YEREVAN—Nominations are open for the 2018 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a global humanitarian award granted by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.
The Aurora Prize is seeking the stories of selfless individuals who demonstrate exceptional courage and commitment, whose work has evidence of significant impact, and who do so at great personal risk.
Each year the Aurora Prize will honor someone who will receive a $100,000 grant, as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspire their work for a $1,000,000 award.
Anyone can nominate a candidate who they believe has risked their life, health, freedom, reputation or livelihood to make an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. Nominations for the 2018 Aurora Prize can be submitted before September 8, 2017 at www.auroraprize.com.
The call-to-nominate was launched at a ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia on 28 May immediately following the presentation of the 2017 Aurora Prize to Dr. Tom Catena, a Catholic missionary from Amsterdam, New York who has saved thousands of lives as the sole doctor permanently based in Sudan’s war-ravaged Nuba Mountains where humanitarian aid is restricted.
Dr. Catena named the African Mission Healthcare Foundation (U.S.), the Catholic Medical Mission Board (U.S.), and Aktion Canchanabury (Germany) as the beneficiaries of the $1 million award.
In 2017, and in 2016—Aurora’s first year—the Aurora Prize Laureate was selected by the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, a group of inspiring individuals dedicated to the principles of humanitarianism and social justice. The Committee includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson; former Foreign Minister of Australia, Gareth Evans; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vartan Gregorian; former UN Special Representative of the Secretary- General on Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani, former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, and actor and philanthropist, George Clooney.
Dr. Catena was congratulated by Marguerite Barankitse, who was awarded the inaugural Aurora Prize in 2016 for her tireless commitment to restoring children’s dignity and hope as the founder of Maison Shalom and the REMA Hospital in Burundi. She said, “The Aurora Prize is so important to keeping hope alive for people around the world, and I am proud to be joined by such a humble and true role model as Dr. Catena. I applaud his selfless efforts in delivering love to all and congratulate him on this esteemed award.”
The Aurora Prize was founded on the principle of Gratitude in Action—those who have been victimized and survived express thanks in a concrete way, by daring to offer help and hope to those in urgent need, and thus initiating a cycle of giving that transforms the saved into saviors. As we begin the search for the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate, we look forward to uncovering and recognizing extraordinary stories of resilience and courage, of thoughtful individuals transforming gratitude to action.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations—Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the IDeA Foundation (Yerevan).