Nurse from Maidan, Crimean Tatar Leader, Philanthropists from Canada, Polish Bishops and Priests of UGCC Win Omelian Kovch Award 2014
The Omelian Kovch Award was presented on October 26, 2014, in the Lviv Opera House. This award is given for contribution to ecumenical dialogue, dialogue of cultures and peoples, interreligious and interethnic understanding, for charity work and for setting an example of sacrifice and humanism.
The award was established in 2010 by the Committee of the Commemoration of the Blessed Hieromartyr Omelian Kovch.
The winners of this year's Awards are:
Mustafa Dzhemilev is the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, one of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar national movement, human rights activist, a member of the dissident movement, political prisoner, MP of Ukraine, since August 20, 2014, he has been the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Crimean Tatar people. Dzhemilev was convicted seven times for his political views. He spent altogether fifteen years in prison. During the ‘Crimean crisis’ Dzhemilev held the position of inviolability of the borders of Ukraine and did not recognize the referendum. Several streets in different cities in Turkey were named after him.
Maria Matviyiv, a doctor who saved the wounded during the tragic events of the Revolution of Dignity. For over 22 years she has been working as a doctor in Lviv Health Care and Disaster Medicine regional center in the city of Busk, Lviv region. Maria was called “the bravest woman on the planet” for her truly heroic act. On that bloody Thursday, February 20, when the shooting on Instytutska Atreet took place, Maria was saving the lives of the wounded without body armor or any protection, risking her life under sniper bullets, doing her duty. Due to her act, a simple nurse from the city of Busk became an example for millions of people – an example of unselfish love of one’s neighbor, love of one’s country.
Archbishop Józef Michalik, former head of the Polish Bishops' Conference (Poland). As a respected church leader of Poland, he has done a lot for reunification and understanding between the Ukrainian and Polish peoples. When holding the office of the head of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, he fostered the unification activities. On June 28, 2013 in Warsaw, along with Head of the UGCC Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Archbishop Metropolitan of Przemysl-Warsaw Martynyak he signed a declaration of reconciliation between the Polish and Ukrainian peoples.
James Temertey is a philanthropist, and founder of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative (Canada). During the last decade in Ukraine he has implemented a number of projects, including: organized an exhibition of jewelry “Scythian Gold of Ancient Ukraine” at the Royal Museum of. Ontario, released a deluxe edition of Shevchenko’s “Kobzar”, and “Atlas of Mineral Resources of Ukraine” in English, established the Business school of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, funded the projects of the Canadian fund “Children of Chernobyl”, organized a campaign to raise funds for the activities of Ukrainian election observers and assisted to 500 observers during the Orange revolution and the 2004 presidential election, founded the charitable program “Children's Hospital of the Future” in which James Temertey became a member of the Board of Trustees and allocated 1 million to the project. In the USA, he organized an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum titled “Ancient Ukraine: the puzzle of Tripoli culture”. Since May 2010, James Constantine Temertey has been the chairman of the Advisory Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Presbyter Rev. Mykhailo Shevchyshyn (UGCC) led underground retreats for priests and nuns when the UGCC functioned underground. He was engaged in the upbringing of the young children, who were preparing to priesthood or religious life. In Soviet times, he was criminally persecuted. In times of independent Ukraine he was awarded the Order of Kostyantyn Ostrozky for outstanding achievements in the development of social sector, charity and active participation in the implementation of social policy in Ukraine. Fr. Michael affirmed the impregnability of faith of the priests and messianic service as at the time of the Soviet communist regime, when the UGCC was in underground, and at the time of Ukrainian independence – long-years education and spiritual guidance to the future priests.