DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 Nov) — Noraida Abdullah Karim, Deputy Director for Philippine Programme of the Community and Family Services, International (CFSI) has been named as one of seven recipients of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Awards for 2013, under the Social Work category.
Noraida, who is based in Cotabato City, has served with CFSI for more than a dozen year and heads the CFSI’s operations in Mindanao.
The TOWNS Award, which has honored 149 outstanding Filipino women since 1974, is presented every three years by the TOWNS Foundation to “outstanding Filipino women who have served as catalysts and role models in the economic, social and cultural fields.”
“Each nominee’s achievements and body of work were carefully examined and weighed against a strict criteria to establish their contribution to Philippine society. The Award places particular importance on how nominees have demonstrated courage, integrity, dedication, initiative and pioneering zeal in their work,” said Dr. Aura Matias, TOWNS Foundation Vice-President and chair of the 2013 Search.
Aside from Noraida, the other TOWNS Awardees for 2013 are: Atty. Darlene Marie Berberabe, Ani Karina Brown, Karen Davila, Rachelle Gerodias, Gemma Narisma, Eleanor Pinugu, Ma. Amihan Ramolete, and Maricor Soriano.
Berberabe, chief executive officer of the PAG-IBIG Fund was awarded for her contribuion to government service; Brown, a tri-athlete, trainer and race organizer, and program manager of Pinay in Action Women Empowerment through Fitness Program, and the IronKids Association of the Philippines, for raising the image of Filipino women worldwide, as well as her contribution to Philippine sports in general, and the development and popularization of triathlons in particular; Davila of ABS-CBN for her contribution to broadcast journalism in the country; Gerodias, the Philippines’ premier soprano, for the performing arts; Narisma for Atmospheric Science for her contribution to national understanding and relevant response to climate change. Pinugu, founder and executive director of the Mano Amiga Academy, a non-profit school aims to uplift the lives of underprivileged families through education, for social enterprise and education; Ramolete, company manager of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, for her contribution to Philippine theater arts; and Soriano, University of the Philippines professor and president of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas, for Applied Physics.
Aside from her work at CFSI, Noraida also serves as the project coordinator of the Food Assistance Project, a partnership between CFSI and the World Food Programme that serves around 400,000 internally displaced persons in conflict-affected areas of Central and Northern Mindanao.
The TOWNS said Noraida “is a strong and active voice for the uprooted populations in Mindanao, bridging diverse groups to work for common goals” and is a “leader in various local, national, regional and global networks.”
The TOWNS Award is not Noraida’s first. In 2007, she received the of 2007 Voices of Courage Award from the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children in New York, and the 2007 Social Justice and Social Change Award from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. (MindaNews/ This piece was first published in the November 18 issue of OUR Mindanao, the weekly newsmagazine of MindaNews. Noraida received the TOWNS Award in formal ceremonies in Manila on November 21).