Stephen Awori, who is minting money from garbage in Kaggo Zone, Mbuya, has emerged overall winner of New Vision's Ugandans Making a Difference Project 2012.
The project, that this year focused on individuals and organisations trying to improve the conditions of slum dwellers, saw musician Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi) come second for his activities to improve sanitation in Kamwokya's slums.
Innocent Byamugisha came third for assisting street children. The trio will be recognized in Kampala tomorrow at a ceremony that also coincides with celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda.
The overall winner shall receive a cash prize of sh3.5m, while the first and second runners-up will receive sh2.5m and sh1.5m respectively. The winners, from over 30 nominees whose profiles were published in New Vision between August and October this year, were selected by an independent panel of five eminent personalities.
The panel included Dr. Stephen Mukiibi, the head of Makerere University's department of architecture and urban planning, Irene Kharono, the director of programmes Action Aid and Faridah Kiggwe from Kampala Capital City Authority's directorate of physical planning.
Others were Eunice Musiime, the acting director of programmes with the National NGO Forum and Hellen Nyamweru, a programme officer with ACTogether, an NGO mobilising resources and slum dwellers to set up decent accommodation.
John Kakande, the New Vision Editor, said the theme was in line with Vision Group's mission to advance society. He explained that the theme was chosen to draw the attention of policy makers and actors to the conditions of Uganda's slums.
Catherine Mwesigwa, the deputy editor, said the oneyear project, with support from the South African Trust, aimed at recognizing people and organisations that are contributing to the improvement of the lives of slum dwellers.
The project, conducted in phases, included training of journalists, community engagement in identifying change makers in slums and publishing positive stories.