Washington, D.C. (April 27, 2017) — The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is proud to announce that the 2017 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service will go to Kelly Callahan in recognition of her tireless efforts over 20 years to the eradication of Guinea worm disease and the elimination of blinding trachoma. These two diseases are considered “neglected tropical diseases” and affect the poorest of the poor. NPCA will present the award during the annual Peace Corps Connect conference, August 2-4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.
The eradication of Guinea worm, a preventable incapacitating waterborne disease that was once prevalent in developing countries, was the focus of Kelly’s Peace Corps service. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire from 1996-1998 Kelly witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of Guinea worm disease in the lives of her friends and community members. It was then that Kelly decided to dedicate her life to ensuring that “neglected tropical diseases” were no longer neglected.
After her Peace Corps service and since 1998, Kelly has worked with The Carter Center in several African countries and in Atlanta, Georgia. Since that time Kelly has seen the number of cases of Guinea worm disease drop from an estimated 3.5 million to just 25 in 2016.
“Kelly Callahan deserves this high honor for her impactful public health career. Kelly’s passion, commitment, and knowledge have helped to make the future brighter for millions of the world’s poorest people who suffer from these terrible, but preventable diseases,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.
About the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service
Every year, NPCA recognizes Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) who champion the purpose and vision of the Peace Corps. Named after the founding director of the Peace Corps, the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service is NPCA’s highest award for RPCVs, awarded to those who make a sustained and distinguished contribution to humanitarian causes at home or abroad or are innovative social entrepreneurs whose actions bring significant long-term change. Learn more about NPCA’s awards program and attend the awards ceremony by registering for Peace Corps Connect.
About National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a mission-driven social impact organization that mobilizes over 225,000 individuals and more than 165 affiliate groups to act on their Peace Corps ideals. NPCA advances this mission through three goals: 1) Help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be; 2) Empower members and affiliate groups to thrive; and 3) Amplify the Peace Corps community’s global development impact. To learn more, visit www.PeaceCorpsConnect.org or contact Juliana Essen, Chief Impact Officer at 202-293-7728, extension 13 or firstname.lastname@example.org