Venezuelan cooperative wins one of the so-called Alternative Nobel Prizes | D.W. | 29.09.2022

The so-called Alternative Nobel Prize, which is awarded every year by the Swedish foundation Right Livelihood Award, has distinguished this Thursday (09.29.2022) the Venezuelan network of cooperatives Cecosesola and activists from Ukraine, Somalia and Uganda. The jury also awarded Elman Peace’s commitment to peace in Somalia, the Center for Civil Liberties’ fight for democracy in Ukraine, and the African Institute of Energy Governance’s work for climate justice in Uganda.

Cecosesola is recognized “for establishing an equitable and cooperative economic model as a solid alternative to profit-based economies,” according to the ruling released at a ceremony held at the Stockholm House of Culture. “With more than half a century of experience, Cecosesola has improved the lives of thousands of families by providing them with access to health, education and food,” the ruling highlights. Founded in 1967 in the state of Lara, Cecosesola is a network of community-based organizations in low-income areas that produce and supply affordable goods and services to more than 100,000 families in seven states in Venezuela.

Training room of the Central de Cooperativas de Lara (Ceconsesola), in an image released by the Right Livelihood Awards.

Oleksandra Matviichuk and the Center for Civil Liberties she heads were honored “for building sustainable democratic institutions in Ukraine and modeling a path towards international accountability for war crimes.” In a statement issued by the award committee, Matviichuk said that “we are now going through a very dramatic moment in the history of Ukraine… this award is a gesture of support for our struggle in general and my work in particular.”

Somali human rights activists Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, who lead community peacebuilding initiatives and provide support to marginalized groups, were chosen “for promoting peace, demilitarization and human rights in Somalia in the face of terrorism and gender violence”. The African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) was also recognized “for its courageous work for climate justice and community rights violated by extractivist energy projects in Uganda.”

Dickens Kamugisha, director of AFIEGO.

Dickens Kamugisha, director of AFIEGO.

Dickens Kamugisha, Executive Director of AFIEGO, valued the contribution that the prize makes to his organization, and not only for its economic endowment (which amounts to one million Swedish crowns, about 88,300 dollars). “When the government knows that there are people around the world who appreciate our work, they think twice before attacking us or our communities.”

Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award seeks to highlight efforts that the prize’s founder, the Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, felt the Nobel laureates ignored. In 2022, 175 nominees from 77 countries were considered, Right Livelihood said.

lgc (dpa/efe/ap)

Oleksandra Matviichuk, director of the Center for Civil Liberties, speaks during an event in defense of filmmaker sentenced to 20 years in Russia Oleh Sentsov.

Ukrainian activist Oleksandra Matviichuk, director of the Center for Civil Liberties, in a file image.

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Venezuelan cooperative wins one of the so-called Alternative Nobel Prizes | D.W. | 29.09.2022