2013 Nansen Refugee Award Announced in Geneva

GENEVA, September 17, 2013 – The Nansen Refugee Award Committee announced today that this year’s Nansen Refugee Award goes to Sister Angélique Namaika.

The award is given to Sister Angélique in recognition of her work for survivors of displacement and abuse by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Through her Centre for Reintegration and Development (CRAD), Sister Angélique has transformed the lives of more than 2,000 displaced women and girls by helping them set up their own businesses or go back into education.

Sister Angélique, who was herself displaced from the town of Dungu in 2009, said: “It is difficult to imagine how much the women and girls abused by the LRA have suffered. They will bear the scars of this violence for their whole lives. This award will mean more displaced people in Dungu can get the help they need to restart their lives. I will never stop doing all I can to give them hope, and the chance to live again.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres praised the new laureate's tireless work “to help women and girls who are extremely vulnerable due to their trauma, poverty and displacement."

Established in 1954 by UNHCR, the Nansen Refugee Award is conferred every year to individuals or organisations that have carried out outstanding work to help refugees, displaced or stateless persons.

Named after the first High Commissioner for Refugees and 1922 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Fridtjof Nansen, the award consists of a medal and a prize of US $100,000.

The prize is donated by the Norwegian and Swiss governments to fund a humanitarian project of the laureate’s choice.

Last year’s award went to Hawa Aden Mohamed, a former Somali refugee and co-founder of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD). Since its inception in 1999, the centre has provided education to thousands of young girls, boys and women in the Mudug region of Somalia.

To find out more about this year's Nansen Refugee Award winner, click here.

More information about Hawa Aden Mohamed’s story is available here.

To find out more about previous Nansen Refugee Award winners, click here.

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