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Trustbuilding for a Resilient Global Community


The 2024 Initiatives of Change Trustbuilding Awards shine a light on individuals who are bridging divides and implementing long-lasting solutions in their communities.

Since 2016, Mumbere Sivihwa has dedicated his life to fostering love and social cooperation in Africa’s Great Lakes region. Sivihwa is the Executive Director of the non-governmental organization JAMAA Great Lakes, active on issues of peacebuilding, mediation, inclusive governance and participatory democracy. He is also the 2023 recipient of the Young Trustbuilder Award of the Year, one of three distinctions awarded by Initiatives of Change International.

The Trustbuilding Awards aim to elevate and recognize the work of individuals across the categories of Trustbuilding Award of the Year, Young Trustbuilder of the Year and Lifetime Achiever*. The deadline for submitting the 2024 applications/ nominations is 15 April.

Winning last year's award was an important recognition of Sivihwa’s work toward reintegrating ex-combatants into society. His home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the broader Great Lakes region has “suffered from many decades of war and escalating violence, deeply impacting our communities,” said Sivihwa.

The Trustbuilding Awards are unique from other global humanitarian awards in their focus on trust as a crucial - and often overlooked - component in the peace building process. “In the current global context it is critical to amplify trustbuilding work,” said Talia Smith, IofC Trustbuilding Program Manager. “Many parts of the world are experiencing heightened polarization and division, and trust building initiatives can help bridge these divides by fostering empathy, dialogue and mutual respect among these polarized groups.”

Recipients of the three awards are celebrated in front of a global audience, and a spotlight is shone on their work and journey as trustbuilders, whether they are young people newly working in the field, or a person who has dedicated a lifetime to building trust.

In addition to Sivihwa, previous award recipients have worked in the Lebanese education system and citizenship education, and a women-led global network that works to build resilient and hospitable communities.

For Talia Smith, the Trustbuilding Awards serve as a beacon of sustainable solutions amidst cultural chasms and diminishing trust in institutions, among other systemic challenges. “Trust is essential for nations to work together effectively to address climate change terrorism and economic inequality,” said Smith. “Highlighting trustbuilding efforts is a small step to working towards a more cohesive and resilient global community for us all.”

Click here to see the full description of criteria, application process and frequently asked questions, and submit your application/ nomination today!

*All awards are self-nominated except for the Lifetime Achiever award, which is by nominations only.