The Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) will be presented by AAFSW on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 10:30 to noon along with the Champions of Career Enhancement for EFMs (CCE-EFM) and Lesley Dorman Awards. DACOR, an association of foreign affairs professionals, will present the 2021 Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award. Find out more about the awards here: https://www.aafsw.org/awards/ and http://www.dacorbacon.org/dacor_awards.php
The ceremony will be hosted by DACOR at the historic DACOR-Bacon House, built in 1825, just two blocks from the White House, with a limited number of people present. The event will be live-streamed and recorded using GoToWebinar. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has agreed to present remarks congratulating the winners.
To receive an invitation to attend virtually, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Meet the 2021 Winners
SOSA AF Bureau, Keri E. Dziuban
While posted in Namibia, Keri used her training as an expert in special needs education to turn around a struggling international school. On a volunteer basis, she took extensive action to identify and resolve gaps in the curriculum, improve the physical security of the campus, and recruit a highly qualified Educational Director.
SOSA EAP Bureau, Sean P. Doyle
As a “citizen diplomat” volunteering in Shenyang, Eligible Family Member Sean P. Doyle created and implemented innovative and effective cultural outreach initiatives to the Chinese public, including social media campaigns, in-person events and videos, such as a livestreamed Thanksgiving cooking demonstration that reached nearly one million viewers.
SOSA NEA Bureau, Sari Heidenreich and Layla S. Murphy
Posted as diplomatic family members in Kuwait and the UAE, Sari and Layla (a college junior) supported the repatriation of Sierra Leonean domestic workers who had been trafficked to and/or exploited in Oman. They helped raise nearly $30,000, which supported 43 victims of trafficking and exploitation to see home again; organized repatriations logistics; provided direct education and empowerment to hundreds of women and conducted research to help the international community better understand how to address the underlying issues.
SOSA SCA Bureau, Muliani T. Lyng
During her three-year assignment in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, family member Muliani T. Lyng undertook a broad range of highly impactful efforts, including supporting Embassy families during the pandemic; helping operate a soup kitchen for the needy and summer camps for local children; supporting a fledgling animal shelter; and providing much-needed support to autistic children and their parents at a rehabilitation center.
SOSA WHA Bureau, Janeth Pena-Heredia
Janeth established the English for the Guards program in São Paulo and English for Facilities Staff in Rio de Janeiro to build more inclusive Consulate communities, which created a space for meaningful conversations about systemic racism following the murder of George Floyd. In Rio, she also led the Community Engagement Committee, which supported activities at a local orphanage, organized beach cleanups, and secured food donations for residents of a local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SOSA Honorable Mentions
AF Ian Arzeni
Tanzania, Ian Arzeni started a skateboard club and taught 30 young Tanzanians the basics of the sport. Donations from Weekend Skateboards and Nike supported the club with decks and shoes. Skateboarding classes became an excellent diversion and opportunity for young people to learn a new sport.
EAP Jennie Linton
Jennie organized a group of over 40 women in Shanghai China to sew reusable menstrual kits for girls who don’t have adequate supplies in developing countries. These kits allow girls to go to school during their periods. They were able to deliver kits to girls in India and Kenya. She says, “This was a small thing that had a big impact not only on the girls who received them, but on those of us who created them. We felt more gratitude, purpose and connection.”
NEA Team Vaccine
Honorable Mention for the NEA Bureau was awarded to Embassy Amman for its outstanding Vaccine Task Force, in which over 70 volunteers, trained over the weekend, vaccinated more than 1,000 mission personnel against COVID-19 in just 1.5 days.
WHA Amy J. Duhamel
Amy started a volunteer group in Bogotá, Colombia during the pandemic. They provided groceries, baby supplies, warm clothes, blankets and other necessities to locals and Venezuelan refugees who were struggling due to the strict quarantine. The group continues to assist those in need.
Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award, Fabiula Maughan
Fabiula was selected for her innovative and timely efforts to help Mission Brazil address issues of racism and social injustice following the 2020 protests that heightened awareness of these problems in Brazil and in the United States. Fabi’s vehicle for creating enduring change was embRACE, a group of roughly 40 U.S. direct hires and local staff dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. As chairwoman of the embRACE steering committee, Fabi led members through biweekly coordination meetings and created subcommittees to organize consulate-wide activities. Fabi was such a force for positive change that embRACE soon inspired likeminded chapters across Mission Brazil, which now function autonomously, adapting to local realities to promote social justice and equity.
Champions of Career Enhancement for EFMs (CCE-EFM), Timothy Stufft
Eligible Family Member Tim Stufft is an engineer and company vice president who has worked tirelessly to connect his fellow EFMs with remote, private-sector work opportunities in the fields of engineering and defense technology. While posted in Chisinau, he also founded a co-working group for mutual support among EFMs working remotely. His efforts have positively impacted perceptions about the work opportunities for EFMs as they accompany foreign affairs personnel at posts around the world.
Lesley Dorman Award, Cathy Salvaterra
With her husband and three daughters, Cathy served overseas during 17 consecutive years, working as a CLO Coordinator, ESL teacher and human resources professional. In DC, she served as the CLO Program Coordinator at GCLO. Upon her retirement in 2003, she became SOSA Chair for AAFSW, establishing first-time SOPs for the program and spearheading the on-line SOSA history project written by Sarah Genton. Since 2004, she has been a key volunteer for AAFSW’s Art and Book Fair, working every week to price donated books and staff the Book Room, as well as volunteering for the annual event.