2018 AANF Humanitarian Award
The Assyrian American National Federation Humanitarian Award was established to recognize extraordinary Assyrian leaders who have made outstanding contributions locally or internationally to humanitarian causes.
MOTHER OLGA OF THE SACRED HEART
It is our great honor to present the AANF Humanitarian Award to Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, founder and mother servant of Daughters of Mary of Nazareth. Mother Olga was born and raised in Iraq, where she lived through four wars. In 1993, as a young lay woman, she started a lay movement called Love Your Neighbor, through which she invited young men and women from Christian and Muslim communities to be a part of this community to serve the needs of the poor in Iraq. In 1995, she established the order of Marth Maryam Sisters - Missionaries of the Virgin Mary, the first order for Religious Sisters in the Assyrian Church of the East in 700 years. In her homeland, Mother Olga was involved in pastoral ministry for college students and youth in parishes throughout Iraq. She also served prisoners, the homeless, the elderly, and the handicapped of war for many years.
She came to the United States in 2001 for her studies, where she has continued to serve vulnerable communities. In 2005, she was received into the Roman Catholic Church. She has received a number of prestigious awards over the years, including the Iraqi Government's Humanitarian Award.
Mother Olga's efforts to build bridges among war-torn communities and heal wounds that keep us divided are inspiring and have had a tremendous impact worldwide.