Three exceptional winners have secured the top prizes in the British Council’s global Study UK Alumni Awards.
The awards recognise outstanding achievements from those who have studied in UK universities and who have taken those learnings to other countries to showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education through exceptional projects.
Now in its fifth year, the Alumni Awards 2019 received more than 1,200 applications from international UK alumni in more than 100 countries, representing more than 85 per cent UK Higher Education Institutions across the UK.
There will be a five-month campaign to celebrate and promote the stories of three winners and 18 finalists. The global winners will also come to the UK for a professional networking visit in the Autumn.
Réjane Woodroffe won the Social Impact Award for her work as the Director and co-founder of the award-winning Bulungula Incubator. This project challenges rural poverty by improving education, health and sustainable livelihoods. For over a decade, Rejane has worked in the some of the most marginalised communities in South Africa, leading a team to reduce child mortality rates, improve access to education, and develop the local economy. Réjane’s work has a direct impact on 6,000 people with thousands more helped through contributions to the South African government’s development interventions. Réjane previously had a successful career in Finance. Her decision to study an MSc in Development Economics at the University of Sussex proved life-changing as she changed paths and returned to her earlier work on poverty alleviation, with a broader understanding of the context. Réjane won the prestigious John P. McNulty Award for her work at the Bulungula Incubator.
Réjane Woodroffe, said: "I feel enormously privileged to do the work of the Bulungula Incubator. For this work to be celebrated on a global platform is just overwhelming. A platform with the reach of the Study UK Award catapults us onto a global stage. This can provide the essential leverage needed to access a wider range of organisations, thereby broadening the potential impact for our communities.”
Noha Aboueldahab is the Winner of the Professional Achievement category. A transitional justice specialist, author and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, she conducts research on human rights, politics and international law in the Middle East and North Africa. Noha’s work is cited by leading scholars and often reaches beyond academia to inform policymaking and to provide informed analysis on current events for media outlets including the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. In 2017 Noha founded a transitional justice network that produces critical research and outreach for legal and political stakeholders in the region. She is also Vice-Chair of the Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group at the American Society of International Law. Noha’s studies at UK universities led her to undertake original research in challenging environments looking at conflict resolution, transitional justice and criminal accountability processes. Noha obtained an MA in International & Comparative Legal Studies from SOAS, University of London and a PhD in Law from Durham Law School, Durham University.
Noha Aboueldahab, said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won the global UK Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. This award is very important to me, as it not only serves as recognition of the impact of years of hard work, but it also recognises the centrality of an issue that is close to my heart: justice. Moreover, in a world where women’s professional achievements continue to receive less attention in comparison to men, this award holds particular significance for me as a professional woman. I believe this award will help draw more attention to the importance of critical research for informed policymaking, especially in contexts of war and authoritarian rule.”
Mamunur Rahman was awarded the Entrepreneurialism prize for his innovation that transforms leftover clothing material into sanitary products. ‘Ella Pads’ support more than 50,000 women withbetter health, hygiene and employment opportunities as the pads are made by women for women.
Mamunur’s innovation helps meet the needs of four million women who work in garment factories, reducing absenteeism rates in factories and schools. He has worked with the Ministry of Industries and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to help develop entrepreneurs and co-ordinates the Ella Alliance – a platform to help public/private partnerships and to encourage private sector companies to promote the low-cost sanitary solution. Mamunur obtained an MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and is a Chevening alumnus.
Mamunur Rahman, said: “It’s a great recognition of our taboo work. Bringing awareness to this issue will help us to have an even greater impact in Bangladesh and across the region.’'
The Study UK Alumni Awards 2020 will open in Summer 2019.
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