NEWS RELEASE FROM WORLD VISION CANADA
MISSISSAUGA, ON World Vision Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Heroes for Children awards. Each year, World Vision recognizes individuals who have displayed their heart for children, and their extraordinary efforts toward making the world a better place, especially for children.
“I’m delighted to recognize the invaluable contributions of World Vision Canada’s Heroes for Children Award recipients and all they do to serve the world’s most vulnerable children,” said Michael Messenger, President and CEO, World Vision Canada. “Along with our award winners, we are so grateful for our volunteers, sponsors and partners across Canada and their generous support.”
The recipients of this year’s Heroes for Children awards are:
Courage Award: Don Joshua
Don Joshua has volunteered for World Vision Canada for more than 15 years; for many of those years he would come into the office to help every week. His sensitive approach to donor communications and ready smile has made him a valuable part of the office. Don’s dedication has been an inspiration to staff and supporters.
Ken McMillian Memorial Award: Pastor Ed Buller (Heart of Worship International Church)
Pastor Ed Buller and the Heart of Worship International Church family are no strangers to World Vision, having hosted events such as 30 Hour Famine and the Matthew 25 challenge. Pastor Ed also brought the World Vision Global 6k for Water to Winnipeg for the first time and convinced 13 other churches to join, resulting in more than 600 participants raising more than $42,000.
Ruth Roberts Award: Cherie Wai
At just 20 years old, Cherie Wei is a bright young leader with an intense passion for the developing world. A youth ambassador since 2014, she later became the President of the University of Waterloo World Vision Club where she organized numerous fundraising events. Her voice was instrumental in 2018 where she joined the World Vision delegation at the G7 and was a leading advocate for educating girls in crises (the G7 that year culminated in a landmark Government of Canada declaration). Cherie continues to use her voice and network to spread awareness of and engage others in World Vision’s work.
Power of Generosity Award: Maria Martini
The founder and executive director of Food For Famine Society (FFF), a charitable organization based in Langley, BC., Maria Martini was inspired to make a difference after learning how a fortified peanut paste product known as Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) could be used to treat young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. She partnered with a RUTF manufacturer and struck a partnership with World Vision in 2012. In that time, FFF has donated nearly $6 million in RUTF packets. This year, Maria and FFF have committed to donate almost two million more packets to World Vision Canada programs in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Somalia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
Voice for Children Award: Dr. Samantha Nutt
Dr. Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and recognized public speaker. A medical doctor and the founder of the renowned humanitarian organizations War Child Canada and War Child USA, Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the frontline of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan. A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid and foreign policy, Dr. Nutt is one of the most recognized voices in the humanitarian arena. With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited millions of war-affected children globally.