On Armistice Day 100 years after WW1, the winners of our annual global peace prize were announced at an awards event in London last night. Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders is an annual award for the best grassroots peacebuilding organisations worldwide.
Awards organiser Ruairi Nolan said:
Peace Direct are delighted to announce 2014’s four winners:
Centar za Izgradnju Mira, bring together young people from hostile ethnic groups and religious faiths in Bosnia and Herzegovina to build understanding and tolerance. They host peace camps, provide non-violence education in primary schools and run an inter-faith choir. For the first time since the war, they encouraged a peaceful dialogue between the main imam of Sanski Most and two local Christian priests: as a result, local mosques delivered aid to churches during recent floods.
War Affected Youth Association work directly with former abductees of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda who face stigmatisation and are often rejected by the villages they return home to. War Affected Youth Association was founded to support these former abducted children. It campaigns against child abuse and the stigmatisation of returning LRA child soldiers. The organisation has worked with some 10,000 villagers and abductees.
Dagropass is tackling Burundi’s tragic past head on. Since 2007 it has been removing weapons from civilians in the Bubanza region, assisting government operations to collect and destroy weapons, signing up communities to observe the International Arms Trade Treaty and providing education around this sensitive issue. Its aim is to secure a weapon-free community.
United Nauro-Gor is preventing inter-tribal warfare in Papua New Guinea. For three decades their region of Papua New Guinea has suffered from inter-tribal warfare that has claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed entire villages and hampered development. This was halted in 2002 with inter-tribal peace talks which established United Nauro-Gor, an organisation that brings together all the tribes to work in partnership for peace and development.
An additional special prize for Technology And Peacebuilding has been made to Heartbeat, a group that uses musical workshops, camps and concerts to bring together young Israelis and Palestinians. This prize will give Heartbeat a scholarship to attend the 2015 Build Peace conference in Cyprus, which gathers peacebuilding technologists to design ways to use technology to bring their message of peace to an even wider audience.
Winner Vahidin Omanovic of Centar za Izgradnju Mira was in London to receive his prize in person. He said:
Judges from our international panel of experts, including distinguished broadcaster Bridget Kendall and international peacebuilder Lord Jack McConnell chose from 225 grassroots peacebuilding organisations from 53 countries. The winning organisations receive $4,000 each.