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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Universe man honoured by German award

Respected Universe columnist Fr Shay Cullen is to receive a prestigious German human rights award.

Fr Cullen will be presented with the 2017 AK Shalom Award in recognition of his ‘extraordinary commitment in the field of peace and human rights’ through his work for the Preda Foundation – the active social development organisation the 73-year-old Irish Columban missionary priest helped to found in 1974. He has worked for justice and peace in the Philippines since 1969.

He will receive the award on 4th May 2017 in the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.

The prize has been awarded since 1982 to human rights advocates working for peace in the world.

Preda is active in caring for the rescue of abused children from jails, abusers and brothels and giving the victims of abuse a safe home with protection, education, values, formation, affirmation, empowerment and healing therapy and restoring the self-esteem of the victims of abuse and violence.

It takes legal action against child abusers and campaigns for the rights of the child through main stream media and the social media.

The prize will recognise the work of Preda’s 54 staff, social workers, therapists, administrators and public educators in defending human rights and the work for peace.

Preda believes that many acts of violence, conflict and war begin with individuals who have been victimised as children. They may have been victims of violence in words, punishment, by rejection, unwanted or physical or sexually abused. Some of these young people carry the urge and tendency to violence and anger-release buried within their psyche.

The Preda healing process is through dialogue, positive relationships and community education through participation. Preda strives to create a community that listens and learns from victims and gives support, encouragement and healing to victims of violence and abuse.

As previously reported in The Universe, Fr Cullen was also awarded the Mgr Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award last November for his humanitarian work.

The news and writings of Fr Cullen can be found at: www.preda.org.

Picture: Fr Shay Cullen with three girls from the Aeta family who were rescued from abuse and found peace and rehabilitation at the Preda Home for Girls.