2016 Tutu Fellow Andre Hilton Ross has been nominated for the 2016 Marsh Award for peacemaking and peacekeeping. The Marsh Award recognises individuals from outside the UK who are making an innovative difference to areas of conflict and peacemaking. Ross was shortlisted as a nominee for his work as Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Jala Peo Foundation and his role in using sport for development as a catalyst for change.
Ross has been an advocate for youth leadership and social activism for community change for some time. His work with the Jala Peo Foundation, of which the Diepsloot Mountain Biking Academy is a part, has had an empowering impact on the youth in the impoverished community of Diepsloot, in Johannesburg. The academy gives underprivileged children opportunities to participate in recreational and competitive sporting activities that enhance their sense of self-belief and self-respect. The program also contributes to the social uplifting of the Diepsloot community as a whole. Beneficiaries have access to educational support as well as the transfer of important life skills needed to improve their circumstances.
The work of the Foundation has been recognized with several awards, one of which was the South Africa Sports Industry Development Program of the Year award in 2015. Ross also serves as a member of the Barclays Africa CIB Citizenship Committee, is the Vice-President of the South African Schools Cycling Federation, and was a founding member of the Red Apple Book Club, a non-profit enhancing English literacy amongst the youth of Johannesburg.
The award is supported by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office along with Wilton Park, which is an executive agency of the UK government. The winner will be announced on the Wilton Park website.