The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity judging committee announced today (Tuesday) the Community of Sant’Egidio and Kenyan peacebuilder Mrs. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil as co-honorees of the 2023 award.
Now in its fourth edition, the award recognizes the two co-honorees for their contributions to building a more peaceful and compassionate world through advancing the values of human fraternity and setting an inspiring example of promoting peaceful coexistence.
The Community of Sant’Egidio is a humanitarian association based in Rome, Italy, with representative offices in 73 countries across Europe, Africa, the United States, and Asia. The association is being recognized for their contribution to successful peace negotiations and conflict resolution through religious diplomacy and intercultural dialogue - promoting peace in various places around the world, from Guatemala to Mozambique. They also provide community services in different parts of the world. Notably, the organization continues to assist refugees and support their integration into host societies through their ‘Humanitarian Corridors’ initiative, which also extends support to the most impoverished communities around the world.
A community mobilizer and peacebuilder in Kenya, Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil – known as ‘Mama Shamsa’ – is being recognized for nurturing youth in Kenya and saving young people from lives of violence, crime, and extremism, by providing them with counseling, care, and training. Mrs. Abubakar Fadhil has led major campaigns in Kenya and greater Africa to draw awareness to violence against women, as well as women and youth empowerment.
This year’s award was decided by an independent judging committee composed of international experts in promoting peace and human rights, namely United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos; former Vice President of Costa Rica H.E. Dr. Epsy Campbell Barr; Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization at the Holy See His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle; 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi; 2015 Nobel Peace Laureate and entrepreneur Dr. Ouided Bouchamaoui; and Secretary-General of Zayed Award for Human Fraternity and Secretary -General of the Muslim Council of Elders Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam.
Commenting on the selection of the award’s 2023 honorees, Secretary-General of Zayed Award for Human Fraternity Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said: “This year’s honorees are truly outstanding leaders that are dedicating their lives to address division, build resilient communities and cultivate compassion and hope. The Community of Sant’Egidio and Mama Shamsa have transformed the lives of vulnerable and marginalized peoples in societies around the world, including youth, refugees, and those living in conflict zones.”
Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam added: “By granting the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity to the Community of Sant’Egidio and Mama Shamsa, we hope to amplify their efforts and inspire other institutions and individuals around the world to play an active role in promoting the values of human fraternity.”
Judging committee member His Excellency Miguel Àngel Moratinos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, said: “Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb outlined indispensable and noble principles for humanity in the Document on Human Fraternity. This year’s honorees demonstrate how ordinary people and entities can put these principles into practice – namely, with a dedication to serving others in recognition that we are all members of one human family.”
“This year’s co-honorees demonstrate how people committed to working together for the common good can help heal our wounded world. It is the hope of the judging committee that the efforts of Sant’Egidio and Mama Shamsa will inspire us all to lead lives of service, humility, and compassion,” said judging committee member His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
Judging committee member Dr. Ouided Bouchamaoui, 2015 Nobel Peace Laureate and entrepreneur, said: “From over 200 nominees of outstanding individuals and entities, we chose the Community of Sant’Egidio and Mama Shamsa as the honorees of the award, which is named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, who was a champion of all humanity – young, old, rich, poor, male and female.”
The co-recipients will be honored during an award ceremony on February 4, 2023 – the UN-recognized International Day of Human Fraternity - in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, which includes a $1 million prize, is an annual independent international award that recognizes people and entities of all backgrounds, anywhere in the world, who are working selflessly and tirelessly across divides to advance the timeless values of solidarity, integrity, fairness, and optimism and create breakthroughs towards peaceful coexistence.
The award was launched in 2019 to mark the historic meeting in Abu Dhabi between His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb, during which they co-signed the Document on Human Fraternity.
The award is named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, renowned for his humanitarianism and dedication to helping people no matter their background.