Carline Ikoroha is the epitome of a Divine human being, with her selfless attitude and sheer dedication to children, she is a real change maker
Leading farmer-owned Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate and ethical jewellers Ingle & Rhode are delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural Divine Women Awards.
48-year-old Carline Ikoroha, has been officially named the first ever Divine Woman in the UK for demonstrating a dedication to helping families that knows no bounds. Carline has devoted her life to her local community and over the past 15 years has touched the lives of around 1,000 children.
An Inclusion Mentor in a primary school in Enfield, North London, Carline is focused on supporting children and their parents. She has, without a doubt, made a positive and lasting change to the lives of those she has mentored; but she goes above and beyond her role. A keen volunteer in her spare time, Carline is focused on providing continual support and provision especially for those children that others may find harder to love.
Carline is quietly involved in a range of local voluntary activities and she approaches everything with an unassuming humility. From starting a breakfast club, to running a choir, to campaigning to keep the mobile library open – Carline is focused not on her but on improving the lives of all the children in the community.
Carline was one of six shortlisted finalists in the Divine Women Awards. The Divine judging panel, led by Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age and founder of The Green Carpet Challenge, then had the task of selecting the most Divine Woman. All finalists had amazing stories to tell, but the panel were really struck by Carline and the fact she is such an inspiration to others.
Livia Firth says: “I really admire all the women who were shortlisted for the Divine Women Awards. Every single one of them has made a huge difference in their communities, but Carline Ikoroha is the epitome of a Divine human being, with her selfless attitude and sheer dedication to children, she is a real change maker.”
Carline and the other five finalists all demonstrated passion and determination to improving community life and affecting real and lasting positive change. As the winner, Carline has been awarded a truly divine prize of a bespoke pendant worth over £1,000, made with Fairtrade and Fairmined 18 carat gold from ethical jewellers Ingle & Rhode.
The Pendant is a West African Adinkra symbol called Mpatapo which means peace and harmony, and is used in designs and crafts to represent reconciliation, peacemaking and pacification. Adinkra symbols were originally created hundreds of years ago, and feature on Divine packaging hinting at the Ghanaian ownership of the company. Each symbol has its own meaning and the Mpatapo was chosen by Carline because: “I hope for peace in the family and peace in the world. And I also think it’s important to be peaceful in this busy hectic world, especially with all the bad news you see on TV.”
Carline was presented with her unique Mpatapo pendant by Livia Firth and Sophi Tranchell, MBE and CEO of Divine Chocolate at a celebratory reception at The Gore Hotel in London. On receiving the Award, she said: “My winning this award and this whole event has serious wow factor. My initial thought when I heard my name being announced was to sing! I have never done anything like this before and I thank my friend Lisa for nominating me for the award and for coming with me today. And for supporting me in everything; she is my rock. I feel truly honoured to be here amongst the other extraordinary women I have met here today. The Divine Women Awards are celebrating the ordinary, every day things people do. It will probably hit me later when I get back to the real world doing something like the washing up!”
Sophi Tranchell said: “We had some wonderful nominations but to us Carline completely embodied the concept of a ‘Divine Woman’. She has certainly gone the extra mile, mentoring children, setting up a breakfast club, running a choir, introducing children to the excitement of growing and cooking vegetables, helping her church get Fairtrade status, she isn’t just an inspiration in her community, she is the heart of her community. The world would simply be more Divine if there were more people like Carline.”
The awards were designed to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day and to celebrate the amazing achievements of women across the nation.
The other five finalists were:
Anna Wallace – diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer, Anna set up the charity Living Beyond Diagnosis
Lisa Cherry – once living on the streets, Lisa turned her life around and set up Networking Women to help other women make the most of themselves
Janice Jinks – a foster carer for 23 years, Janice has helped around 30 children providing unwavering love and support
Sarah Holmes – single mum of three who persuaded the local council to re-open a community centre in a deprived area
Lucy Newham – when her son Leo was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, Lucy discovered Downright Excellent, and she has since raised £140,000 in grants to help run sessions and adopt new teaching methods
Divine Chocolate and Ingle & Rhode would like to thank The Gore hotel for hosting this event.
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