Moral Courage Award

MSMT is honouring the courage of the Italians who sheltered escaping PoWs with the launch of its “Moral Courage Award 2018”. The scheme runs in Lucca Province, in co-operation with the Institute for the History of the Resistance and the Contemporary Age, Lucca (ISREC).

Pictured at the press conference on February 21st: centre, with pen, Luca Menesini, president of Lucca Province, next to Andrew Adams of MSMT. Extreme right is Modesto Damiani, who as an 11-year-old, helped together with his family in the escape of a PoW

Operating as a pilot scheme, it will gather nominations from February to May for an award recognising the same display of moral courage and leadership in 2018 as that shown by Italian civilians towards Allied escapers and other fugitives in 1943-45.
There are many definitions of moral courage. The one below is taken from “Moral Courage in Healthcare” by Col. John Murray, published in the Journal of Issues in Nursing:
“Moral courage is a highly esteemed trait displayed by individuals, who, despite adversity and personal risk, decide to act upon their ethical values to help others during difficult ethical dilemmas. These individuals strive to do the right thing, even when others chose a less ethical behaviour, which may include taking no action at all.”
Those nominated for the MSMT award are likely to be people exposing, and fighting against, discrimination in any form; befriending those whom society has excluded; and daring to stand up for fair and transparent dealing in the face of violent corruption. The winning nomination will receive a monetary prize for their project of €2,000 and public recognition through the award ceremony.
It is thanks to the enthusiasm and support of ISREC, the Trust’s Italian partner in the project, that we are able to launch this trial scheme for nominations from Lucca Province. The award will be judged by a panel consisting of an MSMT trustee, a senior MSMT member, the director of ISREC and a representative of each of the Italian charities, Sant’Egidio and the School for Peace. The Prefecture of Lucca Province has also pledged its support.
The nominations will be judged in early July and the award ceremony is planned for September in Lucca.

Andrew Adams, Secretary to the Award Programme

To read Italian press coverage, including an article in La Nazione, go to Premio Coraggio Morale