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Congratulations to the 2015 AfIA Awards Winners!

For 10 years AfIA Awards has honoured excellence in philanthropy. This year's winners show the significant positive impacts individuals, nonprofits and socially conscious businesses make in communities around the world. Learn about all the 2015 finalists below.

Thank you to all our Sponsors!


Dr. Kasereka Lusi


Dr. Kasereka “Jo” Lusi, an orthopedic surgeon who performs much needed operations in the war-torn region of Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo, is also a forceful advocate for women’s rights. “If you assist women and children you have begun to deal with the health of a nation,” he said. In a country where “raping a woman is like nothing,” he added, “we must show women their rights and teach the men.” Lusi believes that “healing is about more than surgery or pills.” He has put that philosophy to work in one of the world’s most troubled countries, devoting four decades to the practice of holistic medicine. Until her death, his partner in that work was his wife Lyn. The two worked in a hospital and in schools in the northeast of the country for many years.
Victor Ochen


Victor Ochen's experience growing up in an IDP camp shaped his desire to be part of the peace building and community development process.  In 2005, he founded AYINET with a desire to mobilize youth and communities to contribute to peace and justice in northern Uganda. Victor, himself a childhood victim of war, and the African Youth Initiative Network, which he founded to work for the healing of trauma and to promote youth leadership, was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Victor was recently awarded the Commonwealth Youth Worker of the Year and Commonwealth Africa Youth Worker of the Year on November 5, 2015 at the Commonwealth headquarters in London, for his outstanding contribution to advancing youth empowerment and development.
Balanding Manneh


Balanding is a committed young leader who is passionate about the welfare of the poor and hungry in communities around the world, he is the President & CEO of a non-profit organization called Rural Impact which is a registered non-profit organization that he started in The Gambia. The organization works to empower women and farmers in rural communities to become food self-sufficient, eradicate hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty in a sustainable way. Rural Impact empowers them to engage in income generating activities by providing them with the needed basic necessities, training them on best farming practices, and encouraging community dialogue on issues relating to hunger, malnutrition and poverty and how they can be tackled sustainably.
Tezra Lutaya


Tezra Lutaya, is the founder Member of Philly Lutaaya Cares. Almost 23 years ago a brave, courageous and young African artist was the first to put a face to HIV/AIDS in Uganda and beyond.  Amidst a climate of deep ostracization of HIV/AIDS victims, he became the first African public figure to openly declare that he had contracted the HIV virus. At a time when the stigma was at it's highest and everyone was shying away from the subject, he made the bold decision to use his last days to push for an open campaign and spread awareness about HIV/AIDs to all of Uganda.
Gloria Muliro


Gloria Muliro Foundation intends to build the capacity of the community and particularly women and children realize their potential by uplifting their lives spiritually, socially, economically in a sustainable way. Gloria Muliro Foundation designs educative programs and activities that suit the unique needs of the community. Facilitating the provision of basic care support through health. Awareness campaigns and health program to facilitate establishment of enterprise development activities in the area of micro– credit and entrepreneurship.
Edmond Duodu Atweri


Edmund Duodu Atweri, a Nurse by profession founded DMAC Foundation (Ghana). His desire was to translate his knowledge of nursing to bring relief to the many women and children to promote their health. This was in response to the pressing need to increase the awareness of the Ghanaian public, decision makers and Government on the impirtance of women, children and other disadvantaged groups, and to actively promote their health through advocacy, training, public education and service delivery to the identified beneficiaries.
Farther Bernard Kinvi


Father Bernard Kinvi is a Catholic priest who directs the hospital at the Catholic mission in Bossemptele, northwestern Central African Republic. When brutal sectarian violence erupted in the country in 2013, Father Kinvi saved the lives of hundreds of besieged Muslims, whom he gathered from their homes and sheltered in the Catholic church. Kinvi spent days searching for Muslim survivors, many of them children, and taking them to the Catholic church for safety. During the course of the conflict, he sheltered hundreds of Muslims in the church, despite repeated death threats from anti-balaka forces.
Marieme Jamme


A regular speaker of Women of the World (WOW), recently named as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2014 by the Africa Business Magazine, and Forbes Magazine, Mariéme Jamme is a Senegalese born-British businesswoman, who ran a technology consultancy business in London, her company Spotone Global Solutions helps International tech companies selling enterprise software solutions, to set a foothold in Africa, Middle East and Asia. Marieme is best known for her role in promoting technology, good governance, transparency and a better education standard in Africa.
Nicholas Opiyo


Nicholas Opiyo, a leading human rights lawyer and founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda, has worked tirelessly since 2005 to defend civil liberties in Uganda, often for free and on behalf of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized. Opiyo has worked on a broad range of critical human rights issues in Uganda, and was a key leader in drafting and advocating for Uganda’s law criminalizing torture. Opiyo has faced verbal attacks and even death threats for defending LGBT rights in Uganda.
Tania Tome


Tomé was selected as Executive Business Director Ecokaya for Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015, launched by President Barack Obama. She  is Best Young Executive Business Leader MZ 2015 by Global Banking and Finance Review Awards 2015. She is a new venture creation and Africa’s new business development expert. She is also an experienced Bank and Investment Professional, with expertise in investment projects, credit, Risk Mitigation, Management, Leadership and reward programs. She is currently the Executive Business and Investments Ecokaya Director, President of Mozambican NGO for Development, Member of National Economy Association.
Vivian Onano


Activist, advocate, leader and United Nations youth advisor – this is Vivian Onano. Her passions are investing in young individuals and fighting for gender equality and government empowerment. Raised in Kisumu of Kenya, Vivian has always had a strong desire to learn and remains dedicated to the importance of education. Vivian is a youth adviser to UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group, a young leader with Women Deliver, a project leader for Africa to point project, and a global youth advocate for Mara Mentors.
Heal Africa


Many of the patients who come to HEAL AFRICA suffer from fistula tears, the result of rape or child birth trauma, and HEAL Africa’s doctors are renowned for their expertise in fistula repair. Women who come to HEAL Africa for medical care receive far more. “We treat her body, but we also give her skills,” Lusi said. Some stay in residence during their recovery. They take part in vocational training, learning skills such as sewing and ceramics, and they are encouraged to sell their crafts. There’s even a classroom and a teacher for small children. The influence of HEAL Africa is felt far beyond the borders of Goma.  The HEAL in HEAL Africa stands for Health, Education, Action and Leadership.
Kids Around the World


Recognizing that children are truly the greatest resource in the world, Kids Around The World, Inc. exists to reach children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help those who work with children. The organization is dedicated to helping children and families who have been affected by war, poverty, illness, and natural disasters and our goal is to reach children around the world with the message of God's love for them.
Village Enterprise


Village Enterprise’s mission is to equip people living in extreme poverty with resources to create sustainable businesses. By increasing incomes and savings in a sustainable way, the rural poor can meet their families’ daily needs and alleviate the poverty their children are experiencing. By meeting their children’s basic needs today and increasing their level of education, future generations will be able to break out of the cycle of poverty.
Bread for Life


Creating sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone. Bread for Life believes; Everyone has the power and potential to transform their life; Regardless of where you were born or what challenges you have faced, you can find your strength and rise; Women living in poverty can find their spark, and release their power on the world.
Girls not Brides


Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 500 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. Stronger together, Girls Not Brides members bring child marriage to global attention, build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage and call for the laws, policies and programmes that will make a difference in the life of millions of girls. Members are based throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
The Mufumi Project


MIFUMI is an international non-government women's rights organisation based in Uganda. MIFUMI's work revolves around protection of women and children experiencing violence and other forms of abuse. MIFUMI believes that if women were empowered they could rise above many of the cultural traditions that hold them back,such as bride price. If women were to realise their full potential, they would be the greatest contributors to development
African Youth Initiatives Network


AYINET works directly with victims of brutalities suffered during the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GoU) hostilities. AYINET focus their work in three critical areas: health and psychosocial rehabilitation for those who have suffered from grave injuries and crimes, engaging people and communities in the transitional justice process, and empowering and training youth in leadership skills.
Project Peanut Butter


Project Peanut Butter (PPB) seeks to advance the treatment of severe malnutrition, the single largest cause of child death in the world today, using effective, locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic foods. This nonprofit is formed to provide needed nutritional and medical support primarily to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.
Cross Cultural Solutions


CCS envisions a world where people value cultures different from their own, are aware of global issues, and are empowered to affect positive change and their mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding.


Youthlinc invests in the service ethic of youth in order to foster individuals in our society who understand local and global needs, and who are deeply committed to work to relieve those needs through personal service, partnership, and good will. Youthlinc creates lifetime humanitarians.
Fircus Circus
Fekat Circus, which in Amharic means “blossoming circus”, was born in 2004 in the outskirts of Addis Ababa out of the initiative of a group of young Ethiopians united by a deep and unique relationship of brotherhood and positive values. They had grown up in a suburb of Addis Ababa and had had the good fortune to be familiarized with circus from a very young age. They shared a common dream: to create a circus with  youngsters who had never imagined to be on a stage in their life.
Child Family Health International


Child Family Health International (CFHI) provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for students and institutions. Our unique model fosters reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities, transforming perspectives about self, healing and global citizenship.
Women Global Empoerment Fund


Women’s Global Empowerment Fund strives to develop programs that produce reductions in poverty and the marginalization of women and their families by providing economic, social and political opportunities for sustainability and self-determination. Investing in women and families, by creating a social network, helps women build livelihoods and address inequality.