Thor Heyerdahl was awarded WIF´S environmental prize in 1994. The paddle, as a symbol of his progressive achievements, was created by the famous Norwegian artist Kjell Nupen. Dr Arne Fjørtoft, WIF´s Secretary General presented the prize.

Thor Heyerdahl was awarded WIF´S environmental prize in 1994. The paddle, as a symbol of his progressive achievements, was created by the famous Norwegian artist Kjell Nupen. Dr Arne Fjørtoft, WIF´s Secretary General presented the prize.

History and Achievements

The history of WIF

Listen to Dr. Sandii Lwin (chairperson) talk about WIF's history

Human Rights

  • Established “Democratic Voice of Burma” (short wave radio) and “Freed Nigeria” (short wave radio) in support of human rights and democracy
  • Fact-finding commission on human rights in co-operation with the international Authors Union; Yemen, Nigeria, South Korea, Turkey, and Cuba
  • International Parliamentarian Commission; Burma
  • Right to development (regional Asian project with ESCAP)
  • Conflict resolution in co-operation with UNICEF; Sri Lanka
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Network for human rights and democracy
  • Nobel Prize Laureates footprint park
  • Artists for Peace concerts
  • Nobel Prize Laureate Network in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, Dalai Lama, Ramos Horta and other champions of Democracy and Human Rights
  • SITAMU reconciliation project; Sri Lanka
  • Production of 180 videos and TV programs on human rights for national and international networks

Community Devolopment

  • Communication support to National Smallholder rice project – The Gambia
  • Multimedia agriculture extension program – Syria
  • Small farmers project – Nepal
  • Agricultural Bank education project – Pakistan
  • Mashreq community poject – Jordan
  • Training in rural communication – Sri Lanka
  • Saving & credit schemes for villagers – The Gambia
  • Ruvral poverty alleviation scheme for women – Botswana
  • Development support communication project – Bangladesh
  • Village and community development – Sri Lanka
  • Participatory video training – Bangladesh and Nepal
  • Community development & food production – Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia
  • Motivational videos on poverty reduction in Asia (Frames for change) in cooperation with Asian Development Bank
  • Media for the Disadvantaged in cooperation with Asian Development Bank
  • Established Paradise Farm in support of organic agriculture in Sri Lanka
  • SMART village projects to bridge the digital divide
  • Boats4Life replacing 1700 lost fishing boats after Tsunami in 2005

Women and Development

  • Women’s development through participatory planning and communication Sri Lanka
  • Self employment in small businesses Batswana
  • Awareness project for Atoll women Maldives
  • Participatory video training of tribal women in Nepal
  • Fuel saving cooking stove program The Gambia
  • Leadership training for women Botswana
  • Women and child development Maldives
  • Anti-smoking and Nutrition campaign Maldives
  • Training in vocational skills Mozambique
  • Sexual and reproductive health program The Gambia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kenya
  • Training women for change Botswana
  • Leadership training for women Tanzania, and Sierre Leone
  • Communication support Grameen Bank Bangladesh
  • AIDS awareness projects
  • Women Literacy Projects Bangladesh and Nepal


  • Indigenous food plants program – Kenya
  • Management of water resources – Syria
  • Tree planting & seedling nurseries – Kenya
  • TV quiz and calendar on environmental education – Sri Lanka
  • Production of 230 environmental videos and films for YA TV and international networks
  • Extermination of opium poppy cultivation and crop diversification – Thailand
  • Northern Hill Tribe Project Thailand
  • Forest conservation and tree planting campaign – The Gambia and Sri Lanka
  • Southern region agricultural rehabilitation project – Sudan
  • Community management & water supply project – Bangladesh
  • Rainforest conservation – Brazil
  • Village farm forestry program – Bangladesh
  • National tree plantation campaign – Sri Lanka
  • Social forestry program – Bangladesh
  • Environmental awareness campaign – Nepal
  • Soil conservation – Pakistan
  • Environmental awareness and organic farming – Indonesia
  • Restoration of mangrove forests – Myanmar and The Gambia
  • Protection of Nypa Palms as livelihood project – Myanmar
  • Rescue of endangered orchid species – Myanmar
  • Tree planting projects Africa in cooperation with Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement
  • Solar still water purification project – Somalia

Mass Media

  • Established Young Asia Television (YATV) – 40 million viewers
  • Established International NGO Environmental Consortium
  • Established 18 national media centers in Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America
  • Video and TV production training; The Gambia, Sierra Leone Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia
  • Initiated National TV in Nepal
  • First TV training in Sri Lanka
  • Established communication unit of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh
  • Community radio; Botswana, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  • Created Mandate the Future, the first social Internet project for youth in promotion of sustainable development with 100,000 active grass root participants
  • Distant Education for Public Servants
  • Village PDA for sustainable development
  • Solar Village Radio Towers Nepal and Thailand
  • Internet learning centres
  • Street singers Bangladesh
  • Mobile agricultural theatre Syria and Yemen

Health, nutrition and children

  • Night blindness prevention program in Bangladesh and Nepal (over 10 million beneficiaries) prevented thousands of children from blindness and child mortality due to A-vitamin deficiency
  • Food production program – Syria, Sudan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nepal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Algeria, Jordan and Sri Lanka
  • Awareness creation for AIDS & STD – Maldives, Thailand, The Gambia, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Nepal and Bangladesh
  • Communication training for health workers – Sri Lanka and Nepal
  • Oral rehydration therapy program Nepal, Bangladesh and India
  • Health education – Mozambique and India
  • Community management project on water and sanitation – Bangladesh
  • Caring for growing children – Sri Lanka
  • National social marketing of immunization – Nepal
  • National Diarrhea prevention project – Nepal
  • Street children video project – Brazil
  • Preventive health care – Kenya
  • Child survival project (with UNICEF) – Kenya, Nepal and Bangladesh
  • Education for conflict resolution with 10,000 school and weekly TV programs – Sri Lanka
  • Adolescent communication training for sexual health (with international family health) – The Gambia, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  • Small Farmers project (in cooperation with IFAD) Kenya, Nepal, and Bangladesh
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