Last week, winners were announced for this year’s The Guardian's Development Achievement Award and the Development Journalism Competition, supported by Marie Stopes International. Dr. Kshama Metre, winner of the Achievement Award, Nele Mailin Obermueller, winner of the professional journalism category, and Lucy-Anne Mizen, winner of the amateur journalism category, were honored at an awards ceremony held at the Royal Academy of Art in London.
The journalism competition sought to spotlight major challenges faced in the developing world which remain overlooked or underrepresented in the media. The finalists were announced in June, and now the winning and shortlisted articles have been published in The Guardian. Nele Mailin Obermueller’s report on the crucial role of health workers in reducing child and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone stood out from hundreds of excellent entries. The article’s clear telling of the hard facts struck a fine balance with its sensitive and poignant subject.
One judge remarked, “This was the piece I was hoping to read among the competition entries. So much of development coverage tends to shy away from the impact that traditional practices and culture can have on the implementation of policy, but it’s so important in many countries…a clear winner for me.”
To read Nele’s winning article, and those by the finalists from the professional category, click here.
The Achievement Award honors an individual’s exceptional work to alleviate poverty in the developing world. The Guardian and Marie Stopes International recognized Dr. Kshama Metre for her many years of service in remote rural communities in the Himalayas. The pediatrician left her successful practice in New Delhi to provide healthcare to isolated Himalayan villagers and founded Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development (CORD). The organization has established a multifaceted program in response to the rural poverty that affects 70% of India’s population, and through its 25 year history has worked with almost 700 remote communities to help them overcome social and economic challenges.
Michael Tirrell, Lead of Global Media and Public Affairs at Marie Stopes International noted the importance of honoring Dr. Kshama Metre:
Recognizing those who have made a profound and significant contribution to international development and the alleviation of poverty in the developing world is hugely important. Many of those who were nominated for this year’s award have given up their careers and made personal sacrifices to work for the good of disadvantaged communities – they are the unsung heroes of development. Marie Stopes International is proud to support this award and recognize the great impact which people like Dr. Kshama Metre make on the lives of those they work with.
For more information on the Development awards and to read the inspiring stories of individuals making a difference in the developing world, click here.