Monday, October 10, 2011

Maggy Barankitse awarded the 2011 Fondation Chirac Prize

Yet another reward for Marguerite (Maggy) Barankitse, the founder of the Maison Shalom in Burundi and partner of Friends of Humanity for a few years now. 

Following a long list of awards received for her outstanding work in helping orphaned children in Burundi, including the UNHCR's Nansen Award and the UNESCO prize, Maggy Barankitse is now the recipient of the award of the Fondation Chirac, the organisation founded by the former French President Jacques Chirac. The deliberation taken on September 15 motivates the award for "her courageous efforts on behalf of victims of ethnic conflict in Burundi. This compassionate woman has always used her fierce spirit of reconciliation and reconstruction to combat violence."

The prize consists of 100.000 euros which will allow Maggy to continue her work, and the official ceremony will take place in Paris on November 24. Maggy will receive the prize from Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, and himself a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace. 

The Fondation Chirac Prize, started in 2009, is given to an individual in reward for his or her unique effort in situations of urgency. Alongside this prize, the Special Jury Prize awards a more publicly recognized figure, and this year the recipient is Louise Arbour, the former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. 

Friends of Humanity is particularly happy about this award, and we proudly remember Maggy's presence in our A Day To Share event in Geneva, on September 18. We would like to congratulate Maggy for this achievement and we have renewed enthusiasm in continuing our partnership with the Maison Shalom. 

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