FATHER SHAY CULLEN founder of the People's Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistanace Foundation (PREDA)
Father Shay Cullen, nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other Human Rights Awards, is a Missionary priest from Ireland and a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban and has worked protecting women and children and human rights in the Philippines since 1969.
Born in Dublin, 27 March 1943, educated at Presentation College, Glasthule, Co. Dublin. He completed his college education at St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Ireland and was ordained in April 1969. Sooner later he was assigned to parishes in Zambales and Olongapo City, Subic Bay that year.
His mission for justice and peace is open to people of all faiths. It is based on taking a stand for human rights and protecting the dignity of every person, in particular exploited women and children.
Father Shay Cullen established Preda Foundation in Olongapo city, the Philippines in 1974 to promote human rights, justice and peace. Believing that poverty, violence and child abuse are barriers to peace and give rise to extremism. He strives to eliminate child abuse and promote respect for children's rights. He works for peace by striving to change the unjust economic political and social structures and attitudes that allow such abuse.
The twelve Preda projects (www.preda.org) are to educate for peace, free children from brothels and jails and give them a chance to recover in therapeutic homes and be reintegrated and have a happier life free from jail, brothels, abusers, traffickers, violence and abuse. His team has worked to bring the abusers to justice and has succeeded in the Philippines and in Germany to get convictions. He is a leading world-wide campaigner against trafficking and child and woman abuse. His Preda foundation operates protective therapeutic recovery shelters for the victims.
He has battled the sex Mafia, lived with death threats and survived an assassination attempt. When he uncovered a child prostitution ring selling children to personnel at the US Naval base, Subic Bay he initiated a successful ten year campaign, helped unify a anti-bases coalition to remove the US bases and convert the infrastructure into a commercial manufacturing zone. Over a hundred thousand Filipinos now work at the converted U.S. bases in Clark and Subic.
He has received several human rights awards and has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other human rights awards. He has testified before the US Congress, The Philippine Senate and is a well known speaker and facilitator at numerous other international conferences.
Fr. Shay Cullen is the author of Passion and Power an autobiography, also translated into German. He writes a weekly column in The Manila Times that is published in other newspapers and on-line. He also writes poetry, songs and is a media commentator on the issues of trafficking of women and children and human rights violations.
He speaks fluent Filipino. He began Preda Fair Trade, in 1975, a successful poverty alleviation manufacturing and export project that lift s the poor to a life of dignity. The processing and export of Preda dried mango help thousands of farmers. He oversees twelve major projects at the Foundation including environmental protection and tree planting. With a present professional staff of 89 the projects are expanding. The work is centered in Olongapo City, Zambales but reaches throughout the Philippines and is expanding its services into Mindanao to work for peace and reconciliation and to alleviate poverty.