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The World Habitat Gold Award trophies were presented to Fundació Hàbitat3 and ActionAid India, the Koraga Federation and Samagra Grameena Ashram at a special ceremony earlier today, at the World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi.

Fundació Hàbitat3 were awarded for their Viviendas para las Entidades Sociales project which renovates homes in Barcelona, in collaboration with local social enterprises who train socially excluded people to help them find work in the future. Hàbitat3 manages the homes and the charities select the tenants, providing ongoing support for issues such as mental health, drug addiction, disability, gender violence and migration.

ActionAid India, the Koraga Federation and Samagra Grameena Ashram were recognised for their Restoration of Dignity and Human Rights of Indigenous Tribal Community in Karnataka, India which has secured thousands of acres of land for tribal communities and 19,000 people have accessed grants to build homes. This has acted as a foundation for them to rebuild their lives. A state-sponsored nutrition programme has improved food security and health among the Koraga community, and now more children attend school and have access to scholarships. Koraga women increasingly hold leadership positions within the community and more than 1,000 have become self-sufficient.

The trophies were presented by the Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Victor Kisob, representing UN-Habitat, the co-partners of the World Habitat Awards. He said:

“Over the years the World Habitat Awards have showcased many practical and pioneering innovations and tried and tested solutions to some of the world’s major housing challenges. The World Habitat Awards recognise that we cannot leave the most vulnerable and marginalised in society – we must work with them; we must support them and we must find solutions that help them. The partnership with World Habitat is based on a shared and solid understanding that everyone, everywhere has the fundamental right to safe and secure homes.”

Also appearing at the presentation by video message was Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and one of the judges of the World Habitat Awards. She added:

“These two projects exemplify innovation in the way they approach their work and contribute to the realisation of the right to housing in very different ways. I’m always amazed at the creativity and efficacy of ‘on the ground’ advocacy that I’m lucky to see every day in my job as Special Rapporteur as I travel the world. And I am particularly heartened when those advocacy efforts are aimed at benefiting the most vulnerable populations. Both of the award-winning projects are very much in keeping with that vision and that outcome.

“I applaud your efforts and you’ve affected, so positively, thousands and thousands of people – congratulations!”

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