American Refugee Committee Staff Member from Southern Sudan Receives International Award for Promoting Women’s Empowerment


July 9, 2009

Minneapolis, MN — Rose Tabu John—an American Refugee Committee staff member who is also a former refugee from southern Sudan—has been awarded the 2009 Mildred Leet Award for the Advancement of Women, an international prize recognizing staff members overseas for leadership in promoting the empowerment of women and girls.  Tabu John will receive the award in Washington, DC, today at an international conference.

“We’re tremendously proud of Rose,” said Daniel Wordsworth, the American Refugee Committee’s President / CEO.  “A former refugee, Rose represents the leadership and skills demonstrated by so many of our refugee staff worldwide.  After fleeing her home as a refugee, Rose has returned to her community in southern Sudan and is helping her country rebuild.  Her story is an inspiration to all of us.”

Tabu John spearheads the American Refugee Committee’s programs to address violence against women in Greater Yei County, southern Sudan.  Domestic violence had never been addressed formally in Yei, and the American Refugee Committee was the first organization to initiate a comprehensive prevention and response program in the region.

Training refugee and local staff is a key component of the American Refugee Committee’s approach in implementing its programs worldwide.  Of the organization’s 1600 staff members, more than 95% are refugee or local staff.  “We focus on building the capacity of refugees and local staff so that their leadership and skills will benefit their communities long after peace is restored,” said Wordsworth.

Tabu John will receive the award today at a ceremony at the Annual InterAction Forum in Washington, DC.

HOW TO HELP:  The American Refugee Committee is taking donations to support its relief efforts worldwide at:  American Refugee Committee; 430 Oak Grove Street, Suite 204; Minneapolis, MN  55403; tel 612-872-7060 or at

ABOUT THE AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE:  The American Refugee Committee is a Minnesota-based humanitarian aid agency that works to help people take back control of their lives.  The partnerships we form with our constituents and supporters provide essential services and economic opportunities to people who have lost everything due to conflict and disaster.  Each year, the American Refugee Committee works with nearly 2.5 million people in Africa and Asia.   For more information visit   

Press contact: Therese Gales at (800) 875-7060.  

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