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Gender and youth activist receives international award

Mombasa based community mobiliser and peace builder Shamsa Abubakar commonly referred to as ‘Mama Shamsa’ has received the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2023.

Abubakar was the recipient of the award jointly with the Community of Sant’Egidio, a lay Catholic association dedicated to social service founded in 1968 under the leadership of Andrea Riccardi in Italy.

Immediately after arriving from Dubai on Wednesday where she had gone to receive the award, Abubakar pledged to empower more women and youth groups in Mombasa County.

“The award serves as a motivation to all women peace builders in their respective communities,” said Abubakar when she addressed the media at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

She said her recognition is a motivation to all women who spearhead peace in their homes and give proper guidance to their children to become better citizens.

“This is a win for women who try to earn a decent living for their families, it is a win for the youth who have lost hope. There is hope in us women, we have to take charge and we have taken charge,” she added.

Abubakar was recognized for nurturing youth and saving young people from lives of violence, crime, and extremism by providing them with counseling, care, and training. The award comes with a grant of about Sh61 million which she has vowed to channel to youth and women-led organizations and groups.

She is also the chairperson of the Mombasa Women of Faith Network and has led major campaigns in Kenya and greater Africa to draw awareness to violence against women as well as women’s and youth empowerment.

In 2022, she was recognised and featured by the UN Women Africa for her efforts in peace building.

The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity has been awarded annually for the last four years in recognition of winners’ contributions to building a more peaceful and compassionate world through advancing the values of human fraternity and setting an inspiring example of promoting peaceful coexistence.

By Mohamed Hassan



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