Irish Columban missionary and ucanews.com contributor, Father Shay Cullen, is to receive the 2017 Martin Buber Award in recognition of his internationally acclaimed work on human rights undertaken through the PREDA Foundation which he established in the Philippines in 1974. He will be presented with the award in Kerkrade, in the Netherlands during November, Independent Catholic News reported. Professor Martin Buber was a Jewish philosopher who advocated peace dialogue, mutual recognition of human rights and dignity, and a united Jewish and Arab Palestine. Buber died in 1965, and the prestigious award in his memory was initiated in 2002 with German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher as the inaugural recipient. Since then, recipients have included Queen Silvia of Sweden, President Klaus Johannis of Romania, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and Prince Irene of the Netherlands.
Being chosen for this internationally focused award indicates the reputation and acclaim that Father Cullen's human rights work is attracting internationally. PREDA is active in the rescue and caring of abused children from jails, abusers and brothels and giving victims of abuse a safe home with protection, education, values formation, affirmation, empowerment and healing therapy and restoring their self-esteem. It is engaged in defending human rights and promoting justice for the marginalized. He is a popular international speaker, campaigning advocate, media commentator, and writer. In 2006, he published a book — Passion and Power
— with an introduction by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, and an endorsement by the Hollywood actor and human rights supporter, Martin Sheen. Numerous newspaper articles and television documentaries have reported the success of his work protecting children and campaigning for human rights. Father Cullen has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize by lawmakers in Germany and in Canada, and has received numerous recognition awards in several countries.
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