The TÜV Rheinland Foundation honors dedicated service to development cooperation and sustainability / The sustainability prize comes with €25,000 / Dr. Auma Obama is the fourth award winner since 2008
Cologne, October 10, 2017. Dr. Auma Obama, a Kenyan sociologist and author, is the winner of the 2017 International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award. The older sister of former US president Barack Obama received the prize for her dedicated work in favor of sustainable, long-term development cooperation. The award from the TÜV Rheinland Foundation comes with €25,000, and was presented in front of around 400 guests from the worlds of business, politics, science, and culture in the presence of Mayor Henriette Reker at a ceremony in Cologne's historic town hall.
The award recipient is a member of the World Future Council, which works worldwide to promote responsible, sustainable thinking and action in the interest of future generations, and the initiator and Chair of the Sauti Kuu (Strong Voices) Foundation. Explaining why this year's award recipient was chosen, Prof. Bruno O. Braun, CEO of TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V. and the TÜV Rheinland Foundation, explained, “Through the work of her foundation, Dr. Obama is especially relying on helping others to help themselves. Sauti Kuu helps disadvantaged children and young people in Africa to autonomously shape a worthwhile future through practical training, workshops, and opportunities for personal development.”
In his speech, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, praised the award winner's many years of dedication: “For years, Auma Obama, with her Sauti Kuu Foundation, has campaigned so that disadvantaged children and young people can develop a strong voice. She wants the best for the young people of our world – because the future belongs to them. To develop disadvantaged children and young people into confident and responsible adults. That is a textbook example of sustainability. With her foundation, Auma Obama teaches children to grow trees that can be sold to communities in the region. Families learn to cultivate their garden plots not just to cover their own needs, but also to sell the surplus. She offers young people the opportunity to develop according to their very own skills and talents. Whether the parents are currently rich or poor. This is how the best foundations for life-long employment and, therefore, perspectives for the future are laid.”
Dr. Auma Obama said: “It is a great honor for me to receive this award. But it also shows that my work, that of my team at the Sauti Kuu Foundation, and that of the many people at the local level is important, is recognized, and can change things. It shows that we can get things done if we work as one with energy and understanding, with knowledge and strength. I therefore hope that many more people will get involved, that they will lift up their strong voices, hearts, and hands to help each other. We need to start where change for the future is actually happening: with children and young people, with their education and training. We are making clear to them: You are your future. And we are strengthening their confidence and self-efficacy in highly practical ways, in real-life situations, on their doorsteps, with their families.”
Fourth award recipient since 2008
Dr. Auma Obama is the fourth recipient of the International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award. In presenting the award, the TÜV Rheinland Foundation pays tribute to people whose work has been deeply committed to sustainability and the goals of the United Nations Global Compact.
Following her childhood and youth in Kenya, Dr. Obama studied at the universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, and Bayreuth, where she obtained her doctorate in 1996. Upon her return to Kenya, she worked for the international aid organization CARE. Dr. Auma Obama is a member of the Governing Council of the Kilimanjaro Initiative in Nairobi. An internationally sought-after author and speaker, she also campaigns for sustainability.
Global Compact for global sustainable development
To promote sustainable development in society and business worldwide, TÜV Rheinland has supported the United Nations Global Compact since 2006. The initiative to found the Global Compact goes back to then-General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. At the 1999 World Economic Forum in Davos, he called on top representatives of leading commercial enterprises to enter into a global compact to establish human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption principles as minimum standards in their companies and to advance them on the international stage. This resulted in a globally active network for sustainability.
In addition to its work in the Steering Committee of the German Global Compact Network, a key component of TÜV Rheinland’s commitment is presenting the International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award. It has been awarded every three years since 2008 by the TÜV Rheinland Foundation, the benefactor of which is TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V. In 2014, the honoree was Prof. Edda Müller, Chair of Transparency International Germany. She was preceded by former Federal Minister Dr. Volker Hauff and businessperson Dr. Michael Otto.
The non-profit TÜV Rheinland Foundation works in particular in the fields of technology innovation, environmental protection, education and training, and sustainable development. Its benefactor is TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V., the sole shareholder of TÜV Rheinland AG, which runs the operations of the Group. Together with the TÜV Rheinland Foundation, TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz and TÜV Rheinland AG form the TÜV Rheinland Group.