Giraffe Heroes International

 GHI brings inspiration and tools for change
to some of the most challenging places
on earth

GHI takes the vision, strategies and materials developed by the Giraffe Heroes Project over the last 30 years to countries where that inspiration and know-how can make a critical difference, helping people solve the problems that challenge their nations and their lives.

Launched in 2010, GHI is directed by John Graham, a veteran leader of the Project, former US diplomat, author of four books on leadership and citizen activism, and an internationally recognized trainer and speaker.

Working with partners in nations around the world ~

• GHI gives those partners a tested template for finding their country’s heroes and getting their stories known, inspiring other citizens to help take on public problems. Those heroes might be combating corruption, easing poverty or disease, ending conflicts, protecting the environment, advocating for women’s rights… All of them are “sticking their necks out” for the common good.

• In on-site visits, Graham helps our partners gain the cooperation and support they need from local media, government agencies, businesses, NGOs and key individuals. He also works with partners as needed to improve their skills for building ethical and competent leadership and active citizenship in their nations.

• On-site, Graham gives public speeches, workshops and media interviews, all introducing the Giraffe idea, and the inspiration and skills it can bring to the nation.

• GHI offers its full array of books, articles, graphics, website designs and trainings developed by the Giraffe Heroes Project, all of which can be adjusted to fit national traditions and languages.

• GHI works with local partners to build programs for schools and youth organizations, helping young people move into lives of courageous and compassionate service.

GHI can supply English-language civic engagement and service-learning materials that also double as texts for teaching English.

GHI programs currently include:

GHK logo



Giraffe Heroes Kenya


GHK 24

Giraffe Heroes Kenya (GHK) was launched on 17 October, 2014, two days before the official Kenya ‘Mashujaa Day’ (Heroes Day.) The gala celebration, which took place at the Waterbuck Hotel in Nakuru, honored and appreciated 23 ordinary Kenyans and one non-Kenyan, from diverse backgrounds, who are ‘sticking their necks out’ for the common good and serving their communities in selfless ways. Present at the event was John Graham, a former USA diplomat and the Director for Giraffe Heroes International as well as representatives from the County Government of Nakuru. Dignitaries from corporate, academic and religious institutions also attended.

You can find stories and pictures of the 23 Kenya Giraffe Heroes for 2014 here.

Giraffe Heroes Kenya has begun telling the stories of these Giraffes Heroes through both traditional and social media. Their stories will inspire others to become active citizens themselves in responding to challenges facing Kenyan communities and the nation. Telling the stories of heroes may be an old, old strategy, but, as the Giraffe Heroes Project USA has proven over more than 30 years, it is a powerful way to motivate positive, effective citizen action. Giraffe Heroes Kenya intends to find, honor and celebrate at least 24 Giraffe Heroes every year.

Giraffe Heroes Kenya is a wholly Kenyan-run affiliate of the Giraffe Heroes Project, USA and joins global affiliates in India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Egypt and Zimbabwe. Kenya is the first country in East Africa and the third in Africa to undertake this initiative.

Read more: Giraffe Heroes Kenya


Giraffe Heroes Zimbabwe

Giraffe Heroes Zimbabwe was launched with the purpose of moving more and more citizens of that country to “stick their necks out” for the common good, and to give them tools to succeed. The new organization follows similar groups launched over the last three years in India, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Egypt. Although completely independent, all are inspired by the work of the Giraffe Heroes Project, founded in the US in 1982.

From the Desk of the Chairman

terry m1
 Terry Mutsvanga, Chair, GHZ    
My name is Terry Mutsvanga and I am the Chairperson of Giraffe Heroes Zimbabwe. It is my pleasure to introduce you the GH Zimbabwe (GHZ) Chapter. Although the concept is still in its infancy we believe that we will grow big. We have just honored two new Giraffe Heroes, namely Tasara Wamambo and Melanie Chiponda. The two have been honored for their outstanding contributions in defending the rights of the people they serve in their respective constituencies. You can read their stories below.

GHZ  focuses on social and economic rights activists although we do not limit the political aspect. The idea is to honor such individuals for ‘standing up’ against injustice or doing something positive for the community. Just like a Giraffe that keeps its neck high so is the GH.

GH Zimbabwe strives to recognize “unsung heroes” that have positively contributed immensely in society and we hope to leave a legacy of positivity to future generations through our work.

We are  now calling upon nominations for individuals from around Zimbabwe whom you think deserve to be honored for their outstanding contributions inasmuch as advocating for social and economic rights as well as contributing positively in communities they reside in.

Do you know of a fellow Zimbabwean—man or woman, young or old, from any tribal, economic, political, social  or professional background, who is acting bravely ("sticking her or his neck out, just like a giraffe!)  to help solve one of our  country’s pressing problems, including, for example, poverty, poor infrastructure, mismanagement, corruption and enormous challenges in almost every sector of the economy. If you do, email the information to me at Terry Mutsvanga This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thank You

Giraffe Heroes Zimbabwe, as all other Giraffe Heroes programs around the world, will not take sides with any one political party or ethnic group. Rather, it will find and celebrate the work of those citizens whose lives transcend party, ethnicity and class—people whose work is dedicated to the good of all people in the country, from all parties and all groups. Here are the heroes honored to date:

Read more: Giraffe Heroes Zimbabwe


Giraffe Heroes Egypt

               graham in tahrir square cairo
John Graham in Tahrir Square, Cairo

GHI has been in contact with the heroes of Tahrir Square since the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. GHI Director John Graham went to Cairo in late May 2013 to set the groundwork for launching Giraffe Heroes Egypt (GHE), a new movement whose purpose is to find and tell the stories of Egypt's heroes—courageous men and women whose examples will inspire others to transcend religion and partisanship to build together a new Egypt that is safe, stable, just and prosperous. GHE will help construct what Egypt so desperately needs — a national process of building instead of tearing down.

Read more: Giraffe Heroes Egypt




Giraffe Heroes India

Giraffe Heroes India (GH/India) aims to bring Giraffe vision, strategies and tools for change to the 1.3 billion people on the Indian subcontinent – making it potentially by far the largest Giraffe global affiliate launched to date. Like all Giraffe Hero affiliates, GH/India will tell the inspiring stories of the country’s heroes, motivating others to become heroic too. GH/India will also offer practical tools citizen activists need to succeed, as well as Giraffe civic engagement programs in schools, helping young people build lives as courageous and compassionate citizens serving a vibrant India.

The two newest Indian Giraffe Heroes will be introduced to the nation at an event in Delhi on January 22, 2015 at the School for Inspired Leadership. They are:

Subhash Chandra Agrawal. Your brave but self-less acts of utilizing the RTI Act, for public good and sticking your neck out despite innumerable challenges has made/is making, we feel a significant impact on the governance of our various organisations



Sister Lucy Kurien. With this Commendation, we salute your brave but self-less acts of combating domestic violence prevalent in the society, providing shelters to victims of the same, rescuing abandoned women and kids who were/are victims of trafficking. 

The Giraffe Heroes/India Program

Giraffe Hero is a person who sticks his or her neck out on sustainable basis, for public good, at huge personal risk. Giraffe Heroes India Program is an off-shoot of non-profit Giraffe Heroes Project which was started in USA in 1984, by Ann Medlock. The aim of starting this Project was to find out unknown heroes of the society, commend them as Giraffes for sticking their necks out & get their stories told on radio, television & in print. Giraffe stories would tell the people that there was headway being made on the problems of the world, that there were individuals who had solutions & the courage to move into action. The stories would move people`s souls & get them moving on public problems that mattered to them.



Read more: Giraffe Heroes India



tibet-monksMonks in Shigatse, Tibet

There is no Giraffe Heroes operation in Tibet—the Chinese overlords there would shut it down in an instant.

But Tibet represents another function of Giraffe Heroes International—investigative reporting. GHI Director John Graham managed to get a tourist visa into Tibet (no easy feat, given the sensitivities of the Chinese) in October 2012. He traveled westward across the high plateau there for a week, from Lhasa to the Mt. Everest Base Camp to the frontier with Nepal, stuffing notes for his blog into his dirty socks.

What he saw and wrote about was eye-opening. He calls what the Chinese are doing to Tibet nothing less than cultural genocide. Read his report, Goodbye Tibet.



Giraffe Heroes Nepal


ghn director sushili koirala and ghi director graham dashain ceremony in nepal

Giraffe Heroes Nepal Director Dr. Sushil Koirala and
GHI Director Graham at Dashain festival, Nepal

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia, and a ten-year civil war that ended in 2006 stalled development and left many people there uncertain and afraid. Nepal needs the Giraffe message of hope, courage and service.

Giraffe Heroes Nepal (GHN) was launched in October 2011 during a ten-day visit to the country by GHI Director John Graham, working there with GHN’s leader, Dr. Sushil Koirala, already honored as a Giraffe Hero for his courageous work with Peace for Nepal (PN), an NGO he founded in 2004 to help end the bloody civil war.

Read more: Giraffe Heroes Nepal


Giraffe Heroes Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country the size of Iowa on the bulge of West Africa. It’s a potentially rich country, but impoverished by a brutal ten-year civil war that ended in 2002—think child soldiers and Blood Diamonds. The war killed thousands of people, destroyed infrastructure, and left many more people discouraged, apathetic and fearful. Sierra Leone needs a lot of inspiration, hope and guidance.

Read more: Giraffe Heroes Sierra Leone


Giraffe Heroes UK

Dealing with Muslim/non-Muslim tensions in Great Britain

In 2010, Giraffe Heroes International and the Karimia Institute launched a joint program to defuse the disaffection and anger of many Muslim youth in the UK and replace it with a growing sense of competence and hope as citizens of their adopted country.

Read more: Giraffe Heroes UK


1 Way to Help

You believe in real heroes, right? 
So keep us going!


If you need to know more,
review Giraffe basics.

Giraffe Heroes Around the World

 Please go to the Giraffe database and select the country and/or continent in question. All the commended Giraffes in the area you selected will then appear on your screen.

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Stay Informed & Inspired

From time to time, Ann Medlock, this Project's founder, does a brief but inspiring email called Heads Up. You can check out past copies here. They're so good (and so free) we bet you'll join the Heads Up circle and send them on to friends & family.

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Snapshots of GHI

Graham and friends in Beirut
Young Leaders in Lagos
John Graham In Geneva
Graham and Sudanese Professor Afaf Al-Haboub in Geneva
jg at tilingatar
Graham and students in Kathmandu