On July 26, the?Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation?(RMAF) announced the six winners of the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s highest honor, and widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Established in 1957, the award celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine President of the Third Republic, Ramon Magsaysay. The awardees were from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and China (Taiwan).
Syeda?Rizwana Hasan, ’07, Bangladesh, is recognized for “her uncompromising courage and impassioned leadership in a campaign of judicial activism in Bangladesh that affirms the people’s right to a good environment as nothing less than their right to dignity and life.” The award is given every year to Asian individuals or organizations that manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader. The award is given to persons regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better.
RMAF President?Carmencita Abella, ’86, Philippines, said, “The Magsaysay awardees of 2012 are six remarkable individuals, all deeply involved in creating sustainable solutions to poverty and its accompanying disempowerment, whether in the forests or on farmlands, in exploitative industries or in inadequate education. Working selflessly in unpretentious yet powerful ways, they are showing how commitment, competence, and collaborative leadership can truly transform millions of individual lives and galvanize progressive community action.” “Their concerns are clearly quite diverse-agricultural productivity, environmental justice, farmer education, women economic empowerment, good education for the young. But there is one thing these Magsaysay laureates share: a greatness of spirit which infuses their distinct leadership for change. Working with others, they all single-mindedly apply their skills to their passion for improving the lives of others. They all refuse to give up, despite adversity and opposition. They are all deeply rooted in hope,” Abella said.
The six 2012 Magsaysay awardees join 290 others who have received Asia’s highest honor to date. The Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during Presentation Ceremonies to be held on August 31 at the Philippine International Convention Center.