Could you live in a garbage dump? How about living as a refugee? Most likely, your answer is no.
The Opus Prize Foundation, affiliated with The Opus Group, a full-service real estate developer, is awarding a $1-million and two $100,000 prizes to organizations that are making a significant impact on some of today’s most persistent social problems. The winners will be announced in early November.
The 2007 Opus Prize finalists are: Father John Adams, representing SOME (So Others Might Eat), an interfaith non-profit organization that serves the poor and homeless in Washington, D.C.; Brother Stan Goetschalckx, founder and director of AHADI International Institute in Tanzania, which educates refugees (pictured) from the warn-torn countries of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi; and Rev. Norberto Carellar, representing the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, an organization that has enabled squatters living on a sprawling garbage dump in Quezon City, Philippines to create community savings and credit programs, purchase land, build housing and set up waste disposal and water distribution systems.
The Opus Prize winners embody the core values of “Social Entrepreneurship”, “Transformational Leadership”, “Teaching One to Fish”, “Faith That is Lived Each Day”, “Service to Others”, “Unsung Heroes”, and “Dignity of the Human Person”.
'The Opus Prize brings to life a wonderful idea: to identify, recognize and assist outstanding humanitarians--individuals or organizations--who have not been in the limelight, and whose work helps people in need of transforming their own lives,' Victor Nakas, associate vice president for public affairs at Catholic University of America, an Opus Prize Foundation partner, tells MHN. 'What makes it even more special is that the Opus Prize Foundation partners with a university, in this case the Catholic University of America, to engage our student body in this award process so that they can learn from the example of the most outstanding candidates for the prize and be inspired to incorporate service into their own lives.'
'Around the world, individuals and organizations are dedicated to improving the lives of others and giving people hope,' Amy Sunderland, principal advisor of The Opus Prize Foundation, tells MHN. 'The Opus Prize furthers these great humanitarian efforts while also inspiring people to pursue lives of service.'
Past million-dollar winners have included Dr. Zilda Arns Neumann, founder of Pastoral da Crianca, a public health program that works with more than 265,000 volunteers to help poor families in Neumann’s native Brazil; Rev. Trevor Miranda, representing Reach Education Action Programme (REAP), a system of 450 literary centers in India; and Monsignor Richard Albert, representing Helping Hands for the Poor Inc., an organization dedicated to serving the poor in Jamaica.
The Opus Prize is the vision of Gerry Rauenhorst, the company’s founder, who sought to find better ways of conducting business and to set a high standard for corporate social responsibility. Since its inception in 1953, Opus has donated 10 percent of its of pre-tax profits and thousands of volunteer hours to community organizations.
© 2011 The Opus Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.