An Indian-origin man in South Africa, who founded the internationally-lauded Gift of the Givers Foundation, has been awarded the prestigious Global Citizen Award for his “innovative and visionary” contribution to the global community. Imtiaz Sooliman was honoured at the end of the 10th annual Global Residence and Citizenship Conference in London Friday.
The award consists a specially-made commemorative medal, an award certificate signed by the president of the independent Award Committee and a USD 50,000 monetary prize, of which USD 25,000 is donated to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Commenting on his return to South Africa, he dedicated it to the work being done by NGO’s across the African continent. “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the continent and all that we can do. Being honored with a prestigious award like this means we have the global stamp of approval which helps build faith and confidence in others to support African NGOs in the future,” said Sooliman, who has garnered many national and international awards, including National Orders from the President of South Africa.
Speaking for the organisers, Christian Kalin, said the Global Citizen Award is given each year to an inspirational individual who has made an extraordinary contribution towards improving the global community.
“Sooliman is certainly a worthy recipient of the award as his work is innovative and visionary. He has demonstrated extraordinary courage and commitment, and the work of his foundation has had a significant impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in our global community,” Kalin said.
Since his foundation’s beginnings in August 1992, Sooliman has grown the Gift of the Givers into Africa’s largest disaster relief organisation, raising more than ZAR 2 billion (USD 150 million) in life-saving aid for 42 countries around the world, including war-ravaged states such as Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Bosnia.