On Wednesday, the founder of the humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the North West University.
Dr Imtiaz Ismail Sooliman's contributions as a humanitarian in South Africa - and 42 other countries - and his extraordinary leadership traits were recognised by the North West University on 22 May.
NWU awarded the Gift of the Givers founder with an honorary doctorate degree - Philosophiae Doctor /Honoris Causa - for the work he had done throughout his career.
Briefly.co.za decided to take a closer look at his life and career. Here are four quick facts about Dr Imtiaz Ismail Sooliman.
1. Early life and education
Dr Sooliman was born on on 7 March, 1962 in Potchefstroom. He completed his Grade 12 year at the Sastri College in Durban in 1978 where after he pursued a higher education qualification at the University of Natal Medical School.
The Gift of the Givers founder qualified as a medical practitioner in 1984.
2. Gift of the Givers
Initially, Dr Sooliman worked at a private practice in Pietermartizburg until 1994 when he decided to commit full-time to the Gift of the Givers - a foundation he founded on 6 August, 1992, NWU reported on its website.
The foundation went on to become one of the leading humanitarian organisations in the world and it has since been dubbed the largest disaster response agency in Africa.
3. Billions of rands towards changing lives
Since starting out, the foundation has delivered R2.1 billion of aid to people in 43 countries, including SA, in the 21 different categories of projects.
Recently, the Gift of the Givers foundation vowed to built 80 new homes for the families affected by the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal.
The humanitarian organisation confirmed the homes will be built in the BottleBrush settlement.
4. A long list of awards
Dr Sooliman has received 121 awards, both individual and organisational, over the course of his career.
One of the awards is the President’s Order of the Star of South Africa, which he received in 1993 by then-president F.W. de Klerk.
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