The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has yet again teamed up with HayPost, Armenia’s national postal operator, to issue a postage stamp featuring 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate Julienne Lusenge. A human rights defender and co-founder of Women's Solidarity for Inclusive Peace and Development (SOFEPADI) and Fund for Congolese Women (FFC), her boundless courage and tireless activism have shone a light on the desperate plight of thousands of Congolese women subjected to horrific sexual abuse amidst the civil war in the country. Julienne Lusenge was named the Laureate at the Ceremony that took place in October 2021 on San Lazzaro Island in Venice, Italy.
“I’m deeply grateful to Aurora and HayPost for this honor and recognition. Seeing my face on the stamp makes me very emotional, as I know that people from all over the world will now be able to learn about the cause I’m fighting for. Aurora brings a message of peace, solidarity, and support to modern-day heroes around the world risking everything to help others and helps raise the voices of the silenced victims of atrocities. I’m humbled to be part of the Initiative’s community,” said 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate Julienne Lusenge.
Aurora has been releasing stamps featuring the Aurora Prize Laureates annually since 2017. The new edition, designed by Alla Mingalyova, Art Director of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, is also a fundraising tool. Attached to the first-class stamp that costs 350 AMD is a donation coupon for 150 AMD. From every sold item, HayPost will transfer the 150 AMD donation to Aurora.
“This is our sixth stamp released in cooperation with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. HayPost highly values this partnership and appreciates the opportunity to empower modern humanitarians saving lives and giving others hope. The impact that Julienne Lusenge has had upon the lives of the Congolese women is beyond impressive, and we admire her work very much. We are honored to support her while continuing to raise global awareness of Aurora’s mission,” said Araik Abrahamyan, Interim CEO of HayPost.
As the 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate, Julienne Lusenge has received a $1,000,000 grant and a chance to continue the cycle of giving by supporting organizations that help people in need. Considering the acute needs of the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) affected by the 2020 war, she has selected 13 projects to receive $250,000 of the Prize funds and use them to alleviate the suffering of the local population. The Aurora Co-Founders have matched this contribution, bringing the total amount to $500,000.
In addition, Julienne Lusenge has distributed funds between three organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that support grassroots women’s organizations, empower survivors of gender-based violence and reintegrate internally displaced persons:
- In Ituri Province, the Association of Mothers for Development and Peace (AMDP) will directly help over 2,560 people, mostly women and girls, giving local population access to food, proper healthcare, legal support, and education.
- Around 12,000 widows, orphans, and internally displaced persons in the city and territory of Beni will have free access to drinking water thanks to Fund for Congolese Women (FFC).
- In North Kivu and Ituri Province, the League for Congolese Solidarity (LSC) will empower 1584 victims of gender-based violence and conflict who will directly benefit from programs designed to help them thrive.
Since its launch, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has benefitted over 2,700,000 people worldwide. To join Aurora’s vision of a better future and help us make a difference, please support the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative by making a donation.