Nominations have opened for the eighth annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards. The nominations process culminates in a prestigious gala Awards event to be held in Cape Town on 6 November 2014. The Awards were initiated by Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement to acknowledge, celebrate and honour those whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in our country.
Previous awardees include 8-year-old rhino campaigner Afeefah Patel; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; the Ackerman family; Chairperson of the Zip Zap Circus School in Cape Town, Victoria Nel; Traditionalist, environmentalist and community worker Grace Masuku; Alice Wamundiya, a former car guard from Rwanda who established an organisation to provide tertiary education for refugees; and James McGregor for his tireless work over many years to uplift the Westlake community in Cape Town.
Inyathelo Executive Director Shelagh Gastrow says the independent Awards Review Panel is looking for extraordinary people who are actively investing their own financial resources in small or big ways to improve their communities and South Africa - be it through the arts, education, health, environment, human rights, research or other causes. “Philanthropy is dependent on the interest, passion, commitment, generosity and foresight of individuals wanting to make a difference, and our Awards seek to inspire others by recognising the incredible role models amongst us. Individual giving can be the largest source of donor money in South Africa and philanthropists play a critical role in effecting real systemic change through supporting innovative solutions to our many social, environmental and economic problems,” explains Gastrow.
Inyathelo Programme Director Gabrielle Ritchie says they are looking for role models in philanthropy, from all walks of life and communities, in a bid to grow leaders in giving. “The Inyathelo awardees resist any kind of categorisation. They come from the most diverse walks of life, range in age from 8 to 85, and have tremendously varied reasons for why they serve the causes that they do. Some simply say that they saw something that wasn’t right, rolled up their sleeves and set about finding a solution, often in the face of overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. Feeding schemes, health clinics, education programmes, art projects, childcare facilities, community support groups and so many more innovative and remarkable projects have been founded and supported by the Inyathelo Awardees,” says Ritchie.