Building sanitation facilities in rural India. Empowering children orphaned by HIV/AIDs. Making democracy more representative through technology.
These are some of the achievements of past winners of the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards, an annual awards program now entering its fifth year that seeks to champion changemakers in the global fight to end extreme poverty. The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen.
“Ending extreme poverty is not a choice — it's an obligation,” said Alex Waislitz, chairman and founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation. “My hope is that [the awards] will inspire many thousands of people around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need.”
This year’s prize features three awards totaling $200,000, including a grand prize of $100,000 and two semi-finalist prizes of $50,000 each. The awards are open to individuals of organizations around the world committed to ending extreme poverty and its many causes and consequences.
The application process opens April 12 and runs through May 19.
Applicants will be evaluated based on four key areas.
First, applicants will be evaluated to determine if they embody the values of Global Citizen — primarily a commitment to ending extreme poverty in line with the Global Citizen Manifesto.
To make sure the prize money will be used in an effective way, applicants will then be evaluated to determine if they have a proven track record in working to end extreme poverty. Applicants are asked to provide proof of at least one to two years’ worth of impact in communities.
For example, Tabitha Mpamira-Kaguri, the founder of EDJA foundation — an organization working to reform the systems that foster cultures of impunity and sexism throughout sub-Saharan Africa — had secured 25 convictions of rapists in southwest Uganda when she won the 2018 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award.
It’s not just about doing what’s already been done, either, because 796 million people still live in extreme poverty around the world. That’s why applicants will also be judged on how well their concept disrupts the conditions that allow poverty to exist in the first place.
Koketso Moeti, the 2018 winner of the Waislitz Global Citizen Award, recognized that endemic corruption was standing in the way of ending poverty in South Africa. So she decided to help communities engage in civic affairs through technology, and make politics more participatory.
Now, a community of more than 200,000 activists are organizing on her platform.
The final criteria that applicants will be evaluated against is whether the award can be scaled. The United Nations’ Global Goals call for an end to extreme poverty by 2030, and the judges want to make sure that the winner of the prize will be able to scale their work to support this goal in a timely manner.
To learn more about the award program and apply, go here.