London, 21 September 2016: Vision for a Nation Foundation (VFAN) is proud to announce that its CEO, Tom Rosewall, has won top prize in the “Rising Chief Executive” category at the 2016 Third Sector Excellence awards ceremony.
The prize is awarded to the chief executive who has made “outstanding contributions to his or her organisation, or the wider sector, during their first two years in post”. Now in their 12th year, Britain’s Third Sector Excellence Awards recognise those who give back to the community and celebrate organisations and social leaders from across the sector.
Tom’s achievement of this significant award was based upon his galvanizing leadership role in building the measurable success of VFAN’s ground-breaking nationwide primary eye care program in support of the Government of Rwanda that now provides local and affordable eye care to 100% of the nation’s 10.5 million people.
This award follows an earlier 2016 Top Prize Award to Vision for a Nation in the category of “International Aid and Development” by Britain’s Charity Awards, organized by Civil Society Media. Vision for a Nation has also been a “finalist” for three other British awards in 2016.
John G. Rhodes, Chairman of VFAN’s Board of Trustees, comments: “We are delighted that Tom’s tremendous contribution to the work of VFAN has been recognized through this prestigious award. Tom has brought a unique mix of organisational ability, insight and above all energy to his role as our CEO. He has built bridges where none existed before both within Rwanda and internationally. He has helped to inspire both our own staff and those in other agencies and government posts with the real “vision” in our name – of a world where access to eye care is a reality for everyone.”
Tom Rosewall, VFAN’s CEO, comments: “I am extremely honoured. However, it is really a tribute to the vision and financial generosity of our founder, our other major funders and Trustees, Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, and our teams in Africa and Britain who work so tirelessly and effectively in providing unprecedented support in reaching an entire nation of people. With VFAN’s assistance, Rwanda has become the first emerging nation in the world to provide 100% of its people with local access to affordable eye care. Globally, 2.5 billion people have no such access to eye care. Our experience in Rwanda proves that giving everyone the ability to see clearly – enabling them to learn and hold a job – can be quickly and cost effectively accomplished. Perhaps Rwanda provides a model for other nations around the world to follow and represents a significant step forward in a worthy mission to bring “the ability to see” to billions that currently lack access to affordable, local care.”
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Vision for a Nation Foundation is a high-impact UK charity that seeks to support national health ministries in select emerging nations to build sustainable nationwide access to eye care and treatment. It has been supporting Rwanda’s Ministry of Health since 2012 and has trained over 2,000 general nurses, developed a national supply chain for glasses and medication, and executes an outreach programme that now extends the services to 100% of Rwanda’s 15,000 communities. Nearly 700,000 Rwandans have already been screened and the services are fully-integrated into the country’s universal health care system. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the UBS Optimus Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development have provided major funding to implement the Rwanda programme. www.visionforanation.net
Tom Rosewall was appointed chief executive of the British eyesight charity Vision for a Nation Foundation in 2014. A native Californian, he has more than 30 years of experience in successfully integrating and growing emerging global corporations, including over 20 years living and working in Europe.
Third Sector Excellence Awards 2016, now in its 12th year, is organised by Third Sector, the UK’s leading voluntary sector news organisation offering unrivalled coverage of a wide range of voluntary sector concerns through a printed magazine, website, and a range of conferences and events.