

In September, Voltaire also became a core member of local youth-led organisation The Young Stars who support young people to reject violence and postcode conflict.

Anna Whatley, found of Think Big and a project co-ordinator at Community Links, nominated Voltaire for the award.

She said: “It was an incredible day and such an honour, I am so proud. Voltaire accepted his award graciously and spoke with confidence and warmth, he is a fantastic person and role model and I feel truly privileged to have been able to support him along with all of the other talented and inspirational people I work with every day.”

An event to celebrate Voltaire’s achievement was also held on Wednesday, June 27, at Community Links’ Chando East Community Hub in Stratford.


Latest News Stories

11 minutes ago
Chancellor George Osborne outlined the government's spending plans in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

George Osborne vowed to “put security first” as he outlined the government’s economic plans for the next five years in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

Angela Farrugia lost three brothers - Barry, Victor and David - to contaminated blood. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Agony for victims of health scandal as government looks set to make them wait yet again for proper compensation

David Cameron
Shoppers at Newham's retail centres ahead of Black Friday

For all you bargain hunters preparing to “shop ‘til you drop” on Black Friday, we’ve put together a handy guide to surviving the day and given you the low-down on where to find the biggest savings in the borough.

United Kingdom
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

Read more
You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder