25th October 2020
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Rita to spend her prize money on orphans, street children

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Friday, September 18, 2020

A child carries his younger sister on his back. Both children are living on the street in Aweil, South Sudan | Credit | UNICEF

The award-winning peace activist has vowed to extend support through her prize to orphans, street children and empower young women leaders.

On Tuesday The U.S. Institute of Peace declared Rita Lopidia of South Sudan as the winner of the inaugural Women Building Peace Award.

She was among 10 finalists selected for the 10,000-dollar peace award.

Reacting to the news, Ms Lopidia promised to use the $10,000 she won to help orphans, streets kid and empower young women leaders through the incubator project at the Eve organization that is  training young women leaders to change their communities.

“I lost my dad when I was just 8 years old and I know the difficulty of being an orphan. So, part of this money will go to the orphans and the street kids,” said Rita who is the Executive Director of Eve, an organization that focuses on peace, security, women empowerment and development issues in South Sudan.

The award recognizes the vital efforts of individual women pursuing peace in fragile or conflict-affected countries around the world.

Also read: The peace deal should end suffering of citizens – Rita

Ms Lopidia is said to have advocated for the development of the South Sudan United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 National Action Plan and gender-sensitive legislation in her own country.

According to the U.S. Institute of Peace, Ms Lopidia was among more than 150 women nominated for their peace-building efforts in 51 countries.

Hunger, fueled by a protracted civil war and a failed economy, has pushed children into labor or life on the streets, according to a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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