The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totaling $250,000 that recognize the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty. The grand prize is $100,000 with three additional prizes at $50,000 each, for a total of four prizes. The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, and in 2020 are supported by the leading US and Australian based cellular medicines company, Mesoblast Ltd and global fund management group Paradice Investment Management Pty Ltd.
“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.
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.
Charlot Magayi, founder and CEO of Mukuru Stoves, 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.Learn More
Koketso Moeti saw the potential of cell phones to amplify the voices of poor women and hold government accountable. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.