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Meet the finalists

David Auerbach

David Auerbach is a co-founder of Sanergy, a pioneering social enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya which builds healthy, prosperous communities in Africa’s informal settlements by making hygienic sanitation affordable and accessible for everyone, forever. Previously, David co-ran Partnerships at Endeavor, a non-profit that helps high-impact entrepreneurs in the developing world.

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Dysmus Kisilu

Dysmus Kisilu, 29 years, from Kenya is a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow under the first Renewable Energy Track held at the University of California, Davis. The fellowship is an initiative of former American president Barack Obama to identify the next generation of young African leaders impacting their communities. Dysmus is the founder of Solar Freeze, a company that specializes in providing post-harvest solutions for smallholder farmers in East Africa through the use of renewable energy.

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Wilma Rodrigues

Wilma Rodrigues, founder and CEO of Saahas Zero Waste believes in persistence and practicality. Wilma has had a diverse career path – from being a tour guide and German language translator in the eighties, to a business journalist in the nineties, and for the past 16 years a pioneer in the Waste Management Industry. When not at work, Wilma likes to spend her time planting and nurturing trees, making compost and being around family.

Susannah Farr

Susannah Farr is a visionary social entrepreneur and a mother. She holds an MPhil degree from the University of Stellenbosch. Susannah’s active involvement in youth behaviour-change and skills-access led her to pioneering the gold Youth Development Agency (gold-youth) in 2004 of which she is CEO. In striving to build gold-youth’s sustainable scalability, Susannah established gold-enterprises in 2011, a for profit company, 100% owned by gold-youth. Through the gold social enterprise structure, young Africans from disenfranchised communities are being ignited with hope.

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About the Award

The Waislitz Global Citizen Award, an annual cash prize of $100,000 presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, recognizes the excellence of one individual in their work to end extreme poverty.

Recipients are selected based on individual merit in four key areas:

  • GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: How does the nominee embody and exemplify the values and practices of a Global Citizen?
  • IMPACT: What is the nominee’s track record of reducing extreme poverty?
  • INNOVATION: How has the nominee brought new thinking to overcoming the challenge of ending extreme poverty?
  • POTENTIAL: How would this award enable/support the nominee to scale or improve their work? How would the nominee use the funding?

One winner will be invited to New York to attend the Global Citizen Live event on September 18, 2017 at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, where they will receive $100,000. A short video covering the winners’ work will also be shown at the Global Citizen Live event on September 18.

The winner will also receive:

  • Airfare and accommodation in New York to attend 2017 Global Citizen Live, Movement Makers, and the Global Citizen Festival the week of September 18-September 23, for the winner and a guest.
  • The opportunity to participate in the Global Citizen Live Event, an event with the world’s leaders in business, media, technology and culture convene on September 18.
  • Two tickets to the 2017 Global Citizen Festival on September 23, 2017

Past Winners


Clarisse Uwineza

Clarisse Uwineza, whose Environmental Protection and Organics organization focuses on converting organic waste into fertilizer in Rwanda, said that her project will “help reduce waste and empower farmers to produce more food.” Her BIORGOFERT project converts bio-organic waste into an environmentally friendly and clean fertilizer.

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Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, the director of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, won the 2015 prize for his work in making education more accessible to AIDS orphans in Uganda. This includes developing schools but also helping the women - or “grandmothers” as he calls them - who raise these orphans.

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Anoop Jain

Anoop Jain, the founder of Humanure Power, won the 2014 prize for his work in rural India building sanitation facilities. Anoop believes that building toilets addresses the underlying causes of poverty, which affect broader health, social, and economic change desperately needed in India.

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