Two doctors became the winners of the "Light of Justice" Award: The awards were presented at the UCU
"I am glad that many people see this award today, for which I thank the founders and organizers. I wish each of you good health and happiness, which no virus will encroach on. My husband would be extremely proud of this award if he were alive. And now it remains a great honor for me and my children," said Iryna Venzhynovych, the laureate's wife, during her inaugural speech.
"For me, the award is a sign of great respect and gratitude not only to my own work but also to my colleagues. This year was difficult. It took away our peace, sleep, rest and thought about it. Unfortunately, he took our colleagues away from us, but taught us to appreciate life, made us pay attention to doctors' work and respect it. In a difficult time, many caring people gave us a helping hand — without them, we would not have survived. These were philanthropists, international organizations, deputies and ordinary people who bought us protective suits. That's why we started calling them guardian angels, which took root well. I am glad that there are more and more such angels, and they are now also in Lviv because you also support and give confidence that we are not alone in this fight," said another laureate Olga Martynenko.
In addition to the winners of the chapter, it also awards a scholarship to students who are a ray of light of Justice. The current scholarship holder was Yulia Bondar, a student of the UCU School of journalism and communications, who has a sensitive heart that guides her along the path of volunteering.
"This scholarship is unexpected for me. I was just doing my job. This proves once again that any small business is important to someone. We volunteers sometimes burn out, and even yesterday, I devalued myself, and today I stand here and understand that any case is noticeable," volunteer Yulia Bondar believes.
This is already the eighth Light of Justice Award Ceremony.
This year, the chapter chose laureates among people who showed moral leadership in the medical field. The award is designed to draw attention to value leadership, the importance of moral principles in leadership, and the popularization of examples of such leadership in Ukrainian society.
Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, the co-founder of the award and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University, stressed the importance of the feat of the laureates and their constant testimony of modesty, selflessness and loyalty to moral principles:
"We once again have the opportunity to enjoy the light of Justice. In this difficult time, we see so many good examples of heroic, hidden posture. Today's award ceremony is being held without members of the chapter of Marta Kolomiets and professor Igor Skochilas, who died from covid. We lost one of the pillars of our university. Doctors like Ivan Venzhynovych and Olga Martynenko have quietly saved thousands of lives.
They are not written about in the newspapers or mentioned to the general public. Therefore, with her distinction, the chapter wants to emphasize that justice manifests itself wherever you are and act. I congratulate the winners and thank you for your example. Let many people follow him, and this award inspires you to continue to be an example, because it, to some extent, obliges you to do so."
In addition to financial support, the winners of the award received a statuette made of crystal, which was made by the master of art glass Stanislav Kadochnikov. It depicts the figure of a man reaching out to the light, symbolizing the desire for the ideals of freedom and justice.
Information about the winners of the "Light of Justice"
Family general practitioner of the Pochayiv Regional Hospital. He was a member of the ambulance team as a general practitioner and infectious diseases specialist. Since the beginning of the pandemic, since April 2020, he has provided medical care to patients with COVID-19. For almost half a year of daily grueling work, not a single patient of his died. The photo of Venzhynovych, which was taken by The Associated Press news agency, among other photos of Ukrainian doctors, was posted on a billboard with the inscription "Thank you for life" as part of the national campaign from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine. On September 30, 2020, at the age of 51, Ivan Venzhinovich's heart stopped beating in the Pochayiv hospital. He died of bilateral pneumonia caused by covid.
The winner of the light of Justice Award for moral, spiritual and ethical leadership is survived by his wife and two children. The award was presented posthumously, it was accepted by the family of Ivan Venzhynovych.
Expert of the Health Department of the Luhansk regional state administration in the direction of "Infectious Diseases", head of the infectious Department of KNP "Rubezhanska Central City Hospital" since 2003. In March 2020, Rubezhanska City Hospital became a hospital base for providing medical care to patients with COVID-19 in the Luhansk region. Even before the first COVID patient was found in Ukraine, in January 2020, Olga Martynenko began training specialists of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Luhansk region and the staff of her department for the pandemic. She performs educational activities among the population of the city and region.
For the first two months, its department was the only one that received COVID-19 patients from all over the Luhansk region. Despite all the difficulties and grueling work, none of the staff of the infectious diseases department left. Olga Martynenko was recognized as the winner of the Light of Justice 2020 award for her moral, spiritual and ethical leadership.
The light of Justice Award was established in 2010 by Ukrainian-born Canadian Anastasia Shkilnyk (died 2014) and Borys Gudzyak, archbishop and Metropolitan of the UGCC of Philadelphia, in honor of Anastasia's father, Dr. Mykhailo Shkilnyk, a lawyer, public and political figure during the liberation movement in Ukraine in 1917-1920. The light of Justice Award Ceremony is organized by the UCU Institute of Leadership and Management.
The decision on the laureate is made by the Chapter:
- Borys Gudziak, Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Metropolitan of Philadelphia, President of the Ukrainian Catholic University;
- Myroslav Marynovych, Ukrainian human rights activist, vice-rector for appointment and mission of the Ukrainian Catholic University;
- Oleksandr Kuzma, head of the development department of the Ukrainian Catholic Educational Foundation (USA);
- Jim Kingham, husband of award founder Anastasia Shkilnik, CEO of J. R. R. Tolkien. E. Kingham;
- Vasyl Myroshnychenko, representative of the Shkilnik family in Ukraine, partner of CFC Big Ideas;
- Renata Roman, member of the Council of the Congress of Ukrainians of Canada, chairman of the Council of the School of Rehabilitation Medicine of UCU.