2020 Ockenden Prize Finalists

Eleven innovative projects operational on five continents have been short listed for the 2020 Ockenden International Prizes. The four annual prizes, worth £25,000 each, will be announced in London at the end of March.

Each project is working to help refugees – and/or displaced people – by fostering their independence and building self-reliance.

The 2020 prizes, the eighth since they were inaugurated in 2013, attracted a record 141 entries from 45 countries.

The chair of Ockenden International, Judith Ingham said: “Thousands of refugees and IDPs – and their communities – are benefitting from the self-reliance and independence these projects promote.

“We hope the prize money will enable the four winners to extend their winning projects, best practice and their reach in what is one of the most challenging global issues of the day.”

The projects for this year’s finalists include programmes for child migrants, legal aid and advocacy, education, security, social integration and a cultural festival – in countries from Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

The organizations (in alphabetical order) short listed for this year’s cash awards, are:

  • AMERA International, for its support of refugee legal aid and in particular for its refugee information processing system in the UK, South America, Africa and Asia.
  • Casa Alianza Honduras, nominated by Compass Children’s Charity, UK, provides refugee and IDP children with a place of safety, essential services and information to understand their rights, to enable informed decision-making about their future.
  • De Laas Gul Welfare Program, for its work promoting girls’ education and delivering primary education to refugee girls in Pakistan.
  • FORGE for Humanity, working with single male asylum seekers and refugees in Athens, Greece, to provide them with support and assistance to forge their way towards stability, integration and autonomy.
  • Jusoor, which is extending educational and entrepreneurial opportunities to Syrian children and youth in the Middle East, UK, Canada and the United States.
  • Kav LaOved, protecting refugee and asylum-seeker rights in Israel through individual assistance and advocacy to improve the legal, policy and regulatory framework of the labour market.
  • Mae Tao Clinic, provides, advocates for and strengthens community capacity for an equitable health system, education and protection for vulnerable and displaced people living in the Thai-Myanmar border area and Eastern Myanmar.
  • Melissa, a network for migrant and refugee women in Greece, promoting empowerment, integration and social cohesion.
  • Shatila Studio Limited, a social enterprise project run by Syrian and Palestinian women for Syrian and Palestinian women, in Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp.
  • Small Projects Istanbul, for ‘Muhra’, a women’s social enterprise with skills development and income-generating program for refugees from the Middle East and North Africa living in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Tumaini Letu festival, nominated by Lake of Stars Africa, creates a cultural festival in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp, designed and delivered by refugees to promote intercultural understanding with the host community.

The four cash prizes recognize and reward innovative work that delivers evidential self-reliance to refugees and/or IDPs, the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951.

The four annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on IDP/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world.

The 11 short-listed projects for 2020 will be judged by Ockenden International’s seven-member Advisory Board:

  • Michael Buerk, Broadcaster
  • Dr. Georgia Cole, the Margaret Anstee Research Fellow at the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, Newnham College, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Avila Kilmurray, Trustee, Conciliation Resources and consultant with The Social Change Initiative
  • Dame Frances Lannon, former Principal and Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford
  • Mike Wooldridge, OBE, former BBC Foreign Correspondent
  • Dr. Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration; former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford and Emeritus Fellow, St Cross College; and
  • Dr. Alice Nah, Lecturer at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York.