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World Congress of Families Announces Recipients of 'Natural Family Man and Woman of The Year,' 'Lifetime Achievement' and the 'Familias et Veritas' Awards

Contact: Don Feder, Communications Director, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com; Larry Jacobs, 815-222-2490, media@worldcongress.org or media@profam.org

ROCKFORD, Ill., May 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs today announced the recipients of the Natural Family Man and Woman of the Year Awards for 2014, as well as those receiving the "WCF Lifetime Achievement" and the "Familias et Veritas" (Family and Truth) Awards.  These prizes are presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promoting a greater understanding of the centrality of the "natural family" to a prosperous, stable, and free society and civilization. Visit www.worldcongress.org/WCF/wcf_tnf.htm  for the official definition of the "natural family."

Kevin Andrews of Australia and Theresa Okafor of Nigeria have been selected to receive the 2014 Natural Family Man and Woman of the Year Awards. 

A member of Australia's national parliament since 1991, last year, Andrews became Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services in the Tony Abbott Coalition government. Andrews and his wife, Margaret, have presented at World Congresses from Geneva (1999) to Sydney (2013).

Okafor is the CEO of Life League Nigeria and director of the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage. She organized Nigeria's first pro-family conference in 2009 in Abuja, which was also a World Congress of Families Regional Event, and many conferences since then. She is also the WCF Regional Director in Africa.

In December, nominations for all of the awards including the Natural Family Man and Woman of the Year were made by the Congresses' 43 Partners.  Nominees included leaders, activists, scholars, authors, parliamentarians, lawyers and researchers on four continents. The final selections were made earlier this month by a panel including WCF officers and recipients of the 2013 Awards.

This year, the WCF Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to Christine Vollmer of Venezuela, president and founder of Latin American Alliance for the Family, and Francisco (Kit) Tatad, former Philippines Cabinet Minister and Majority Leader of the Senate.  Both have been involved with World Congress of Families since the 1990s.

The "Familias et Veritas" Awards for building organizations and networks which support the natural family go to Luca Volonte (founder of Novae Terrae Foundation and Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute) and Andrea Minichiello Williams (Founder and CEO of Christian Concern and Director of the Christian Legal Centre).

Presentation of the WCF Awards will take place at a 2014 WCF event to be announced in the near future. 

Winners of the 2013 Natural Family Man and Woman of the year were Ignacio Arsuaga (president of HazteOir and organizer of WCF VI) and Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse (of the Beverly LaHaye Institute of Concerned Women for America).  The 2013 WCF Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Babette Francis (Endravour Forum) and her late husband, Charles Francis.  The 2013 WCF awards were presented in Sydney, Australia at WCF VII, Happy Families, Healthy Economy: A New Vision for National Prosperity and Social Progress, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au.

The World Congress of Families provides sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.  The definition of the "natural family" comes from a working group of the World Congress of Families, crafted in May, 1998, in a Second Century B.C. room in the ancient city of Rome.  It is informed both by the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by the findings of social science.

The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered around the voluntary union of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenant of marriage for the purposes of:

  • satisfying the longings of the human heart to give and receive love;
  • welcoming and ensuring the full physical and emotional development of children;
  • sharing a home that serves as the center for social, educational, economic, and spiritual life;
  • building strong bonds among the generations to pass on a way of life that has transcendent meaning;
  • and extending a hand of compassion to individuals and households whose circumstances fall short of these ideals.

Contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337 or dfeder@worldcongress.org  for more information on World Congress of Families or to schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs or any of the WCF award winners.

What is the Howard Center?  The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (www.profam.org) is located in Rockford, Illinois and is an independent, non-profit research and education center that provides sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.  The Howard Center is the publisher of the journal, "The Family In America" and is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families (WCF) project which is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and inter-faith people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).  The WCF was founded in 1997 by Dr. Allan Carlson, President of The Howard Center.  To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw, Poland (2007) and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009).  World Congress of Families VI was held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.  World Congress of Families VII was held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au.  Visit www.worldcongress.org for more information on World Congress of Families.