East Africa Philanthropists were on 26th July 2012 honored at the Inaugural East Africa Philanthropy Awards ceremony held at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda. The six awardees who included individuals and organizations were honored for their outstanding contribution to strategic social development and to the growth of philanthropy in East Africa.
The East Africa Philanthropy Awards organized by the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) seek to identify, recognize and celebrate the spirit of philanthropy in the region and share the unique richness of the practice in the social and economic development of the region.
The awards were:
The Community Philanthropy Award went to Masaai Girls Education Fund based in Kajiado Kenya for their work in using Education as a tool to change harmful cultural practices prevalent among the Maasai Community such as FGM and early marriages. Apart from providing scholarships to bright but needy girls, they have creatively established community education programmes that target local men and boys. Through this programme the men and boys are educated on social customs and cultural beliefs that hinder girls from receiving education, sustain illiteracy and therefore perpetuate poverty among the Maasai.
The Family Philanthropy Award was awarded to Dr. Charles Mulli, the Founder and CEO of Mully Childrens Family. Dr. Mulli was honoured in recognition of his commitment to rehabilitate street children and transform their lives. He abandoned his successful transport business twenty-three years ago, sold off his possessions and established a rescue centre for street children. To date he has established 3 residential children homes, 4 Community based child care projects and has rehabilitated over 7,000 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). Through his giving, he has integrated diverse approaches towards sustainable humanitarian services and social entrepreneurship to supplement donor funding and ensure sustainable running of the homes.
Safaricom Foundation received the Corporate Philanthropy Award for their outstanding contributions to social development in Kenya and for their efforts in promoting philanthropy among the employees and the communities they work in. The jury commended the Foundation’s innovative approaches in involving the employees of the mother company, Safaricom Ltd in philanthropic activities through the World of a Difference Programme and the Pamoja Scheme.
The Young Philanthropist of the Year Award went to Ephantus Maina of Happy Kidney (HAKI) Foundation Kenya – At the age of 18 years, Ephantus Maina mobilized his 10 friends to participate in a 120 Km walk to raise funds to support a kidney transplant for his ailing mother. For a cumulative journey of 1,200Km, the young lads raised a paltry $650 against a target of $6,500. This was not enough to support their course. His mother died two years later. The now twenty-four year old founded the Happy Kidney Foundation as a response to the death of his mother. HAKI foundation seeks to raise awareness, offer training and provide support services related to kidney and other chronic diseases to the youth and the poor. Ephantus has turned a family tragedy into a national remedy.
The Jury Chairperson Award
The Jury Chairperson Award for Philanthropy went to Mrs. Phyllis Keino of Lewa Children’s Home and Moving the Goal Posts, a girls youth sports and development organization based in Kilifi Kenya.
Mrs. Phyllis Keino, is the Founder of Lewa Children’s Homes. She was recognized for her many years of philanthropic work in her home town of Eldoret. Phyllis has willingly and lovingly given over 50 years of her life giving to the forgotten children of Eldoret Town in Kenya.
Moving the Goal Posts Kilifi was awarded for innovatively using football to promote leadership among young women in a community where women leaders are not valued. By using sport, the organization is bridging the traditional cultural barriers by allowing young women to assume leadership roles in the community.
For EAAG, this marked a great step towards achieving the organizational objective of nurturing and promoting philanthropy in the region. Congratulations are indeed due to all the awardees.