Search

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.

Archant

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.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

07:00
Barbara Nadel will be launching her latest book at the Newham Bookshop

An award-winning crime author will be making her way to Plaistow next week to launch her latest novel.

Newham
Yesterday, 18:00
Councillors walk through Newham blindfolded

Local councillors put themselves in the shoes of blind and partially sighted residents by taking part in a blindfold walk through Forest Gate.

Yesterday, 15:37
Get active elderly members on the cricket pitch

A new football craze is sweeping the nation, but at a nice, gentle pace.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
Yesterday, 13:14
East Ham man cleared of plans to join ISIS

An East Ham man has been found not guilty of planning to travel to Syria to engage in terrorist acts.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder