2005 Betty Makoni Prize Announced

BY OBERT MADONDO The Switzerland-based Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) announced the four winners of the 2005 Betty Makoni Prize for innovative activities against child abuse worldwide in Geneva on Friday, November 18. The California-based International Child Abuse Network Inc. (Yes ICAN) won

the first prize of US$3000, which honors unique and visionary activities against child abuse. The organization provides crisis counseling, updated information and referral services world wide on child abuse. “We believe that child abuse could cease to exist if everyone had the capability to receive accurate information about abuse and then had the capacity to receive assistance and support to change,” the organization says. The Associacion Afecto Contra el Maltrato Infantil from Colombia won the second prize of US$1000. This particular prize recognizes an organization that has made significant prevention activities against child abuse. Two additional prizes of US$500, which honor “a particular pertinent activity at the grassroots level” went to the Muhammadan Women’s Welfare Society of Pakistan and Malawi’s YouthNet & Counseling (YONECO). The Women’s World Summit Foundation created the ward in 2003 and named it after Betty Makoni in recognition of her work with the Girl Child Network. Betty Makoni is the founder and director of the Chitungwiza-based Girl Child Network, an organization she formed in 1998 to promote the rights of the girl child. Addressing Zimbabweans in Toronto prior to the announcement of the awards, Betty Makoni said: “It is a humbling honor for a Zimbabwean to be named after this global award and to be associated with a global movement like the Women’s World Summit Foundation.” The Women’s World Summit Foundation is a Swiss Foundation and international NGO with UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status. It serves the implementation of women and children’s rights and the UN Millennium Development Goals MDGs. Makoni said the award has illuminated the Girl Child Network profile among globally recognized rights organizations. The organization’s member clubs, which tackle sexual abuse and related girl-child issue, now reach more than 20,000 girls throughout Zimbabwe. The organization offers alternative ways for girls to express themselves and discuss social problems such as HIV/AIDS, rape and other issues.

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