YEREVAN — Haypost, Armenia’s national postal operator, will issue a new international postage stamp in June, in cooperation with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. The stamp will feature Doctor Tom Catena, a Catholic missionary from Amsterdam, New York. He was named as Aurora Prize Laureate on May 28, 2017. He has saved thousands of lives as the sole surgeon permanently based in Sudan’s war-ravaged Nuba Mountains where humanitarian aid is restricted. The Aurora Prize, granted by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, is created on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.
This is the second instance of cooperation between Haypost and Aurora. In 2017 the first Aurora-themed postage stamp was issued by Haypost featuring the inaugural Aurora Prize Laureate Marguerite Barankitse setting a tradition of featuring Aurora Prize laureates on Armenia’s international stamps. The release and First Day of Issue ceremony will be part of the 2018 Aurora Prize special events.
The Aurora stamp is also a fundraising stamp. Attached to the first class stamp, valued at 350 AMD, is a donation coupon for 150 AMD. Together, the 500 AMD is equal to approximately US $1.00. Haypost will transfer the 150 AMD donation value to the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. This enables anyone to donate easily to the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.
“Aurora has a mission of transforming Armenia into an international humanitarian hub and spreading the “Gratitude in Action” concept. The tradition of issuing a special postage stamp and sharing it around the globe is an important element of that mission. Through these efforts we expand the Aurora community of supporters and invite everyone to join this movement,” said Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.
“With the successful experience of last year, we are happy to continue our cooperation with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and we are committed to supporting the global humanitarian movement as well as sharing Armenian culture and history with the world. Doctor Tom Catena’s courage and dedication to his work is exceptional and it is worth sharing with everyone possible. We are convinced that this stamp will take these messages across the world,” said Juan Pablo Gechidjian, Managing Director of HayPost Trust Management B.V..
“I am grateful to the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and Haypost. This confirms my commitment to continue my work and raise awareness about each person’s ability to do good in the face of atrocities and dangers that threaten the most helpless. This is also one more opportunity to highlight the plight of the Nuba people,” said Tom Catena.
The postage stamp illustrator is Alla Mingalyova, a member of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative team. It will be issued in 40,000 copies. The First Day ceremony to mark the issue will be held on June in the presence of Tom Catena who will be in Armenia to attend the third annual Aurora Prize events.
The three 2018 Aurora Humanitarians were announced on April 24, 2018, the annual day of remembrance for victims of the Armenian Genocide. One of the Humanitarians will be named as the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate on June 10, 2018 in Armenia. The Laureate will receive US$100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspire their work for a US$1,000,000 award.