US Movie-Star Handpicks Josephine Kulea for Award in New York's Star Studded Event

American movie star George Clooney (theird left), hiswife Amal (fourth left), Kenyan Josephine Kulea (third right) and other guests at the Albie Awards in New York City on Friday, September 30, 2022.
American movie star George Clooney (third left), his wife Amal (fourth left), Kenyan Josephine Kulea (third right) and other guests at the Albie Awards in New York City on Friday, September 30, 2022.

The star of Kenyan philanthropist Josephine Kulea has continued to shine brighter after George and Amal Clooney honoured her in a star-studded event in New York City.

Kulea, who founded the Samburu Girls Foundation to rescue girls from early marriages, was picked among a handful of individuals for the inaugural Albie Awards founded by the couple.

The philanthropist hobnobbed with Hollywood's who is who including superstar Dua Lipa, fashion designer Donatella Versace, actor Julia Roberts and former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Kulea walked away with the Justice for Women award.

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Josephine Kulea (Kenya) listens as former President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)
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“We always say that justice, like war, has to be waged. It’s not something that’s just going to happen. We have to fight for it and continuously pour all of our energy into it.

"This event is an effort to shine a light on these people who are risking everything to fight for justice,” stated George in an interview with Vogue.

Others honoured at the event are Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who bagged the Justice for Journalists award as well as iAct organisation that helps refugee survivors of genocide that got the  Justice for Survivors award.

“We’ve seen that, in too many places, the people committing the worst crimes and human rights abuses are getting away with it, whereas those reporting on them are behind bars.

"So we wanted to try through our work to help to change that,” remarked Amal.

Her philanthropy work started when she rescued her cousin who was married to a man her father's age. The situation worsened when she called the police to rescue the cousin's younger sister who was offered as her replacement.

She later registered the organisation as an NGO and has since rescued more than 1,200 girls and through her organization, she has supported over 400 girls from primary school through university.

Her efforts received recognition both locally and beyond the Kenyan borders. Locally, she was awarded the Head of State Commendation (HSC) in 2012.

Kulea was named Inspiring Woman by the National Gender Equality Commission (NGEC) in 2014. She scooped the 2015 Egerton University Gender award and was named among the Top 40 Under 40 Women Award in 2016.

Some of her international recognitions include UN Person of the Year 2013, YALI Washington Fellow 2014, Equality City University of New York Award 2016 and Acumen East Africa Fellow 2013, and African Union Youth Hero 2015.

In 2021, honoured her on its annual Top 100 Kenyans list.

Kenyan philanthropist Josephine Kulea
Kenyan philanthropist Josephine Kulea
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