Women on the Move Awards open nominations for 2015!

22 October 2014
Jessica Kennedy

photo by Jason Wen for Women on the Move Awards

[h4]Nominations are once again open for the Women on the Move Awards – celebrating the extraordinary contribution that women from migrant and refugee backgrounds make to the UK.[/h4]

The deadline is Friday 21 November 2014, so start thinking about who you want to nominate now!

To encourage you to nominate an inspiring grassroots community leader that you know for the Woman of the Year and Young Woman of the Year Awards  – which include a grant to support their work and fellowship opportunities to develop their profile and skills – we’ve been revisiting last year’s winners to see what they have been up to. And what a difference a year makes!

So, what have our winners been doing?

[h4]Lilian Seenoi, North West Migrants Forum – the only way is up![/h4]

Action is Lilian’s middle name – since the Awards Ceremony last year she has been building up the North West Migrants Forum and flying across Europe, contributing to a public debate at the European Union on practical steps to challenge the poor treatment of migrants in Greece and taking part in a European-wide project to tackle hate speech.  The North West Migrants Forum celebrated the success of Derry-Londonderry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2013 with an Intercultural Gala Festival.

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photo by Lilian Seenoi, North West Migrants Forum

We caught up with her in Derry-Londonderry. At last year’s Award Ceremony in the Southbank Centre, Lilian explained that the good work she does was being done from her kitchen table. Great news – since Lilian won the Woman of the Year Award, North West Migrants Forum have secured funding to employ staff and finally open their office so that they can run their own trainings and provide support and advice in a safe space – and so Lilian can have her kitchen back. We were delighted to have a pre-opening tour…. and be first to sign the visitors book!

signing book

photo by Jessica Kennedy, The Forum

[h4]Tatiana GaravitoLatin American Women’s Rights Service and Indo-American Refugee and Migrant Organization – showing how migrants contribute.[/h4]

Tatiana Garavito, who won Young Woman of the Year, has been no less busy, speaking at conferences and events everywhere from Unite Against Fascism to Migrants Rights Network’s Migration Summit and getting media attention from places such as El Espectador, a mainstream newspaper in Colombia which published an article about Tatiana.

what migrants bring

She has also launched a new campaign, Migrants Contribute, to recognise the great contribution that migrants make to the UK and challenge some of negative stories around migration in the run up to the general election next year. Since the summer, Migrants Contibute have been training teams of ‘change-makers’ to go out into the community and celebrate everything that migrants bring to their communities.

migrants contribure

After the Awards Tatiana said they were “an amazing opportunity for us migrant women to show the world what we can achieve given a fair chance”.

[h4]Diana Nammi, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation – multi-award winner![/h4]

It has been an incredible year for the woman our judges felt they had to recognise with a Special Jury Award: Diana Nammi. We’ve been so proud and impressed by the spectacular work they’ve done, which has raised the issues of ‘honour’-based violence and other abuse in the media and seen them playing in a key role in events such as the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. In October, Diana was recognised for her work by winning the Barclays Woman of the Year Award.

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photo by Maryam Pasha for Women on the Move Awards

Yet there’s even more exciting news. At the Award Ceremony last year, Diana explained her dream of opening a refuge for Middle Eastern and North African women. We’re so glad to hear that, through supporters of the Women on the Move Awards, IKWRO have been able to raise some funding and are one step closer to opening their refuge.

Diana had some special words to say, “Winning the Special Jury Award was huge honour for me personally and has brought well deserved recognition to our wonderful team at the at the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO). It has had a fantastic positive impact for our work, tackling “honour” based violence, forced marriage, FGM and domestic violence. It has helped to raise awareness about the advice, advocacy, counselling and referral services that we provide to support women and girls and has enabled our campaigns to reach new audiences. It also led to a generous donor bringing us closer to opening the first refuge in the UK for Middle Eastern women and as an organisation we have grown in strength and I have just been honoured as Barclays Woman of the Year“.

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photo by Maryam Pasha for Women on the Move Awards

So that’s what the extraordinary women who won the 2014 Women on the Move Awards have been doing since we last gathered together in the Southbank Centre in March.

Now, the 2015 Women on the Move Awards are in your hands: who are you going to nominate for an Award? Who do you think deserves celebration, publicity and and a platform for their hard work with communities? It’s up to you!

[h5]Nominations are easy to do through our online form, or by downloading the form from the website: http://womenonthemoveawards.org.uk/nominate. Nominations close at midnight on Friday 21 November 2014 – so don’t delay! For more information or questions, please contact info@womenonthemoveawards.org.uk.[/h5]

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