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Nicola Galombik (Class III, Seriti) wins Skoll Award

Nicola Galombik and her colleague in Harambee Youth Accelerator, Maryana Iskander, have won the coveted 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

These Skoll awards are made annually to a group of nominated leaders whose  organisations disrupt the status quo, transforming the social landscape and driving large-scale sustainable change. Importantly, the awards are not given as much for what has been achieved in the past, as in light of what the Skoll judges perceive the future potential for impact to be. There could be no greater vote of confidence for Harambee, Nicola and the team.

“These brave entrepreneurs are on the frontlines of solving the world’s most pressing problems,” Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation, is quoted in the media release as saying. “Each social entrepreneur may have a distinct approach, but they all share a relentless pursuit of impact and the desire to create a more just world.”

Nicola and Maryana – who is also a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (she is a Henry Crown Fellow) – share the award this year with deeply impressive fellow social entrepreneurs:

  • Nancy Lublin and Crisis Text Line, a 24/7 mental health helpline that targets under-served communities in the US, UK and Canada;
  • ALI-WA Fellow Bright Simons and his organisation mPedigree, which fights counterfeiting of drugs and agricultural seed across the globe;
  • Gregory Rockson and mPharma, which sets out to address the broken drug supply chain in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and
  • Julie Codua and Thorn, which works with law enforcement globally to defend children from sexual abuse.

Each of their organisations receives $1,5m to help them scale their work. In South African rand terms, this amounts to R21,5m as of the date of publishing – a great boost to the work.

Reflecting on the Skoll award ceremony, Nicola said: “It was great to have Maryana and I introduced by a fellow AGLN member, Jordan Kassalow, who cited our shared aspiration to move from success to significance.

“It was also a moment to reflect and to appreciate that the partnership that Adi [Enthoven], Charles [Luyckx] and I have built in Yellowwoods was an ALI project. Through it we have been able to make Harambee and other social change innovations happen.

“It affirms for us all the power of the ALI and AGLN network, and the good things we can do if we act individually and collectively.”

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