Geneva - 1 October 2012
On 1 October, we celebrate Hawa Aden Mohamed, the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award Laureate.
A former refugee, she has taken extraordinary steps to empower displaced women and girls to rebuild Somalia.
Photos from the 2012 Ceremony
More than 800 people attended the annual presentation in Geneva in October 1, 2012 of UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award. This year's inspirational winner from Somalia, Hawa Aden Mohamed, was unable to attend for health reasons, but she sent a video message. In the former refugee's absence, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented the award to her sister, Shukri Aden Mohamed.
The 63-year-old humanitarian, educator and women's rights advocate, widely known as "Mama" Hawa, was honoured for her extraordinary service - under extremely difficult conditions - on behalf of refugees and the internally displaced, mainly women and girls but also including boys.
Above all she has been recognized for her work - as founder and director of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development in Somalia's Puntland region - in helping to empower thousands of displaced Somali women and girls, many of whom are victims of rape. The centre provides secondary education as well as life skills training.
The packed event also included an address by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, co-winner of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, and a video tribute to Mama Hawa as well as performances from UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador and classical singer, Barbara Hendricks, and up and coming Swiss musician Bastian Baker.
Video highlights from the 2012 Ceremony
Host, Keynote Speaker and Artists
- Isabelle Kumar, Host and Euronews presenter
- Madame Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
- Bastian Baker, Swiss songwriter, composer and performer
- Barbara Hendricks, renowned soprano and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
Sponsors and partners
We would like to thank our global broadcast partners Euronews and Phoenix TV.