Rolex Award for Enterprise
On November 6, 2002, Sebastian Chuwa received an Associate Laureate Award from the committee of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Ceremonies were held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London, England.
Speaking at the event was Baroness Susan Greenfield, British neuroscientist, who is renowned for her groundbreaking studies of the brain and human consciousness and for her efforts to cure neurodegenerative disorders.
Rolex Managing Director for the UK, Mr. Roger Maingot, presented the award of $35,000 and a gold and steel Rolex chronometer.
The Rolex Awards have been presented every two years since they were first instituted in 1976. Their aim is to encourage a spirit of enterprise in visionary individuals around the globe by providing the financial support and recognition they need to implement innovative, working projects that advance human knowledge and well-being.
Awards are given in five areas of endeavor: science and medicine, technology and innovation, exploration and discovery, environment, and cultural heritage.
Each of the award-winning projects was studied and discussed by the 2002 Selection Committee, an independent, voluntary jury of ten international experts whose own spirit of enterprise is exemplary. "The jury members were particularly sensitive to environmental issues this year," reported Mr. Patrick Heiniger, Chief Executive of Rolex. "They were impressed by the importance the winning candidates placed on local people living and working in harmony with nature in order to ensure sustainable development."
In order to apply, candidates submit a specific proposal for a project which they feel will have a significant impact in one of the five targeted fields. Four main criteria are used to select the winning projects:
1) Spirit of enterprise a project carried out with determination, tenacity and boldness, usually against challenging odds; 2) Feasibility a project that is likely to succeed; 3) Originality an innovative project that breaks new ground; 4) Impact a project that has a positive impact on the community.
Sebastians 5-Year Plan
The project that Sebastian designed is a 5-year program previously mentioned in this newsletter. Its objective is to expand the work we are doing in the Kilimanjaro area by establishing nurseries and educational projects in 9 locations of northern Tanzania : Hai, Moshi, Same, Mombo, Handeni, Pangani, Babati, Simanjiro and Mbulu.
All of these areas are suffering from the effects of environmental degradation, and mpingo has been severely depleted or is practically extinct.
The ultimate test
Sebastian will be traveling to these areas and contacting community leaders to offer assistance in setting up community nurseries. He will also be speaking to educators about possibilities for setting up conservation educational programs and Malihai Clubs in their schools, organizing video showings using equipment purchased with funding from the Lindbergh Grant he received in June 2001.
Since the original proposal submitted was for $100,000, and Sebastian received the Associate Laureate Award for the lesser sum of $35,000, we will need to look for other sources of funding to complete the program.
The funding, recognition, and support that have resulted from the Rolex Award have given the ABCP a new impetus that we are confident will result in the expansion of our activities into many new areas beyond Kilimanjaro. As a result of recognition for Sebastians work, we have been contacted by a number of people and organizations interested in helping our efforts. Coverage of Sebastian's award is available on the Rolex Awards website.
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Last revised 21 Apr 2008.