We are pleased to announce the first Global Impact Awards took place on Wednesday 16th January 2019 at Tel Aviv Museum and were attended by the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin. The awards were a joint initiative of the Society for International Development (SID) Israel, Walla! News and OLAM.
Hundreds of people came out (on a very stormy night) to acknowledge and pay tribute to the 8 awardees from Israeli and Jewish organisations and/or individuals representing Humanitarian, Social, Technological and Innovative endeavours. Each one, in their own way, creating a positive impact for, and with, some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.
Speaking to Awardees, the President Reuven Rivlin said: “The award you receive today is our, the State of Israel’s, recognition of your important activity and a clear call to others to join forces with you. The combination of Israeli knowledge and technology, alongside Jewish organizations around the world, with their commitment to Tikkun Olam and their desire to cooperate with us, is a solid foundation for generating positive global influence.”
Among the award recipients were Dr. Georgette Bennett, founder of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, and Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura, Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV).
Dr. Bennett, a child of Holocaust survivors and a refugee, was recognised for her ground-breaking work at the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), the USA’s leading interfaith response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Over the past 2 years, MFA has shipped $120 million of relief items to Israeli ports, where they were then transported by the IDF to the Golan Heights and turned over to NGOs in southwest Syria. This effort sustained hospitals and family clinics, equipped a maternity ward, and established a baking facility.
Jean-Claude was recognised for his ground-breaking work at ASYV, a holistic living and learning community in Rwanda modelled after the Israeli youth village Yemin Orde. ASYV provides an education and a home to more than 500 vulnerable Rwandan youth a year. As of 2018, 80% of alumni were enrolled in or had graduated from higher education programs. ASYV partners with numerous Jewish organisations, including American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; hosts Jewish volunteers from around the world; and houses a solar field built by the Israeli company Energiya Global.
You can find out more about the awards, OLAM and the other award winners here.