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Ockenden International Prize Relaunched, Prize to Split Four Ways

by Corrie Parsonson | Freelance
Thursday, 1 June 2017 12:54 GMT

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

In 2018, Ockenden International is to award four prizes of £25,000 each, for projects that excel in developing independence for refugees and internally displaced people.

The relaunched prizes are designed to broaden their appeal and effect. They will be open to projects focused on IDP/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world.

Trustee Chairman, Vin Ray said: “This will mean more prizes for more projects. Ockenden’s aim is to benefit as many IDPs and refugees as possible. Having four £25,000 prizes will widen and extend the impact of the successful projects the Ockenden Prize seeks to highlight and reward.”

Submissions for the 2018 prizes will be judged by a panel of experts, whose names will be announced in due course.

The cash prizes, first awarded in 2013, recognize and reward innovative work that can be shown to promote self-reliance, the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951.

The annual ‘call for entries’ in the new format will be launched on Friday 1st September.

There are no geographical limits on the locations of the projects but the judges will be looking for work started no earlier than September 1, 2014, and for evidence of properly measured and evaluated outcomes.

Deadline for entries in the 2018 prizes will be midnight (GMT) on Thursday 30th November, with the four winners to be announced in Q1 2018.

The Ockenden International Prizes remains focused on solutions to the challenges faced by displaced people, raising awareness of their range of needs, and providing reward and recognition for those giving outstanding support.

The 2017 Prize was won by St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) in Cairo, Egypt, for a programme designed to halt the exodus to Europe of young unaccompanied adults. StARS’ ‘Unaccompanied Youth Bridging Program’, is slowing the migration rate of young unaccompanied refugees out of Cairo by providing them with practical reasons – education, jobs and support – to stay in Egypt.

The two 2017 runners-up were the ‘Consolidation of Legal Aid Services to Forced Migrants’ from the School of Law, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and ‘IDPs Support Project in Rasuwa’, a post-earthquake recovery programme from Parivartan Patra, Nepal (nominated by Cordaid, The Netherlands).

More information about The Prizes and previous winners and their projects is available on Ockenden International’s website www.ockendenprizes.org and https://www.facebook.com/OckendenPrizes Global

Note for editors: The organisation’s roots lie in the work of three British schoolteachers, led by Joyce Pearce, who founded what later became the Ockenden Venture in 1951. Their simple 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 Joyce Pearce, the driving visionary of the organisation, died in 1985, 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 sustainable and that it could work more effectively by becoming a prize-giver and donor by promoting awareness of the challenges facing displaced people.

Media contact: enquiries@ockendenprizes.org