Eight East African Philanthropists were honored at the 2013 East Africa Philanthropy Awards ceremony held on 25th July at the Sarova White Sands Beach Resort in Mombasa, Kenya. The awards were held on the final day of the East Africa Philanthropy Conference themed ‘Philanthropy and Business’ which sought to uncover the parallels and nexus between philanthropy and Business in social development in East Africa. The eight included individuals and organizations that had through exceptional zeal and efforts positively transformed their immediate communities. The Awards organized by the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) identifies, recognizes and celebrates outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations to strategic social development and to the growth of the philanthropic movement in East Africa. The 2013 East Africa Philanthropy awardees were.
- East Africa Philanthropy Award for Individual Philanthropy
Chris Mburu, Hildeback Education Fund, Kenya Chris has made extra ordinary contribution to the lives of poor children in Kenya. With amazing zeal and through the Hilde Back Education Fund which he founded in the year 2001, he has dedicated time and resources to the education of bright children who would otherwise have no chance of joining Secondary School. After experiencing poverty as a child and solely relying on a Swedish sponsor, Chris became successful and decided that through the Small Act of support from Hilde Back, he will also provide much needed educational support to needy children in Kenya. The story of Chris Mburu has been captured well in the ‘A Small Act’ documentary.
- East Africa Philanthropy Award for Corporate Philanthropy
Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation, Kenya Having been established in 2010 as a channel through which the Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital would carry out its CSR projects, the Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation has grown in its services offerings to the public. Through free medical camps, year-long free Medical treatment (at the Githogoro Children’s Clinic).corrective facial surgeries(in partnership with Smile Train) and other relevant partnerships and campaigns, the Foundation filled a gap in the health sector at a time when the need for adequate healthcare especially for children was not readily available. Through partnerships with institutions in the profit and non-profit sectors, it continues to promote and improve access to quality healthcare in the region effectively embodying the fact that corporate institutions through unique shared strategies and policies can indeed achieve more social returns in the communities around them.
- East Africa Philanthropy Awards for Community Philanthropy
JBFC, Tanzania The Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children in Mwanza Tanzania is a community centre founded and run by Chris Gates. As a young boy with a desire to see the wild of Tanzania, Chris Gates was taken aback when he finally got a chance as a missionary to visit the country. The numbers of young orphaned girls on the streets inspired him to set up a rescue centre that would later become a Foundation catering for their immediate needs i.e. Food, Shelter, clothing and education. Currently a home to 43 orphaned girls, the JBFC community is keeping itself sustainable through a restaurant that also trains the girls on culinary skills, a primary school which was amongst the best performers in the region and a farm.
- East Africa Philanthropy Award for Youth Philanthropy
Sitawa Wafula, Kenya She had to quit her Actuarial Science degree course at the University of Nairobi, survived rape, a suicide attempt and was diagnosed with mental disorder, and now she is stronger than ever. She is the Mental Health Ambassador Kenya and through online spaces, Sitawa Wafula regularly hosts online discussions around the challenges facing those with mental health issues. She is also a renowned poetess performing regularly to different audiences and sharing messages on different social issues through her articulate spoken words. Regularly posting on her blog (www.sitawa.blogspot.com) articles on the different social causes and campaigns that she supports, Sitawa offers comfort to others in similar situations effectively providing them with an online ‘shoulder to lean on’. Sitawa Wafula embodying the title slacktivist is indeed more than the title would render.
- East Africa Philanthropy Award for Community Philanthropy
Robinah K. Nanyunja, Pilot International, Uganda Robinah K. Nanyunja is an Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and an advocate of Green Politics. She is the Founder, President & CEO of Pilot International whose vision is to promote global sustainable development for the benefit of humanity and the planet. Through Pilot International Robinah has provided a global platform to promote the production of green economies by engaging world leaders in clean and renewable energy and other sustainable innovations. Furthermore, she launched the Green Party- a political outfit- that seeks to champion for Green economies and policies.
- East Africa Philanthropy Awards for Social Entrepreneurship
Josephine Kizza Aliddeki, St. Jude Family Projects, Uganda From a very humble beginning Josephine Kizza Alidekki is now impacting and transforming many lives of people in Uganda, through the St.Jude Family Project in Masaka. Set up to improve household incomes, crop yields, household food security and diet, St. Jude teaches the most vulnerable groups in the society ways of improving family subsistence farming and diet. Working mainly with rural families, many of who are supporting orphans, and youth groups, St. Jude targets groups in areas where farming techniques are poor and soils are depleted, especially in its immediate vicinity. St. Jude trains many groups of local farmers who then become part of the St. Jude Farmers Association. At the farm, rural farmers experience modern scientific integrated organic agriculture and low-cost, environmentally sustainable innovations that increase productivity. Using her skills to ensure sustainability of the environment, Josephine Kizza Aliddeki is also providing knowledge and a source of income to her community members through organic agriculture.
- Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award
Dr. Manu Chandaria, Kenya Having convinced his father to give back to the society in 1950, Dr. Manu Chandaria has since continued in efforts at promoting access to better healthcare, better education, better corporate responsiveness to disasters and environmentally conscious commercial activities. Steered the Chandaria Foundation, the organisation has been keen to respond to changing dynamics in social needs and at a time when the country needs better equipped graduates and hospitals, through partnerships with Kenyatta University, USIU, Nairobi University and The Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital the foundation is ensuring that these needs are adequately met and satisfied. His overall approach to Philanthropy is also inspiring speaking volumes of his intent and passion towards continued social development of the East African society.
- Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award
Dr. Reginald Mengi, Tanzania Twice nominated for the Most Respected CEO in East Africa, Reginald Mengi is one of Africa’s leading and most influential businessmen. As owner and Executive Chairman of Tanzania’s IPP Media Group, he pioneered Corporate Social Responsibility in Tanzania by contributing his time and resources to worthy causes. Best known for sponsoring children to undergo lifesaving heart surgeries in India, Reginald Mengi has also consistently taken part in setting up development projects which focus on people with disabilities and has been equally vocal against discrimination of such disabled persons. In 1987, he initiated and funded a campaign to reforest Mount Kilimanjaro and to date over twenty four million trees have been planted on the slopes of the mountain, effectively reducing the effects global warming had on the snow peaked mountain. Through his immense wealth and influence Dr. Mengi continues to influence policy that supports positive social development in Tanzania. We, at EAAG continue to encourage acts of generosity throughout East Africa driven by a desire for sustainable and equitable socio-economic development. We congratulate the awardees and encourage them to keep on keeping on.