Human Rights and Nursing Awards 2023

Nurses make a positive difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities each and every day, throughout the world. They deliver care to people from all walks of life, including to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The Human Rights and Nursing Awards acknowledge and celebrate this contribution.

The Human Rights and Nursing Awards recognise the work of nurses who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to promoting human rights. The Awards are presented annually to two nurses whose work exemplifies the essence of nursing as a moral practice and provides a source of inspiration for others.

The Awards are presented each year during an official ceremony at the Nursing Ethics and International Ethics in Care Conference. In 2023, the ceremony took place on 14th July in Geneva, with awards being made to: Ruggero Rizzini from Pavia in Italy; and Nurses in the Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) in Ukraine.

Ruggero Rizzini has made an exceptional contribution to the development of health and social care in Pavia in Italy and Guatemala in Central America. After visiting Guatemala in 1998, Ruggero founded AINS Onlus, a non-profit organisation that builds collaborative alliances to address the determinants of health, such as living and working conditions and access to food, clean water and health services. AINS Onlus runs a range of health and social care projects for vulnerable people in both Guetemala and Pavia, Italy. This includes the Comedor Infantil-Casa in Guatemala, which cares for 50 children and 26 older people on a daily basis. Both in Guatemala and Pavia, Ruggero organises projects that favour networking with other voluntary associations and with public administrations, promoting nurses and the values of solidarity and charity. Ruggero’s nominators highlight that his achievements are inspirational and demonstrate what can be achieved by a nurse with a focus on the right to health, education and nutrition.

The Ukrainian CMHTs provide person-centred and recovery-oriented care to people with severe mental disorders throughout the country. According to the World Health Organisation, almost 10 million people in Ukraine now have a mental health condition as a result of prolonged conflict and war with Russia. Since the start of the war, CMHTs have provided 23,000 consultations for 1,400 people with severe mental health disorders. Nurses form the backbone of this service, operating in some of the most challenging circumstances. Instead of fleeing and saving their own lives, nurses have often stayed with their patients, hiding in cellars and evacuating patients while under fire. Many patients struggle with fear and despondency as a result of the war and the nurses working in the CMHTs are a source of comfort, reassurance and hope. The nurses’ commitment to the care of the most vulnerable people in challenging circumstances requires significant resilience, courage and resourcefulness. Such a contribution is recognised and honoured in the Human Rights and Nursing Award for 2023.

The Awards are funded by an anonymous donor through a Donor Advised Fund managed by The Charity Service. An initial capital donation generates investment returns to sustain two annual awards of £15,000 each year. The Charity Service manages these monies and issues payments to the award winners. The nomination and judging process is overseen by the Editorial Board of the Nursing Ethics Journal.

The Human Rights and Nursing Awards are a great example of how an awards programme can be used to promote knowledge and understanding of a specific field of work. The programme also helps award winners to advance their nursing and humanitarian work.

If you are interested in funding a charitable awards programme, The Charity Service offers a flexible and cost effective solution. Using a Donor Advised Fund avoids the hassle of setting up a separate charitable trust or gifting funds to an academic institution whose personnel and priorities may change over time. For more information, please contact Chris Mills, Head of Philanthropy Services at [email protected]

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