The winners of the inaugural Partnership Awards, recognising commitment to global solidarity, have been announced featuring partnerships from Cardiff, Zimbabwe, Monmouth, Uganda and Abergavenny.
The inaugural Partnership Awards 2022 sees Mambakwedza Women’s Centre in Zimbabwe and Cardiff Metropolitan University win the Partnership Award, TUNADO (The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation) and Bees for Development from Monmouth win the Sustainability Award and finally, Martha Musonza Holman of Love Zimbabwe in Abergavenny win the Individual Volunteer Award.
There are over 300 partnerships between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Partnership Awards 2022 recognises and celebrates those links that demonstrate a commitment to global solidarity, equity and shared learning.
The winner of the Partnership Award, which recognises the strength of the partnership and its collaborative nature, is the Mambakwedza Women’s Centre in Zimbabwe and Cardiff Metropolitan University. Judges found their work on the rights of women and girls, and promoting gender equality demonstrated clear evidence of valuing each other’s expertise and ways of working; while acknowledging and responding to the power and privilege dynamics of partnership working.
The Sustainability Award was won by TUNADO (The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation) and Bees for Development, Monmouth. Though the only candidate for this category, they are certainly not undeserved. This partnership focuses on environmental sustainability, however, sustainability is a value that is upheld through the relationship and programme. The judges chose this partnership, appreciating its equitable relationship, shared responsibility and sharing of skills and learning in both Wales and Uganda.
Finally, the Individual Volunteer Award was won by Martha Musonza Holman of Love Zimbabwe in Abergavenny. A competitive category, the judges recognised Martha’s work in overcoming adversity to make a positive impact both in Wales and in Zimbabwe. Through supporting community-led initiatives, Martha is strategic in recognising and working to influence gatekeepers and decision-makers, with judges commenting that “she has left something tangible on the ground to be proud of”.
In addition to these deserved winners, we’re pleased to be able to recognise as Highly Commended as Best New Partnership under the Partnership Award, Pharmaceutical Society of Malawi and Wales Antimicrobial Pharmacy Group. This anti-microbial stewardship partnership project was brokered by the Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET) and the Commonwealth Pharmacy Association. Though only established in 2021, the judges appreciated the success of the partnership to date, their positive approach to collaborative decision making, and look forward to seeing what the future holds.
Finally, Gideon Hopeson Zege from Bees for Development Ghana has been recognised as Highly Commended in the Individual Volunteer Award category. Gideon volunteers his time to lead a beekeeping initiative in his local area in Ghana. Gideon’s hard work supports the local economy and encourages positive environmental action.
Claire O’Shea, head of Hub Cymru Africa said:
“This year we reintroduced the awards to reflect the most important aspects of the Wales and Africa community: partnership, sustainability and volunteering. The quality of the work reflected in the applications was remarkable and shows how the work has evolved over a seismic two years.
“All of our award winners and highly commended applicants have done so much to ensure global solidarity between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa is enacted through partnership.
“Congratulations to the winners! Hub Cymru Africa is looking forward to seeing more entries like this next year for the 2023 awards.”
Winner of the Partnership Award, Dr Christina Thatcher from Cardiff Metropolitan University and Godess Bvukutwa from Mambakwedza Women’s Center, Zimbabwe said:
“We are thrilled that our international partnership has been recognised through this Hub Cymru Africa award.
“Collaborative working has allowed us to reframe narratives, support young women and learn from each other. We are so grateful to have an opportunity to celebrate this together!”
Winner of the Sustainability Award, Sean Lawson from Bees for Development and Dickson Biryomumaisho from TUNADO said:
“We are absolutely delighted to receive the Sustainability Award from Hub Cymru Africa. We are proud of what we have achieved in building a sustainable and equitable partnership between Wales and Uganda.
“Receiving this award strengthens our determination to do more and better work together – improving people’s lives in Uganda through beekeeping.”
Winner of the Individual Volunteer Award, Martha Musonza Holman said:
“I am so pleased to receive the Individual Volunteer Award because it highlights the importance of volunteering in an organisation.
“I feel very honoured to be the winner of this award which I share with all our volunteers in Wales and Chinamhora Village in Zimbabwe; as well all those wonderful people working in solidarity across Wales and Africa.
“Despite all the hardships that we have faced in our partnership work, we keep striving and achieving things together. Being recognised like this brings a huge sense of joy. This means that we can reach out more to like-minded organisations and gain reputation and trust from funders to support our work.”
Notes to editors:
For interviews, contact:
Peter Frederick Gilbey, Communications Manager, Hub Cymru Africa
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Partnership Award Winner – Mambakwedza Women’s Centre in Zimbabwe and Cardiff Metropolitan University
Mambakwedza Women’s Center is a non-profit organisation that seeks to break down gender stereotypes through inspiring, equipping, mentoring and advocating for the rights of underserved and underprivileged women and girls in Zimbabwe so they can be successful leaders in society. Its founder and coordinator, Godess Bvukutwa, has been working in the development sector in Zimbabwe for over 10 years. She self identifies as a feminist writer and social justice activist.
Dr Christina Thatcher from Cardiff Metropolitan University is a poet, lecturer and researcher. She has over 10 years of experience leading creative writing workshops in school, community and higher education settings. Godess submitted a joint application with Christina for a British Council Go Digital grant which was open to online projects happening between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa. Together – with support from another Cardiff Metropolitan University colleague, Dr Kate North – Godess and Christina won the funding. They have been leading women’s writing projects together and developing our partnership, ever since.
Sustainability Award Winner – TUNADO (The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation) and Bees for Development
Bees for Development is a global charity that aims to make life better with bees. They promote sustainable beekeeping to combat poverty, build resilient livelihoods and benefit biodiversity. TUNADO provides a national platform for stakeholders to promote and develop economically viable and environmentally sustainable apiculture industry in Uganda. This partnership focused on supporting TUNADO’s organisational and financial capacity to work towards self-reliance, sharing resources and information, and establishing an inclusive organisation.
Individual Volunteer Award – Martha Musonza Holman of Love Zimbabwe
Love Zimbabwe (Abergavenny) and Chinamhora Community Trust (Zimbabwe) have established and maintained a mutual partnership since January 2009. The founder, Martha Holman moved from Zimbabwe to the UK in 2001 and settled in Abergavenny, Wales. Her desire was to build a partnership that would encourage cultural appreciation between the two countries while fostering economic growth projects to alleviate poverty in Chinamhora Village. Martha left Zimbabwe in fear for her safety in 2001 after speaking out against the Mugabe government. Since arriving in the UK, she has endured poverty and racism, as well as separation from her family back home. Yet through this time, she has worked voluntarily to raise awareness about community development and building resilient communities based on mutual understanding and respect.
- Negotiated with Chief Chinamhora to donate land to build a community centre to support disabled children
- The community centre library has a sensory room that has been equipped with soft toys and furniture that is suitable for disabled children
- During a cholera epidemic in 2007, Martha brought over 400kgs medical supplies that were donated to Makumbi hospital and Chinamhora Community clinic
- In April 2018, Martha introduced a university students’ cultural exchange and mutual learning project that involved taking university students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Lampeter and the University of Southern Utah, USA to participate in community development projects such as building keyhole gardens in the community and planting trees
- Martha has helped link four schools in Wales with four schools in Chinamhora village through the British Council’s classroom connections. Schools in both countries have worked together collaboratively in promoting global issues such as climate change
- Twinned Abergavenny town with Chinamhora village
- Engaged with over 300 schools in supporting fair trade to host workshops on the importance of trading fairly for low and middle-income countries.
- Hannah S. Doornbos – Outreach Project Manager at South West International Development Network (SWIDN)
- Carol Adams – Africa Portfolio Lead at the Sub Saharan Advisory Panel (SSAP), and Managing Director off Food Adventure Social Enterprise Ltd.
- Claire O’Shea – Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa, and Co Chairman of Wales Overseas Agency Group.
- Dr Kit Chalmers – Head of Policy and Learning at Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)