THE 2021 WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED
Dignity & Right to Health Award
The Dignity and Right to Health Award is an initiative of ICMDA. The award provides recognition, support and publicity for the most outstanding role models and champions acting to address health and development issues, including the HIV global epidemic and covid-19.
It is an international award acknowledging the contributions of Christian doctors, dentists, nurses and other health workers to address health and development issues, including HIV.
The award is an important symbol for ensuring that voices from diverse communities and countries are acknowledged and championed. By granting this award we aim to model, mobilise and encourage creative and sustainable initiatives that enhance the dignity and human rights of people, all made in the image of God, and support communities living with a range of health and development challenges including the covid-19 pandemic.
The award will be given to individuals and/or community based and national organisations that exhibit excellence, outstanding leadership and compassion in responding to various health challenges. The awarding committee seek nominees who demonstrate the following:
An individual or organisation that demonstrates visionary and innovative leadership.
- Target group – marginalised or hard to reach communities
An individual or organisation whose primary provision of health services is for communities who have difficulty in accessing care due to ethnicity, caste, behaviour, and/or other reasons, or are hard to reach due to geographical difficulties, violence or conflicts.
- Programme outcomes
- Significant impact at local and wider level
- Empowers others in integrated community responses
- Facilitates church integration and participation in best practice models of care
- Demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and empowerment of the target communities
- Works, facilitates and advocates for gender equality in community participation and response to issues faced by the target communities
- Links well with government and other national bodies in a comprehensive approach to issues faced by the target communities
- Models creative and compassionate responses that inspires others to enhance the dignity and human rights of the target communities
- Personal Life
- Exemplifies a life that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with God
- Assists individuals to be worshipers of the living God
An important part of this award process is to seek appropriate publicity that will allow Christian witness and action to be an encouragement and model to others.
The 2021 dignity and right to health award winner demonstrates visionary and innovative leadership. She has worked for many years in the field of public health and drugs of addiction. She is motivated by the effect that smoking had on shortening the life of a key family member. She has formed support groups, developed policy and advocated for policy change and has succeeded in this becoming legislation.
This prevention work supports the provision of health services for non-communicable diseases including cancer for communities who have difficulties in accessing care due to ethnicity, caste, behaviour, and or other reasons, or are hard to reach due to geographical difficulties, violence or conflicts.
Her work has built a program with outcomes of significant impact at local, national and multinational levels. She empowers others in integrated community responses, She facilitates integration and participation of Christians in best practice models of care. Her work demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and empowerment of the target communities. She links well with government and other actors in a comprehensive approach to issues faced by the target communities. She models creative and compassionate responses that inspire many to similarly enhance the dignity and human rights of the target communities
In her personal life she exemplifies a life that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with her God. She assists and encourages individuals to be worshipers of the Living God.
Due to safety considerations we are not able to disclose personal details of the 2021 Dignity and Right to Health award recipient.
Dr Editha Miguel, an infectious disease specialist, graduated from the University of the Philippines. She demonstrates visionary and innovative leadership in addressing the health needs of the communities of Palawan, Philippines. She has a burden for serving the poor and in 1986, with Nurse Judy George, established Agape Rural Health Programme (ARP) in Palawan.
ARP seeks to improve the health conditions of rural communities through holistic health development projects. More than 200 healthcare professionals and those in other fields have received training enabling them to provide health services to more than 60,000 Filipinos.
The Philippines has made significant investments and advances in health in recent years. However, not all the benefits of this growth have reached the most vulnerable groups, and the health system remains fragmented.
Palawan Island, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is also home to many communities who have difficulty in accessing care due to geographical challenges. Despite substantial progress, achievements have not been uniform and challenges remain.
Dr Editha strongly believes in the importance of training professionals to holistically serve the poor – to meet not just their physical needs (health and income-generation) but also the socio-spiritual needs.
As executive director of Alayka Palawan, the first province-wide health programme in the Philippines, Dr Editha oversaw the training of thousands of community leaders and village health workers. “It empowered the local people by putting their health care in their own hands,” she says.
She readied herself for the founding of such a far-reaching program through her own experience as a community doctor and health trainer in Benguet, under the Barangay (Village) Great Commission Training Centre of Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. She also served as a holistic healthcare trainer in Sri Lanka and India, as a project consultant for a women’s reproductive health initiative and as the provincial coordinator for a large forum on domestic violence. She continues to serve as a volunteer community preceptor of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.
Dr Editha Miguel is a great believer in the Biblical message (2Timothy 2:2) of multiplication: “training a few so that they too can train others. That has become my guiding principle in my life,” she says. “I chose to be involved in programs or jobs that allow me to train others so I can have a greater impact.”
“Looking back, I can see God’s hand orchestrating everything for me,” she says. “I am very blessed to have a husband, Jun, who shares the same passion. Together we continue to mentor individuals to be change agents, helping needy communities looking for innovative ways to improve the quality of life of the people we serve.
“We seek to bring lasting transformation by beginning with inner transformation in the lives of the people as they invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord of their lives and their dreams. ’Only one life it will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.’
Visit agaperuralprogram.org for more information.
As the twelfth most populous country in the world, the Philippines is home to more than 100 million people. Despite robust economic growth in recent years, 25 million Filipinos still live in extreme poverty on incomes below US$1.25 per day.
At the absolute bottom of this economic ladder are seven million people struggling to survive in ultrapoverty on less than US$0.50 per day. ICM serves the ultrapoor in the Philippines. The population of the areas where ICM reaches is nearly 20 million people. Of those, 2.2 million people live in ultrapoverty on less than US$0.50 per day.
Transform: Learning in Community
A local pastor and six volunteers invite 30 of the poorest families in the community to join the weekly Transform training classes. This new network of support and encouragement becomes a safe place for learning to take hold.
Once a week, ICM Trainers teach a course designed to address common problems faced by poor families. At the end of four months, the whole community enjoys deeper relationships, healthier families, greater productivity and hope for tomorrow.
In 1992, a group of passionate Filipino pastors were moved by the extreme poverty they saw every day in their home city of Bacolod, Philippines. They started feeding and handing out medicines, and International Care Ministries was born.
For more than 25 years, ICM has been providing help, inspiring hope and creating change for families living in extreme poverty in the Philippines.
Over twenty-five years later, several of the founding pastors are still part of the local leadership. ICM now employs several hundred Filipinos who have reached over one million people with holistic transformation.
Living in ultrapoverty means living without hope. For children living on less than US$0.50 per day, every day is a struggle to meet even the most basic needs. One medical crisis can wipe out any progress made in the fight out of poverty. Transform’s health curriculum equips mothers to better provide for their children in the areas of hygiene, sanitation, disease prevention and nutrition Transform rescues children from malnutrition through feeding and provides medical interventions in emergencies.
ICM takes a chance on families that other organisations can’t or won’t reach. Their Vision is for ultrapoor families to be freed from physical, emotional and spiritual bondage. Among their key values are hope and spiritual life. They believe that all are made in the image of God and fulfilment is realised in relationship with God. Without compulsion, they invite people to consider the message of God’s love, forgiveness and grace. Hope is the key: progress out of poverty must start with the belief that change is possible. The biblical values taught during Transform foster attitudes and behaviours that result in strong relationships.
Dr Milton, from the Philippines, and his wife Raija, originally from Finland, met at the ICMDA conference in Switzerland in 1978. They were both new graduates from medical school and represented two countries from opposite ends of the globe. After a long and fruitful ministry with World Vision in multiple countries facing multiple challenges, they returned to the Philippines to work for ICM. Raija and Milton, based in Manila and now president of ICM, exemplify lives that value justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God, and assist individuals to be worshipers of the living God.
Visit www.caremin.com for more information.
2021 Kept confidential for security reasons
2020 Dr Editha Miguel, Agape Rural Health Programme (ARP), Palawan, Philippines
2019 Dr Milton Amayun, International Care Ministries (ICM), Philippines
2018 Health Serve, Singapore
2017 Project Burans, Uttarakhand, North India
2016 Dr Anil Cherian, Kerala, South India
2015 Dr Andrew Reid, Champions For Life Zimbabwe
2014 Beacon of Hope, Kenya
2012 Joint winners Drs Isac & Vijila David and Dr Saira Paulose, India
2011 Dr Olive Frost, Mumbai, India
2010 Joint winners - Dr Joseph Kwong-Leung Yu and Dr Schneider, Malawi, Gambia & Uganda
2009 Dr Stephen Watiti, Uganda
2008 Dr Geoff Foster, Zimbabwe
2007 Prof Ruth Nduati
2006 Dr Biangtung Langkham, Churachandpur, Manipur, India
Nominations for the 2022 award will be received later in the year.