CAMFED Chief Executive Officer Lucy Lake and CAMFED Association Executive Adviser Fiona Mavhinga at the 2021 Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony. (Image: FPA)
Last week, CAMFED Chief Executive Officer Lucy Lake and CAMFED Association Executive Adviser Fiona Mavhinga attended several days of celebratory events to mark the 2021 Princess of Asturias Awards (often referred to as “Spain’s Nobel Prize”). These culminated on Friday evening with an awards ceremony where the laureates—Gloria Steinem, Marina Abramović, Amartya Sen, Emmanuel Carrère, Teresa Perales, a group of prominent COVID-19 vaccine researchers, José Andrés and CAMFED—were addressed by His Majesty The King of Spain and Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias.
The importance of education and of actively supporting women’s leadership were consistent themes, both in the Princess’ words and in the cultural events of the week.
Learn, Thrive and Lead
At a special dialog chaired by Emma Álvarez, head of the La Ería state secondary school and a teacher for Spain’s Institute for Peace and Cooperation Development, Fiona and Lucy met with students from several local schools. They had completed their own projects about CAMFED’s Learner Guide Program, which sees young women in rural Africa return to their former schools as mentors and role models, supporting students to be well and do well. To reflect this, the Spanish students were asked to uncover the needs and concerns of their younger peers and draw up an action plan. On seeing their presentations Fiona commented that she was “moved by the innovation, understanding and creativity of the young people we interacted with.”
Further highlights included in-depth interviews and imaginative installations to shed new light on CAMFED’s unique model.
Joining hands to stage a feminist revolution
A feature on Gloria Steinem, laureate of the Princess of Asturias Communication and Humanities Award, and CAMFED, laureate of the International Cooperation Award, draws parallels between two global, grassroots movements for gender equality.
Lucy attended an exclusive viewing of the Princess of Asturias Foundation’s breathtaking installation “Sylva”, in which two robots nurture plants based on real-time impact data from CAMFED’s work, thanks to an algorithm.
Fiona shared her background as one of the first girls supported by CAMFED after poverty threatened to push her out of school. She offered insight into how “education brings hope, gives you the power to dream and plan for the future”.
Watch the entire Princess of Asturias Award Ceremony
On Friday, October 22nd, the Princess of Asturias Award ceremony returned to the beautiful Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Spain. It was an honor to be guests if the Spanish Royal Family and hear from so many inspirational speakers.
All of the events, exhibitions, conversations and celebrations made for an unforgettable week, which engaged the entire Spanish nation, as well as citizens around the globe, in a truly meaningful cultural occasion and reflection on our shared humanity.