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Waterford's Tammy Darcy of the Shona Project shortlisted for humanitarian award

Waterford's Tammy Darcy of the Shona Project shortlisted for humanitarian award Waterford's Tammy Darcy of the Shona Project shortlisted for humanitarian award
Mary O'Neill

Waterford woman Tammy Darcy, founder of The Shona Project which works with teenage girls, has been shortlisted for Humanitarian of the Year award for the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2021, which takes place on the 28th November. While the organisation she founded in 2016, The Shona Project, is also shortlisted for the “Innovation for Change” award and “Digital Influence” award.

The Humanitarian of the Year award is the highest honour bestowed by the Irish Red Cross on an individual for exceptional humanitarian achievement.

About Tammy Darcy

Tammy, a mother of three from Passage East in Waterford, has dedicated her life to helping teenage girls realise their rightful place in the world through her non-profit organisation The Shona Project. By the end of this year, The Shona Project will have worked with over 20,000 girls directly in schools all over Ireland. Over 40,000 girls attended the Shine Festival in 2020 and the festival had over 1 million combined video loads in three days. On hearing of the shortlists, Tammy said:

We are so thrilled to be shortlisted for three Irish Red Cross awards this year In 2020 and 2021, the girls we supported have needed us more than ever, as they deal with anxiety, isolation and uncertainty. Our entire team have worked harder than ever to build a community of empowered, inspired, curious and kind young women. The fact that The Red Cross Humanitarian awards has recognised that work is fantastic boost for us.

About the Shona Project


The idea for the Shona Project began to crystalise when Tammy was coaching girls at a Co Waterford soccer club and is named for Tammy’s sister Shona who, when Tammy was 14, was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury that rendered her physically and mentally disabled. The project has been growing every year, with the team hoping to have their biggest event yet later this year. During the pandemic, the team continued their work and their Shine Festival reached over 1 million girls. The organisation has now delivered workshops in India and Africa as well.

The shortlist of finalists for the 2021 awards, which have been announced ahead of the live award ceremony on Sunday 28th November, are the following:


  • Humanitarian of the Year: Ken Gibson, Tammy Darcy, Rory Halpin.
  • Young Humanitarian: Saoi O’Connor, Harry Nolan, Joshua Deegan. Special mention: Zoey Coffey.
  • Innovation for Change Award: Teen-Turn, The Shona Project, Sing Out With Strings.
  • Digital Influence: Digital Charity Lab, The Shona Project, Fionnula Jones.
  • Journalism Excellence: Felipe Lopes, Noteworthy.ie - Maria Delaney and Michelle Hennessy, Donal O’Keeffe. Special mention: Katie Hannon.
  • Corporate Impact Award: Hotel Doolin – Green Team Programme.

Tammy spoke to Maria McCann on Deise Today on Monday. You can listen back to that interview here. And for all Deise podcasts, click here.