Announcing the Finalists for the Asia 21 Public Service Award

Because of the high level of applications that were submitted for Asia Society’s 2009 Asia 21 Public Service Award, the selection committee narrowed down to five organizations to be finalists of the award. The winner will be announced at the Asia 21 Summit, which will take place on November 20-22nd in Kuala Lumpur at the JW Marriott Hotel.  for more information about the Summit, click here; for more information about the Public Service Award and past winners, click here.

The finalists are:

Anjali: A Human Rights Based Mental Health Organization
Anjali works in one of the most neglected areas of health. Mental Illness is not a priority as a health issue in any part of the world, more so in developing nations like India. Anjali’s thrust is two fold – one, to establish Mental Illness within the mainstream health paradigm of India and two, to ‘speak for’ a large population of marginalized people with mental illness vis-à-vis their right to a professional and inclusive system of care and treatment.

CLAN (Caring & Living As Neighbours)
CLAN is an Australian-based, non-governmental, charitable organisation (approved by AusAID for Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Status), dedicated to the dream that all children living with chronic medical conditions in resource-poor countries of the world will enjoy a quality of life on par with that of their neighbours in wealthier countries.  Whilst the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (articles 4, 6, 23 and 24) clearly states that all children with special health requirements have a right to the care needed to enable them to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible, the sad reality is that in resource-poor countries any child with any chronic medical condition (that is, a health condition that lasts more than 6 months) is immediately susceptible to entirely preventable disability and death.  Founded in 2004, CLAN's work began by helping children living with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) in Vietnam. CLAN is committed to the principles of community development and comprehensive primary health care.  CLAN is committed to long-term, sustainable solutions, and believes the only way to achieve this is through collaborative, multi-sectoral efforts to effect change for the children.  Likewise, CLAN recognises the necessity of healthy public policy and involvement of health ministers and other government departments in determining the most appropriate ways to help children and their families, so that essential health needs and the broader social determinants of health are met.

Nur Salam
Rumah Nur Salam, which includes Pusat Aktiviti Kanak Kanak, Chow Kit, is a 24 hour activity center and 'safehouse' that wants to provide a 'safe,' healthy and loving environment for all children under the age of 18, living or loitering, in and around the Chow Kit area of KL. Children registered at the center are given food, shelter and are exposed to educational, health and recreational activities and programs that otherwise may not be accessible to them.  On an average day, there are about 30 children who attend a program at the center. Currently, this number increases to around 70 children on weekends. Most who come to the center are under the age of 12, but the number of teenagers who attend a program is on the rise. To date we have over 90 children registered. Who are these kids? Most of the children are poor and discriminated against and are, from the areas around Chow Kit and the greater parts of KL. They are, for the most part, unable to have their basic needs met and there is little adult supervision. Thus, many children stay on the streets in the middle of the night and are deemed as 'high risk' children.  Rumah Nur Salam is a collaboration project between the Department of Welfare (JKM), Wilayah and Yayasan Salam, Malaysia to assist, protect and address the issues that these children face and to provide a 'safe' zone or sanctuary for them.

Prisoner’s Assistance Nepal
PA Nepal was established in 2000. Although a relatively new organization, PA Nepal represents a continuation of the prison welfare work that was started by the renowned writer and human rights activist Parizat in the early 1990s. The perpetuation of these ideals is largely due to Chairperson Ms Indira Ranamagar who worked with Parizat in Nepali jails before founding PA Nepal.  PA Nepal provides a home for children who would otherwise be in jail with a convicted parent. There are currently 60 children in the home. PA Nepal is active in its support for the children who remain in jail and for the prisoners, particularly the prisoners in the female central jail. We are currently running skills training and income generating activities in the female jail. We are also running a project that is looking at the needs of the mentally ill in prison.

Table for Two
TABLE FOR TWO is an organization that simultaneously addresses hunger in the developing world, and obesity and other life-style related diseases in the developed world. Their mission is to promote health in both the developing and the developed world. They seek to simultaneously address hunger in the developing world, and obesity and other life-style related diseases in the developed world and aim to bring balance and health to the world where there is currently imbalance and suffering. Their name captures the fact that a healthy meal bought in participating company cafeterias also buys a school meal for a child in the developing world.  The number of group participants in the TABLE FOR TWO program exceeded 100 by the end of 2008. Starting in company cafeterias, the program has spread to cafes, online stores, and convenience stores enabling them to broaden their appeal.  Aside from promoting the food program, they have also expanded their activity toward an enlightenment campaign, which aims to propagate the philosophy of TABLE FOR TWO and increase an awareness of food issues through lectures and published book ("Connecting the world with 20cents").  Their movement started in Japan has now also spread overseas to the U.S.  TABLE FOR TWO’s US branch was officially opened in 2008 with programs having commenced in 2009.