The four winners of Ockenden International’s annual prizes for refugee and/or IDP projects announced.
‘Every Child Deserves a Future' nominated by Compass Children’s Charity, UK, was awarded its prize for a strong, well-organised project providing refugee and internally displaced children with a safe haven.
FORGE for Humanity's 'Unlocking Potential' project won its unique focus on support for single male refugees. The judges said FORGE is successfully challenging stereotypes while providing a support network to facilitate stability, integration and autonomy.
The eponymously-named project won for improving access to essential services for vulnerable, displaced communities on the Thai-Myanmar border and in eastern Myanmar, where conflict-affected communities gained access to quality healthcare and education.
'Muhra, a Social Enterprise for Refugee Women' won for its self-sufficiency and commercial success. 'Muhra' is a local handcraft brand that the judges agreed, though small scale, is an intense enterprise, working as well for the individual craftswomen involved as for the whole venture.
It was in May 1979 that a cargo ship, the SS Sibonga, went to the rescue of two sinking fishing vessels in the South China Sea. On board one of the stricken vessels were four brothers: Tan, Quan, Ben and Truong Truong. Also with them were their parents, Phuoc and May, three young cousins, Lee, Tung and Tony and an uncle. In all, the Sibonga rescued more than 900 people. All with individual lives, but who quickly acquired a generic name: the Vietnamese boat people.
The brothers and their family arrived in the UK in late 1979 and were put in the care of the Ockenden Venture. The family grew to eight when two more sons were born – in 1980 and 1984.
It is sometimes difficult to identify the effect of Ockenden’s work. So when the six brothers spoke movingly in London’s Union Chapel recently about their survival and subsequent adventure, it was a rare glimpse . . . Read more . . .
Prize money (£)
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