Marsh Award for Peacemaking and Peacekeeping

The Award recognises an individual from outside the UK who is making an impactful contribution to peacemaking and peacekeeping in areas of conflict. The Award can be presented to a journalist, advocacy group, or any other practitioner in the field, working in a conflict or post-conflict region.

Nominations for the Award are put forward by Wilton Park staff and are shortlisted by members of the Wilton Park Advisory Council. The shortlist is put forward to the Marsh Christian Trust for final judging.

Maria Abbas and Massa Almoussely  2021

Maria Abbas 

Maria is the founder of Fada, an organisation located in Tartous, Syria which works with young people to help them know their roles, rights and duties to contribute to the process of peacebuilding in the country. The organisation promotes the values of citizenship and coexistence and works with members to ensure that these are prominent in the peacebuilding process. Maria has launched many initiatives, including Fada, and is mainly focused on building connections through religion. Since Fada was founded in 2014, the organisation has grown immensely and now has many peace builders working on different issues within the community. 


Massa Almoussely 

Massa is a peace builder from Damascus who is living and working in Aleppo. She is an architect who is now using her academic background in peace building, bringing people from diverse backgrounds and different neighbourhoods together to discuss and talk and create common ground. She works on engaging locals in planning the reconstruction of their cities in order for them to have the same spirit they had before the war. Massa started an organisation called the ASAS Foundation in 2017 which aims to improve urban lifestyle and to encourage communities to become more effective within their cities. The Foundation uses architects as advocates and spokespeople for peace building. The organisation now has more than 23 architects who are working as peacebuilders in Aleppo and its rural areas. Massa believes strongly in participation, empowerment, collaboration and humanity and hopes to make a positive change to her country.  

Previous Winners

Rosa Emilia Salamanca, Dalal Ali Khairo and Christine Tina Musuya

Rosa Emilia Salamanca

Rosa is the Director of the Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económia (CIASE), a Colombian peace building organisation with a special focus on women’s rights and strengthening public policy. She is a life-long peace activist who has dedicated herself to strengthening the participation of women and civil society in peace and decision making efforts in war-torn Colombia.

Through her affiliation with a number of civil society groups, Rosa has played an integral role in peace negotiations involving Colombian government officials and leaders from guerrilla groups. She has devoted much of her work to educating others on the peace process in Colombia, and has lectured international and published several papers and books on the topic. Rosa has developed an innovative peace-education curriculum which she uses to train community members, teachers and officials in conflict resolution, democratisation, social development and human rights, all of which have been key in civil society’s attempts to end the country’s near 50-year old conflict.

Rosa is currently a member of COALICION 1325, a group actively lobbying for a Colombian National Action Plan on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, on women, peace and security. She has introduced initiatives to raise awareness of the resolution and promote its implementation in indigenous communities in Colombia.

Dalal Ali Khairo

Dalal is one of over 6,500 Yazidi survivors of ISIS enslavement and genocide. She was just 17 years old when in August 2014 her village fell into the hands of ISIS and her dreams of becoming a lawyer were shattered as she was sold into sex slavery.

During her 9 months of captivity, Dalal was repeatedly abused and raped, and forced into 9 separate marriages with ISIS terrorists. Following her escape to Germany in 2015, she collaborated with journalist Alexandra Cavelius to write the book “I Remain A Daughter of the Light.”

Dalal was the winner of the 2017 Geneva Summit International Women’s Rights Award, and has been an outspoken voice for the rights of Yazidi genocide victims, as well as for women’s rights in general. She is now travelling the world to raise awareness of the Yazidi genocide, and promote the support of both Yazidi and non-Yazidi survivors.

Christine Tina Musuya

Christine is a member of CUSP (Community for Understanding Scale Up), a collaboration of organisations working to prevent domestic violence, through her position as Executive Director of the Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP). She participated in Wilton Park’s event, Building a Shared Agenda on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls, where she spoke compellingly about her experience of effective violence prevention programming for programmers, researchers and donors.

Christine is one of the most acclaimed Gender-Based Violence and women’s rights activists in Uganda. Under her guidance, CEDOVIP won the 2010 UNAIDS Red Ribbon Award for

innovative work in preventing violence against women and the spread of HIV. She also led the successful pilot of the SASA programme in Kampala, a ground-breaking initiative that showed preventing violence against women through a change in the social norms is possible.

Mossarat Qadeem, Lensche Ristoska and Juanita Estrada

Mossarat Qadeem

Mossarat is the co-founder of PAIMAN Alumni Trust, a non-profit organisation promoting socio-political and economic empowerment of marginalised Pakistanis. PAIMAN Mothers and Youth Peace Groups have received international recognition for offering an alternative narrative to extremism to thousands of young people. Mossarat advocates in the realm of women, peace and security at a national and international level, and is a globally recognised expert on countering violent extremism and de-radicalisation. She participated in Wilton Park’s ‘Women in Mediation’ conference where she spoke compellingly about her experience of negotiating for the release of hostages in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Lensche Ristoska

Lensche was appointed As Public Prosecutor for the Republic of Macedonia in 2015 working within the Special Prosecutors Office investigating cases of corruption, money laundering, criminal association, abuse of official powers and the illegal interception of communication wiretapping. These cases often involve politicians and their patronage networks. She attended the ‘Security, the Western Balkans and the UK’ Conference run by Wilton Park and was asked what she does when she receives death threats as a result of her work. Lensche’s response was that she relies on public opinion and that the increased public transparency and openness that comes from her work would protect her.

Juanita Estrada

Juanita is a Senior Associate at the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) and directs the Brain Trust for the Colombian Transition and the Venezuela Expert Group. Before joining IFIT, she was the Head of the Transitional Justice Group at the Office of the High Commissioner for the Peace of Colombia for four years. During this time, she was intensively involved in the peace talks between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP (the People’s Army) guerrilla in Havana, Cuba. Juanita participated in the Wilton Park event ‘Turbulence in Peace Processes’ in 2017, and in March this year she was elected as an MP for the Alianza Verde Party in Bogota.

Farida Abbas Rasho Khalaf and Angela Atim Lakor

Farida Abbas Rasho Khalaf   

Farida is a board member of the Yazda organisation and is one of more than 6,500 Yazidi survivors of ISIL enslavement and genocide. Yazda is a global organisation that strives to bring justice, sustenance, healing and rejuvenation to Yazidis who have suffered under or been affected by the genocidal campaign against their people by the so-called Islamic State.

She was born in Kocho, Northern Iraq and was a high school student when ISIL attacked her village, killing men and taking women and children as hostages. Farida lost her father and older brother in the attack and was taken into captivity, along with her mother and other brother. She was held in captivity for four months and subjected to unimaginable suffering and mental and physical abuse.

Since she escaped, Farida has spoken out about her experience, travelling to Holland, France, Germany, Belgium and the UK to do so. Her book The Girl Who Beat ISIS has been published in more than 14 countries and she spoke at the Wilton Park conference in February 2017, entitled ‘Tackling exploitation, trafficking and modern slavery’.

Angela Atim Lakor

Angela is the project co-ordinator of Watye Ki Gen (translation: We Have Hope), a Ugandan organisation of formerly abducted women, working for the rights and the welfare of children born in captivity.

Angela was abducted from Aboke St Mary’s College with fellow pupils by the Lord Resistance Army when she was 14 years old. She is the co-author of the book The Lord Resistance Army Forced Wife System and is currently studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies at Gulu University in Uganda.  In November 2016, she spoke at the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative meeting on tackling stigma at Wilton Park.

Rouba Mhaissen

Rouba Mhaissen is the founder and Director of Sawa for Development and Aid, a grassroots non-profit organisation supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The organisation is working to improve the living conditions of families of refugees and to help the individuals in the communities where they have settled to change from beneficiaries to independent agents through developing their expertise. Sawa aims to provide the communities with material, logistical and psychological support for the families in order to live a dignified life with minimum standards through diverse relief, development and educational programmes.

Rouba is also a PhD candidate in Gender and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

As an economist and development practitioner, Rouba’s work focuses mainly on women in labour markets. She is an expert on the Syrian refugee crisis and its implications in Lebanon. She has participated in conferences, consultancies and research focus groups on the humanitarian crisis of Syrian refugees, particularly in Lebanon, as well as taking part in discussions about women during the Syrian civil war, female refugees and women and practices of faith.

The following nominees were also shortlisted for the 2016 Award:

Nkosa Mguni – Programmes and Centre Manager at Franschhoek Valley Community Sports Club in South Africa

Father Noel Naw Lat – Director of the Myanmar Social Services’ Myitkyina branch

Andre Ross – Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Jala Pelo Foundation



Devanna de la Puente

Devanna de la Puente has made an outstanding contribution to the fight against gender-based violence in situations of disaster and conflict, and has promoted the rights of women and girls around the world. She has over ten years’ experience working globally with the UN, national and international NGOs and civil society. She has focused her attention on working primarily in Asia, but has also worked in Africa and Latin America. Devanna led a study to identify and encourage women’s leadership in refugee camps in Darfur, founded a women’s NGO in Honduras which continues to lead local policy and has founded an initiative for the prevention of child marriage in rural areas in Bangladesh.

Devanna has been responsible for, and co-authored, a number of important publications and holds a Master’s Degree in International Development and Cooperation from the University of Bologna. She is an inspirational individual whose contributions have had a significant impact on the people and communities she has worked with. Devanna has chosen to use her Award to support an adolescent girl in India to complete her education through the Soma programme of New Light.

The following nominees were also shortlisted for the 2015 Award

  • María Teresa Ronderos – Creator and editorial director of, a website covering Colombia’s transitional justice process and investigating how armed conflict has impacted citizens and democracy.
  • Susan Arif Maroof – Founder and director of the Women’s Empowerment Organisation (WEO) in Erbil, Iraq
  • Betty Kitta Scopas Dumo – Director of Early Warning Systems in the Directorate of Disaster Management at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in Juba, South Sudan

Elizabeth Henry Angok

Elizabeth Henry Angok is the Regional Director for the South Sudan Mother and Child Care Organisation. The organisation is based in the Northern Bahr El Ghazal state of South Sudan and works for the prevention of and protection against sexual violence and enables victims and survivors to have better access to justice and health. The long term civil war and subsequent independence of South Sudan has meant that sexual violence and child sexual abuse are common crimes, and Elizabeth’s organisation works with the internally displaced women and children who are the victims of these crimes.

The Mother and Child Care Organisation partners with the United Nations Development Programme in South Sudan to follow up on sexual violence cases to ensure that justice is served. They also work closely with the American Refugee Committee in camps, offering psychosocial support and counselling to victims of sexual abuse.

The organisation has been extremely successful in tackling the issue of sexual violence in South Sudan. They have raised awareness of sexual abuse among court members, chiefs and community leaders, and there is a better understanding within communities of the rule of law and how justice can be accessed. Elizabeth’s work to tackle sexual violence on a grassroots community level has been highly influential and has helped to bring about significant and positive changes.

Shortlisted for the 2014 Award was:

  • Ja Nan Lahtaw – Assistant Director for Programme and International Relations for the Nyein (Shalom) Foundation, a national peace non-governmental organisation in Myanmar.