The Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross, Dr. Abbas Gullet was awarded the Council of Europe North-South Prize 2017 for his humanitarian work and global solidarity, an award presented to him by the Portugal President of the Republic of Portugal in Lisbon on 7th May 2018.

The award is given annually to two personalities who stood out internationally for their role in defending Human Rights and Democracy and for promoting dialogue, global interdependence and solidarity.  Alongside, Dr. Gullet, the Secretary General of the Finnish Red Cross Kristiina Kumpula was also recognized.

“I stand before you, very humbled to be receiving the 2017 North-South Prize of the Council of Europe. It is an honor, not only to me, but to my family, friends, colleagues and my country  Kenya for shaping my life and steps to this stage. To you, I proudly hold and accept this award, thanking you all for your inspiration and support,” said Dr. Gullet in his acceptance speech.

Dr. Gullet was commended for his work at the Kenya Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, his leadership as founder and Chairman of the Boma Groups of hotels in Nairobi, Eldoret and Nyeri which are fully owned by the Kenya Red Cross Society, as well as his leadership in the establishment of the Emergency Medical Services (E-PLUS) which has over 100 Ambulances - the largest fleet of Critical Care Ambulances in Kenya and Sub-Sahara Africa.

“For 11 years I volunteered with the Kenya Red  Cross Society – motivated by the desire to touch and change the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. The desire to offer hope and put a smile on people’s faces. I encourage volunteers around the world to be agents of change, selflessly serving and transforming communities around them. Thank you for this recognition and may this award serve as an inspiration to many more,” added Dr. Gullet.

In the past, the Council of Europe North-South Prize has been given to personalities as diverse as Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Kofi Annan, Rula Dashti, Bob Geldof, Simone Veil, Mário Soares, Peter Gabriel, Stéphane Hessel, Graça Machel, Emma Bonino, Mary Robinson, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, Louise Arbour, His Highness the Aga Khan and Jorge Sampaio.

The award ceremony took place in Senate room of the Portuguese Parliament with the presence of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the Parliament’s President, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues among other dignitaries.

The North-South Prize is awarded each year since 1995 and strives to promote gender empowerment, youth participation and democratic consolidation through intercultural dialogue in co-operation with civil society, local authorities, governments and parliaments.

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