|Date: November 12, 1999
Contact: Eliza Denoeux
Phone: (207) 872-3813
Colby Oak Fellow to Receive U.N. Youth Peace Award
Didier Kamundu Batundi, the 1999 Oak Human Rights Fellow at Colby College, has been awarded an inaugural Global Youth Peace & Tolerance Award from the DaCapo Foundation in association with Children Uniting Nations and Friends of the United Nations. The Global Youth Peace & Tolerance Awards salute adults and young adults who have furthered the causes of peace and tolerance worldwide.
On Tuesday, November 16, the annual United Nations International Day for Tolerance, Kamundu will receive one of seven Wright-Dunbar Prizes at the United Nations ceremonies in New York. Mikhail Gorbachev, inaugural recipient of a lifetime achievement laureate in political leadership, will present the leadership award to Kamundu. The Wright-Dunbar Prize is named after Orville and Wilbur Wright, the fathers of flight, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African-American writer to gain recognition among international literary critics. The Wright brothers were the first publishers of Dunbars work.
Kamundu founded a rural development and human-rights organization based in Goma, in the former Zaire. Kamundu, who taught himself law, has secured medical care for torture victims, saved a busload of ethnic Tutsis from mob violence, documented rights abuses and petitioned for the release of political prisoners.
The one-semester Oak Human Rights Fellowship was established to allow a front-line human-rights worker to take a sabbatical for research, writing and teaching as a scholar-in-residence at Colby. In addition to the fellowship, the institute supports human rights programs on campus.