On Tuesday 23rd February, Cord was a finalist for the prestigious Ockenden International Prize.

The award recognises self-reliant projects that have shown to improve the lives of refugees and displaced people, with a winning prize of $100k.

Projects were entered from 25 countries, but just three made it to the final; YARID, Mercy Corps and Cord. Cord's nominated project was for the refugee-led education project, which empowers refugee families to create Student Parent Associations and Primary Education Committees in Eastern Chad.

Having made it to the final, Cord still needed to present to a judging panel, led by Michael Buerk (below right). For this occasion, Cord’s Institutional Funding and Programme Development Advisor, Kevin Adou and UNHCR Programme Manager, Mahamat Sinine (above) flew in from West Africa, and were supported by the UK team.

They had to deliver a polished 10-minute presentation followed by intense Q&A in the afternoon, but thankfully only had to wait a few more hours for the evening ceremony and the big announcement from BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson.

This time Cord narrowly missed out on the 2016 Ockenden Prize to worthy winners, YARID, but still walk away with $25,000 and trophy (pictured here).

As with all projects, we threw our hearts into this. The other finalists had some great projects and we were delighted to reach a very competitive final. Our prize money will go to further support  our education and peace building work with refugee and host communities 

Casey Davison O'Brien, Cord Global Institutional Funding and Advocacy Officer


This refugee-led education project is ongoing and you can make a difference to the lives of families in refugee camps in Eastern Chad by making a contribution to support them. Please donate here.