The Princess Royal to Present 2014 Ockenden Prize

by Corrie Parsonson | Ockenden International
Tuesday, 7 January 2014 09:53 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

HRH The Princess Royal will present the second annual Ockenden International Prize for refugee projects at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University on Tuesday, February 18.

The $75,000 Prize is awarded to an existing project with proven benefits and outcomes in self-reliance for refugees or internally displaced people.

The 2014 winner will be chosen from this year’s three finalists who will present their projects to a panel of five expert judges, chaired by Broadcaster, Michael Buerk, at Lady Margaret Hall the same day.

The finalists are NRC Zimbabwe, ADRA India and ActionAid India.

A record 97 entries from 47 countries were entered in the 2014 Ockenden International Prize to be presented by The Princess Royal at a prestigious ceremony and dinner at Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gardens, Oxford, on Tuesday evening, February 18.

The three projects in the running for the $75,000 prize are:

  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Zimbabwe: for its project in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces, where durable solutions for IDPs (Internally Displaced Peoples) are being successfully implemented.
  • The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), India: for its ‘Protection and Livelihood Assistance to Sri Lankan refugees’ project, working across 54 camps in 18 districts of Tamil Nadu, India.
  • ActionAid India for the project: Humanitarian support for internally displaced tribal communities in Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

The two runners-up will each receive $15,000.

The judges will be looking in particular for evidence of increased self-reliance in the communities supported – the central ethos of the Prize, which recognises and rewards work to improve the lives of refugees and displaced people all over the world.

The judges, Chaired by Mr. Michael Buerk, Broadcaster, are Dr. Jeff Crisp, Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy, Refugees International; Dr. Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration/Director Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Dr. Kirsten McConnachie, Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; and Mr. Mohammed Suleman, Managing Director, Barrow & Gale.

The inaugural 2013 Prize was awarded last February to India’s Centre for Development (CfD) partnered by UK charity Childreach International for their Piplaj Advocacy Project to empower a deeply impoverished community in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to campaign for better living conditions, education and healthcare.

CfD is using its prize money on a replica project for children made homeless by commercial developments forcing them into other slums in Ahmedabad.

More information can be found at

Note for editors Ockenden International’s roots lie in the work of three British schoolteachers, led by Joyce Pearce, who created the Ockenden Venture in 1951.  Their aim was to receive in Britain young East Europeans from homeless persons’ camps in Germany and to provide for their maintenance, education and welfare. This work later extended to projects in India, North Africa and Southeast Asia. The Venture’s expertise and skills in helping people help themselves was so well recognised by 1979 that the British government asked Ockenden to be one of the three charities tasked with helping Vietnamese ‘boat people’ resettle in the United Kingdom.

After the death in 1985 of Joyce Pearce, the driving visionary of the organisation, the charity took stock of its work and by 1999, as Ockenden International, had concentrated nearly all its work overseas. In 2007 the trustees decided that continuing to be an operational charity was no longer viable and that it could work more effectively by becoming a prize-giver and promoting awareness of the challenges facing refugees and displaced people.

Contact for media queries: 

Corrie Parsonson, Administrator, Ockenden Prizes | + 44 (0) 20 8416 0116