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LiS alumna Parwana Rezai wins ECHO Award

6 December 2022
Parwana Rezai, alumna of the bachelor’s program Law in Society at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, has won the ECHO Award. Talented students with a non-western background are eligible for this award. The Award Ceremony took place on Tuesday 6 December at the Loyens & Loeff law firm in the Zuidas. Parwana Rezai has stood up for the rights of refugees and Afghan women in Afghanistan as an ambassador and in close collaboration with the Dutch Refugee Council (VWN).

Parwana Rezai was one of the three finalists in the category Law and Tax. She received the ECHO Award from the hands of the Minister of Education, who complimented her with kind words. 'This candidate knew how to distinguish herself by activating others. She shows tremendous drive that comes from her own experience.'

Born in Helmand, Afghanistan, during a time when suicide bombers frequently targeted the Afghan society, Parwana grew up surrounded by violence and poverty. As an Afghan refugee and asylum seeker, she genuinely understands injustices and is is devoted to helping women and young girls who are most vulnerable. In her extracurricular activities, she thus focuses on activism close to her roots. She is an ambassador of the Dutch Refugee Council and she continues to work on their projects by being a campaign lead, volunteering with them, visiting refugee camps, raising awareness, spreading petition, giving interviews, engaging in public debates and sharing her own story along the way. “My motivation to contribute stems from the innate need to fight. Fight for the rights I did not have back in Afghanistan and millions of girls like me still do not possess. I feel it to be my obligation and my destiny to serve the people. I have seen from a young age what the effects of inequality and exclusion are: the downfall of nations and societies.” 

ECHO is a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity and inclusion in education and the labour market. The ceremony of the ECHO Award took place on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. The ceremony can be viewed via this link