Imtiaz Sooliman, director and founder of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, with his Global Citizen medal.

Durban - Pietermaritzburg humanitarian, founder and director of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, Imtiaz Sooliman, received the Global Citizen Award from international advisory firm Henley & Partners, at its 10th annual Global Residence and Citizenship Conference at the Savoy Hotel in London on Friday.

The award is given to people who have made an extraordinary contribution to improving the global community, and Sooliman became the first African to receive this recognition.

A commemorative medal and a monetary prize of about R725 000 was handed to Sooliman, half of which will go to the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees and the balance to a charity of his choice.

“Sooliman has demonstrated extraordinary courage and commitment, and the work of his foundation has had a significant impact on the most vulnerable in the world,” said chairman of Henley & Partners Christian Kalin.

Kalin was referring to Sooliman’s foundation, which has raised and distributed more than R2 billion of aid to millions of people in 42 nations over the past 24 years.

It has also provided medical assistance, equipment and supplies to war-ravaged countries such as Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Bosnia.

A highly appreciative Sooliman paid tribute to the strength and commitment of his team. “This award is also acknowledgement that Africa is not a continent without capabilities,” he said.

Sunday Tribune