Armenian Humanitarian Prize Awarded To Congolese Human Rights Defender Julienne Lusenge

Armenian Humanitarian Prize Awarded to Congolese Human Rights Defender Julienne Lusenge

YEREVAN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th October, 2021) Human rights defender from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Julienne Lusenge was awarded the sixth annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity initiated by Armenia, the humanitarian foundation said.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative was launched by Armenian philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan in 2016 to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges worldwide. The $1 million prize is annually awarded to people who risk their own lives to save those suffering from violent conflicts and atrocity crimes. The Aurora Prize Selection Committee is co-chaired by academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.

"Julienne Lusenge's exceptional achievements remind us of the impact one person can have, even when encountering the seemingly insurmountable pressure and risks. By recognizing her courage, commitment and selflessness, we are hopeful that she can also inspire each one of us to think about what we can do to stand up on behalf of those whose rights are abused and who are in dire need of our solidarity and support," the foundation said in a statement on Saturday.

Lusenge will receive a $1 million grant, which she can use to support other organizations helping people in need. The foundation itself, whose awards are given on the behalf of survivors of the Armenian genocide, has recommended the laureate using 25% of her awarded funds to address urgent humanitarian needs in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region affected by the 2020 war. The foundation's co-founders, in turn, committed to doubling her contribution to raise a total of $500,000 for the cause.

The Congolese activist is the co-founder of Women's Solidarity for Inclusive Peace and Development (SOFEPADI) and Fund for Congolese Women, who has been helping the victims of wartime sexual violence for years. From 2010 to 2020, SOFEPADI has treated over 6,000 people who have suffered sexual assault. Over 500 people treated by the organization were internally displaced.