The Awards are given by Bond, a UK body of NGOs active in international development, to recognise excellence in the field. They provide Bond members such as the Anglican Alliance with a unique opportunity to share stories of successful projects demonstrating effective, even unexpected, positive collaborations.
Over 30 entries were shortlisted for Bond awards in the categories of Humanitarian, Positive Collaboration, Inspiring Campaign and Innovation. Anglican Alliance staff Janice Proud, Relief and Programmes Manager, and Isobel Owen, Programme Officer, attended the awards ceremony.
The Humanitarian award went to Maseray Kamara, of World Vision Sierra Leone & SMART Alliance, who made history by becoming one of the first female undertakers in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.
The award highlighted important learnings from the dedicated work of Maseray Kamara, an Ebola survivor passionate about the need not just for safe, but also dignified, burials, with sites marked so that family could mourn, said Janice Proud.
“It was so moving to watch a video clip of Maseray Kamara, wearing protective clothing, carefully dressing a baby who had died before wrapping in the ‘safe’ protection for burial. She reverently carried the small bundle with the family following at a safe distance to the burial site, which was marked so it could be found again later,” Proud recounted.
Kamara’s work parallels that of the Anglican Church in West Africa, Proud noted, which promoted safe and dignified burials as part of their ministry as faith and community leaders during the Ebola crisis.
The Anglican Alliance was delighted that their nominee for the Humanitarian award, Harriet Baka, of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS), made the shortlist. This gave superb recognition to Harriet Baka’s inspirational and dedicated work.
A long-time peace and development advocate, Harriet Baka is provincial coordinator of the Mother’s Union and a member of the ECSSS Emergency Crisis Committee.
“I was delighted to see the tireless work of ‘Mama Harriet’ on relief, development and advocacy recognised by her shortlisting for the Bond Humanitarian award,” Proud said.
Proud was impressed by Baka’s passion and commitment to work to bring about change when she met her in Juba, South Sudan, earlier this year.
“From her concern for the baby struggling with chickenpox in the heat of the day, to her passion that women must speak up to national, regional and international leaders to bring peace to South Sudan, she is an inspiration,” Proud remarked.
Rhobi Samwelly, Project Leader of Mara Safe House, run under the auspices of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, also made the shortlist for the Humanitarian award. Mara Safe House provided a refuge for girls escaping female genital mutilation (FGM) and worked with the local community to change community attitudes to FGM, Proud said.
The Anglican Alliance was also excited that the Innovation award this year recognised an Open University program, TESS-India (Teacher Education through School-based Support). “This recognises that distance learning platforms are an valid means of improving the quality of education in an accessible and sustainable way,” said Rachel Carnegie, Anglican Alliance co Director.
The Anglican Alliance runs Agents of Change, a distance learning programme developed with the UK’s Open University, to equip Anglicans around the world on the frontline of community development.
Peacebuilding NGO Conciliation Resources won the Bond Positive Collaboration award and ActionAid the Inspiring Campaign award.
Photo: Maseray Kamara carrying a baby that she has dressed with dignity before putting in the protective layers for safe burial.
Photo credit: World Vision, Sierra Leone