Commonwealth Point of Light 150. Ruy Santos
Ruy Santos, representing Mozambique, is the founder of ‘Makobo’, a platform which creates sustainable solutions to social problems.
During the pandemic, Ruy has encouraged local seamstresses to make and sell face masks, meeting the demand for personal protective equipment, while teaching women new skills and providing them with a platform to sell their items. Ruy also runs a soup kitchen, feeding over 600 people a day, as well as a ‘Solidarity School’ which provides literacy support to 120 children a week.
NneNne Iwuji-Eme, UK High Commissioner in Mozambique, said:
“It is a great pleasure to present this Commonwealth Points of Light award to Ruy on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. His selfless dedication to supporting needy and vulnerable people in his community during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond is remarkable. Most recently, Ruy’s ‘Makobo’ platform has been producing protective masks whilst promoting business opportunities for community based seamstresses. The sales revenue will guarantee food security and education on prevention against COVID-19 to vulnerable communities, namely children, women, elderly and disabled people. I’m delighted that Ruy will be the third Points of Light joining the two others from Mozambique. I hope that this recognition inspires many other Mozambicans to drive positive change in their communities.”
“There are no words to describe how I am feeling about the nomination to receive this prestigious award. More than the recognition for my work, it is a testimony of faith, perseverance, courage and belief I receive from those who accompany me in this journey, and have been supporting my project, making it possible to achieve incredible results throughout these years.
“This opportunity doubles our responsibility for the future: first, it demands a broader commitment from us towards the ones that lost hope and have no more strength to fight poverty, and second, the advocacy for those who were elected by the people to take on their hands the responsibilities and duty to protect their people.
“May this ‘light’ inspire many others, making more people engage in this call for action, for their involvement and commitment to the cause of serving others before we serve ourselves. May this ‘light’ enhance our capacity to ‘multiply tables’ and build more ‘social bridges of light and hope’ to illuminate the path towards a more inclusive, tolerant, equal, and solidarity country, region, continent and world.
“There are no changes without commitment. May this ‘light’ bring more lives out of the shadow and help me on this journey to build a ‘better Mozambique for everyone’. Honour, privilege, blessing, gratitude.”