HRH The Princess Royal Presents 2014 Ockenden Prize

HRH The Princess Royal Presents 2014 Ockenden Prize

via HRH The Princess Royal Presents 2014 Ockenden Prize 19 February 2014

The second annual $75,000 Ockenden International Prize for refugee projects has been won by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Zimbabwe for improving the self-reliance of internally displaced people in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces.

HRH The Princess Royal presented the prestigious prize at a special ceremony in the Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University on Tuesday.

Three finalists competing for the annual cash prize presented their projects to a panel of expert judges led by broadcaster Michael Buerk, earlier in the day at Lady Margaret Hall, where the charity’s founder, the late Joyce Pearce OBE began her career of service to refugees and displaced people worldwide.

The judges sought evidence of increased self-reliance in the communities supported, the central ethos of the Prize, which recognises and rewards work that has improved the lives of refugees and displaced people across the globe.

Trophies, certificates and cheques – $75,000 to the winner and $15,000 for the two runners-up – were this year presented by HRH The Princess Royal.

A capacity audience of 130 saw the Prize presentations and heard the three contenders explain their projects. The other finalists and their projects were:

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), India: for its ‘Protection and Livelihood Assistance to Sri Lankan refugees’ project, working across 54 camps in 18 districts of Tamil Nadu, India.

ActionAid India for the project: Humanitarian support for internally displaced tribal communities in Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

A record 97 entries from 47 countries were entered in the 2014 Ockenden International Prize. The three finalists were chosen from a preliminary judging panel in November 2013.

The judges, Chaired by Michael Buerk, broadcaster, are Dr. Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration/Director Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Dr. Kirsten McConnachie, Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Mr. Mohammed Suleman, Managing Director, Barrow & Gale; and Major General (Retired) Timothy Cross, UK military expert on the care and safety of refugees in conflict zones.

The inaugural 2013 Prize was awarded last February to India’s Centre for Development (CfD) partnered by UK charity Childreach International for their Piplaj Advocacy Project to empower a deeply impoverished community in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to campaign for better living conditions, education and healthcare.

CfD is using its prize money on a similar project for children made homeless by commercial developments forcing them into other slums in Ahmedabad.

Calls for entries in the 2015 Prize will open on May 1, 2014.

More information can be found at

Note for editors Ockenden International’s foundations lie in the work of three British schoolteachers, led by Joyce Pearce, who in 1951 brought a group of young East Europeans to Britain from homeless persons’ camps in Germany. They were given support, education and welfare and the operation soon became known as the Ockenden Venture.

This work later extended to projects in India, North Africa and Southeast Asia. The Venture’s expertise and skills in helping people help themselves was so well recognised by 1979 that the British government asked Ockenden to be one of the three charities tasked with helping Vietnamese ‘boat people’ resettle in the United Kingdom.

After the death in 1985 of Joyce Pearce, the driving visionary of the organisation, the charity took stock of its work and by 1999, as Ockenden International, had concentrated nearly all its work overseas.

In 2007 the trustees decided that continuing to be an operational charity was no longer viable and that it could work more effectively by becoming a donor and prize-giver promoting awareness of the challenges facing refugees and displaced people.