Every year, thousands of aid workers around the world put their lives in danger daily to help people in need. Join us in congratulating one of them here, UN staffer Ken Payumo, who has received the “2015 Humanitarian Award” from the MY HERO International Film Festival.
In early 2014, Payumo, then an unarmed civilian, was in charge of the UN compound in Bor, South Sudan to which 12,000 civilians had fled to shelter from heavy fighting during the height of the violence that erupted in December 2013. At the time, Payumu found himself facing an official accompanied by 80 armed soldiers insisting on entering the compound. He feared that they would round up and kill many inside. Despite being threatened, he refused to let them in – and the civilians inside remained unharmed.
A short film about the incident, made for UNTV, has won 1st Place in the festival’s Human Rights category and also the Ron Kovic Peace Prize.
A version of the film has also appeared on UNTV’s flagship programme called 21st Century.