Winners of the sixth annual Ockenden International Prizes for refugee projects have been announced yesterday by Ockenden International. The four winners are: IPSDI Burundi, Health Equity Initiatives, Malaysia, Safe Passage UK, and Taawon, Lebanon. The four winning projects are from Burundi, Malaysia, Lebanon and the United Kingdom.
Each winner receives GBP25,000, rewarding and recognizing innovative work that has promoted self-reliance among refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) – the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951. More than 50 projects were entered from 27 nationalities, working with refugees and IDPs in 43 countries.
The annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on IDP/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world.
Ten initiatives, operational in 15 countries, were shortlisted for this year’s Prizes. They operate in a range of areas including agriculture and food security, education and community-learning, livelihoods and employment support, advocacy and legal assistance, and psycho-social support. They are working with a variety of displaced populations (including refugees and asylum-seekers, internally displaced, environmentally displaced and returnees) to improve the lives of more than 40,000 people in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Submissions for the new annual £25,000 prizes must be from non-profit organisations, which can also elect to nominate a project by a partner or affiliate organization. There are no geographical limits on the locations of submitted projects but Ockenden International invites entries for projects initiated no earlier than 36 months prior to the annual ‘call for entries’, scheduled this year for September 1, 2018.
The Ockenden International Prizes remain focused on identifying solutions to the challenges faced by displaced people, raising awareness of their needs, and rewarding outstanding projects.
The 2017 prize was won by St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) in Cairo, Egypt, for a programme designed to assist young unaccompanied adults. StARS’ ‘Youth Bridging Program’ is providing them with practical reasons, including education and other support, to further their careers in Egypt.
The two 2017 runners-up were the ‘Consolidation of Legal Aid Services to Forced Migrants’ from the School of Law, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and ‘IDPs Support Project in Rasuwa’, a post-earthquake recovery programme from Parivartan Patra, Nepal (nominated by Cordaid, The Netherlands).