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Priest awarded rights prize

17 April 2012, 11:03

Nairobi - Kenyan priest John Webootsa has been awarded a French-German human rights prize for his work in one of the most overcrowded slums in the East African country, organisers of the prize said on Monday.

Webootsa has been promoting education for youths, employment for women and legal aid for the poorest in the Korogocho slum for the past seven years.

"With this prize, we wanted to distinguish a person from the civil society, who is enthusiastic and dynamic, ... who works on the ground, far from the spotlight," said Etienne de Poncins, French ambassador to Kenya.

"Human rights is a legal, but also social reality. It's the message that the jury wanted to send to Kenyans," he added.

German ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette for her part lauded his "extraordinary work for the most vulnerable".

Reached by telephone, Webootsa said the prize "is a recognition of not just my work, but work done for the people of Korogocho", located in the suburbs of Nairobi.

"What makes me happy about this prize is that it opens up the slum to the world. More and more people will be willing to give assistance to the slum," he added.


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