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2015 Ockenden International Prize Winner

Richard Budd – Credit: Photography: Richard Budd www.richardbudd.co.uk ©2015

Wednesday 25th February 2015

The third annual Ockenden International Prize for excellence in self-reliant refugee projects has been won by The Community Association for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (ACPDH) and Disability and Development Partners (DDP) UK for the DDP-nominated project: “Twunganire Abahungutse (TA) - Everyone Supports Returnees” operating in two provinces of Burundi.

 

The Most Reverend & Right Honorable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York presented the Prize of $US100,000 at the annual ceremony in the Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University on Tuesday evening.

Three finalists competing for the annual cash prize presented their projects to a panel of five experts only hours before the Ceremony at Lady Margaret Hall, where the charity’s founder, the late Joyce Pearce OBE began her career of service to refugees and displaced people worldwide.

The judges were impressed by the project’s emphasis on the human rights of people forcibly returned to Burundi from Tanzania after a joint decision by Tanzania, Burundi and the UNHCR to close a camp for 38,000 people at the end of 2012 and the concentration on those rights by empowering people with economic security, education, health, and social integration and in a way that was not a short-term ‘fix’. 

The judging panel, led by broadcaster Michael Buerk, sought evidence of increased self-reliance in the communities supported, the central ethos of the Prize, which recognises and rewards work that has improved the lives of refugees and displaced people across the globe.

Trophies, certificates and cheques – $100,000 to the winner and $25,000 for the other two finalists – were this year presented by the Archbishop of York who said: “I give thanks to all 67 organisations that entered the Ockenden International Awards for 2015. I am delighted to award the winners gathered here in recognition of their efforts in serving others and humanity. Let us salute their great work, in not only helping refugees to survive, but also to live proudly and positively in circumstances they did not choose.”

A capacity audience saw the Prize presentations and heard the three contenders explain their projects. The other finalists and their projects were:

  • ‘Revitalising Livelihood Opportunities along Two Economic Arteries in Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone’: ZOA  – Relief Hope Recovery, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands www.zoa-international.com
  • ‘Preparedness for Return’, Thailand and Myanmar: The Border Consortium, Bangkok, Thailand www.theborderconsortium.org

The 2015 Prize attracted 67 entries from 39 countries with the three finalists chosen by a preliminary judging panel throughout October-November 2014.

The judges, Chaired by Mr Michael Buerk, broadcaster, were Dr Alexander Betts, Director Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Dr Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, University of Oxford; Mr Mohammed Suleman, Managing Director, Barrow & Gale; and Dr Avila Kilmurray, Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

To watch the video:

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