Bridges of Peace Initiatives

Giraffe Heroes Awards

What is Giraffe Heroes Awards, Kenya?

Giraffe Heroes Awards, Kenya, is an initiative that seeks to identify, recognize, and celebrate Kenyans from diverse backgrounds who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities and promote the common good.

We believe that by shining a spotlight on these remarkable individuals, we can inspire others to stick their necks out too, and help solve significant public problems.

Nominations for Giraffe  Heroes 2023 are now open! 

There are countless individuals and groups in Kenya dedicating their lives to serving their communities in their own quiet, yet heroic ways. They are not celebrities, but their inspiring efforts deserve acknowledgment and appreciation. Giraffe Heroes Project – Kenya seeks to identify and celebrate these ‘unsung’ heroes in Kenya. By reaching out to everyday people from around the country, we would like to show that everyone can make a positive change in their society with what they have, if only they take action! 

We seek to;

a) Recognize and honour everyday unsung heroes in Kenya that are ‘sticking out their necks’ for a common good in risky or challenging situations. 

b) Inspire more people to become active citizens and engage in present day challenges facing their local communities. Stories inspire people. And when people are inspired, they act

Nomination Process

The spirit is that a Giraffe Hero is anyone, of any age, from any walk of life and from any part of Kenya. If they are doing something extra-ordinary – ‘sticking their necks out’ – for a common good and taking a risk, we want to know them! Perhaps you know a child or adult that has displayed remarkable courage, a daring neighbour who has tremendously improved your area, an exemplary teacher, dedicated care-worker, or member of the emergency services or security forces who have gone beyond the call of duty to help others, despite the risk involved. People who go that extra mile. We want to hear about them. We want to tell their stories of commitment, courage and selflessness.

Nominations can be done by individuals or organizations but NOT self nomination. 

Selection Criteria

To be named a Giraffe, a nominee individual, must have taken a significant risk for the common good.

Significant Risk – Giraffe Heroes should have acted or broken through in the presence of fear e.g. of physical harm, severe financial loss, legal repercussions, professional exclusion etc.

Common Good – Broadly speaking, working for the common good means alleviating suffering, rectifying injustice or advancing goals such as peace or a healthy environment.

Other relevant criteria

The judges have the discretion to select a nominees after taking into account the background and personality of the nominee, and other highly subjective factors including:-

  1. Individuals that have received little or no previous recognition for their work.
  2. A Giraffe’s actions must be of benefit to a significant number of people, either as beneficiaries of the action or as people who may be inspired to emulate the Giraffe.
  3. Giraffes do break the law some times. But they do so without violence, with a willingness to accept the consequences, and with respect for the ‘opposition.’ Lawbreakers should have utilized all legal and political courses of action prior to their lawbreaking actions, and have continued to do so since their arrest.
  4. It’s fine if a candidate sues to recover losses or to force an institution or individual to begin acting for the common good. But people who try to profit personally by suing for punitive damages will not be considered. Those who sue for punitive damages are only eligible if the money they receive is used directly and entirely to alleviate the conditions which brought about the law suit. e.g. A Giraffe’s lawsuits force polluters to clean-up the messes they’ve made, cease and desist polluting, and pay big fines that go to environmental groups in the affected region, not to the Giraffe.
  5. Trained professionals doing their work within the boundaries of paid employment can qualify only if their service to others goes very far above and beyond the de facto standards of their profession.
  6. Willingness and opportunity to participate in Giraffe Heroes events and initiatives.
Disqualifying Factors

Giraffes don’t have to be saints. However, we will not honour anyone:-

  1. Who advocates violence, hatred, racial prejudice, abridgement of civil or human rights or ecologically destructive practices. Civil disobedience in the manner of a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King Jr. is honored, but not actions that are unconstitutional.
  2. Whose motives seem to be primarily personal or limited to the benefit of their own families e.g. self-preservation, financial or political gain, personal entertainment or personal growth. However, if these things simply occur as a by-product of their concern for others, they could be Giraffes. For example, if a nominee’s altruistic work starts attracting money, that’s fine, so long as money-making wasn’t the primary motive.
  3. Engages in one time actions. The only exceptions we’ve made are when the action served to galvanize an entire community into long-term action.
  4. Waits for grants, funding, further training or approval from ‘the proper authorities’ before taking action.
  5. Have not taken any concrete actions! Intentions don’t count.

Nominate your Giraffe Hero here.

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