The four winners of the ninth annual Ockenden International Prizes for refugee and/or displaced people projects are Israel’s ARTEAM, the Dream Orchestra Ideell Förening, Sweden, Velos Youth, Greece and The Ara Trust, India.
ARTEAM's 'Garden Library' project, whose teachers themselves are refugees who share the same challenges and particular circumstances in the community of southern Tel Aviv that it serves.
It was also singled out for its "genuine inclusiveness. Based on policies of direct input and self-reliance, sustained in a challenging environment for refugees and asylum-seekers from Eritrea.
A leadership training scheme that uses the learning of an instrument – to orchestral standard – that is as unique and imaginative as it is sonically captivating. It develops the disciplines required for employment with the social skills necessary for integration while making young refugees feel part of a community, essential building blocks to self-reliance. The orchestra’s beautiful music underscores the project’s importance in elevating confidence and self-esteem – individually and collectively.
Velos Youth's Athens centre provides a safe space and holistic support for displaced, unaccompanied people, mostly men, aged 16-21. The Centre is run by refugees for refugees and is funded collectively. The Centre’s focus is on young men who can be vulnerable in this age group to many malign influences.
The assistance and support provided are an exceptional example of constructive ways to support young people in making self-reliant lives.
The Ara Trust's 'Migration & Asylum Project (M.A.P.)', based in New Delhi, is led and staffed predominantly by women – in a male-dominated legislative and legal environment – who have effected real change for the stateless through strategic acumen, development of a network of paralegals, a clear rights approach, strategic litigation cases, digital stories by refugees in advocacy and publication of a ‘know your rights’ booklet along with access to its services via social media.
Political sociologist, Dr. Dilar Dirik, is Ockenden International’s third Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow. The fellowship, funded by Ockenden International, is administered by Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) in conjunction with the Refugee Studies Centre, part of the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford.
In my childhood, my parents and I were forced to flee Turkey to seek asylum in Germany, due to the war and the political persecution of the Kurdish people. In recent years, the Middle East region has experienced unprecedented scales of mass displacement and forced migration, even leading to episodes of genocide and irreversible historical and ecological destruction. From my own personal and academic perspective, I believe that the recurrence of such tragedies can only be tackled in a manner that is compassionate towards affected communities, but critical towards international and local political, cultural, social and economic systems and discourses that . . .
Read Dr. Dirik’s full story . . .
Prize money (£)
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