About the Awards

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards, are annual cash prizes totaling $200,000. The grand prize is $100,000 with two semi-finalist prizes at $50,000 each. The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen and recognize the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty. “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.

Meet the 2019 Finalists

Nguzo Ogbodo

Hope and Dreams Initiative, Founder and CEO

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Nguzo Ogbodo founded Hope and Dreams Initiative with a mission to help children succeed in life. She provides sanitary napkins for girls in need, so their education isn't compromised, and she builds WASH libraries teaching water & safe hygiene practices to schools & their communities. Nguzo is committed in providing opportunities for children in Nigeria so they can excel.


Qabale Duba

Qabale Duba Foundation, Founder and CEO

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Qabale Duba is the founder of Qabale Duba Foundation, a community-based organization that empowers pastoralist girls and women in Northern Kenya. She works to champion against harmful cultural practices, advocate for safe motherhood, donate sanitary pads to rural school girls and to end extreme poverty through education.


Yogesh Kumar

Even Cargo, Founder and CEO

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Yogesh Kumar is an empathetic achiever in the endeavours of entrepreneurship, founder of Even Cargo, India's first women-only e-commerce logistics company and Delhi OYE (2014). His passion and commitment successfully drive his work towards creating a gender just society.


Ojok Patrick

HIVE Uganda, Co-Founder and Deputy Director

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Ojok Patrick is a physically disabled person and Deputy Director/co-founder HIVE Uganda. He has been practicing beekeeping for over 20 years as his source of livelihood. He is using his experience to empower more people with disability to join beekeeping through HIVE Uganda.


Christian Mwijage

ECOACT Tanzania, Founder and Managing Director

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Christian Mwijage is the founder of ECOACT, a social enterprise that uses a chemical-free technology to transform plastic garbage into durable and long-lasting plastic timbers used for construction as well as furniture making. This initiative helps to preserve forests and further mitigation of climate change while reducing the rate of plastic garbage ending to the ocean.


Kibrom Tseggai

Rahwa, Co-Founder and Director

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For more than two decades, Dr. Tseggai has worked as the only physician in a catchment area of 20,000 people in rural Eritrea. Alongside providing patient-centered care, he supports those who are the most marginalized through Rahwa: a community-based organization that aims to reduce extreme poverty by strengthening reproductive healthcare.


Charlot Magayi

Mukuru Clean Stoves, Founder & CEO

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Charlot is an eco-entrepreneur on a mission to eradicate household air pollution in Africa. With over 5 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.


Anne K Rweyora

Smart Havens Africa Ltd, Managing Director

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In founding Smart Havens Africa, Anne has used her passion to drive change in the world and contribute to Uganda and Africa’s housing sector, especially for low-income women. Her career goal is to create opportunities for women and to change the lives of women living in difficult circumstances and absolute poverty.


Monique Ntumngia

Green Girls Organization, Founder 

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Monique Ntumngia is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about renewable energy and community development. Her work through her NGO Green Girls Organisation has led her to win numerous international awards.


Sarah Lindeire

Tingathe, Executive Director

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Sarah has partnered with the most vulnerable people in the most underserved communities in Malawi since she was 15 teaching vocational and life skills. She believes that the youthful population in Malawi is an opportunity for youth to spearhead sustainable community-centered solutions that build wealth that sticks. 


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Past Winners


Kokesto Moeti, saw the potential of cell phones to amplify the voices of poor women to hold government to account. Working to turn every cell phone into an active citizenship tool, Koketso founded amandla.mobi, a movement of over 200,000 active citizens across South Africa who campaign against poverty.

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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.

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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, 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, 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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