The Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award 2012
has been awarded to
The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group
For their humanitarian work in very difficult circumstances and for bringing people together through that work for the betterment of all.
In a letter to Philip Hardaker, Peace Award Committee Convenor Omar Hayat wrote that, “The Trustees felt that the Eye Hospital has been guided by one of the highest forms of humanitarian ideals, that of bringing medical care to an impoverished and politically unstable area.”
After acknowledging the cost of preventable blindness to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the poverty-relieving nature of the work that they do, Omar Hayat continued, “The charity in performing this work has engaged all communities in that area and in doing so, we believe, is helping to find common ground between the different people of that region.”
The Joint Teaching Programmes with the Hadassah and Shaare Zedek Medical Centres in Israeli West Jerusalem have not only permitted the local Palestinian Residents to benefit from outstanding educational opportunities, but have brought them into direct and intimate contact with their Israeli neighbours for over ten years now.
In response to news of the award, Mr Hardaker said, “We have always hoped that – in some small way – this project was helping to facilitate trust and understanding. The Hospital Group is both delighted and humbled to have been awarded this symbolic honour.”