​Adibekyan Family Foundation for Advancement Supports the Aurora Prize Humanitarian Award


The charitable organisation Adibekyan Family Foundation for Advancement for the second time in a row has become a donor for the global humanitarian award Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity awarded to honour those who make a significant contribution to preserving human life and promoting humanity. This year, the outstanding doctor and missionary Tom Catena became the Aurora Prize laureate.

The Aurora Prize Humanitarian Award was established in 2015 in gratitude to the saviours of the Armenian Genocide survivors and is aimed to continue the global cycle of giving. One of the projects under the initiative is the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, an award given for a significant contribution to preserving human life and promoting humanity.

The charitable organisation Adibekyan Family Foundation for Advancement has been supporting the humanitarian award since its foundation.

This year, Dr. Tom Catena, a Catholic missionary from Amsterdam, New York, USA, became the award laureate. As the sole doctor permanently based in Sudan’s war-ravaged Nuba Mountains, where humanitarian aid is restricted, Dr. Tom Catena has saved thousands of lives. The outstanding doctor will receive a grant of USD 100,000 and the opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by donating the accompanying USD 1,000,000 award to organisations of his choice.

The winner was pronounced on 28 May at the official ceremony in Yerevan. Besides, four other finalists were honoured for their achievements, namely Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, founders of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Somali; Jamila Afghani, Chairperson of the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization in Afghanistan; Muhammad Darwish, a doctor of the field hospital in Madaya, Syria; and Denis Mukwege, a gynecological surgeon and founder of Panzi Hospital, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

This year, 550 people from 66 countries applied for the award. George Clooney, an Academy Award-winning actor, a co-founder of the humanitarian organisations The Sentry and Not On Our Watch, and Co-Chair of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity Selection Committee, and Marguerite Barankitse, a founder of Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital, who saved thousands of children and helped orphans and refugees suffered from the civil war in Burundi, commended the winner.

Gagik Adibekyan, a founder of the charitable organisation Adibekyan Family Foundation for Advancement, comments, “We are glad to be part of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, to render assistance to restoration of justice and support those who devote their lives to help people left with unprotected. People like Marguerite Barankitse and Tom Catena have assumed the heavy burden, not only do they solve problems of the local communities, but also inspire the people around the world. Supporting the initiatives aimed at social development is one of the main objectives for the Adibekyan Family Foundation for Advancement.”


The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is a philanthropic project of Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan. It is the second year of the Initiative, and more than 200 persons and entities have joined the project so far.

The Initiative is an eight-year commitment – from 2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923. It supports and promotes the projects founded by the people who risk their lives to save the most helpless members of the society. This is achieved through the Humanitarian Initiative’s various programmes: the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative.

The inaugural Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity ceremony was held on 24 April 2016 in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Marguerite Barankitse from Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital in Burundi became the first winner of the award.