UK Based Sri Lankan Philanthropist- Gnanambikai Allirajah is 4th Global Officials Dignity Awards' Global Woman of the Year, announced by Princess Maria Amor, founder and president of We Care for Humanity and creator of the G.O.D. Awards.
Gnanambikai or Gnanam for short, is the co-founder of Gnanam Foundation, a UK based charity organization with the mission to provide help for marginalized communities and those who have been forgotten. Gnanam is the heart and inspiration of the foundation, being the mother of co-founder Subaskaran Allirajah whose every work is dedicated in honor of his mother.
"We couldn't be happier giving the Global Woman of the Year Award to Mrs. Allirajah whose philanthropic heart brought so much support to the orphans, the elderly and those who have been abandoned without care, through her foundation", said Princess Amor.
Gnanambikai will be honored at the 4th Global Officials of Dignity Awards(G.O.D. Awards) and scheduled to speak at the 3rd WCH Humanitarian Summit on August 17-19, 2016 at the Delegates Dining Room, United Nations Headquarters, New York. Both flagship events are organized by We Care for Humanity and its philanthropic partners: SREI Foundation, J & B Medical Company, HWPL and China-US Business Association.
ABOUT GNANAMBIKAI ALLIRAJAH
Gnanambikai Allirajah is a philanthropist and social worker and is the co-founder of Gnanam Foundation, a charity organisation aimed at providing marginalised communities with the support they need to improve their lives. Born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in 1944, as the third of four children, Gnanambikai excelled in creative arts and was highly skilled at knitting, sewing and cooking.
When she was in her teens, her family moved to Mullaitivu for business and in 1964 she married and moved again, this time to Trincomalee. Her husband was a harbour employee in Trincomalee Port and together they had four children, sadly losing one at the age of five. In 1982, after caring for him for some time, her husband passed away after suffering from cancer. As a result, Gnanambikai found herself a widow in her late 30s and, to look after the family, she opened a local shop and ran an agriculture production business, working the land herself.
In the early 1980s, her children began moving to Europe to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War and in 1992 she was fortunate enough to be able to join them in France, before moving to the UK in 2000. In Paris, Gnanambikai helped with her sons’ movie distribution business and in 1994 she embarked on a business venture in reselling telecoms calling cards. Both her two sons then joined this business and have since developed Vectone and the Lyca Groups, which features Lycamobile, an international mobile virtual network operator, now the largest of its kind in the world with an estimated annual revenue of around 1.8 billion US Dollars.
In 2010, Gnanambikai and her son, Lyca Group Chairman Allirajah Subaskaran, founded Gnanam Foundation. The Foundation does not receive any donations from the public, with all its money coming from its founders. To date, some of its projects include, but are not limited to:
Gnanambikai now has three children, eight grandchildren and a large extended family spreading across the globe. She has helped many people fleeing the persecution and violence of the civil war to get refuge in Europe, and this “helping” attitude she demonstrated even as a young child by taking care of children, running errands for neighbours and helping those in need. In addition to Gnanam Foundation, Gnanambikai is an active member of the Tamil Sangam Social Club in East Ham, London, which aims to help the elderly, arrange cultural programmes and generally make a difference to the local community.