Ripa Islam Hijra
A social justice advocate for the marginalized communities in Bangladesh.
Pathchola Foundation, Bangladesh
Transgender woman Manisha Meem Nipun Hijra, one of the founding members and the executive director of Pathchola Foundation, a member organization of ILGA has received the Diana award 2022 this year. The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. Established in the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the award is given by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge, and The Duke of Sussex.
Manisha left her formal education after completing Higher Secondary for the challenge to continue her studies as a transgender woman. In 2021, She again started her undergraduate studies at Bangladesh Open University.
“Pathchola Foundation is continuously working in Bangladesh to empower the minority communities through advocating for quality education, employability skills development, and safeguarding their human rights.”Manisha Nipun Meem Hijra says.
Pathchola Foundation started its journey in 2019 with a mission to address the lack of employability skills, Education, and human rights issues of the minority communities for achieving a vision of a Bangladesh where every person, irrespective of their gender and sexuality, can lead a quality life with dignity, human rights, and social justice. Pathchola is sincerely continuing to serve the communities with undivided commitment and is paving the way for obtaining social justice, equality, and inclusive employment. The organizational dedication towards its mandate of ensuring human rights for the minority communities in Bangladesh was recognized by different entities through awards many times.
The organization has supported more than three thousand minority persons with the mission of creating an inclusive Bangladesh. They run employability skills training, Youth development workshops, Humanitarian response, and employment-generating activists to support the individuals. Manisha has received many national and international awards including United Nations Volunteers present International Volunteering Day Award 2021, Human Rights Defender Award 2021, and Sheikh Hasina National Volunteer Award 2020- Response to Covid-19