The annual Marsh Award is presented to participants nominated for having made an impactful contribution to peacemaking and peacekeeping. Nominations from Wilton Park staff are shortlisted by members of the Wilton Park Advisory Council, and Brian Marsh, founder of the Marsh Christian Trust (MCT) makes the final selection. The winners receive a financial award from the MCT to help further their work and a certificate signed by both the Chairman of Wilton Park and Brian Marsh.
This year’s Marsh Award presentation will take place following the TEDx Whitehall Women on November 3 at HMS President in London at which one of the winners, Angela Atim Lakor will be speaking.
2017 Award winners
Ms Farida Abbas Rasho Khalaf is a board member of the Yazda organisation, and is one of more than 6,500 Yazidi Survivors of ISIL enslavement and genocide.
Farida was born in Kocho, Northern Iraq, and was a high school student when ISIL attacked her village, killing men and taking women and children hostages. Farida lost her father and her older brother. She was taken then into captivity with her mother and her other brother. Farida was held in captivity for four months where she was subject to unimaginable suffering including physical and mental abuse. Her mother escaped after 9 months.
Since her escape, Farida has spoken out about her experience, with engagements in Holland, France, Germany, the UK and Belgium. Farida’s book, ‘The Girl Who Beat ISIS’ has been published in more than 14 countries. She spoke at the Wilton Park conference Tackling exploitation, trafficking and modern slavery in February 2017.
Ms Angela Atim Lakor is the project coordinator of Watye Ki Gen, a Ugandan organisation (trans. “We Have Hope”) whose members are formerly abducted women held in the bush, working for the rights and the welfare of children born in captivity.
Angela was abducted from Aboke St Mary’s College with fellow pupils by the Lord Resistance Army when she was 14 years old.
Angela is co-author of the book The Lord Resistance Army (LRA) Forced Wife System and is currently studying for a Bachelors degree in Development studies in Gulu University, Uganda. She spoke at the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative meeting on tackling stigma at Wilton Park in November 2016.
Elizabeth Henry Angok, Regional Director for the South Sudan Mother and Child Care Organisation, was presented with the first award in 2014 at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict by then UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
In 2015, Devanna de la Puente of Chile was recognised for her work preventing gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian crises, in her capacity as the Inter-agency Regional Emergency GBV Advisor (REGA) for Asia and the Pacific. Based in Thailand, Devanna received the award from British Ambassador to Thailand, Mark Kent, at the British Embassy in Bangkok.
Last year, the award was presented to Dr Rouba Mhaissen, Lebanese-Syrian founder of Sawa for Development and Aid which supports Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Karen Pierce, then FCO Chief Operating Officer, made the presentation at Wilton Park where Rouba made a passionate and moving speech about her work and those she works with.
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