Advanced search Click here for the website of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

Skip Content

Archbishop To Present Ockenden Prizes

Ockenden International

Tuesday 4th November 2014

Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, will present the 2015 Ockenden International Prizes for refugee projects.


The winning prize of $100,000 is for the project judged to be most successful at establishing and maintaining refugee self-reliance projects. The two runners-up each receive $25,000.

The announcement of the winner and prize presentations by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, will be the high point of a prestigious ceremony to be held at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, on Tuesday, February 24 next year.

Refugees and displaced persons are a fast growing international challenge and a concern close to the Archbishop’s heart.

Entries from the UK, The Netherlands and Thailand with projects respectively in Burundi, Sri Lanka and the Thai-Myanmar border will compete for the 2015 Prize before a panel of five expert judges at Lady Margaret Hall on Tuesday 24th February.

The finalists, announced on October 13 and their projects are:

  • ‘Everyone Supports Returnees’ in Bujumburra and Bururi Provinces, Burundi. Nominee: The Community Association for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (ACDPH) / Applicant: Disability and Development Partners, London, UK (DPP)
  • ‘Revitalising Livelihood Opportunities along Two Economic Arteries in Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone’: ZOA  – Relief Hope Recovery, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
  • ‘Preparedness for Return’, Thailand and Myanmar: The Border Consortium, Bangkok, Thailand

Each finalist will fly a team to the UK for the presentations where the jury, to be chaired by broadcaster, Michael Buerk, will decide the winner of the prestigious $100,000 to be announced and presented immediately after at a VIP ceremony and dinner at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. The two runners-up each receive $25,000. The 2015 Prize attracted 67 entries from 33 countries.

The projects:

  • Everyone Supports Returnees (Burundi) project is protecting and improving universal human rights and liberty of refugees and returnees forcibly returned to Burundi from Tanzania.
  • Revitalising Livelihood Opportunities (Sri Lanka) is an integrated socio-economic project assisting close to 8,000 vulnerable and excluded IDP families in Sri Lanka’s former war zones in their journey towards self-reliance.
  • Preparedness for Return (Thailand) is preparing Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees living in border camps for their potential return to Myanmar by providing self-reliance skills, enabling them to take responsibility for their own lives and livelihoods.

The finalists’ judging panel will be looking in particular for evidence of increased self-reliance in the communities supported – the central ethos of the Prize, which recognises and rewards work to improve the lives of refugees and displaced people all over the world.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “This prize recognises projects working with refugees which seek to enable those who have lost nearly everything to recover their dignity and work for mutual-resourcing and a sustainable future. I pray that the event at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford will give a boost to the confidence of refugee groups as they work together for a secure and hopeful future. I know at first-hand what a challenge it is to begin again in a new country, and to make a new start. I thank God for the work of these projects - with so many conflicts causing people to flee their homes today - this is vital work. It is a great honour to be asked to present the 2015 Ockenden International Awards.”

The 2014 winner was the Norwegian Refugee Council for a land rights project in Zimbabwe, which benefited 5,000 people, while the inaugural Prize, awarded in 2013, went to India’s Centre for Development (CfD) partnered by UK charity Childreach International for their Piplaj Advocacy Project to empower a deeply impoverished community in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.


Back · Back to top