CYFI are thrilled to announce that on 26 April 2018, CYFI's Founder Ms. Jeroo Billimoria received a Royal Honor from the King of the Netherlands by being appointed Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
The Order of Orange-Nassau (Orde van Oranje-Nassau) is a special high-ranking Dutch civilian order of chivalry awarded to persons who have committed outstanding service to society. As an Officer of the Order, Jeroo is now ranked among renowned Dutch politicians, artists and scientists.
Global Social Entrepreneur
This Honor recognizes Jeroo's contribution to global society, having established and led multiple international non-governmental organizations based in the Netherlands. Jeroo founded Child Helpline International (CHI) in 2003 with the intention of improving child protection systems by strengthening child helplines around the world. Today, CHI comprises a network of 180 helplines in 147 countries. Following CHI in 2005, Jeroo founded Aflatoun International to teach children about money to break the cycle of poverty. The Alfatoun campaign received the support of H.M. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and, in partnership with Nederlandsche Bank and Deloitte, reached 11 million people in 109 countries. In 2011, Jeroo founded her third organization, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), a global system change organization working with partners in over 150 countries to ensure financial inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education for young people worldwide. CYFI has reached 36 million young people under Jeroo's leadership, supporting 16,000 youth entrepreneurs through the Ye! Community initiative and reaching over 7 million children in their annual, Global Money Week.
Jeroo is considered among the world's leading social entrepreneurs and is now working on her ninth entrepreneurial venture. In the last 15 years, Jeroo's three organizations have touched the lives of an estimated 200 million children globally. NGO Advisor recently ranked Aflatoun International, CYFI and CHI in the Top 500 NGOs World making Jeroo the only person globally to have three organization ranked in the top 100. With her organizations ranked at 26th, 32nd and 84th place (respectively), Jeroo's work is highly regarded across the non-profit network.
Not only is Jeroo a Skoll Awardee, she is also an Ashoka and Schwab Fellow. She was recognized for her innovation and leadership when she was awarded Union of Arab Banks award in 2015. Jeroo was ranked 3rd in the charity and non-profit category of Opzij's Top 100 Influential Women.
A Personal Achievement
Jeroo's appointment as Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau is made all the more remarkable as she is the only non-European to receive a royal honor amongst all the ranks this year, and by the fact that she moved to the Netherlands 15 years ago and managed to accomplish all that she did despite not knowing anyone except her husband.
Reflecting on the Honor, Jeroo said:
"This is a remarkable honor I share with all of my colleagues across organizations, partners and supporters that have believed and shared our vision. With long standing strategic partners like Deloitte, Houthoff Buruma, Mastercard Foundation, Mastercard Corporation, McKinsey & Company, the players of the People's Postcode Lottery and the Zurich Foundation we have been able to accomplish all that we did and empower young people across the world to take the future into their own hands."
The CYFI team are proud of Jeroo's achievements and are looking forward to supporting her in her next venture.