Global Citizen and the Waislitz Foundation Announce the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winners

Aug 8, 2023 8:56 AM ET
Headshots of the Waislitz Global Citizen award winners

Peter Njeri, CEO of Mega Gas Alternative Energy, Announced as Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winner

Esther Kimani, Founder and CEO of FarmerLifeline Technologies, Recognized as Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award Winner

Oluwafunke Adeoye, Founder of Hope Behind Bars Africa, Recognized as Waislitz Global Citizen Choice Award Winner

NEW YORK, MELBOURNE, Australia, NAIROBI, Kenya, and LAGOS, Nigeria, August 8, 2023 /3BL/ - The world’s leading international advocacy organization Global Citizen working to end extreme poverty, and the Waislitz Foundation, a private foundation seeking to create positive social impact, locally and globally, through innovative projects that empower individuals to meet their full potential, today announced Peter Njeri from Kenya as the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Award winner. Other 2023 award recipients are Esther Kimani, also from Kenya, as the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award winner and Oluwafunke Adeoye, from Nigeria, as the Waislitz Global Citizen Choice Award winner.

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 and its systemic causes. The grand prize is $100,000, with two additional prizes at $75,000 each. All applicants were evaluated based on individual merit in five key areas, including: global citizenship, proof of concept, disruption, scalability, and adaptability.

The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, supported by leading U.S. and Australian-based cellular medicines company Mesoblast Ltd, and New York businessman Drew Schaefer. 

“When we first conceived these awards almost 10 years ago we wanted to shine a light on those heroes working at grassroots levels to end global poverty. We also wanted to encourage others to do the same. The awards have grown in stature and participation rates every year and I am proud that we’ve been able to assist so many outstanding and inspirational young champions from around the world to advance their efforts in the fight against global poverty. This year’s winners are no exception and I wholeheartedly congratulate them all. I and the Waislitz Foundation remain committed to supporting and growing these awards for many years to come.” said Alex Waislitz, Chairman and Founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation and recent recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). 

“We congratulate this year's Waislitz Award winners, innovators leading the way in creating solutions the world desperately needs to deal with the challenges of ending extreme poverty” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “The world depends on individuals like these, leaders who are taking immediate action that impacts lives and inspires others to do the same. We are thankful to our partnership with Alex and the Waislitz Foundation who continue to invest in championing our future leaders and supporting global grassroots communities.”

Peter Njeri, from Kenya, is the Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winner. Peter is the CEO of Mega Gas Alternative Energy. Mega Gas Alternative Energy is 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, South Africa, where with his family experienced 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 additional 5,400 families each month. 

Esther Kimani, from Kenya, is the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award Winner. Esther is the CEO of FarmerLifeline Technologies, a climate agritech trailblazer disrupting Africa’s agricultural sector. With delayed detection of crop pests and diseases destroying over 47 per cent 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 farming the slopes of the Aberdare mountains. Her technology has so far impacted over 60,000 farmers in Kenya. The award will enable FarmerLifeline Technologies to impact the lives of over 200,000 farmers, together with launching projects in Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda.

Oluwafunke Adeoye, from Nigeria, is the Waislitz Global Citizen Choice Award Winner. Oluwafunke is a human rights lawyer and the founder of Hope Behind Bars Africa. After experiencing first hand the injustice of the legal system, including that of her father’s arrest and detention for a crime he did not commit several years ago, Oluwafunke founded Hope Behind Bars Africa. Her organization aims to close 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 the organization’s interventions. With the award, Oluwafunke plans to launch Justicepadi, a tech platform that will revolutionize legal aid in West Africa and continue to expand her work for criminal justice.

Since 2014, The Waislitz Foundation has committed almost $2 million to the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards and their efforts to end extreme poverty NOW.

Previous Waislitz Global Citizen Award winners include: 
Kristin Kagetsu, Co-Founder and CEO, Saathi 
Bina Shrestha, Co-Founder Build up Nepal 
Haroon Yasin, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Orenda 
Charlot Magayi, Founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves 
Koketso Moeti, Founder and Executive Director of 
Caitlin Barrett, CEO of Love Mercy Foundation 
Tabitha Mpamira-Kaguri, Founder and Executive Director of EDJA Foundation 
Wilma Rodrigues, Founder, and CEO of Saahas Zero Waste 
Clarisse Uwineza, for her work converting organic waste into fertilizer in Rwanda 
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, Director of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, working to make education more accessible to AIDS orphans in Uganda 
Anoop Jain, Founder of Humanure Power, for his work in rural India building sanitation facilities.

Click here for more information about the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards.

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About Global Citizen: 
Global Citizen is the world’s leading international advocacy organization on a mission to end extreme poverty NOW. Powered by a worldwide community of everyday activists raising their voices and taking action, the movement is amplified by campaigns and events that convene leaders in music, entertainment, public policy, media, philanthropy and the corporate sector. Over the past 10 years, $43.6 billion in commitments announced on Global Citizen platforms has been deployed, impacting nearly 1.3 billion lives. Established in Australia in 2008, Global Citizen’s team operates from New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, Toronto, Johannesburg, Lagos and beyond. Join the movement at, download the Global Citizen app, and follow Global Citizen on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.

About The Waislitz Foundation
After many years of involvement in private philanthropic giving, Australian investor and businessman Alex Waislitz founded the Waislitz Foundation in 2013. The foundation represents a new approach to giving. It aims to invest in, and have a direct social impact on, some of the world’s biggest social problems through active participation in the projects it supports. It aims to improve the quality of people’s lives through innovative initiatives and partnerships.

CONTACT: Global Citizen Inquiries:

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