The prize is presented annually by Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest dedicated peace-building organization, to honor outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution and peace-building.
Mudenge received the award on November 30, 2017, in New York City in the United States of America.
Mudenge is a former refugee and a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. He founded the Inyenyeri Itazima Association based in Rubavu District with the aim of spreading forgiveness, promoting reconciliation, and creating dialogue.
Through public events and discussions that bring together victims and perpetrators, Mudenge has made an invaluable contribution to fostering peace and unity in post-conflict Rwanda. The Inyenyeri Itazima Association and Search for Common Ground have been working in partnership over the past years to promote reconciliation in Rwanda.
The Common Ground Awards recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions toward bridging divides between people, finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and providing inspiration and hope where often there was none.
In addition to Mudenge, this year’s Awardees include Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind Snacks, who established several peace initiatives in the US and the Holy Lands; Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Kaleka, the founders of Serve 2 Unite, an American organization fighting against hatred; Fatima Ezzahra Benoughazi, a leading voice of youth and peace-building in Morocco; and Sylvie Mutwambaka Mirindi, the founder of the Mamans Sensibilisateurs, an organization empowering women and fighting domestic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
People scooped the same award in the past include, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, Olympian and Right to Play founder Johan Olav Koss and boxing great Muhammed Ali, as well as individuals building peace in their communities around the world.