Amref Health Africa (global) and the Amref Health Africa office in Spain received the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in Oviedo, Spain at a ceremony officiated by the King of Spain Felipe VI. The award was received by Amref Health Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Githinji Gitahi, Chair of the Amref Spain Board Álvaro Rengifo and Amref´s End FGM/C Ambassador Ms Nice Nailantei Leng’ete.
Throughout the week leading up to the award ceremony, the Amref Health Africa team was involved in a number of public activities that included a visit to the local parliament in Ovideo to talk to regional politicians about Amref´s work. The Amref team also engaged with school children from local schools to answer questions about Amref Health Africa, as well as view art prepared by the children depicting Amref Health Africa´s work with communities in Africa to create lasting health change. The artwork is on display at a temporary exhibition in the city of Oviedo.
With the aim of creating awareness of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), the Princess of Asturias Foundation organised a roundtable with faculty and scholars from the University of Oviedo where Dr Gitahi and Ms Leng’ete spoke about the issue. Ms Leng’ete emphasised that the whole community must be involved in ending FGM/C while still upholding the positive traditions of local communities, and finding alternatives to practices that violate the rights of young girls and women.
Upon receiving the award, Dr Gitahi said: “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award that is a recognition of Amref Health Africa’s work. It serves as recognition that African communities can develop African solutions to address African problems and implement them with a helping hand from partners for lasting health change.”
Chair of the Amref Health Africa in Spain Board, Álvaro Rengifo, remarked that “Amref in Spain is very proud to receive this award and thankful to the Princess of Asturias Foundation for this recognition, which will help build our profile in Spain and empower us to achieve the 2030 Universal Health Coverage goal.”
The Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation recognised Amref Health Africa´s work spanning over 60 years to promote health for and with Africa. The award comes with 50,000€ that will be put back into Amref´s work.