Seventeen-year-old Eva earned the accolade for her work as a youth ambassador for HELP, an Auckland-based not-for-profit organisation that helps women and children heal from the traumatising effects of sexual assault.
Eva has raised more than $50,000 for HELP – through Givealittle and various charitable events – and is also involved in setting up an online support service for survivors of abuse with the Ministry of Social Development.
What make’s Eva’s story so remarkable is not just her age, but the fact that she’s battling terminal cancer. Facing an uncertain future, she decided that top of her bucket list was to help end sexual violence in New Zealand. “My family has always encouraged me,” says Eva. “When I was 14, I began working with Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC), where I learnt about prevention, the effects of sexual violence and the legal system regarding sexual violence. “I’m helping to create the online support service, because I believe that no one should have to walk that road alone.” At a special lunch, HELL general manager Ben Cumming presented Eva with a $1,000 cash reward on behalf of the HELL team. “We established Satan’s Biggest Little Helper to acknowledge under 23-year-olds who have helped or are helping to create a better future for others, and we’re all extremely proud to award the first title to Eva – she’s a very worthy winner indeed,” said Ben. On receiving the award, Eva said: “It’s so lovely to know that the effort you put into battling for a cause does not go unrecognised and is all worth it. Some of this money will go towards my own treatment and the rest to buy a ticket for my mum to join me in Sydney later this year.”