The Stavros S. Niarchos Prize for Survivorship
The Niarchos Prize honors individuals and organizations that promote survivorship and resilience through outstanding contributions to peace, reconciliation and recovery in conflict-affected societies. Awardees come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe.
- Prasanna Rajiv Kuruppu, Sri Lanka – Ms. Kuruppu is a war-injured survivor who led efforts to establish rights and social services for war casualties and Sri Lankans with disabilities.
- Centro Integral de Rehabilitacion de Colombia – Since 1992 this organization has provided support to victims of war-related violence and provided thousands of artificial limbs and orthotics to amputee conflict survivors.
- Omara Khan, Afghanistan – Mr. Khan is a landmine survivor and co-founder of the Afghan Disabled Union, the only organization dedicated to helping Afghans with disabilities achieve full rights under the law.
- Female Mine Action Team, Cambodia – This group is the only female de-mining team in Cambodia. The team painstakingly disarms landmines and removes explosive remnants of war from the ground to make land safe for farming and habitation.
- Dr. Tariq Al-Azzawi Hasoon, Iraq – Dr. Hasson is a courageous doctor for International Medical Corps who has put his life- and the life of his family- on the line to care for his countrymen in the middle of a war zone from where nearly half of Iraqi doctors and nurses have fled.
- Dr. Abreshmeen Lailuma Anvar, Afghanistan – Dr. Lailuma is a passionate physician who has devoted her life to the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to poor and marginalized girls and women in one of the most volatile areas of Afghanistan.
- Military Child Education Coalition, United States – The Coalition innovative program – Living in the New Normal-offers families and educators tools to help children to weather life’s storms during times of conflict and trauma.
- Dr. Izzeldin Abu al-Aish, Palestine – Dr. Abu al-Aish is a doctor and peace activist who has studied the effects of war on Gazan and Israeli children. He consistently speaks out to expose the human loss suffered by both sides, even after a tank fired at his home in January, killing three of his daughters, his niece, and injuring four other family members.
- Nomika Zion, Israel – Ms. Zion is a prominent voice for moderation and peace between Israel and Palestine. She lives in Sderot, an Israeli border town where she works from a concrete safe room to provide protection from the incoming rockets launched over the border. In January 2009, she wrote an open letter challenging cabinet ministers who were glorifying war in the name of the people of Sderot.
- The Survivors of Rwanda – Over the past fifteen years, the people of Rwanda have shown incredible courage and resilience. They have set an example for the world of how to put aside hatred and revenge by encouraging former perpetrators of violence and genocide to return to their communities and help build a united Rwanda.
- Eric Niagira, Burundi – Eric is a former child soldier in Burundi. He is the founding President of an organization called CEDAC, which brings together ex-combatants and former government soldiers in reconciliation and economic opportunity projects to strengthen the peace in Burundi and prevent violence. Currently 25,000 demobilized soldiers are active members of Eric’s organization. One of Eric’s successful efforts has been to collect and destroy thousands of small arms from villages all across the country.
- The Corporation for Citizens’ Participation. Colombia – The Corporation for Citizens’ Participation (Conciudadan’a) is an organization whose mission is to promote the strengthening of local democracy and break cycles of community violence. They are dedicated to working with vulnerable citizens and often have risked their own lives during the height of the conflict. Since 2001, the Corporation for Citizens’ Participation has implemented a unique psychosocial recovery approach that uses peer support through group meetings of survivors. Ms. Beatriz Montoya and Mr. Ramon Moncada accepted the Niarchos Prize on behalf of the Corporation. Both have dedicated over thirty years of their lives to helping survivors overcome their pain, move on with their lives, and support others.
- Forsan Hussein, Israel – Forsan is the first Muslim ever appointed to head a YMCA. Forsan grew up in a small Arab village in northern Israel. From a very early age, he became a passionate peacemaker, building bridges between Arab and Jewish students and their communities. Forsan has created more than 20 Palestinian-Israeli dialogue groups, is a spokesperson and advisor for the Abraham Fund Initiative, has established an international nonprofit organization to advance Middle East peace and founded a summer camp in Canada for Jewish and Palestinian children. Forsan now runs the Jerusalem International YMCA as a place of peaceful co-existence, including a preschool that brings together 120 Christian, Jewish and Muslim children from home and abroad.
A special award is also presented each year to a writer, artist, or performance group whose work embodies the spirit of survivorship.
- The Blind Boys of Alabama received the award in 2005 for music and performances spanning 60 years. The resilience of these gospel and blues singers are a testimony to true grit and talent in the fight against racial discrimination and violence.
- Author and journalist Michael Weisskopf and political cartoonist Garry Trudeau were both honored in 2006. While covering a story in Iraq, a grenade landed in the truck in which Mr. Weisskopf was traveling. He threw the live grenade away from the vehicle, saving the lives of everyone on board, but losing his right hand in the process. Mr. Trudeau’s comic strip, Doonesbury, features a character that went to Iraq and lost a leg to a mine. The Niarchos special award was presented to Trudeau for conveying the darkest subjects with the lightest touch, making us laugh and think.
- Bob and Lee Woodruff were honored in 2008 for their commitment to helping families and other caretakers address the needs of veterans with traumatic brain injuries.
- Complexions Contemporary Ballet inspires survivorship through dance. Internationally renowned artist director, Desmond Richardson, performed a dance tribute to the spirit of survivorship at the 2009 award ceremony in New York City.