Sister Angélique Namaika - a Congolese nun known as 'mother' among women and girls displaced and abused by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) - will receive the Nansen Refugee Prize awarded by the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency for extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people. She will also receive $100,000 to support her Centre for Reintegration and Development, it was announced on Tuesday.
UNHCR Website Screenshot Accordingly to an U.N report, an estimated 320,000 people fled DRC’s north-eastern province of Orientale – in some cases several times, since 2008. Sister Angélique Namaika - a Congolese nun will receive the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her work among women and girls displaced and abused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
Meanwhile, accordingly to a UN report, an estimated 320,000 people fled DRC's north-eastern province of Orientale - in some cases several times, since 2008.
The report, produced by UNHCR and the IDMC (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre), highlights why LRA violence has created such severe and long-lasting trauma for both the abductees and the hundreds of thousands of people still too afraid to return home.
Through her work at the Centre in a remote north-east region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sister Angélique has helped more than 2,000 women and girls, victims of conflict, who have been traumatised and abused. These women are often ostracised by their families and communities.
She teaches them a trade, assists them in starting a small business or go back to school, a UN news release said.
In a statement, the UN agency calls Sister Angélique's work "exceptional," noting that it is done in a location with scarce electricity, running water and paved roads, riding a bicycle to visit the girls.
"These women's lives have been shattered by brutal violence and displacement. Sister Angélique has proven that even one person can make a huge difference in the lives of families torn apart by war," UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres commended the laureate. "She is a true humanitarian heroine."
The release added, that Sister Angélique was herself a victim of violence in 2009 and displaced while living in Orientale provincial town of Dungu.
Sister Angélique said the pain of fleeing her own home is part of what drives her to work day in and day out to reach all those in need.
"It is difficult to imagine how much the women and girls abused by the LRA have suffered. They will bear the scars of this violence for their whole lives," Sister Angélique said.
"This award will mean more displaced people in Dungu can get the help they need to restart their lives. I will never stop doing all I can to give them hope, and the chance to live again," she added.
Sister Angélique will receive the Award and the Nansen Medal at a ceremony in Geneva on Sept 30.
The event will feature a keynote speech from best-selling author Paulo Coelho and musical performances by British singer-songwriter Dido, Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna, and Grammy-nominated Malian musicians Amadou and Mariam, the news release said.
Following the ceremony, the release added, Sister Angélique - a Roman Catholic nun - will travel to Rome, where she will be received at the Vatican by Pope Francis on Oct 2. Sister Angélique will then proceeding to Paris, Brussels and Oslo for other meetings.
Accordingly to an U.N report, an estimated 320,000 people fled DRC’s north-eastern province of Orientale – in some cases several times, since 2008. Sister Angélique Namaika - a Congolese nun will receive the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her work among women and girls displaced and abused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)