Dr Tom Little receives US Presidential award
On 17 November 2010 President Barack Obama named fifteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. These included Dr Tom Little, one of the ten people who lost their lives in August 2010 while working for CBM partner IAM in Afghanistan.
The USA's highest civilian honour
Dr Tom Little, one of ten people working for International Assistance Mission (IAM) in Afghanistan who lost their lives on August 5 2010, will posthumously receive the US 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Read the statement from the White House.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the United States' highest civilian honour. Previous recipients include six former US Presidents, former Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking and Rosa Parks.
The award will be presented at a White House ceremony in early 2011.
In recognition of dedication
Dr. Tom Little had been working in Afghanistan for 34 years, together with his wife and family. He was an optometrist who stayed in Afghanistan through much of the turmoil, running the NOOR eye care programme that has treated around 5 million Afghans since 1966.
In a news release IAM states:
"...we are very appreciative that the hard work and sacrifice of the Nuristan Eye Camp team has been recognised by so many. We would also like to remember the work of all those who died, particularly Dan Terry who was a very good friend of Tom and had also lived, worked, and raised his family here (in Afghanistan) for over 30 years. While we are delighted that the work of NOOR and Dr Tom Little has been commended, many here still mourn the loss of so many family members and good friends."
Read the IAM news release in full here - www.iam-afghanistan.org.
While all those in humanitarian circles, including CBM, continue to mourn this senseless loss, it is good to know that the efforts of Dr. Tom Little and his colleague - who worked tirelessly to serve those in need in Afghanistan - are being remembered.