The founder of humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, was named ‘Social Justice Champion for 2021’ on Tuesday at the third social justice summit and international conference.
The annual event is convened by the Council of Social Justice Champions, and coordinated by Professor Thuli Madonsela in her capacity as the law trust chair in social justice at Stellenbosch University.
“Congratulations Dr Imtiaz Sooliman – amazing role model on what is possible in human upliftment without asking questions on who caused the problem or mess. You’re a supremely deserving Social Justice Champion of the Year,” Mandonsela said in a Tweet.
The event reflects on social justice in South Africa and in 2021 it centred on economic equality, the impact of Covid-19 regulatory responses, the adequacy of current policy frameworks for rebuilding better and restitution and the impact of economic inequality on peace and the rule of law.
A social justice champion is a person who has “moved the needle consistently in 2021 to advance equality and reduce poverty, a person who has shown a commitment to justice as justice for all, while galvanising others to pull together in a socially cohesive manner”.
Dr Sooliman is no stranger to humanitarian work, his organisation has been at the core of local and international disasters since it was founded in 1992. It is privately funded through individuals and corporate donations. Much praise has been heaped upon the organisation through the years, but especially for their aid during the COVID-10 pandemic.
“I have always been in awe of the heart of this man. His love for humanity is beyond words. Thank you Dr and can only pray that our civilisation adopt your approach to making all of us better people,” said one Twitter user.