The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia has nominated the Madagascar-based Missionary Pedro Opeka for the Raoul Wallenberg Prize of the Council of Europe for exceptional humanitarian achievements.
The Ministry believes that Missionary Opeka’s work over the years and his great self-sacrifice make him a worthy candidate for the prize that would significantly help raise awareness of his humanitarian work. The other proposers are Caritas Slovenia, the Missionary Centre of Slovenia and the Radio Ognjišče radio station in addition to the international proposer Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance (Famvin Homeless Alliance) from Rome.
In 1989, Missionary Opeka founded the Akamasoa (“Good Friends”) humanitarian association operating in the suburbs of the capital Antananarivo and in 1994, he set up the Antenne Akamasoa association in Vangaindrano in the south-east of Madagascar. In the 30 years of his work there, he has established more than 18 villages with all the necessary infrastructure. Together with Malagasy volunteers, he has managed to transform the city’s landfill near Antananarivo into a city of hope for more than 25,000 people. The schools built by the two associations currently provide education to 14,000 children. Together with volunteers from both associations, he has already helped more than 500,000 poor Malagasy people.
The Raoul Wallenberg Prize is awarded by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Swedish Government and the Hungarian Parliament. The prize is presented every two years to an individual, a group or an organisation operating within the mission of the Council of Europe to commemorate the achievements of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who protected members of the Jewish community in Budapest in 1944 and 1945. The €10,000 prize will be awarded on 17 January 2022.