Dr Imtiaz Sooliman will be in London this month to receive a prestigious Global Citizen Award on 11 November 2016 from Henley & Partners. This annual award honours an inspirational global citizen who has made an extraordinary contribution towards improving the global community. Dr Sooliman's charity, the Gift of the Givers Foundation will also receive a USD25,000 donation as well as a USD25,000 donation to UNHCR as part of the award.
Imtiaz Ismail Sooliman was born on 7 March 1962 in Potchefstroom in the North-West. He matriculated at Sastri College in Durban in 1978 and went on to qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Natal Medical School in 1984. After that he commenced private practice in Pietermaritzburg in 1986. He then decided to terminate his practice in June 1994 to concentrate fully on Gift of the Givers Foundation (GOTG) which he founded on 6 August 1992.
He then developed GOTG into one of the world's most respectable humanitarian organisations. It is the largest disaster response agency of African origin on the African continent and implements 21 different categories of projects. In it's 24 year history has delivered 1.8 billion Rand of aid to millions of people in 42 countries, including South Africa.
Major achievements through his effort:
• Designed and developed the world's first and only containerised mobile hospital of its kind in 1993, deployed in Bosnia and compared by CNN to any of the best hospitals in Europe.
• Designed the world's first containerised primary health care unit in 1994.
• The first organisation in the history of South Africa to be given R60 million by government to design and roll out 204 000 food parcels.
• Innovated the world's first groundnut-soya high energy and protein supplement (Sibusiso Ready Food Supplement) in 2004, ideal in conditions of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malnutrition, Cancer and various debilitating conditions.
• Developed Africa's largest open source computer lab in 2007 and deployed it in Northbury Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg.
• A special commemorative "Limited Edition" Gift of the Givers stamp was issued by the S.A Post Office in February 2013.
• A book "A Mercy to All" on Dr Imtiaz Sooliman and Gift of the Givers was published in August 2014.
Dr Sooliman has been extensively profiled in multiple media locally and internationally including profiles in CNN's "African Voices" in 2011, eNCA's "Movers and Shakers" in 2013 and SABC 3's "21 Icons" in 2014
He has received 107 individual and organizational awards, recognition and mentions in Parliament. These include 4 Presidential Awards and 7 honorary Doctorates. For the full list visit their website.
GIFT OF THE GIVERS:
Gift of the Givers is the largest disaster response NGO of African origin on the African continent. Having been established on the instruction of a Sufi Sheik, Muhammed Saffer Effendi al Jerrahi (a spiritual teacher) in Istanbul, Turkey, on a Thursday evening, 6 August 1992, Gift of the Givers has delivered life saving aid in the form of Search and Rescue teams, medical personnel, medical equipment, medical supplies, medicines, vaccines, anti-malarial medication, high energy and protein supplements, food and water to millions of people in 42 countries, South Africa included. Commencing as a disaster response agency the organisation now has 21 categories of projects which include bursaries, agricultural self sustainability, water provision, counselling and life skills services, entrepreneurship and job creation, establishment of primary health care clinics and medical support to hospitals, winter warmth and supply of new clothing and shoes, sports development, feeding schemes and food parcel distribution, supply of household and personal hygiene packs, educational support and toy distribution, provision of housing, care of the physically and mentally challenged, orphans and the elderly as some of our diverse activities.
Innovating the world's first and only containerised mobile hospital comprising 28 units, innovating the world's first containerised primary health care unit, innovating the world's first groundnut-soya high energy and protein supplement in the use of severe Malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, TB, Cancer and other debilitating conditions, and establishing Africa's largest Open Source Computer Lab has earned us 107 individual and organisational accolades and awards including 4 Presidential awards. Thus far we have disbursed R1.8 billion in aid to needy individuals and communities in our 24 year history. Our motto is simple: "Best Among People are those who Benefit Mankind" and accordingly we serve ALL people irrespective of race, religion, culture, colour, political affiliation or geographical location, unconditionally.
Established in August 1992 Gift of the Givers Foundation has delivered 1.2 Billion Rand of aid in a 22 year period to 41 countries, South Africa inclusive; millions of people have benefited.
1993 Designed and developed the world's first and largest containerised mobile hospital; deployed in Bosnia; a product of South African technology, described by CNN as comparable to any of the best in Europe; unmatched to this day.
1995 Designed and developed the world's first Containerised Primary Health Care Unit; a product of South African technology; 20 units deployed in South Africa; collectively 3 million patients have been treated in these clinics; project in partnership with the Department of Health.Clinics currently treating 40 000 per month.
1997 Established Gift of the Givers Careline, a telephonic and face to face counselling service; this service TOLL FREE on 0800 786 786.
2002 The first international humanitarian organisation accredited by Proudly South African.
2003 The only charity organisation in the world permitted to land its own plane in Baghdad International Airport after Gulf War 2 and deliver humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.
2003 The only organisation in the history of South Africa to receive sixty million rand from government to roll out 204 000 emergency food parcels in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.
2003 Invited to Parliament and officially thanked by Minister Zola Skweyiya for service to South Africa.
2003 Tim Modise hosts Gift of the Givers on his programme "South Africa's Heroes" on Radio 702.
2003 Supporting Drug Rehab called Minds Alive and established South Africa's first TOLL FREE Drug Crisis Line 0800 786 911.2003 Received Letter of Commendation from Minister of Social Development, Dr. Zola Skweyiya.
2003 The first NGO in the world to respond to the Iran earthquake.
2004 Innovated the world's first ground nut - soya milk High Energy Protein Supplement called Sibusiso Ready Food Supplement.
2004 First agency of African origin to respond to the Darfur crisis in Sudan.
2004 Received Letter of Commendation from Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
2004 First humanitarian organisation to be an official partner with East Coast Radio in the Toy Story Campaign.
2004 The first NGO in the world to respond to Sri Lanka tsunami.
2005 The first NGO in the world to respond to Somalia tsunami.
2005 First humanitarian organisation to be an official partner with East Coast Radio in the Winter Warmth Campaign. 2005 First NGO of African origin to respond to the Niger famine crisis.
2005 According to Sky News, Gift of the Givers was one of the first five organisations in the world to respond with aid to Pakistan for earthquake victims.
2005 November. Made a 1.3 Million Rand grant to the Department of Science and Agriculture, University of KwaZulu Natal for scholarships and bursaries.
2005 December. The largest contributor to the Malawian President's "Feed the Nation Fund" to provide food parcels for famine victims.
2006 March. Established Gift of the Givers first Open Source Centre in KZN, being the second largest in South Africa.
2006 August. The first international agency to use an air corridor into Lebanon flying in 100 tons of aid.
Activities have received extensive Media Coverage nationally and internationally including the cover story of Reader's Digest in May 1996.
It is the only organisation in South Africa to receive Awards from two successive South African Presidents, including the President's Order of the Star of South Africa (the highest civilian award in the country). Some of the other awards received include the Four Outstanding Young South Africans Award, Lenasia Human Rights Award, the Community Service Award from Rotary and the Paul Harris Award, also from Rotary. In 2006 received Presidential Award from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, for Pakistan earthquake. Our Eikenhof Clinic has won the Gauteng Department of Health Khanyisa Award. In 2010 President Jacob Zuma honours Dr Sooliman with the Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab: Silver award. 107 awards received to date.
Several of our projects have been carried out in partnership with the South African Government with whom we have an excellent working relationship.
We have been the guests of several governments in the course of fulfilling our humanitarian responsibility.
Please visit our website for more iformation on our work.