The NoŽl Foundation
The NoŽl Foundation "Life" Award Honorees
Mother Teresa was called a "Living Saint" during her lifetime for her selfless work serving God and the poorest of the poor. Through the society she founded there are now more than 5,000 religious and countless lay co-workers continuing her legacy of "compassion and love". On the path for the cause for canonization, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II to be "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta."
ĎThe Most Honourableí Lady Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister and served three consecutive terms in office. She was one of the dominant political figures of 20th century Britain, and Thatcherism continues today to have a great influence.
Her Excellency Maria Corazon C. Aquino
Corazon Aquino was sworn into office in 1986, becoming the first female president of the Philippines and was subsequently named TIME magazine's Woman of the Year. In a country marred by corruption, human rights violations and political repression she restored democracy, promulgated a new constitution, and served until 1992.
Her Excellency Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988-1990 & 1993-1996). Noted for her compassion, charismatic authority and political astuteness, Benazir Bhutto drove initiatives for Pakistan's economy and national security, and implemented social capitalist policies for industrial development and growth.
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland
Gro Harlem Brundtland served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway in the 1980s and í90s and later was Director General of the World Health Organization. A medical doctor and Master of Public Health, in 1983 she became chair of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, which issued Our Common Future, the report that introduced the idea of 'sustainable development' and led to the first Earth Summit.
Her Excellency Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson was the first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; a passionate, forceful advocate for gender equality, womenís participation in peace-building and human dignity. She also formed the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice.
Helen Suzman was a civil rights activist turned politician in her effort to bring about change. She was the only female Member of Parliament & only member to vote to end apartheid in South Africa. She was awarded 27 honorary doctorates from universities and received countless other awards from religious and human rights organizations around the world for her work against apartheid.
Adelaide "Mama" Tambo
Adelaide Tambo, a prominent anti-apartheid activist and human rights campaigner was one of the best known figures in South Africa's liberation struggle against apartheid. Ms. Tambo worked as a nurse for much of her life helping the elderly and disabled children. She became a member of South Africa's democratically elected parliament from 1994 to 1999. In 1997 she was awarded the Order of Simon of Cyrene, for her work for the Anglican Church and disadvantaged communities.
Elizabeth became an AIDS activist after becoming infected through an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth to her daughter. Unknowingly, through breastfeeding the disease was transmitted to her child who subsequently lost her life due to the illness. In an effort to raise awareness she co-founded the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and spurred funding for the development of pediatric AIDS drugs and research.
Dr. Christiane Dosne Pasqualini
Dr. Christiane Pasqualini, highly respected for her research in leukemia & the immunological aspects of cancer organized the Leukemia Experimental Institute of Hematologic Research. Her research to determine the origin of the cancer cell function of the immune system during tumor growth was groundbreaking. Dr. Pasqualini became the first woman to become a member of the National Academy of Medicine in Buenos Aires.
A paraplegic at 23 Marianne won 4 gold medals at the age of 38 in the discus, javelin, shot putt and pentathlon at the Paralympics in Barcelona. She holds 130 national titles in German sports for the handicapped. Today with nine gold Paralympics medals and a number of World and European champion titles to her name, Marianne is an inspiration to millions with disabilities.
Civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger, spurring the Montgomery boycott and other efforts to end segregation. Known as the mother of the modern day civil rights movement, her quiet act of courage and strength changed the course of history. "You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right."
Dharma Master Cheng Yen
As head of a small Buddhist temple in Taiwan, her followers number over four million. Her work and influence through the Tzu Chi Foundation provides disaster relief for victims throughout the world, from sending truckloads of food and clothing to building hospitals, colleges and developing educational, social, and cultural programs for the needy.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
A leader in the worldwide struggle to improve and enhance the lives of individuals with mental retardation for over three decades, Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded Special Olympics, which began in 1968 and attracts more than a million participants every year to competitions in 150 countries and in all 50 states in the United States.
Judge Navanethem Pillay
Judge Pillay was the first non-white woman judge of the High Court of South Africa and served as judge of the International Criminal Court and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Credited with making rape a war crime, she co-founded the Advice Desk for the Abused and ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She contributed to the inclusion in South Africa's Constitution of an equality clause prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation.
Dr. Hadassa Degani
Professor Degani developed a non-invasive method to differentiate between cancerous tumors of the breast and benign tissue based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).This technique helped to reduce the need for invasive biopsy examinations while allowing doctors a better understanding of the efficacy of a specific drug treatment.
Through her work with UNICEF, she used her image and the great interest people had in her to attract world attention to the plight of starving children around the globe. Her fund-raising efforts for UNICEF and work in Ethiopia, the Sudan, El Salvador and Bangladesh became a beacon of hope to children ravaged by famine, draught and civil-war.
Ms. Lansing was the first woman chairman of a major motion picture studio. A former high school teacher Ms. Lansing had a strong belief in the power of education to create lasting social change. She established a foundation dedicated to cancer research, education, art and culture and a program designed to engage retirees in improving the state of public education through targeted volunteerism.
About the Life AwardThe NoŽl Foundation statue "Life" was designed by Wu Hui Ming, a Chinese sculptress from Shanghai. This work of art symbolizes relatives Mary and Elizabeth of The Holy Land, as "women of faith and grace" historically depicted in the "Christmas Narrative" from the Gospel of Luke. The depiction denotes celebrating the fullness of grace for life eternal.
The 15 foot bronze sculpture of the "Mother of Life" statue was originally unveiled at the United Nations on October 01, 1990. The first recipients of the "Life" award were honored at "A Celebration of International Leadership" in conjunction with UNIFEM and the United Nations Children's Summit attended by 70 heads of state. The original statue now resides in the "Visitation Garden" of The NoŽl Foundation at Stonepine in Carmel Valley, California.
Honorees are selected by the International Advisory Board of The NoŽl Foundation. They are amongst the most inspirational leaders in their fields, committed to serving God, community and all life through their courage, compassion, humble perseverance and selfless endeavors.
Interfaith Memorial Service for Benazir Bhutto was held in the Visitation "Life" Garden at Stonepine on June 21, 2008 ( her 55th Birthday).
The Imam, Rabbi and Bishop of Monterey offered moving eulogies to her Sunni and Shiite family gathered from around the globe headed by her son Bilawal and her sister Sunny. Noel lead the prayer service, and with mutual friend Mark Siegel the "Circle of Life" interchange. Benazir was assassinated on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. This memorial service of international family and friends celebrated her life and honored her legacy for peace and good.
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