Butterflies’ travels: Giving and receiving new impetus

After receiving the Nansen Refugee Award the three representatives of Butterflies shared their experiences with supporters, other organizations and the media. They raised awareness of their important work and gained invaluable knowledge and ideas.


Butterflies with Blanca Hernandez Oliver, Spain’s Delegate for Gender-based Violence. UNHCR/ A. Serrano/2014

In Madrid, Spain, Gloria Amparo, Maritza Asprilla Cruz and Mery Medina had the opportunity to discuss with Spanish government representatives and representatives from the Norwegian and British embassies. They discussed actions taken to end sexual violence in conflict and views about the future.


Butterflies with Francesca Friz-Prguda, UNHCR Spain Representative and Johan Christopher Vibe, Norwegian Ambassador to Spain. UNHCR/ A. Serrano/2014

The Butterflies also met with UNHCR supporter Elena Anaya. The Spanish actress was impressed by the courageous work of the Butterflies and how they use their own life experiences to help other women in need.


Butterflies with Elena Anaya, actor and UNHCR supporter. UNHCR/ A. Serrano/2014


UNHCR/ A. Serrano/2014





“Their bravery goes beyond words,” Elena said.






In London, the women gave press interviews to the Guardian and NPR. They also visited ‘The Forum’, a charity that works with refugees and immigrants in London.


The Butterflies interviewed by Guardian journalist Clar Ni Chonghaile. UNHCR/ A. Mahecic.

The final stop was Brussels where the women took part in a round table discussion: ‘The Colombian conflict: Views from the ground on forced displacement and SGBV’, followed by a reception with civil society representatives. The women took away many good ideas and best practices, eager to share them with the rest of the network in Buenaventura.

1 family torn apart by war is too many

Learn more about our work with refugees at UNHCR.org