Dr Tom Catena,
I hope this mail meets you in high spirits. I am Wadi Ben-Hirki, a 19 year old Nigerian humanitarian. I am the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation, a registered non-profit Organization that helps the less-privileged, victimized and disabled children through our projects: #Street2School which helps to take as many children as we can off the streets and back to school, #GirlsNotWives which fights against female genital mutilation and campaigns for girl-child education and #LITMOW which is an initiative to help the victims of the insurgency in Nigeria.
I read about you on the Aurora Prize website and so, I write to sincerely thank you for inspiring me to do and be better because I have never read about anyone like you. Tears literally ran through my cheeks while reading your story. You have made me realize than one can use whatever they have to touch as many lives as possible. You have sacrificed your life for the sake of helping others live and not just live, but live in good health. The place you have decided to settle in is very insecure and dangerous yet, you still chose to because so many people there need a saviour and that’s who you truly are. Only one in a billion doctors would decide to let go of their comfort in New York and come down to a third-world African country to treat thousands of people who at the end of the day, are unable to pay you for your services.
Thank you for showing the World that true Christianity is not determined by how many times we go to Church or preach to others but determined by how many lives we touch. From your story, I have learned that if I am not wealthy enough to use my resources to help the dis-advantaged, I can use my God-given talent or skill to help them. My sincere prayer is that God will continue to give you the grace to keep doing what you are doing, which is helping the people of Nuba, Sudan. There is really no need to save our planet when we keep making wars and continue to reduce the world’s population. I’m afraid we don’t practice what we preach; love and love is what you are daily showing to the Nuban people of Sudan.
I pray and hope I get to do half as much as you have done for the helpless people of Sudan. I also pray and hope that I get to meet you someday and possibly help you in the little ways I can. Your life has made me realize that a leader isn’t only someone in a position but someone whose attributes and personality are admired and imitated by others. One can indeed be the change he or she wants to see if, and only if, he or she makes a decision and makes conscious efforts towards being that change. You are a gift to this World and I am really glad you have been nominated as an Aurora prize hero. You’ve been able to reach out to many with the little you have and I know fully well that you will do much more with the Aurora prize. God Bless you Sir.