The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) today announced that this year three individuals and two organizations from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines will receive Asia’s premier prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award. The Awardees are:
Ernesto Domingo, from the Philippines. He is being recognized for “his exemplary embrace of the social mission of medical science and his profession, his steadfast leadership in pursuing ‘health for all’ as a shared moral responsibility of all sectors, and his groundbreaking and successful advocacy for neonatal hepatitis vaccination, thereby saving millions of lives in the Philippines.”
Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission), from Indonesia. The organization is being recognized for “its fiercely independent and successful campaign against corruption in Indonesia, combining the uncompromising prosecution of erring powerful officials with farsighted reforms in governance systems and the educative promotion of vigilance, honesty, and active citizenship among all Indonesians.”
Lahpai Seng Raw, from Myanmar. She is being recognized for “her quietly inspiring and inclusive leadership—in the midst of deep ethnic divides and prolonged armed conflict—to regenerate and empower damaged communities and to strengthen local NGOs in promoting a non-violent culture of participation and dialogue as the foundation for Myanmar’s peaceful future.”
Habiba Sarabi, from Afghanistan. She is being recognized for “her bold exercise of leadership to build up a functioning provincial government against great odds—intractable political adversities, a harsh and impoverished environment, and pervasive cultural discrimination—serving her people with a hopeful persistence grounded in her abiding commitment to peace and development in Afghanistan”
Shakti Samuha “Power Group”, from Nepal. The organization’s founders and members are being recognized for “transforming their lives in service to other human trafficking survivors, their passionate dedication towards rooting out a pernicious social evil in Nepal, and the radiant example they have shown the world in reclaiming the human dignity that is the birthright of all abused women and children everywhere.”
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president, and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
“The Magsaysay awardees of 2013,” says RMAF President Carmencita Abella, “are three remarkable individuals and two amazing organizations, all deeply involved in creating sustainable solutions to seemingly intransigent social problems in their respective societies, problems which are most damaging to the lives of those trapped in poverty or ignorance. These problems are manifest in seemingly very diverse and disparate issues–prolonged armed conflict, preventable disease and death, human trafficking and exploitation, corruption with impunity, weak governance and political instability–yet each of this year’s awardees is showing us that there are ways to build genuine success, one smart and persistent step at a time. Working selflessly in unpretentious yet powerful ways, they are showing us how commitment, competence and collaborative leadership can truly create ripples of change, even from the bottom of the pyramid.
“While their solutions are distinctively their own, there is one thing these Magsaysay laureates share: a greatness of spirit that infuses their leadership for change. Working with others, they all single-mindedly apply their skills and energies to their passion for improving the lives of others. They all refuse to give up, despite daunting adversity and opposition. They are all deeply rooted in hope. We have much to learn from them, and much to celebrate about their greatness of spirit.”
The five 2013 Magsaysay awardees join the community of 296 other Magsaysay laureates who have received Asia’s highest honor to date. This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal Presentation Ceremonies to be held on Saturday, 31 August 2013 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to which the public is cordially invited.