Victoria Avanesova. A Letter To The Aurora Prize Hero

Dear Mrs. Barankitse,

I shall first introduce myself: my name is Victoria, I am 17 years old, and I currently study in Switzerland, a country of consistent coexistence of multiple ethnic groups forming a nation, that lives in peace and harmony for almost three hundred years. I live in Geneva, where multi-cultural, international, humanitarian and diplomatic colors paint the life of its inhabitants and teaches acceptance and appreciation of diverse cultures.

My present goal is to further my studies, and therefore knowledge, in London, the city that brilliantly juxtaposes contrasting and vibrant societies and ways of life. I applied to study Liberal Arts, a very vast, yet engaging and fascinating subject, which is what I believe opens the most doors for me in the nearest future. This broad course would let me follow my path in becoming a diplomat, or maybe a journalist, in any case one of those people who are able to change the world. Who knows what the future holds! However, any direction that my university might lead me to, has one aspect in common: my mission will always be the one to follow “a calling to love”.

Recently, in geography class, I have studied the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, one that you have seen with your own eyes. To say the least, the racial extermination of Tutsis has had a big impact on me ever since I learned about the unimaginable suffering and slaughters through your experience. Also, I felt that the racial extermination that occurred in Rwanda, the so called “ethnic cleansing” would not have happened if the idea of rivalry and supremacy between races and ethnicities had not been created by humans.

As a member of an Armenian family, genocide has always been a delicate and sensitive topic. The Armenian Genocide was one of the first massacres that I had ever heard of, and it has made me realize that the cruelty, atrocity and horror can often be a reality. Racial and ethnical division is a very complex subject, however I am a strong believer in the goodness of the World, and I hope that, someday, the walls that separate us will ultimately shatter. People like you, dear Mrs. Barankitse, make me believe in change. People like you, who give love unconditionally to all and who are passionately devoted to helping others selflessly make me trust into the might of humanism.

When one’s goal is beneficial to all, it is vital to stay true to, and believe in yourself. Doing everything for a good cause and even swimming against the current is necessary on the path to peace. However, one human is often not capable of changing the World on his own. It is a route that has to be built by many, in union. Kind and moral acts bring good and virtuous people together, which amplifies the dimensions of ethical doings. Harmony, alliance, cooperation, sympathy, are all basic, yet essential qualities that humanity requires to achieve integrity and peace. Unison makes us stronger, makes our voices louder, makes our messages more powerful, and most importantly, turns us into a peacemaking, consolidated legion. So let’s remain strong on this pathway to love, let’s unify, and maybe one day come closer to acceptance and love, as you did.

Thank you for your inspiring mission,

Victoria Avanesova


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