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Prof. Muhammad Yunus felicitated in Manila

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This was made a part of the 65th Anniversary of the Magsaysay Award itself. The event honored the Filipino awardees of the Magsaysay prize in the presence of the diplomatic community.

Susanna B Afan  President of the Foundation in her introductory speech mentioned how the Magsaysay Award given to Professor Yunus in 1984 was  the first international honors he received, and more than 20 years before the Nobel Peace Prize. She stated how his pioneering microcredit lifted up billions of the poor around the world. She went on to elaborate how Professor Yunus’s work impacted on many social leaders around the world to follow his work and made significant contributions in lifting the poor out of poverty. He counted how many of them received Magsaysay Prize in the Asian region for playing leadership role in their countries in bringing microcredit to the poor communities.

She introduced Dr Aris Alip who was present at the ceremony. Dr.  Alip created CARD MRI a Grameen replicator in Philippines Center for Agriculture and Rural Development-Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI), established in 1986, received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2007. It that has reached 9 million clients today across the Philippines, as social business.

She also highlighted two other Magsaysay awardees from Indonesia and Pakistan that had received the prize for their achievement in micro finance in their respective countries.

In Indonesia, Dompet Dhuafa, a humanitarian institution founded in 1994, was awarded the Magsaysay Prize in 2016. In 2021, Muhammad Amjad Saqib from Pakistan became a Magsaysay Laureate for founding Akhuwat in 2001. Both these organizations empowered communities through microcredit.

She noted   that the Executive Director of NWTF Suzzette Gaston another Grameen replicator in the Philippines, is attending the event representing her father who received the Magsaysay Award in 1973. Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) is the host organisation which organised the 14th Social Business Day 2024 with Yunus Centre, on June 27-29 in Manila and is this year celebrating 40 years of their foundation. Professor Yunus travelled to Bacolod on this visit to attend the celebration.

They started microcredit following Prof Yunus’ guidance and support from Grameen Trust 35 years ago and are now reaching nearly 600,000 families empowering their women with microcredit and financial services. They are also investing in social business and powering the creation of 3Z clubs on the island of Negros Occidental.

Professor Yunus and the awardees from the Philippines received a portrait each from the foundation in a program called Celebrating Greatness of Spirit. A special volume Greatness of Spirit: Stories of Love Courage and Service has been curated on the 65th anniversary of the Ramon Magsaysay awards. The event was attended according to the foundation by 18 ambassadors and 130 high-level participants from Filipino society including members of Magsaysay family.

Ms Susan Afan had addressed the opening ceremony of Yunus Centre’s annual event Social Business Day 2024 on 27th June 2024 and commemorated 40 years of the Magsaysay Award to Professor Yunus, showing photos from the ceremony in 1984 and paying rich tributes to him.

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