Pomp and color marked celebrations at the inaugural East Africa Philanthropy Awards gala dinner. The desire to identify, recognize and appreciate philanthropists in the region became the zenith of the 3rd East Africa Grantmakers Conference on the evening of 26th July 2012 in Entebbe. Philanthropists who have demonstrated a commitment and contribution to strategic social development and to the growth of the philanthropic spirit in East Africa were honored at the gala dinner. The event was attended by participants at the conference and was witnessed by families, friends and partners of some of the awardees .
As the awardees straddled to the podium one after another to collect their prestigious awards, it was not lost on us that the launch of the awards was part of the implementation of EAAG new strategic plan that recognizes the need to identify role models as a strategy to nurture and grow the spirit of local philanthropy in the region. Further, this will not only stimulate but also contribute to enhancing a culture of organized giving. It is for this reason that in evaluating nominations for the awards, EAAG took a keen interest in the formal structures of giving adopted by nominees. We, at EAAG would on behalf of all East Africans like to congratulate the awardees and encourage them to never tire on their pursuit of better social systems in East Africa.
Feature on Awardees
CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY AWARD 2012
Safaricom Foundation received the Corporate Philanthropy Award for their outstanding contribution to social and economic development in Kenya since establishment in August 2003.
The foundation supports initiatives that provide sustainable solutions to the most pressing social challenges, the foundations’ specific focus areas are Education, Health, Economic Empowerment, Environmental Conservation, Water, Arts and culture and sports besides responding to disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
The Awards jury recognized the efforts the foundation has made in promoting philanthropy among the employees of the mother company, Safaricom Ltd and the communities they work in. The jury singled out for mention the Foundation’s innovative programme s World of a Difference Programme and the Pamoja Scheme that provide a platform for employees to engage in philanthropic work.
FAMILY PHILANTHROPY AWARD 2012
Mully Chilrens Family
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.
MCF currently comprises three homes and three community based institutions and is actively involved in Formal education, vocational training, recreation and sports, spiritual guidance, income generating activities, street outreach programs, phychosocial support programs and community based programs.
MCF annually sponsors over 50 beneficiaries to universities and colleges, with the primary and secondary school run by the organization constantly emerging top in the national examinations.
JURY CHAIRPERSON’S AWARD FOR PHILANTHROPIC EXCELLENCE 2012
Phylis Keino, Lewa Children’s Home
Mrs. Phylis Keino, is the Founder of Lewa Children’s Homes. The Lewa Children’s Home, provides a loving environment, nutritious food, clean water, education and support for abandoned, orphaned or abused children in a family setting. She currently cares for 94 children and another 47 assisted within their respective communities ranging from infant to eighteen years old.
Phylis has willingly and lovingly given over 50 years of her life giving to the forgotten children of Eldoret Town in Kenya.
YOUTH PHILANTHROPY AWARD 2012
Ephantus Maina – Haki Foundation
Awarded the East Africa Philanthropy Award(2012) for Youth in Philanthropy, Ephantus Maina who is the Founder and Executive Director of Haki Foundation is constantly pushing for a change in lifestyles of Kenyans. The change in lifestyle for him is borne out of the need to educate and protect the general public from kidney ailments and promote healthy lifestyles.
At the age of 18 years, Ephantus mobilized his 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. Ephantus has turned a family tragedy into a national remedy.
Maina reckons “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”.
COMMUNITY PHILANTHROPY AWARD 2012
Maasai Girls Education Fund
MGEF provides scholarships from primary school through university to girls who have never enrolled in school, or who would be forced to drop out of school for cultural or economic reasons, and is committed to each student until they have the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce in Kenya. With economic empowerment, the new generation of Maasai women it is believed will end early marriages and circumcision of girls and bring greater literacy, health, and economic well being to future generations.
MGEF also organizes community workshops to address the social customs and cultural beliefs that prevent girls from getting an education.MGEF works in partnership with the Maasai community, including local area chiefs and women advocates for education of girls, to achieve its mission.
JURY CHAIRPERSON’S AWARD FOR PHILANTHROPIC EXCELLENCE 2012
Moving the Goalposts, Kilifi
Low retention in school, early and unwanted pregnancies and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS are malices that trap girls and women based in Kilifi in a cycle of poverty. Moving the Goalposts Kilifi (MTG) uses local and youth centred approaches to tackle these issues ensuring girls’ participation as leaders and decision makers. The project uses football to develop essential life skills – confidence, leadership, self esteem – of vulnerable young women. Football also provides a unique entry point for reproductive health, human rights and economic empowerment initiatives.
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.
- Six East Africa Philanthropists Honoured (eaagblog.wordpress.com)
- My Reflections on the 3rd East Africa Grantmakers Conference – Ephantus Maina (eaagblog.wordpress.com)
- Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) | Women in the World Foundation (womensphilanthropy.typepad.com)