August 1, 2014

2014 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Announced

The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) today announced that this year five individuals and one organization from Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines will receive Asia’s premier prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

The Magsaysay awardees of 2014 are truly beacons of progress in Asia, as they boldly building hopeful lives in daunty times. We have much to learn from them, and much to celebrate about their greatness of spirit.

Here are the 2014 Awardees:

Hu Shuli, from China. She is being recognized for “her unrelenting commitment to truthful, relevant, and unassailable journalism, her fearless promotion of transparency and accountability in business and public governance, and her leadership in blazing the way for more professional and independent-minded media practices in China.”

Saur Marlina Manurung, from Indonesia. She is being recognized for “her ennobling passion to protect and improve the lives of Indonesia’s forest people, and her energizing leadership of volunteers in SOKOLA’s customized education program that is sensitive to the lifeways of indigenous communities and the unique development challenges they face.”

Omara Khan Masoudi, from Afghanistan. He is being recognized for “his courage, labor, and leadership in protecting Afghan cultural heritage, rebuilding an institution vital for Afghanistan’s future, and reminding his countrymen and peoples everywhere that in recognizing humanity’s shared patrimony, we can be inspired to stand together in peace.”

The Citizens Foundation, from Pakistan. The organization is being recognized for “the social vision and high-level professionalism of its founders and those who run its schools, in successfully pursuing their conviction that, with sustained civic responsiveness, quality education made available to all—irrespective of religion, gender, or economic status—is the key to Pakistan’s brighter future.”

Wang Canfa, from China. He is being recognized for “his discerning and forceful leadership—through scholarly work, disciplined advocacy, and pro bono public interest litigation—in ensuring that the enlightened and competent practice of environmental law in China effectively protects the rights and lives of victims of environmental abuse, especially the poor and the powerless.”

Randy Halasan, for Emergent Leadership, from the Philippines. He is being recognized for “his purposeful dedication in nurturing his Matigsalug students and their community to transform their lives through quality education and sustainable livelihoods, doing so in ways that respect their uniqueness and preserve their integrity as indigenous peoples in a modernizing Philippines.”

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.

RMAF President Carmencita Abella says “the Magsaysay awardees of 2014 are truly beacons of progress in Asia. All of them are creating bold solutions to deeply-rooted social problems in their respective societies, problems which are most damaging to the lives of those trapped in poverty, ignorance, and unjust systems. Their inspiring and path-breaking leadership addresses very diverse areas -- education for the poor and marginalized, environmental justice for pollution victims, increased transparency and accountability in corporate and public governance, and the restoration of cultural pride – and yet it is clear that each of this year’s Magsaysay awardees is building more hopeful lives among their people -- one smart, responsible, and persistent step at a time."

“While their solutions are distinctively their own, there is one thing this year’s Magsaysay laureates all share: a greatness of spirit that infuses their leadership for change. They are all unafraid to take on large causes; they all refuse to give up, despite meager resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition. They are all deeply anchored in hope. We have much to learn from them, and much to celebrate about their greatness of spirit.”

The six 2014 Magsaysay awardees join the community of 301 other Magsaysay laureates who have received Asia’s highest honor to date. This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize.

They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal Presentation Ceremonies to be held on Sunday, 31 August 2014 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to which the public is cordially invited.                                                       

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