The Eastern Daily Press has won an international award for its campaign to provide vital medical treatment for Sierra Leone war child Issa Kamara.
The paper’s Justice for Issa campaign beat competition from several local and national newspapers and magazines to be awarded the Press Award at this year’s One World Media Awards.
Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, who hosted the award ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel, praised the newspaper and its readers for their efforts and generosity during the four-month campaign run by deputy editor James Ruddy.
Judges said “through the plight of one individual, the EDP was able to convey the horrors and the conflict of a whole society exposing its readers to the reality of the child’s life and the context in which he lived”.
Following the EDP campaign, 11-year-old Issa Kamara received NHS treatment for severe burns at a Norfolk hospital.
Enough money was also raised to build a house to replace his family’s home, which was burned down when Issa was kidnapped by anti-government rebels three years ago.
Along with his mother, Issa suffered indescribably as a slave, and sustained horrific burns when he was thrown on to a bonfire by crazed rebels.
Accepting his award, EDP deputy editor James Ruddy told the awards audience that Issa was a rare child in such a war zone.
He said: “He is one of the lucky ones who survived. Many of you who, like me, have been to such places as northern Croatia, Mostar, Sarajevo and Freetown know that many children aren’t so lucky. I would like to dedicate this award to the children who didn’t make it.”
For more information on the awards, visit www.owbt.org.
Back to the awards index
Have you won a press award? We’d love to hear from you.