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2013 Laureate

Sister Angélique Namaika

Sister Angélique Namaika

"If I can help just one woman to restart her life, that's already a success." - Sister Angélique Namaika

Even one person can make a difference for thousands of displaced women and girls.

Sister Angélique Namaika, a Congolese Roman Catholic nun who has shown exceptional courage and unwavering support for survivors of brutal violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has been selected as the 2013 winner of UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award. In Orientale Province in north-eastern DRC, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has waged a campaign of violence that has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people. Many Congolese women and girls have been kidnapped and terrorized in the process. For these victims, Sister Angélique has been a beacon of hope.

Video feature on Sister Angélique Namaika

Sister Angélique is best known for her one-on-one approach to help survivors move beyond the trauma that they have suffered. Many of the people under her care have been displaced and subjected to sexual violence.

The brutality of the LRA is notorious, and the testimonials of the women the Sister has helped are horrific. Adding to their trauma is the fact that many of the victims are stigmatized by society because of their experience. It takes a special kind of care and nurturing to help them heal their wounds and pick up the pieces of their lives.

Sister Angélique has devoted the past decade of her life to helping women, mostly through a combination of income-generating activities, skills development courses, literacy training and psychosocial counseling. She has succeeded in making a difference to thousands of individuals, their families and communities.

Read these stories about Sister Angélique and the women she assists: