This year’s recipient of the Sargent Shriver Award
for Outstanding Humanitarian Service is John K. Hatch, founder of the non-profit microfinance organization FINCA International. To celebrate his achievements and highlight our community's ongoing commitment to Peace Corps's Third Goal, NPCA hosted a reception and ceremony in his honor on Friday, June 26th.
Among those in attendance were Hatch family members and friends, Rupert Scofield (President of FINCA), Sam Daley-Harris (President and Founder of RESULTS), Timothy Shriver (son of Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver and Chair of Special Olympics International), Senator Harris Wofford, NPCA board members, Group Leaders, Director’s Circle members and NPCA and Peace Corps staff.
Kevin Quigley, president of NPCA, gave a warm
welcoming speech and was followed by NPCA staffer Molly Mattessich, who offered a "sneak peek" of the soon-to-be launched Africa Rural Connect
initiative. Rupert Scofield offered remarks in praise of Hatch and read a letter from Hatch's brother. He was followed by Tim Shriver, who gave an
engaging introduction of Hatch. Shriver touched upon the importance of the
Award and the reasons why it was so fitting that Hatch be honored. He told Hatch,
"You get this award with strings attached. [laughter] He (Hatch) told me he retired. C'mon! Retired! My father left the office for the last time at the age of 89 probably four years after he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimers', still trying to get into the office to write a few more letters to members of Congress in pursuit of a bolder and better peace Corps...so you have no chance of being able to make retirement into a reason for not continue to grow the work you're doing and fulfill the vision that you've brought to life in such a dramatic and powerful way. So if he were here today, he would say that the future would be a heck of a lot better if we followed the example of Dr. John Hatch.
John Hatch, accompanied by his wife and seated beside his 94 year old mother, was visibly honored and pleased with receiving the Award. He spoke fondly of his Peace Corps service, recalling it with a familiarity that made one forget he had served decades, not just years, ago. During the speech, Hatch connected his volunteer service with what he ended up doing for a living: helping the poor and underprivileged gain better access and advantages through means of microcredit and entrepreneurship.
The night ended with an
exclusive screening of “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love,” a recently released
documentary chronicling the musical journey of Senegalese world music star Youssou N'Dour. The film's production company and NPCA’s are partnering to further promote the values of tolerance and mutual understanding.