• Kyodo

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The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and five other organizations and individuals from Asia on Wednesday formally received the Ramon Magsaysay Award, often dubbed Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for “all daring to create social good” in the region.

The recipients were each conferred with a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay, who inspired the award, and a cash prize in a ceremony held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila.

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo and Ramon del Rosario, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, led the presentation.

Joining the JOCV was Dompet Dhuafa, or “Wallet of the Poor,” a charity organization in Indonesia, and Vientiane Rescue from Laos.

Three individuals were also recognized: Conchita Carpio-Morales, the Philippine ombudsman; Bezwada Wilson, an anti-scavenging advocate in India; and Thodur Madabusi Krishna, a musical artist from India who won the Emergent Leadership Award.

“While their respective social causes and leadership solutions are uniquely their own, there is one thing this year’s Magsaysay laureates all share in common: a greatness of spirit that infuses their crusade for change. All are unafraid to take on large causes,” Carmencita Abella, president of the foundation, said in a statement in late July in announcing the names of the awardees.

“We have much to learn from the 2016 Magsaysay awardees, and much to celebrate about their greatness of spirit,” she added.

The Magsaysay Award has been given to more than 300 individuals and groups since its creation in 1957, the year Magsaysay died in a plane crash.

Magsaysay, who was elected president in 1953, is hailed for his leadership and moral courage, his simplicity and humility, and his passion for justice, particularly for the poor.

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