Sunday, March 30, 2008

International Woman of Achievement Reception

On March 11, US Ambassador Molly Bordonaro presented Dr. Katrine Camilleri with the International Woman of Achievement award at a reception at the Ambassador's residence. This was part of International Women's Week efforts around the world. Dr. Camilleri has been working with the Jesuit Refugee Service as an advocate for the human rights of irregular immigrants. This takes considerable courage here in Malta, because the country gets quite a few people on their way from Africa to Europe and there are very mixed feelings about having to care for them here. The Catholic Church teaches that all people have the right to immigrate and that all countries should welcome them. But teaching and doing are very different things. Dr. Camilleri, in an often unfriendly environment, tries to ensure that all migrants are treated with the dignity every human deserves.

I was asked to give a short talk and chose to talk about the women role models who were influential in my life, just as Dr. Camilleri is influential for many here in Malta and the larger world. I was both delighted and honored to have anything to do with the recognition given Dr. Camilleri. One of the pleasures of the assignment was that I sent my remarks to the women I mentioned--it was nice to let them know how much they mattered to me. Photos: Ambassador Bordonaro and Dr. Camilleri, a view of the gathering while I was talking.

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