Eighteen-year-olds Xenophon Koukoutas and Giannis Svoros accepted the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service last Saturday on behalf of the residents of the entire island of Lesvos, for their “heroic support of refugees fleeing mayhem throughout the Middle East and Africa.”
The prize was presented to the two Lesvos Sea Scouts by Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Senator John S. McCain, at the 10th annual Halifax International Security Forum held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“In bestowing this prize upon the People of Lesvos, we recognize the sacrifices that so many ordinary people have made to bring safety, comfort, and hope to refugees enduring desperate hardship. It is my sincerest wish that this award will also serve to inspire others, wherever they may be in the world, to stand up for what is right,” she said in a statement announcing the recipient of the prize.
Xenophon Koukoutas is a student at Piraeus University and a member of the Nea Smyrni 1st Sea Scout System, while Giannis Svoros is a student at the Mytilene state Vocational Training Institute and also a member of the 3rd Sea Scout System of the city of Mytilene.