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Transforming Lives Awards Winners 2019

Recipients acknowledged at the first Transforming Lives Awards at ZSL London Zoo 09/09/2019

Click To View Award Ceremony Recap

The Alquity Transforming Lives Foundation in concert with Alquity Investment Management were pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Transforming Lives Awards.  Awards totalling $530,000 have been made possible through Alquity’s unique business model, where at least 10% of revenue are donated to development projects in the regions they invest.   Each of the 8 recipient organisations are  excellent nonprofits and social entrepreneurs who are focused on UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: improving livelihoods, productive employment and decent work for all.

The 2019 Award Recipients Were:


Partnering with Philanthropy University the Transforming Lives Awards considered over 600 locally-led organizations and enterprises from 12 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Eligibility was determined based on the location of operation, sustainability and programmatic focus.

The Awards piloted a state-of-the-art selection process that utilized Philanthropy University’s online learning platform and its peer assessment technology to include a peer-to-peer vetting phase. Candidates reviewed and scored between 3 and 5 anonymous statements from fellow candidates before their submissions were accepted.

Top organizations entered into the formal application process, which helped to identify the 30 shortlisted organizations that would then participate in site visits.

Regional panels of experts were comprised of individuals with successful track records of working in philanthropy, international development, nonprofit and business sectors. They reviewed the site visit reports, as well as the application forms and financials, and through a day of lively discussions, identified the top 5-6 organizations to recommend to the Global Judges. The Global Judges were responsible for consolidating the Finalists from all regions and creating a portfolio of winners comprising of non-profit, for-profit, high, and low-risk organizations.

The panel of 8 Global Judges — including Hilde Schwab, Mona Mourshed, Helen Pankhurst, Steve Davis, Laura Koch, Caroline Casey and Kate Robertson — helped to select the following 8 winning organizations.

“Alquity exists to prove that there is a new way of doing business. One that equally aligns business and society’s interests so that they positively reinforce each other. The 8 winners of the Transforming Lives Awards are amazing examples of organisations committed to improving livelihoods, productive employment and decent work for all.  We are excited to share in their success and look forward to what the future holds for each of them.” – Paul Robinson, Chairman, Alquity.



India generates an estimated 62 million tonnes of waste annually. Up to 4 million waste pickers sort and segregate recyclable waste and sell it further up the value chain. Waste pickers often hail from the most marginalized communities in urban spaces. Plastics for Change’s program revolves around strengthening the supply chain of waste management with regard to plastic waste and intervening to minimize exploitation of waste pickers. A fair price for the plastic collected by waste pickers is guaranteed. Also, the middlemen like scrap shop owners are incentivized on the goods they procure and the price they pay.


Nearly half of Vietnam’s population is aged between 15 and 39 years. The country is facing the challenge of producing jobs for its young and expanding labour force and providing the relevant skillset for growing service and manufacturing sectors. REACH’s overall objectives are to provide vocational training to equip underprivileged Vietnamese youth to gain employment. There are training courses in a range of sectors such as beauty, web design and hospitality. Over 80% of REACH graduates find jobs and graduates are on average paid 20% above minimum wage.


Flowers are a big part of religious rituals in India. It is estimated that approximately 800 million tonnes of flowers are offered annually across the temples, mosques and gurudwara in India. These generous offerings turn into colossal waste and are detrimental to our environment.

Phool collects discarded flowers to keep them out of the water supply, then “flower-cycles” them into charcoal-free incense. The enterprise employs women from the lower social and economic strata, where they collect 11.8 tonnes of flowers on a daily basis from more than 130 temples and mosques.


In Ghana, six out of ten women are illiterate, 95% of women work in the informal sector and earn 75% less than men. Global Mamas community works to create a life of prosperity for African women and their families. They achieve prosperity by creating and selling high-quality handmade products using traditional methods. Being able to do work that they are good at and love, women are empowered and have financial independence. Global Mamas’ producers make on average 75% more than the minimum wage and 30% more than the average worker in the same industry in Ghana.


Since the 1950s, it is estimated that around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. Gjenge Makers aims to become the major provider of durable, recycled construction material through Kenya and the African continent. Their mission is to provide sustainable and affordable housing while promoting a recycling and upcycling culture. They currently produce bricks from discarded plastic. They employ 112 people from marginalized communities as plastic pickers, providing jobs to people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work.


40% of the world’s children will be African by the turn of the century. Educate! tackles youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it – this is so that students in Africa have the skills to start businesses, get jobs and drive development in their communities. The organization’s participants earn nearly double the income of their peers towards the end of school. They are also 50% more likely to be employed and 44% more likely to own a business.


In Latin America, the completion rate of tertiary education is as low as 14%. Laboratoria’s mission is to give Latin American women from unprivileged backgrounds a career in technology, transforming their future and the industry that receives them. The organization prepares women from underserved contexts as software developers and user experience designers through an immersive 6-month coding bootcamp and then places them in jobs in tech. Their graduates go on to build transformational careers for themselves while filling in the enormous talent and gender gap in technology.


Maré ranks 123rd out of 126 Rio de Janeiro neighbourhoods in the Human Development Index, with community-facing low levels of education, high levels of unemployment and extremely high levels of drug gang and state violence. Luta Pela Paz (part of a global organization – Fight For Peace) use boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development to realize the potential of young people in communities affected by crime and violence. The organization works with youth in Maré favela, Rio, where they use a methodology that provides a series of holistic and integrated service to give young people the tools to build peaceful, positive and productive lives. A key component of their method is employability – providing training, psycho-social support and access to opportunities.

“REACH’s mission gets a much-needed boost through the “Transforming Lives Award” grant. We’re happy as this grant will help us empower thousands of underprivileged youth.”

– Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Fundraising Officer, REACH