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Abiodun Adereni’s HelpMum Wins 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen COVID-19 Response Award

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After launching a call for applications for the 2021 edition, earlier this year, Waislitz Global Citizen Award is thrilled to announce the winners for each of the four award categories who are effecting change in their communities and around the world.

HelpMum has been selected as the only African among the Four winners for the 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Award. HelpMum was selected as the winner for the Waislitz Global Citizen COVID – 19 Response award and would receive a 50,000 dollars prize for winning the award.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes distributing a total of $250,000 among the world’s changemakers, presented by the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, with additional support from Mesoblast. The prizes help individuals further implement their advocacy efforts to end extreme poverty.

As an organization, the Waislitz Foundation seeks to create a positive social impact locally and globally through innovative projects that empower individuals to meet their full potential and make a measurable difference to the world.

Alex Waislitz, chairman and founder of the Waislitz Foundation said, “ending extreme poverty is not a choice, it’s an obligation. My hope is that it will inspire many thousands of people around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need.”

The 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards applicants were evaluated in five areas: global citizenship, proof of concept, disruption, scalability, and adaptability. Despite hundreds of applications from activists in every corner of the world, Global Citizen selected four people whose projects stood out as especially creative and important in the fight to defeat poverty.

  • 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Award Grand Prize — Bina Shrestha (Patan, Nepal)
  • 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award — Tania Rosas (Bogota, Colombia)
  • 2021 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award — Jimmy Pham (Hanoi, Vietnam)
  • 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen COVID-19 Response Award — Dr. Abiodun Adereni (Ibadan, Nigeria)

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Abiodun Adereni focused his efforts as the founder and CEO of HelpMum on providing pregnant women in rural areas with the resources they need to make childbirth as safe and sterile as possible. But when social distancing measures prevented his organization from conducting in-person training to birth attendants, Adereni knew part of his mission needed to adapt.

That’s why he created Nigeria’s first publicly available e-learning platform to train childbirth attendants and prevent cases of maternal mortality. So far, his team has reached 500 birth attendants across four Nigerian states, with plans to create more lessons in multiple African languages so people throughout the continent can access childbirth training.

Speaking to Global Citizen, Adereni says, “Winning this award will help us scale our solutions — especially those we developed during COVID — help accelerate the impact we’ve had so far, and save more lives in remote communities. I am happy because it further validates our work, and it will push us to touch more lives and support more pregnant women in marginalized communities.”



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