Applications Have Closed

Announcing the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winners

WAISLITZ GLOBAL CITIZEN AWARD

Peter Njeri

CEO, Mega Gas Alternative Energy

Peter Njeri is a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow, Microsoft #Insider4Good Fellow, Global Affairs Canada grantee, UN, WFP Fellow and the Co-founder of Mega Gas Alternative Energy - A clean-tech startup whose mission is to provide access to clean and affordable cooking energy for low-income families through converting plastic waste into clean cooking gas. Peter grew up in Soweto, where with his family they suffered first-hand the effects of indoor air pollution. Through his patented technology he set out to solve this problem and today he is serving over 10,050 families in Kenya. The Waislitz Global Citizen Award will enable him to serve an extra 5,400 families each month. Peter has a degree in Marketing and a Diploma in Leadership from the University of Cambridge.

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Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award

Esther Kimani

Founder & CEO, FarmerLifeline Technologies

Esther is a 27 year old CEO of FarmerLifeline, a climate agritech trailblazer disrupting Africa’s agricultural sector. With delayed detection of crop pests and diseases destroying over 47% crop yield every farming season, Esther developed the first-ever solar-powered AI-based crop pests and diseases detection devices with a vision to end hunger and extreme poverty for 1 million marginalized smallholder farmers.Her inspiration comes from experiencing farm losses from pests and diseases firsthand as she grew up doing farming on the famous slopes of Aberdare mountains. Her technology has so far impacted 60,000+ farmers in Kenya. This win will enable FarmerLifeline impact 200,000+ farmers as well as launch in Namibia,Uganda,Nigeria and Rwanda.

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Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award

Oluwafunke Adeoye

Founder, Hope Behind Bars Africa

Oluwafunke Adeoye is a Human rights Lawyer from Nigeria. She founded Hope Behind Bars Africa after some personal encounters with the justice system including that of her father’s arrest and detention for a crime he did not commit several years ago. Her organization is closing the justice gap by providing free legal services and direct support to indigent incarcerated individuals while promoting criminal justice reforms through research, evidence-based advocacy, and technology. Over 7,000 incarcerated individuals have benefitted from their interventions. With the award, she plans to fully launch Justicepadi, a tech platform that will revolutionize legal aid in West Africa and also expand their work for justice-involved individuals. 

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Who should win the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award?

Voting opens Friday, June 30 at 9:00am EDT and closes Wednesday, July 5 at 11:59pm EDT

About the Awards

Celebrating its tenth year, The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totaling $300,000 that recognize the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty. The grand prize and two additional prizes are $100,000 each, for a total of three prizes. The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen. The Waislitz foundation exists to create a positive social impact locally and globally through innovative projects that empower individuals to meet their full potential and make a measurable difference to the world.

“Ending extreme poverty is not a choice, it's an obligation. My hope is that it will inspire many thousands of people around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need," Chairman and Founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation, Alex Waislitz.

The Waislitz foundation exists to create a positive social impact locally and globally through innovative projects that empower individuals to meet their full potential and make a measurable difference to the world.

Prize Description

The 2024 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards feature three awards totaling $300,000.

  • $100,000: Waislitz Global Citizen Award (Grand Prize)
  • $100,000: The Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award
  • $100,000: The Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award

In addition to the cash prizes, the three winners will be profiled in editorial pieces that will be featured on the Global Citizen platform and social media.

Evaluation Criteria

All applicants will be evaluated based on individual merit, including the following five key areas:

  • GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: How does the applicant embody and exemplify the values and practices of a Global Citizen?
  • PROOF OF CONCEPT: Does the applicant have a strong proof of concept with at least 1-2 years of impact towards ending extreme poverty?
  • DISRUPTION: Has the applicant created measurable impact in an innovative manner that disrupts the systems that allow for extreme poverty to exist?
  • SCALABILITY: How would this award enable/support the applicant to scale or improve their work?
  • ADAPTABILITY: Can the applicant demonstrate examples of their ability to adapt and evolve to changing conditions? 

The grand prize Waislitz Global Citizen Award will be awarded to an applicant based on the 5 criteria listed above.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award will be awarded to an individual who excels in the “Disruption” criteria.

The Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award will be selected with input from public online voting by the Global Citizen community.

Past Winners

2023

Peter Njeri is a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow, Microsoft #Insider4Good Fellow, Global Affairs Canada grantee, UN, WFP Fellow and the Co-founder of Mega Gas Alternative Energy - A clean-tech startup whose mission is to provide access to clean and affordable cooking energy for low-income families through converting plastic waste into clean cooking gas. Peter grew up in Soweto, where with his family they suffered first-hand the effects of indoor air pollution. Through his patented technology he set out to solve this problem and today he is serving over 10,050 families in Kenya. The Waislitz Global Citizen Award will enable him to serve an extra 5,400 families each month. Peter has a degree in Marketing and a Diploma in Leadership from the University of Cambridge.

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2022

Kristin Kagetsu is one of the co-founders/CEO of Saathi, a social enterprise in India that has an inclusive product and model to address lack of access to menstrual products in a sustainable way. She worked on multiple projects including plastic recycling, waste management & natural product development with MIT Design Lab (D-Lab) in Brazil, Nicaragua, & India.

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2021

Bina Shrestha has developed deep determination and grit to overcome challenges as a female entrepreneur in South Asia. She managed a cleaning company to empower women, when Nepal was hit by an earthquake destroying 800,000 homes, pushing families into debt and poverty.

Bina co-founded Build up Nepal to make houses safe and affordable for all. Their solution to make eco-friendly bricks from local materials makes houses affordable and creates jobs in poor villages. Build up Nepal has supported 300 entrepreneurs to build 6000 houses, creating 2900 jobs. Build up Nepal is on a mission to build 200,000 homes by 2030 and disrupt the dirty fired brick industry known for child labour and pollution.  

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2020

Haroon Yasin founded his first company at the age of 19, setting up slum schools that taught street children. In the nine years since then, he has founded Orenda, which produces a uniquely entertaining digital curriculum that embeds education in the child’s daily life so they can learn better. Their mobile app has now reached over half a million children, and the learning material has been vetted by the Government of Pakistan and broadcast on national television to an audience of over 54 million people across the country, many of whom do not have access to education. 

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2019

Charlot Magayi, founder and CEO of Mukuru Stoves, is an eco-entrepreneur on a mission to eradicate household air pollution in Africa. With over 7 years’ experience in the cookstove industry, Charlot believes in a world where every household is smoke-free and has dedicated her time, skills and knowledge to work towards achieving this dream.

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2018

Koketso Moeti saw the potential of cellphones to amplify the voices of poor women and hold the government accountable. Working to turn every cell phone into an active citizenship tool, Koketso founded amandla.mobi which is now a movement of over 900,000 active citizens across South Africa who campaign against poverty.

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2017

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 18 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.

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2016

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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2015

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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2014

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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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Global Citizen?

Global Citizen is a movement that inspires and empowers millions of people around the world to learn and take action in support of the most critical issues facing humanity. We work with global artists, influencers, and sports figures, to use their voice to create change and achieve our mission of ending extreme poverty. This leads corporate, government, and philanthropic leaders to make commitments in support of achieving the Global Goals. Global Citizen is a powerful social advocacy platform that has inspired real change impacting the lives of more than 1 billion people.

Who is Alex Waislitz?

Alex Waislitz is the founder of the Waislitz Foundation. The Waislitz foundation exists to create a positive social impact locally and globally through innovative projects that empower individuals to meet their full potential and make a measurable difference to the world.

Who is eligible to apply?

Entrants aged eighteen (18) years of age or older from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply for the awards. 

Can I nominate someone for the Awards?

No, applicants must apply for the awards themselves.

Are the awards for organizations as well as individuals?

The awards are for individuals or individual representatives of organizations. The prize will be awarded to an individual, but the money will be allocated to the organization that the individual works for.

Do you only accept non-profits?

No. We accept applications from any individual who is doing impactful work and who has a registered legal entity such as non-profit, for-profit, B-corp, social enterprise, etc.

I have a lot of great ideas, but am just starting out. Am I eligible for the Awards?

We are glad you are passionate about making a difference in the global community. However, these awards are for individuals who have demonstrated impact towards ending extreme poverty over a minimum of 1-2 years.

What does the judging criterion “Global Citizenship” mean?

Please reference the Global Citizen Manifesto

When does the application open? When does it close? 

The application opens for submissions at 9:00AM PST on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 and closes at 10:00AM PST on Monday, June 3rd, 2024.

Can I apply in a language other than English?

Unfortunately, at this time we are only able to accept applications in English.
You are welcome to draft your application in another language and send us a translation. We are judging you on the criteria, not your expression.

What is the evaluation criteria?

Entrants will be evaluated based on individual merit, including the following five (5) key areas

  • GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: How does the applicant embody and exemplify the values and practices of a Global Citizen? (See Global Citizen manifesto)
  • PROOF OF CONCEPT: Does the applicant have a strong proof of concept with at least 1-2 years of impact towards ending extreme poverty? 
  • DISRUPTION: Has the applicant created measurable impact in an innovative manner that disrupts the systems that allow for extreme poverty to exist?
  • SCALABILITY: How would this award enable/support the applicant to scale or improve their work? 
  • ADAPTABILITY: Can the applicant demonstrate examples of their ability to adapt and evolve to changing conditions?

What is the grand prize and how is the winner chosen?

The Waislitz Global Citizen Award grand prize is a cash prize of $100,000 USD. 

Entrants will be evaluated based on individual merit, including the following five (5) key areas

  • GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: How does the applicant embody and exemplify the values and practices of a Global Citizen? (See Global Citizen manifesto)
  • PROOF OF CONCEPT: Does the applicant have a strong proof of concept with at least 1-2 years of impact towards ending extreme poverty? 
  • DISRUPTION: Has the applicant created measurable impact in an innovative manner that disrupts the systems that allow for extreme poverty to exist?
  • SCALABILITY: How would this award enable/support the applicant to scale or improve their work?
  • ADAPTABILITY: Can the applicant demonstrate examples of their ability to adapt and evolve to changing conditions?


The grand prize winner will be selected by the Waislitz Foundation based on the five (5) criteria listed above.

What are the additional prizes and how are the winners chosen?

There are two additional prizes at $100,000 each: the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award, and  the Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award 

Entrants will be evaluated based on individual merit, including the following five (5) key areas:

  • GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: How does the applicant embody and exemplify the values and practices of a Global Citizen? (See Global Citizen manifesto)
  • PROOF OF CONCEPT: Does the applicant have a strong proof of concept with at least 1-2 years of impact towards ending extreme poverty? 
  • DISRUPTION: Has the applicant created measurable impact in an innovative manner that disrupts the systems that allow for extreme poverty to exist?
  • SCALABILITY: How would this award enable/support the applicant to scale or improve their work? 
  • ADAPTABILITY: Can the applicant demonstrate examples of their ability to adapt and evolve to changing conditions?

The Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award will be awarded to an individual who excels in the “Disruption” criteria.

The Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award will be selected with input from public online voting by the Global Citizen community.

What is the judging process?

Applicants will be judged against criteria by a group of judges appointed by Global Citizen.

10 semi-finalists will be selected and notified on or around June 21st, 2024. Those semi-finalists will move forward to a public vote and final round of judging.

From the semi-finalists, 3 winners will be selected by the Waislitz foundation and notified on or around July 16th 2024.

What happens if I am a semi-finalist?

If you are selected as a semi-finalist, we will reach out to you to request a headshot and bio for the public vote. We may also request supplemental financial information.

What weight does the public vote have in determining the Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award winner?

The public vote is a factor in determining the Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award but not the only factor. The winner will be chosen by the Waislitz Foundation taking into account the results of the public vote and the five (5) criteria listed previously. 

When will I find out if I am a winner? 

You will be notified of your application status on or around July 16th, 2024. 

If I am a winner, do I have to spend the award money a certain way? 

No. Any award money is unconditional. However, we do require winners to agree to provide regular written updates to Global Citizen and the Waislitz Foundation on their use of the cash prize.

Where can I ask questions not covered here?

If you have any questions that are not answered on the awards’ information page or in these FAQs, please email youthprize@globalcitizen.org. Regretfully, we will only be able to respond to questions not answered here.

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