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A South Sudanese female aid worker has been awarded a coveted humanitarian honour at the Bond International Development Awards in London.

Christine Ngbaazande, who hails from the town of Yambio, was nominated for her work with World Vision South Sudan inspiring activism for the rights and respect of women and children in her community.

Ngbaazande, a 41-year-old mother of three, began working in 2016 to break stigma experienced by survivors of sexual violence and children born of rape in Yambio, training faith leaders, women’s groups and youth leaders to become local advocates for social acceptance, openness and encouragement.

According to reports, rape has been used as a weapon of war in South Sudan, where conflict has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people since December 2013.

Christine, World Vision said, trained more than 50 local advocates, who together were able to change attitudes and behaviours, increasing social acceptance of survivors of sexual violence.

Christine was herself forced to flee South Sudan as a refugee to the DRC in 1990 when she was just 13 years old. She said personal experience helped to shape her desire to become a humanitarian.

The Bond International Development Awards 2019 celebrate the exceptional work undertaken by people like Christine that often goes unrecognised. The Humanitarian Award specifically honors the hidden heroes working in demanding and often dangerous environments.

Erica Hall from World Vision UK, says: “Christine has and will continue to make a lasting impact on her community in Yambio, South Sudan – through her work directly to change attitudes and help communities accept those who have experienced horrific human rights violations, but also as a role model to her community.”

Christine was shortlisted alongside five other finalists from Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria, Nepal and a fellow humanitarian from South Sudan. She collected her award at a prestigious ceremony on March 18 in London.

Mike Wright, Director of Communications at Bond, says: “Each year we are delighted and humbled by the winner of this award. It is a great reflection of the hard work that goes on, often behind the scenes, by so many dedicated and innovative people. It is a genuine pleasure to be honoring Christine and shining a light on the inspirational work she is doing.”

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