North-South Prize of the Council of Europe
The North-South Prize is awarded each year since 1995 to two candidates who have stood out for their exceptional commitment to promoting North-South solidarity.
The candidates, preferably a man and a woman, must have distinguished themselves in the following areas: protection of human rights, defence of pluralist democracy, public awareness raising on issues of global interdependence and solidarity. Despite the variety of nationalities and fields of action of those that have received the Prize since its creation, they all have in common a strong commitment to the promotion of North-South partnership.
Dr Abbas Gullet
Dr. Abbas Gullet is the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Boma Groups of hotels in Nairobi, Eldoret and Nyeri which are fully owned by the Kenya Red Cross Society. Under his leadership, the Kenya Red Cross Society also founded the Emergency Medical Services (E PLUS) which has over 100 Ambulances - the largest fleet of Critical Care Ambulances in Kenya and Sub-Sahara Africa.
Dr. Gullet also helped established the NEPARC (New Partnership of African Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies) in Johannesburg - South Africa, a partnership aimed at African National Societies taking responsibility for their own developments.
Of all the organisations that make up East Africa’s most recognisable and respected names, called the Superbrands, the Kenya Red Cross is the only non-commercial entity, and it has received this recognition 3 years in a row. It is today a symbol of hope in the direst situations, a comforting hand in times of disaster and the steadfast guiding light in moments of panic and confusion.
Dr. Gullet defied skeptics to rebuild a strong Kenyan National Society. He continues to lobby the government and has won tremendous support as a result. Dr. Gullet is involved in rigorous fundraising to improve the Society’s financial base and brings a business approach to his work. Kenya Red Cross Society has set its sights on being self-sustaining and able to foot its core.
The Kenya Red Cross also prides itself in having a large local logistics capacity. Around the world, the Kenya Red Cross Society is recognised as one of the best performing National Red Cross societies, but it is in Africa where it is a living example of what other Societies can do.
The lesson Dr. Gullet takes away from his work is how weak and vulnerable human beings are, and the fact that they should strive to co-exist and tolerate one another. Dr. Gullet’s dream for the continent is still alive and its realisation on course. Cooperation and coordination of relief work in the Region now brings efficiency and speed to disaster response and programme implementation.
Recognized as the UN Person of the Year in Kenya in October 2007.
Awarded an honorary award of Order of the Golden Warrior by the Kenyan Government in December 2007.
Awarded the Utetezi Award (Civil Society) in recognition of his remarkable contribution in humanitarian activities, in June 2009.
Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Egerton University in May 2012 for his contribution to Humanitarian Work.
Awarded an honorary award of Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) by the Kenyan Government in December 2012.
Listed as one of the Top 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS in the Forbes Africa Magazine 2011.
Listed as one of the Top 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS in the “African Magazine” December 2013 Edition.
Elected Vice President for Africa of the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent in November 2013.
Awarded Brand Kenya Ambassador Awards 2013 in recognition of his selfless and excellent humanitarian service in November 2013.
Honored with Honorary Award, Doctor of Humane Letters by Kenyatta University in December 2015, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in transforming the lives of thousands of Kenyans.
Appointed the first chancellor of Umma University Kajiado Campus in January 2016.
Ms Kristiina Kumpula
Currently Secretary General of the Finnish Red Cross, Ms Kristina Kumpula studied administration and economics at the University of Tampere.
After her studies, in 1987, she started her career as Secretary for International Education at the International organisation where she has held several positions in the field of Human Rights. In 1998, she was part of a fact finding team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights in Uganda.
Ms Kumpula has admirably led the Finnish Red Cross domestically, addressing social, health, and migration programming in Finland, among other key activities, and internationally as a strong supporter of sister National Societies around the world, particularly in East Africa.
Ms Kumpula has also been active working with the international components of the Movement, and is currently serving as Chair of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Constitutional Review Advisory Group.