The Denis Hurley Centre has been presented with a prestigious international humanitarian award -The Polish Prize of Sergio Vieira de Mello, at a function in Krakow, Poland.
The award is made in memory of Sergio Vieira de Mello - a Brazilian-born diplomat who worked for the United Nations for more than three decades. He was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002/2003. He was killed in 2003, together with 20 colleagues, in a hotel bombing in Iraq, while working as the Secretary General's special representative in Iraq. It was anticipated that he would have become the next UN Secretary General.
Throughout his career he was deeply involved in humanitarian issues and was a strong supporter of projects and initiatives, which strove towards achieving peace and overcoming international conflict.
The Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation was established in 2007 to honour his vision, memory and ideals. Based in Switzerland, the foundation hosts an annual lecture - the inaugural speaker was Kofi Annan - as well as an annual award given to great humanitarian initiatives across the globe. The award draws attention to the unnoticed efforts made by an individual, group or an organisation having done something special and unique to reconcile people and parties in conflict.
The Denis Hurley Centre is delighted to be the tenth recipient of The Polish Prize of Sergio Vieira de Mello for 2013. The certificate explains that the award is "in recognition of services in advancing the peaceful existence of societies, religions and cultures"
"We are thrilled that the Denis Hurley Centre has been awarded this immense honour," enthuses DHC project co-ordinator, Paddy Kearney.
"We hosted Mr Marcin Kubiak who at that time was Polish Ambassador in Pretoria and now is Deputy Minister of Rural Development in the Polish Cabinet. He visited the Centre with Mr Andrzej Kiepiela, the Honorary Polish Consul in Durban on 8 April 2011. He attentively visited each of the various projects which will be based in the Denis Hurley Centre, and was especially interested in the work the parish is does with the refugee community. The strong neighbourly relations between the Emmanuel Cathedral, and the nearby Juma Masjid Mosque impressed them," explained Kearney. Subsequent to his Durban visit, Mr Kubiak nominated the Denis Hurley Centre for the award.
Fr Stephen Tully, administrator of the Emmanuel Cathedral and Paddy Kearney were invited to Villa Decius in Krakow on 17 October, Poland to receive the award on behalf of the Denis Hurley Centre.
The Denis Hurley Centre still needs funds and resources to complete the building, and to develop its myriad projects and initiatives. For more information about the Denis Hurley Centre, visit their website on
or contactPaddy Kearney on
or Tel: 072806 4417.