The 2013 Voices of Courage Awards

Womens Refugee Commission


Each year, the Women’s Refugee Commission honors individuals who are working on behalf of refugee, internally displaced, asylum-seeking and resettled women and young people.

The Women’s Refugee Commission is working to advance the rights and dignity of refugees and displaced persons with disabilities through research, advocacy and training initiatives that develop the capacity of humanitarian agencies to ensure non-discrimination and of persons with disabilities to lead full lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities. The Voices of Courage Awards luncheon will help shine a spotlight on this critical issue and highlight the skills and capacities of persons with disabilities.

The Women’s Refugee Commission wishes to recognize outstanding individuals supporting this often-neglected population. Some examples of projects honorees might be undertaking:

  • Developing and supporting refugees and displaced persons with disabilities to form representative organizations or groups in refugee and displaced communities.
  • Working with communities to protect persons with disabilities from violence in humanitarian settings.
  • Supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities in child protection programs in refugee and displaced contexts, including child friendly spaces, mentorship and peer support.
  • Providing sexual and reproductive health education to young persons with disabilities who are refugees.
  • Bridging the gap between disabled and non-disabled youth in refugee settings.
  • Ensuring access to information and services through innovative approaches, outreach and awareness raising.

Two individuals will be selected to receive the Voices of Courage Award. The two 2013 Voices of Courage honorees will each nominate an organization to receive a $5,000 grant from the Women’s Refugee Commission to further their critical work to benefit displaced people in their communities. The Voice of Courage Awards will feature descriptions of the honorees’ selected programs in the  luncheon journal.

Candidate criteria:

  • Candidates may live in the United States or overseas.
  • Candidates should be individuals who have developed or implemented successful programs that serve people with disabilities who are currently or were previously displaced by conflict or natural disasters, or who are seeking or have been granted asylum.
  • Candidates should be passionate advocates for improving the lives and protecting the rights of refugees, internally displaced people or asylum-seekers with disabilities.
  • Candidates must be able to travel to New York for a week in May (the luncheon is Thursday, May 2, 2013) to accept their award (all travel and housing expenses will be paid).
  • Candidates must be willing to participate in media interviews.

To nominate a candidate for a Voices of Courage award, please send:

1) a letter of nomination that details the program and tells the story of the nominee;

2) the curriculum vitae, résumé or biography of the nominee; and

3) the names and email/phone/fax of three references. If you email your nomination, please include all the information in a single attachment or include it in the body of the email. Include the name of the nominee in the subject of the email. Please do not send any additional materials (photos, etc.) as they will not be considered.

Please email your nomination by November 12, 2012 to [email protected]. You may also fax the nomination to +1.212.551.3180, attention Nicole Rajani, or mail to: Women’s Refugee Commission, Attn: Voices of Courage Nominees, 122 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10168-1289, USA.


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