Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winners 2021

Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winners 2021

Multimedia from this Release

Waislitz Foundation and Mesoblast logos


Waislitz Global Citizen Award Winner 2021
Bina Shrestha, Co-Founder and Director of Build Up Nepal

Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award Winner 2021
Tania Rosas, Founder and CEO of Fundacion El Origen,

Waislitz Global Citizen Choice Award Winner 2021
Jimmy Pham, Founder and CEO of KOTO

Waislitz Global Citizen COVID-19 Response Award Winner
Dr Abiodun Adereni, Founder & CEO of HelpMum

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 10:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW YORK, Wednesday, August 4, 2021 /3BL Media/-  International advocacy organization Global Citizen and the Waislitz Foundation today recognized Bina Shrestha, Co-Founder and Director of Build Up Nepal, as the 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Award winner. Other award recipients include Tania Rosas, Founder and CEO of Fundacion El Origen, as the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award winner; Jimmy Pham, Founder and CEO of KOTO, as the Waislitz Global Citizen Choice Award winner; and Dr Abiodun Adereni, Founder and CEO of HelpMum as the Waislitz Global Citizen COVID-19 Response 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. The grand prize is $100,000, with three additional prizes at $50,000 each. All applicants were evaluated based on individual merit in five key areas, including: 1) global citizenship, 2) proof of concept, 3) disruption, 4) scalability and 5) adaptability.

Presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, the award is supported by leading U.S. and Australian-based cellular medicine company, Mesoblast Ltd.

Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said: “This year’s Waislitz Global Citizen Award winners are an incredible group of inspiring individuals who persisted in their fight to end extreme poverty despite the challenges presented this year. We are proud to continue our partnership with Alex and the Waislitz Foundation to support grassroots leaders who are directly impacting lives in their communities and around the world. I want to congratulate this year’s winners and we look forward to the continued impact they will make in the years ahead.”

Since 2014, The Waislitz Foundation has committed more than $2 million to the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards and the organization’s efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Alex Waislitz, Founder of the Waislitz Foundation, said: “I am very proud that the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards have grown to become one of the world’s leading philanthropic initiatives recognising and supporting those who are making a real difference towards ending global poverty at a grassroots level. The calibre and quality of this year’s record number of submissions was higher than ever and is especially impressive given the ongoing impact that Covid-19 is having globally. Since the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen initiated these awards in 2014, we have awarded 20 young leaders in 14 countries who are not only changing thousands of lives in their communities for the better but helping inspire us all to follow in their footsteps. My congratulations to all this year’s winners and I look forward to continuing to support the awards for many years to come.”

Bina Shrestha is a female entrepreneur from Nepal. After a tragic earthquake destroyed 800,000 homes across the country and pushed families into debt and poverty, she was inspired to co-found Build Up Nepal, an organization working to make houses safe and affordable for all. Build Up Nepal’s mission to build 200,000 homes by 2030 and disrupt the dirty fired brick industry known for child labour and pollution. Their solution to make eco-friendly bricks from local materials makes houses affordable and creates jobs in poor villages. To date, Build Up Nepal has supported 300 entrepreneurs to build 6000 houses, creating 2900 jobs.

Tania Rosas grew up in La Guajira, Colombia, a region with the highest school dropout rates and poverty in the country. Tania recognized that education was the best way to sustainably support development for at-risk communities. Tania co-founded Fundación El Origen in Colombia and Origin Learning Fund in the USA, and launched a personalized offline learning app O-lab, to help close the digital illiteracy gap in her communities by making digital education accessible. To date, Tania has reached over 50,000 youth through O-lab on accessible on low-cost devices and adaptable to any language and contexts for learners worldwide.

Jimmy Pham grew up as a Vietnamese immigrant in Australia, and upon his return to Vietnam in 1996, was struck by the plight of street kids. Believing that disadvantaged youth deserve the best opportunity to exit poverty, he founded Vietnam’s first social enterprise KOTO, Know One Teach One in 1999. KOTO has grown from a sandwich shop to an award-winning social enterprise that provides internationally-accredited hospitality training and employment to 1000 disadvantaged youth in Vietnam, through a training center and restaurant in Hanoi. 100% of KOTO’s graduates get employment upon graduation and 33% are currently in managerial positions

Dr Abiodun Adereni is a young Nigerian doctor. After witnessing one woman dying every 10 minutes on account of pregnancy, childbirth and the effects of poverty and inequality among women, he decided to found HelpMum. The organisation’s mission is to eradicate maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria. HelpMum uses simple low cost and digital innovations including the HelpMum Vaccination Tracking System, HelpMum Clean Birth Kits and the HelpMum E-Learning Platform. Abiodun renovated a condemned maternity home to launch the HelpMum Digital Health Cafe. With COVID-19, they manufactured and provided HelpMum protective masks to pregnant women, nursing mothers and traditional birth attendants in over 100 remote communities in Nigeria. They also launched the first ever E-learning platform with HelpMum Free Mobile Tablets for traditional birth attendants in remote areas to replace on-site training of traditional birth attendants when it wasn’t possible due to the pandemic.

Previous Waislitz Global Citizen Award winners include: 

Haroon Yasin, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Orenda
Charlotte Magayi, Founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves
Koketso Moeti, Founder and Executive Director of amandla.mobi
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, the 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.

Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ending extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 880 million people.

For more information about the 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards please visit: HERE.


About Global Citizen:

Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues and earn rewards with tickets to concerts, events and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion, affecting the lives of more than 880 million people. For more information, visit GlobalCitizen.org.

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. 

About Mesoblast:

Mesoblast is a world leader in developing allogeneic (off-the-shelf) cellular medicines for the treatment of severe and life-threatening inflammatory conditions. The Company has leveraged its proprietary mesenchymal lineage cell therapy technology platform to establish a broad portfolio of late-stage product candidates which respond to severe inflammation by releasing anti-inflammatory factors that counter and modulate multiple effector arms of the immune system, resulting in significant reduction of the damaging inflammatory process. 

Press Contacts:
Global Citizen:

Caroline Head, media@globalcitizen.org 
Sunshine Sachs on behalf of Global Citizen, GC@sunshinesachs.com