Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga ( second right) who is the immediate former Ford Foundation East Africa Representative presents the Champion of Democracy Award plaque given to the KHRC to Mr. Davis Malombe, Deputy Executive Director(centre)and Ms. Atsango Chesoni, KHRC Executive Director, (second left). Also present to receive the award on behalf of KHRC are Ms. Betty Murungi, (right), vice-Chair of KHRC’s Board of Directors and Ms. Judy Ngugi (left), KHRC Finance Director.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has once again been feted for its exemplary work by the Ford Foundation from among hundreds of visionaries that the Foundation supports in the East Africa region. Together with nine other entities, the KHRC was awarded the Ford Foundation Champions of Democracy Award in recognition of vision, courage, commitment and willingness to take risk that are necessary to bring about lasting social change.
The Ford Foundation Champions of Democracy Award was created by the Ford Foundation Eastern Africa office as a one-time special honor that will provide $100,000 grants to 10 extraordinary leaders and their organizations to celebrate five decades of working with people and organizations on the frontlines of social change.
While addressing the award recipients, Maurice Makoloo, Ford Foundation’s East African Regional Representative said, “ You have been selected not only because you are leading innovators in your fields, but because your ideas and programs have the potential to shape national or global outcomes.”
Since the foundation’s work began in Eastern Africa in 1962, the region has witnessed tremendous transformation. Economic opportunities have grown. Stronger institutions are emerging. Good governance is increasingly becoming a reality. There is also an expansion and deepening of democracy and respect for women’s rights which has increased dramatically. These successful 50 years in East Africa, Ford Foundation attributes to the direct result of the partnership between the foundation and visionary partners like the KHRC and the other nine honorees.
“You and our other nine honorees represent the vision, courage, commitment and willingness to take risk that are necessary to bring about lasting social change”, said Mr. Makoloo, adding that, “ We hope that the will open greater opportunity for each of you to promote and advance the breakthrough work you are leading.”
For 75 years, the Ford Foundation has been committed to strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement worldwide. The KHRC echoes the Ford Foundation Eastern Africa office’s sentiment that in deed it is an honour to work with the Ford Foundation and look forward to seeing the KHRC vision grow.