The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos presents Ryan Hreljac with Canada’s Volunteer Award for Emerging Leader on June 10, 2016, at a ceremony in Ottawa.


Ryan has received many awards for his work in helping to bring clean water and improved sanitation to those without and to empowering others to become active, global citizens. These achievements include:

  • Emerging Leader – Canada’s Volunteer Awards (2016)

  • World of Children Alumni Award (2016)

  • Lewis Perinbam Award – World University Service of Canada (2011)

  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award (2010)

  • Peter Cruddas Sociall Innovation Iniative – International Award – Duke of Edinburgh Program (2010)

  • Investors Group Volunteer Youth Recognition Award (2009)

  • Toyota Earth Day Scholarship (2009)

  • OneXOne Difference Award (2008)

  • Chou Ta-kuan Love for Life Award (2008)

  • Hal Anthony Citizen of the Year – North Grenville Chamber of Commerce (2007)

  • Ontario Catholic Secondary Student of the Year (2006)

  • Top 20 Under 20 Award (2005)

  • Planet Africa’s Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award (2004)

  • Paul Harris Fellow – Rotary (2004)

  • World of Children Founders’ Award (2003)

  • Order of Ontario (2003, youngest-ever recipient)

  • Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes (2002)

  • The Wolf Project Award (2001)

  • Canadian Meritorious Service Decoration (2001, youngest-ever recipient)

  • Canadian Peace Awards – Youth (2000)

  • Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year (1998)

  • Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers

  • CIBC Young Miracle Maker Award


In addition, Ryan is also recognized with several distinctions:

  • UNICEF, Global Youth Leader

  • Global Citizen, United Nations Association of Canada

  • Patron, Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program

  • Official Ambassador, Global Kidz Program

  • Honourary Member, Engineering Institute of Canada

  • Honourary Diploma, St. Lawrence College

  • In 2000, Otwal Sub-county in Uganda named July 27 as “Ryan’s Day” in honour of his first well.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Ryan’s Well Foundation as a model for its Healthy Environments for Children Alliance (HECA) Project

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