April 26, 2013 | War and Peace

War Can’t Stop Them

The Women's Refugee Commission honors the best and bravest.

Photo by Chris de Bode/SV

As conflicts continue to rage around the world, the Women’s Refugee Commission keeps working on behalf of women, children and youth affected by war. One way to get an inspiring glimpse of WRC’s efforts is at its annual Voices of Courage luncheon, which honors unsung heroines.

This year’s luncheon on May 2 in New York City has a special focus: saluting advocates for “the disabled, displaced and determined.” One honoree is Dahabo Hassan Maow, who was orphaned as an infant in Somalia and then at the age of 14 lost her leg in the crossfire of warring tribes. Her caretaker was killed in that crossfire and Dahabo was left to fend for herself, traveling from one refugee camp to another. Dahabo helped found the Maisha Collective, a project that provides leadership and business management skills to Somali refugees at Heshima Kenya.

Atim Caroline Ogwang will also be honored. A native of South Sudan, she grew up an orphan and a refugee in Uganda. She lost her hearing at the age five when an explosive left behind by the Lord’s Resistance Army detonated while she was out picking fruit. Now, as an official with the Southern Sudan Deaf Development Concern, Atim advocates for deaf girls’ education, organizes deaf women to work towards self-reliance, and lobbies for the full participation of women with disabilities in international development programs.

In addition, WRC will salute the government of Australia for its international aid program, AusAID, for its humanitarian work and for its role as a champion of international development policies that include the disabled.

For more information about Women’s Refugee Committee, or to purchase tickets for the luncheon, visit the event details page.