Doctor and educator dedicated to refugees, honored at the 2nd award ceremony;
Now all countries around the world must follow suit to solve the refugee crisis
Feb 4, 2017
Two peace messengers who gave life and hope to refugees throughout the world, were jointly awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize. The Sunhak Committee (Chaired by Dr. Il Sik Hong) awarded the 2nd Sunhak Peace Prize to Dr. Gino Strada of Italy and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of Afghanistan, at the awards ceremony held yesterday at the Jamsil Lotte Hotel World in Seoul, Korea. The Sunhak Peace Prize was enacted as a proposal by the founder of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, to realize the ideals set forth by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who emphasized that global peace must be achieved through true love. The inaugural award was given in 2015, to Dr. Modadugu Gupta of India, who contributed to the resolution of the food crisis, and President Anote Tong of Kiribati, who strove to cope with climate change.
This year's laureate, Dr. Strada, founded EMERGENCY, an international humanitarian medical group in 1994, helping over 8 million lives by providing medical relief in conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa. In his Acceptance Speech he appealed, "Renouncing the logic of war and practicing fraternity and solidarity is not only desirable but urgently needed if we want the human experiment to continue." Dr. Yakoobi is called "Mother of Education" in Afghanistan. She founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in 1995 with the belief that education is the only solution for the future of refugees, and educated over 13 million. Dr. Yacoobi stated, "When you share love, compassion and wisdom, you provide humanity with an indestructible base for living in peace and harmony that no one can take away."
Today, the refugee crisis is a common human issue facing the whole world. This is also why the Sunhak Committee has focused on the two righteous individuals who have dedicated themselves to solving this crisis. According to UNHCR's 2015 Global Report, 16.12 million refugees have been displaced by war and persecution around the world. Unlike the rapidly increasing numbers of refugees around the world, their presence is increasingly shrinking. The majority of them have not even been properly given refugee status. Recently, many developed countries in Europe and elsewhere, have refrained from letting refugees enter their borders because of risks to national security and employment. The United States, which held a lenient stance on immigrants, has also began locking its doors. As President Donald Trump fired an anti-refugee administrative order, more than 50,000 Syrian refugees and 26,000 Somali refugees have fallen into international misery.
We now live in an era of one global village where the whole world is coming together. How could we dare claim to care for the common fate of mankind, in such a world where our neighbors are suffering as refugees? Committee Chairman, Dr. Il Sik Hong stated in his Welcoming Address, "The international community should make transnational efforts to resolve the refugee crisis for the common good of mankind." The two laureates paved the way for creating solutions to the refugee crisis with incredible courage and devotion. Now the nations of the world must follow suit, transcending borders and races, and embracing all people as one family.