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British Council celebrates work of UK alumnis

Alumni of UK universities from Bangladesh, South Africa and Egypt were recognised by the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Awards 2019.

Photo: British Council

Two of the awards went to alumni from the University of Sussex

Winners of three categories were acknowledged for their research, social development and entrepreneurialism.

Transitional justice specialist and alumni of SOAS University of London and Durham Law School, Durham University, Noha Aboueldahab, was handed the Professional Achievement award for her research on human rights, politics and international law in the Middle East and North Africa.

“This award is very important to me, as it not only serves as recognition of the impact of years of hard work, but it also recognises the centrality of an issue that is close to my heart: justice,” Aboueldahab noted.

Earning both her master’s and PhD in the UK, Aboueldahab said the award would serve “as a reminder that while at times we may feel isolated in the work that we do, it is meaningful to others around the world.”

Mamunur Rahman from Bangladesh was recognised for his invention of a low-cost sanitary towel made from leftover clothing materials called the ‘Ella Pad’ which supports more than 50,000 women in Bangladesh with improved health, hygiene and employment opportunities.

With his MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and being a Chevening alumnus, Rahman was handed the award for Entrepreneurialism.

“It’s a great recognition of our work which is still a taboo subject,” he said.

Mamunur Rahman accepting his award. Photo: British Council

“Bringing awareness to this issue will help us to have an even greater impact in Bangladesh and across the region.”

Director and co-founder of the award-winning Bulungula Incubator, an NGO addressing rural poverty, Réjane Woodroffe won the Social Impact award.

Also a graduate of the University of Sussex, Woodroffe earned her MSc in Development Economics before co-founding the organisation that focuses on reducing child mortality through interventions in education, health and sustainable livelihoods.

“I feel enormously privileged to do the work of the Bulungula Incubator,” Woodroffe explained.

“For this work to be celebrated on a global platform is just overwhelming. A platform with the reach of the Study UK Alumni Awards catapults us onto a global stage. This can provide the essential leverage needed to access a wider range of organisations, thereby broadening the potential impact for our communities,” he said.

British Council’s CEO, Sir Ciarán Devane, who hosted the winners at the organisation’s headquarters in London spoke of their ‘exceptional’ work.

“Their work shows the power of the UK’s universities, and their alumni, to connect across international borders; to make a real difference in our global society,” he said.

“These awards are a brilliant way to highlight the excellence of UK education, and how it makes a global difference.”

The Study UK Alumni Awards 2020 are open to recent international alumni of UK universities living in any country outside the UK, and applications are open until October 28, 2019.

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