The medal was founded by World Organization Koluchstyl, to pay tribute to people and institutions who have devoted their lives to working for others, and through this have contributed to the development of human, earth and human integration.
The Heart of the Earth medal is also a reminder for those who selflessly assist others, they are not alone, that they are internationally recognised and appreciated. This recognition can be helpful in extending the reach and impact of their work.
Philip is one of seven global recipients in the first round of awards which were handed over in Poland in December. He passed up the opportunity to attend the ceremony, as he was involved in the first Blind Cricket World Cup in South Africa at the time.
Philip has dedicated his life to the service of the visually impaired, to his local community, and his environment. He has served as a the executive director and vice president of LOFOB for many years, is a founding member of the Princess Vlei Forum, and has been active an many community forums including LOGRA, the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, the Community Policing Forum. His unwavering dedication to humanity, and willingness to sacrifice his time and resources in this cause make him a very worthy recipient of this award.
See also the news report on the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance website.
Below is the entry on Philip Bam from the Heart of the Earth Foundation website.
He lives in Cape Town.
He studied at the Calvinist Theological Seminary, and was ordained in 1973.
Because of his great interest in the affairs of the visually handicapped community, Mr Bam resigned his full time ministry in 1979 to take up the position of Executive Director of the League of Friends of the Blind [LOFOB].
He is however still active in the church, conducting services and chairing its synodal commission on dogmatics and current affairs.
Mr Bam also holds the Diploma in Business Administration, 1st Class, from Executive Education, Cape Town, as well as a Diploma in Public Relations from the Centre for Management Development, Cape Town.
His involvement in blindness issues extends to all aspects of the world of the blind.
He served as Chairperson of the management board member of the Haven Night Shelter Welfare Organisation providing nineteen shelters in the Western Cape.
He is chairperson of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance an organistion of 160 community based organisation and environmental groups.
He currently serves as Chairperson of the Princess Vlei Forum, comprising various interest groups involved in heritage, culture and environmental protection.
As the Executive Director of LOFOB he was personally responsible for the establishment of a new hostel in Grassy Park for 52 blind men.
Under his guidance a Work Centre creating employment for over 120 blind people.. This Centre also provided some job opportunities for unemployed people.
He was invited to become a trustee of Disability Employment Concerns, an empowerment of disabled people investment group, an organisation funding the building of schools where the State cannot do so.
Under his able direction a community-based rehabilitation programme was established for low ability blind people. He also established the Early Childhood Development programme for blind toddlers at LOFOB
He is considered to have expertise in the field of organisational development and management as well as fundraising .
He was the recipient of many various appreciation awards from community organisations. He was named a MELVYN JONES FELLOW which is the highest international recognition afforded by Lions International for humanitarian service.