Ambassador of France to South Africa bestowed upon South African Lucinda Evans the award of Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur
On Tuesday 8 March 2016, Ambassador of France to South Africa, HE Elisabeth Barbier, bestowed upon South African Lucinda Evans the award of Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (award of Knight in the Legion of Honour).
The ceremony took place at the Alliance Française in Cape Town.
About Lucinda Evans:
She founded the non-profit organisation Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Xhosa for Heal our Women) women and children’s safehouse programme in August 2008. The NPOs mission is to support and counsel young women who are victims of sexual abuse. Her aim is to be the person that others can rely on for protection and reassurance in the community of Lavender Hill. Even before Philisa Abafazi Bethu and the birth of democracy in South Africa, Evans was involved in social work as the vice president of the Student Representative Council at the College of Cape Town. In 2008, she was the head of a multi-platform operation that mobilised resources to fight against gender violence in the Cape townships. Evans was nominated for a national Woman of the Year award in 2013. Philisa Abafazi Bethu receives volunteers from France and other European countries and in 2012 French Minister Ségolène Royal visited the organisation.
Ambassador Barbier said of Ms Evans: “By awarding you with this distinction, France wishes to acknowledge the role you play in serving your community through your involvement in human rights. You are one of the most prominent actors when it comes to citizen engagement in the Cape and in South Africa as a whole”.
Read the Ambassador’s speech:
About the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur :
The French Legion of Honour celebrates the accomplishments of distinguished individuals, irrespective of sex, social background and nationality. The national order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. It is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). It was first awarded on July 14 1804.
South Africans who have received the Legion of Honour include Ahmed Kathrada, Desmond Tutu, Kader Asmal, Nadine Gordimer, André P Brink and Jay Naidoo.