A Look at the Four Finalists of the 2016 Aurora Prize

During the Aurora Prize weekend, four extraordinary individuals were honored as finalists for the inaugural award. Their work demonstrates courage, tenacity, compassion and altruism, reminding us all that individuals are capable of making a profound impact on humanity.
05/05/2016 02:38 pm ET Updated May 06, 2017

Last month, George Clooney and I traveled to Armenia to mark the inaugural presentation of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a new humanitarian award born of 100 LIVES. Representing our organization, Not on Our Watch, George and I have partnered with 100 LIVES for the past year, working jointly to raise awareness of mass atrocities around the world and recognize those who stand up against them.

During the Aurora Prize weekend, four extraordinary individuals were honored as finalists for the inaugural award. Their work demonstrates courage, tenacity, compassion and altruism, reminding us all that individuals are capable of making a profound impact on humanity.

We invite you to take a closer look at their unique stories.

Syeda Ghulam Fatima, General Secretary of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (Finalist)

Syeda has worked tirelessly to liberate thousands of Pakistani workers from bonded labor, one of the last remaining forms of modern slavery. Thanks to her efforts, thousands of workers have been liberated, including 21,000 children.

Father Bernard Kinvi, Bossemptele, Central African Republic (Finalist)
Father Kinvi is a Catholic Priest who has provided refuge and health services to those on both sides of the civil war in the Central African Republic. Through his mission in Bossemptele, he has saved hundreds from persecution and death.

Dr. Tom Catena, Mother of Mercy Hospital (Finalist)
Dr. Catena is an American physician and the sole doctor of the Mother of Mercy Hospital in rebel-held territory in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Despite several bombings by the Sudanese government, Dr. Catena resides on the hospital grounds, so that he may be on call at all times.


Marguerite "Maggy" Barankitse, Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital, Burundi (Laureate)

Maggy has saved and cared for an estimated 30,000 children during years of civil war in Burundi; in 2008, she opened a hospital that has treated more than 80,000 patients to date. On Sunday, April 24, 2016, Maggy was named the Laureate of the inaugural Aurora Prize.

As the 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate, Maggy received a $100,000 grant and continued the cycle of giving by donating the accompanying $1,000,000 award to organizations that have inspired her work: the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de La Grande-Duchesse du Luxembourg, Fondation Jean-François Peterbroeck (JFP Foundation), and the Fondation Bridderlech Deelen Luxembourg.

These four humanitarians have dedicated their lives to helping those in need, inspiring others to do the same. It is an honor to recognize each of them for their bravery on behalf of the world's most vulnerable.

You can read more about the Aurora Prize finalists here.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a new global humanitarian award which was presented during a weekend of events in Armenia April 22-24. The series aims to recognize the exceptional impact the Prize finalists' actions have had on advancing humanitarian causes, and raise awareness of the weekend's humanitarian discussions, the Aurora Dialogues. For more information, visit www.auroraprize.com.