Liberia: Liberian Humanitarian Kolu Sokodolo Wins Four Prestigious Awards In The US

Madam Kolu Sokodolo Walters

A Liberian Humanitarian has received four prestigious awards from reputable organizations based in the United States for her consistent advocacy and untiring supports towards the improvement of the wellbeing and dignity of thousands of less fortunate Liberians, including children and old folks in Liberia and other parts of the world.

Madam Kolu Sokodolo Walters, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the Kolu Sokodolo International Children Foundation, based in Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively, was the only black among 60 persons who received awards from The Gawad Amerika Awards on Saturday, November 19.

By Press Release

She was awarded as the Outstanding Civic Leader by the group at a ceremony held at the Celebrity Centre International Pavilion in California, USA on Saturday, November 19.

The Gawad Amerika started in 1996 as a civic organization called the “Gawad Amerika Foundation”. It was founded by its Chairman of the Board, leader and a visionary Charles Simbulan who has a strong and dynamic vision of helping and cultivating the talents of young Filipino-American achievers who lack the necessary resources to follow their dreams.

The foundation also provides help to many struggling Filipino-American families with socio-economic opportunities that enable them to live with dignity and decent lives.

The Gawad Amerika’s commitment and dedication to it’s vision continue to reach out to more young achievers and families in need for years without any media coverage. Today, there are about 275 students who are recipients of the Gawad Amerika’s financial support.

About 89 individuals and families were given shelter and provided jobs. As the foundation continues to grow, a lot of business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and even some political figures in the Filipino-American communities started to recognize its efforts in reaching out to those in need.

They began to offer support to the foundation and together, they use their resources and dedicate their time and resources to aggressively and passionately help deserving individuals to make their dreams a reality.

In the years to come, the Gawad Amerika started to honor the achievements of these young achievers and exemplary citizens who make a difference in their lives and in their communities.

Along the way, more and more individuals who excel in their respective chosen careers and have done remarkable achievements in their communities were given recognition which became a yearly tradition of the Gawad Amerika Foundation which was later known as the Gawad Amerika Awards.

In September 2002, a year after the historic 9/11 attacks, the Gawad Amerika Awards held its 1st formal event in which the first half of the program was dedicated to honor the victims and fallen heroes. 

Madam Sokodolo-Walters was awarded the accolade for being very instrumental and sensitive to addressing the plights of underprivileged Liberian children, visually impaired, physically challenged, abandoned and neglected citizens, among others.

“On behalf  of the Gawad Amerika Awards Night Boards, committees and their respectable panels, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you for having been recognized as one of the most outstanding individuals;

2021Outstanding Civic Leader,” a letter issued under the signature of the group’s Founding President/CEO Charles Simbulan and addressed to the Liberian humanitarian  on November 9, 2022 stated.

The group pointed out that Madam Sokodolo-Walters “success and remarkable achievements as a civic leader has been recognized not only by this organization but most of all, by the heads of the local communities.”

“We are proud to have you as the recipient of the most respectable recognition and we hope that you will continue your sincere dedication and commitment in all your future endeavors,” the group noted.

She also received the Dr. Nina L Meyerhof Leadership Award at the 3rd Award ceremony of the Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies in the US.

The award was presented at an event ceremony held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Centre, in USA on November 12.

The Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies is a research, teaching, training and leadership institute that critically provides strategic transformational thinking as a philosophy designed to help anyone who applies it to improve their current and future reality with the premise that, if we want to change the world, we must first change our thinking.

It established a global leadership award named after Dr. Nina Meyerhof to create and recognize most outstanding individuals who dedicated their lives to bringing positive social change and devoted their time to fight poverty, injustice and whose accomplishment are consistent with Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies goals.

Samuel Jacobs-Abbey, the founder and president of the Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies was identified and mentored by Dr. Nina Meyerhof. Dr. Meyerhof played a significant role in mentoring, encourage and grooming Samuel Jacobs-Abbey to become a globally respected leader in the area of leadership and good governance.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters shared the award with Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, who was represented at the occasion by Madam Sarah Fyneah Dorbort, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, DC. VP Howard-Taylor received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the group.

The Mayor City of Glenarden, Maryland was also in attendance Cashenna A. Cross.

Mayor Cross urged the guests and recipients to develop love for education.

She reminded them to be great coaches and always consider service before self.

Early in April, Madam Sokodolo-Walters won the Virtuous Woman and Most Respected Individual Awards from the I Am Magazine based in the United States.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters expressed thanks and appreciation to the various groups for recognizing her efforts being applied to advocate for and promote dignity among her fellow humans.

She stated that the honors signify a new day in the lives of the underprivileged and less fortunate children and old folks across the African continent.

She said the awards will strengthen her towards engaging into “life-changing ventures and initiatives” for the benefit of the needy.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters noted that though she has been rendering assistance to thousands of less fortunate and under-privileged citizens back home and in other areas, she expect nothing in return.

She sees her unflinching contributions to humanity through advocacy, outreach activities and donations, as a fulfillment of a biblical responsibility.

She vowed to continuously work and go the extra mile to help redeem the lives of future leaders across the Africa continent, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters further observed that the future of the world would be threatened if adequate supports and assistance are not given to those who are in need, especially educational opportunities for children, to become productive citizens in the future.

 “I see these awards not as an accomplishment, but a motivation to get up and exert more efforts to do more for our people who are in need. We never knew that people were watching the kind of works that we do to put smiles on the faces of our underprivileged children and mothers. I want to assure you in this public gathering that, we will continue to strive in providing our widow’s mat, along with the help of friends and others to always give to those who are in need of help. We do not expect anything in return for the works that we do because, it is a biblical responsibility and we know that our rewards are above,” Madam Sokodolo-Walters stated.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters, however, extended thanks and appreciation to her husband Bishop Moses Walters, friends, and the heads of her foundation in Liberia and Sierra Leone for being more supportive towards fulfilling her dream and philanthropic agenda.

She shared the awards with them with a call for more sacrifices to be made and supports provided to destitute children and others across the African continent.

Through her foundation, Madam Sokodolo-Walters has identified with thousands of children and old folks in Liberia.

Her foundation, which was founded in August 2016, has been extending helping hands and providing empowerment and educational opportunities to scores of less fortunate Liberian citizens, including old folks, disadvantaged youths, disabled, marketers, vulnerable groups, Muslims, Christians, students, among others across the nation.

On May 4, 2021, her foundation officially presented the keys of a newly constructed home worth a little over US$2000 to Mother Hannah Swen. This brings to three the number of homes she has constructed for struggling and aging Liberian mothers.

The foundation has provided food and other assorted items to scores of orphanages in Monrovia, Brewerville and other areas, including the UNICO Orphanage which caters to orphans left behind by United Nations and ECOWAS peacekeepers in Liberia.

She also established a tuition-free school in Unification Town, Margibi County, which is providing quality education to over 300 less fortunate Liberian children.