Tumaini receives international award for refugee advocacy and support

Dzaleka’s Tumaini Letu Organization has been revealed as this year’s recipient of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support.

Menes La Plume

Tumaini Letu founder and director who is also the winner of the 2018 World Bank Africa’s Social Inclusion Hero Award, Trésor Nzengu Mpauni popularly known as Menes La Plume accepted the award on Wednesday, 19th August at a ceremony that took place virtually online due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“I am receiving this award at a time humanity and solidarity are needed more than ever before. A time we are all shaken by a pandemic and still uncertain of what the future will look like,” Menes La Plume said.

He then called upon everyone to take action in building peace between communities.

Menes pleaded: “We are determined to make a change and we cannot do it alone, please join us on the boat so we can transform lives together.

“At this very moment, one percent of the global population is forcibly displaced due to war and persecution, living in dangerous conditions and exposed to a possible death.

“I am accepting this award on their behalf, because I am one of them.”

About 12 years ago, Menes La Plume was forced to flee his home country, DRC and found himself in Malawi where he now lives in Dzaleka refugee camp.

As in many countries, in Malawi, refugees do not have the freedom of movement, the right to decent education and the right to work or freely run businesses.

Looking at the talents and potentials at Dzaleka, Menes was inspired to start the Tumaini Festival.

Tumaini Festival is a unique initiative, which uses Arts and Culture, to promote intercultural harmony, mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence between refugees and the host community.

The ceremony was graced with speeches from His Highness, Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member of the United Arabic Emirates and ruler of Sharjah and His Excellency Mr. Filipo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Sharjah International Award was established in support of any organization, across Asia and Africa that has made an extraordinary humanitarian effort to improve the lives of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.

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