WASHINGTON (AP) A Roman Catholic activist who has helped provide education to thousands of African refugees displaced by ethnic bloodshed has been awarded a $1 million prize recognizing unsung humanitarians.
The Opus Prize, which honors someone who "combines a driving entrepreneurial spirit with an abiding faith to combat poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and injustice," was given to Brother Constant Goetschalckx.
A member of the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity, a Belgium-based religious order, Goetschalckx runs Ahadi, an education program based in refugee camps in Tanzania. He founded Ahadi, which translates roughly to "promise" in Swahili, a decade ago when refugees fleeing violence in neighboring Rwanda, Congo and Burundi began flooding into Tanzania.
Goetschalckx "is a man who is absolutely and totally committed to the poor of the world," said the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, president of Catholic University, which administered this year's Opus Prize.