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Pursuing peace: World Vision announces first annual Peace Prize

September 29, 2008—Dean Hirsch, president of World Vision International, is pleased to launch the World Vision International Peace Prize. The first awards, open to organizations and individuals both internal and external to World Vision, will be granted on the International Day of Peace, 2009.

World Vision embraces conflict-sensitivity and peacebuilding, integrating it in all of its programs of relief, development and advocacy. The Peace Prize elevates the work of peace, and honors people and organizations who are not celebrities in the public eye but who are critical bridge builders making a more peaceable and just future possible. Hidden stories of courage and competence in the pursuit of peace will be brought to the global stage and honored.

The Peace Prize consists of two awards. A Peacebuilding Award recognizes an agency or organization that excels at integrating peacebuilding into relief, development or advocacy and that mobiliZes communities to build durable peace.

A Peacemaking Award honors an individual who takes risks and excels in the work of conflict resolution. This award is given for either bringing parties together to resolve a conflict or being a catalyst who engages peacemakers, mediators and people of moral authority into a peace process which brings hope that a significant destructive conflict can be resolved.

Each organization and individual who is awarded the World Vision International Peace Prize will receive both a monetary award and a medal with the Peace Prize designation. Local community-based organizations as well as global humanitarian and development organizations are eligible for nomination.

The Peace Prize is given in honour and memory of Steve Williams, World Vision United Kingdom senior policy advisor on peace and conflict, who died unexpectedly from heart failure on December 3, 2007 at age fifty-six. Steve brought vast experience in peacebuilding, conflict analysis, and policy analysis and served as the co-convener of PaxNet, the World Vision global peacebuilding network.

He distinguished himself not only within World Vision but within the peace community around the world as one who integrated his conflict analysis and policy work, was committed in his personal, family and work life to work for peace and reconciliation, strongly supported programs of Children as Peacebuilders, and was a great advocate for peace with justice.

“Steve worked tirelessly for peace throughout his life and his career. We’re pleased to dedicate this award to his memory—and to the many others who work with passion and intelligence, but often little recognition,” says Hirsch.

You’ll find more information and the nomination forms at www.worldvision.org/peaceprize. Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2009. Questions can be addressed to wvi_peaceprize@wvi.org.

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World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press. 

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