Ockenden was one of the first refugee charities to be formed after the Second World War. It was based at Woking in Surrey, England. It provided shelter, training, education and hope for thousands of refugees from around the world, to begin with inside the UK but later at many international camps and villages.
For 60 years Ockenden International has promoted self-reliance among refugees and displaced people, helping them back from war, famine and pestilence in the most remote places on earth.
Their simple objectives as a grant giving organisation are topromote excellence in development programmes and to help NGOs and charities with best practice in self-reliance.
In recent times, Ockenden Internatonal was an operational charity working with displaced people in some of the most difficult and insecure places, long after the TV crews had departed and world headlines disappeared.
Responding to financial challenges and having consulted widely, the Board of Trustees of Ockenden resolved to turn the organisation into a promoter of excellence in development work, rather than as a direct manager of programmes. Following an extraordinary general meeting held in October 2007, measures were put in place to hand over any legacy Ockenden programmes and programme teams to the organisations best suited to advance its work, including Cambodia where its programme is continued by Ockenden's staff operating as a local organisation.
Ockenden International has set off in a completely new direction. It has established an annual prize of £50,000 (Sterling) for excellence in development programmes promoting self-reliance. The first award will be made in February 2013 to a UK based NGO.