The founder of the street children village of the FIN Province, Fr Rocky Evangelista, received the Gusi Peace Prize for 2010 on 24 November at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. “Gusi” is a Tagalog term for a prized “antique jar of treasures.” Founded in 2002, the Gusi Peace Prize is a Philippine-based foundation that recognizes “great achievers of the world” who have contributed to world peace through the values enshrined in the acronym “Gusi”: Godliness, Unification, Service, and Internationalism. The Manila-based award aims to approximate the honor and respect of the American Pulitzer or the Norwegian Nobel.
The 19 distinguished awardees for this year come from Belgium (philanthropy), Bulgaria (science), Canada (social services and philanthropy), China (humanitarianism), Ghana (international diplomacy), Germany (organic farming), Greece (economics and leadership), Italy (science), Jamaica (international diplomacy), Norway (science), Paraguay (social justice), Romania (medicine), Sri Lanka (peace process), Sweden (education), Thailand (science and human values), USA (3 for environment and biodiversity, international law enforcement and peace keeping, visual arts and art preservation)), and the Philippines.
The Salesian work with the street children is recognized by the Gusi Peace Prize for bringing peace by “nipping in the bud” the life of violence among the deprived children of the streets. In glittering rites attended by the diplomatic and philanthropic community, Fr Rocky was understandably the most applauded, being the lone Filipino and bringing along the 200 residents of the street children village, all dressed in formal wear fit for the occasion. They sang in four voices for the delegates during the welcome dinner at the Officers Club of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The first to give his short acceptance speech in the huge convention hall packed with about 4,000 people, the founder of an organization for the preservation of rain forests called the Rain Trust Conservation Agreement, the American Mr David Plattner, acknowledged the Salesian awardee, Fr Rocky, in public and declared: “We will be friends for life.”
More Info: GUSI Website