Rwandan humanitarian nominated for Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award
Rwanda’s Isabelle Kamariza is among the 10 finalists nominated for the Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award, an award that seeks to celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the society.
Kamariza is the president and founder of Solid Africa, a Rwandan charity with a mission to end the food security crisis faced by vulnerable patients in public hospitals.
The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards, presented by Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, are annual cash prizes totalling $250,000 (over Rwf230 million) that recognise the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty.
The grand prize is over Rwf95 million ($100,000) with three additional prizes for over Rwf47 million ($50,000) each, for a total of four prizes.
In 2010, Kamariza chose to ditch her law course to help feed patients in public hospitals around Kigali, inspired by a friend who offered a meal to two patients every day at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).
A year later she founded Solid’Africa which helps social-economic vulnerable patients in the first and second categories of Ubudehe, who cannot afford meals and are either coming from remote areas, or do not have caretakers to bring them food.
From feeding one meal to 20 patients, the number has since grown to 800 vulnerable patients providing them with three nutritious meals daily, across six public hospitals in Kigali.
Besides providing food, the organisation also advocates for patients to improve their daily lives through other small programmes where they provide clean water, hygienic products, buy medicine that Mutuelle de santé does not cater for, and help out with hospital bills and give transport fare back home for those that cannot afford.
Kamariza told The New Times that the nomination is not only an encouragement that they are recognised, but that the cash prize will enable them to feed more people since their target is to feed 1000 patients by the end of this year.
The organization’s goal is to extend their vision to Africa, but first, the whole of Rwanda.
In 2013, Kamariza was awarded Imbuto Foundation’s ‘Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers Awards’ (CYRWA) by the First Lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame, for her outstanding services to the nation.
In 2018, Queen Elizabeth II also honoured Kamariza with the Commonwealth Point of Light award. She became the 55th recipient of this award. In addition to the cash prizes, the four winners will be profiled in editorial pieces that will be featured on the Global Citizen platform and social media.