Panzi Foundation Named Recipient of Nicholas Kristof’s 2021 Holiday Impact Prize

WASHINGTON, DC —November 24, 2021— Panzi Foundation today announced that the non-profit has been selected as a recipient of the 2021 Holiday Impact Prize, an annual gift guide by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and supported by Focusing Philanthropy.

Panzi was founded in 1999 by Dr. Denis Mukwege, an OBGYN and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who wanted to provide pregnant women in his community with a safe place to deliver their babies. Many of his first patients, however, were not soon-to-be mothers, but instead women and girls who had been brutally raped by armed militias. Since then, Panzi has served more than 85,000 women and girls suffering from rape- or birth- related complications, spanning in age from as young as six months old to over 80 years old. Panzi’s holistic healing model provides women  with medical treatment, therapy, legal services, and job-skills training that empower survivors to create the bright futures they deserve.

Panzi is honored to receive $25,000 as part of the 2021 Holiday Impact Prize, alongside fellow recipient Per Scholas. The prize, bolstered by donations from readers, will help Panzi build a new One Stop Center where survivors can access holistic care and community members can receive excellent primary and pediatric health services. One Stop Centers ensure survivors can receive all four pillars of Panzi’s holistic approach in one place and reduces the trauma of repeating their stories by only having to tell it once. The centers are equipped with solar panels to generate clean, renewable energy, and patient fees collected for non-survivor, elective services contribute toward the sustainability of the center’s ongoing operations.

“We can’t do what we are doing without the support of our donors. The money we receive helps us take care of the women who are living at Panzi to find a new life and become autonomous. We wouldn’t be a be able to support them without the donors who are helping us,” said Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and Foundation.

This year, the $100,00 grand prize was awarded to Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit eye care organization that works with local communities around the world to develop self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight. Seva has provided vital eye care services to more than 36.8 million people in the world, working in more than 20 countries abroad and in Native American communities in the United States. The column also recognizes two volunteer opportunities – Reading Partners and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America – for those who wish to donate their time to worthy causes, particularly the mentorship and education of young people in their local communities.

Since 2009, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has written an annual “holiday gift guide” column to bridge a philanthropic gap: readers who wanted to help but didn’t know how, and heroic individuals and organizations who desperately needed resources but were off donors’ radar. In 2020, CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, an award-winning pan-African movement that catalyzes the power of the most vulnerable girls and young women to create the future they imagine, was named the Grand Prize Winner.

Focusing Philanthropy—a 501(c)3 nonprofit that finds and funds high-impact, scalable programs here and around the world—is providing the platform for this initiative by processing readers’ contributions, monitoring and reporting on results, and replenishing credit card transaction costs of donations made on so that 100 cents on the dollar will support the winning organizations.

More information about Nicholas Kristof’s Holiday Impact Prize, this year’s winners, and Focusing Philanthropy can be found at


Panzi Hospital and Foundation was founded by Dr. Denis Mukwege, a world-renowned gynecological surgeon and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Dr. Mukwege opened the hospital in 1999 to provide the women in his community with access to high-quality maternal health care. Many of his first patients, however, were not delivering mothers, but instead women who had been raped with extreme brutality and as a tactic of war, due to the ongoing conflict in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped to care for more than 85,000 women suffering from severe gynecological trauma, including 70,000 survivors of sexual violence. Panzi utilizes a four-pillar holistic healing model that combines medical treatment with psychosocial support, access to legal services, and socio-economic reintegration opportunities to help victims transform into survivors.

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