A South Sudanese female humanitarian worker has been awarded a coveted humanitarian honor at the Bond International Development Awards in London.
Christine Ngbaazande, who hails from Gbudwe state, was nominated for her work in inspiring activism for the rights and respect of women and children in her community in Yambio.
According to the World Vision South Sudan, Christine began working in 2016 to break stigma experienced by survivors of sexual violence and children born of rape in her town.
She is said to have trained over 50 groups; faith leaders, women’s groups and youth leaders to become local advocates for social acceptance, openness, and encouragement.
Christine Ngbaazande who spent her teen years and half of her adult life in Congo after fleeing South Sudan in 1990, said the experienced “helped to shape her desire to become a humanitarian.”
While in Gbudwe, her work and that of her colleagues also helped “change attitudes and behaviors, increasing social acceptance of survivors of sexual violence,” according to World Vision.
Because of her work, Ngbaazande was shortlisted alongside a fellow humanitarian from South Sudan, and four other humanitarian workers from Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria, and Nepal.
The Bond International Development Awards 2019 said it celebrates “the exceptional work undertaken by people like Christine that often goes unrecognized.
Christine Ngbaazande, a Social Reintegration Coordinator with the World Vision, said the award has given her greater courage to do more to help women across South Sudan.
“This award gives hope to girls and women all over South Sudan, as [they] rise from the shadows of conflict,” she said.
TheUN and Human Rights groups have issued several reports detailing rape and other forms of sexual violence as being rampant against girls and women in South Sudan.
This week, the UN Human Rights Commission said it has identified 23 more individuals who bear command or superior responsibility under international criminal law for serious crimes related to the conflict in South Sudan.
The Commission said it documented sexual violence, including brutal rapes including multiple gang rapes, sexual slavery, abductions, forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, and mutilation of sexual organs as well as killings, at the hands of both government forces and those belonging to the opposition.
“The people of my country have been through so much over the years, [this] winning, this award means the world to me as a humanitarian – it has given me another kick of inspiration to keep doing what I do,” said an elated Christine.
The Humanitarian Award specifically honors the hidden heroes working in demanding and often dangerous environments.
“And it’s not just about me, of course – but thanks to those I have the privilege of working with and for every single day, I have real hope for the future,” she added.
An official from the World Vision believes Christine’s impact on her community will not end with the award.
“Christine has and will continue to make a lasting impact on her community in Yambio, South Sudan – through her work directly to change attitudes and help communities accept those who have experienced horrific human rights violations, but also as a role model to her community,” said Erica Hall.
Christine outshined other finalists that include; Dr Diakaria Maiga, a Health Manager at International Medical Corps who is prided for having “accomplished more than any other person in conflict-affected areas in Northern Mali.”
Another finalists, Fredrick Kianda, a CBR coordinator from HelpAge International is also said to be a “professional, visionary, committed and dedicated to making sure the lives of the refugees from his managerial and professional therapy skills.”
The nominees included a South Sudanese Senior Nutrition Officer with International Medical Corps, Awu Malish. He was nominated for his “deep commitment to serving critically distressed populations such as the malnourished children and pregnant mothers in his home country.”
Anil Patil, a Founder and Executive Director with Carers Worldwide, was selected for “establishing 342 groups, 10 Community Caring Centres and 5 independent Carers Associations.”
And Charles Usie, a Country Manager in North Eastern Nigeria with Christian Aid was nominated for “building a massive humanitarian response in the region in a short period of time and given hope to hundreds of thousands of displaced people.”
The Bond International Development Awards in London is given each year as a “reflection of the hard work that goes on, often behind the scenes.”
“Each year we are delighted and humbled by the winner of this award… by so many dedicated and innovative people. It is a genuine pleasure to be honoring Christine and shining a light on the inspirational work she is doing,” said Mike Wright, Director of Communications at Bond.
Bond is a 439 member organization such as Oxfam, Save the Children and UNICEF UK, with a wide selection of smaller local charities.
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