Empowering Change: ASEAN Prize Goes to Women Entrepreneurs and Youth Humanitarian Leaders

Empowering Change: ASEAN Prize Goes to Women Entrepreneurs and Youth Humanitarian Leaders

Did you know that the ASEAN Prize was awarded during the ASEAN Summit? 
Still in the ASEAN Summit atmosphere, Indonesian President Joko Widodo awarded the ASEAN Prize to two recipients at the opening ceremony of the 43rd ASEAN Summit (9/5). 

ASEAN has officially awarded the 2023 ASEAN Prize to Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, a regional advocate focusing on women's economic empowerment from Vietnam. The award recognizes her efforts to promote women's economic inclusion through business. 

The previous year's winner, Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri bin Haji Damit, an advocate and community leader from Brunei Darussalam, was also honored. He was recognized for his initiatives in humanitarian aid, which have inspired the active participation of young people. 

Indeed, a similar awards event took place last year. However, it was held online due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

In his remarks, ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn emphasized the importance of the awardees' dedication and commitment to the region's progress in the course of ASEAN integration. Dr. Kao expressed ASEAN's appreciation for the outstanding contributions of the 2022 ASEAN Laureate, Mr. Iqbal Damit, and the 2023 ASEAN Laureate, Ms. Nguyen Minh. Both have played a significant role in promoting a deeper understanding of ASEAN and its identity. 

Nguyen Minh, a regional leader and business policy advisor in the region, has spearheaded various initiatives to achieve a sustainable and inclusive economy. Through the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN), which she founded in 2014, she facilitates collaboration among women entrepreneurs in ASEAN, promotes regional cooperation, and raises standards in the region. Nguyen Minh is also the founder and chairperson of WeLead, a women-owned enterprise in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Iqbal Damit, who founded the nonprofit organization Hand4Hand in Brunei Darussalam, has encouraged youth to volunteer to support humanitarian relief and emergency response in the region and beyond. He has played a key role in providing humanitarian assistance to affected communities.

Administered by the ASEAN Secretariat and supported by Temasek Foundation Singapore and Hasanah Foundation Malaysia, the ASEAN Prize is a premier regional award given annually to honor ASEAN individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions and significant efforts to advance the process of community development in the region.

Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Head of Programs, Temasek Foundation, congratulated Mr. Iqbal Damit and Mr Nguyen Minh on being awarded the ASEAN Prize 2022 and 2023. He noted that they are a source of inspiration that encourages caring for the community, no matter how great the challenge. He also highlighted the anticipation of their continued efforts in supporting the development of a more people-centered, inclusive, and resilient ASEAN.

Dato' Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Founder & Trustee of Yayasan Hasanah, also congratulated the recipients of the ASEAN Prize 2022 and 2023. She highlighted the alignment of Hasanah Foundation's mission in building an inclusive Malaysian society. She also highlighted their commitment in supporting social inclusion and their belief that real progress involves all segments of society.

Their efforts and dedication in advancing society and promoting social inclusion in the ASEAN region are highly appreciated and respected by the ASEAN community and stakeholders. The awardees will receive the ASEAN Prize Trophy in recognition of their outstanding achievements. In addition, they will also receive a US$20,000 prize fund as a more tangible form of appreciation.

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