This year’s winners include Youth Safety Awareness Initiative in Nairobi and Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop in Washington, DC, which are being honored for their work providing opportunities for youth who have been incarcerated and keeping young people out of jail.
Although they work in different regions of the world, both organizations help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth achieve their goals and become community change-makers. They use arts and education as tools to empower young people in conflict with the law, and they advocate for criminal justice reforms.
For the first time, the Courage Award Selection Committee has also chosen a third winner that has worked courageously to prevent violence against children and to promote their health and rights in its home country.
Juliette Gimon, former Board Chair of Global Fund for Children, passed away on February 24, 2018. Global Fund for Children established the Juliette Gimon Fund for Courageous Leadership, a more than $1 million endowment made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and other generous donors.
Annual awards from the fund – the Juliette Gimon Courage Awards – recognize innovative grassroots organizations around the world that are positively impacting children in especially challenging circumstances. Some recipients will have overcome considerable obstacles to pioneer an innovation that transforms circumstances for children and youth. Others will demonstrate the courage of resilience, thriving amid unusual contextual challenges; still others will have leaders who have navigated personal hardship and channeled adversity into their organization’s cause.
Read the press release
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop – United States: Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop uses books and creative writing to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults realize their full potential and build connections with the community. The organization also provides workforce development, peer support, trauma healing, and violence prevention programs.
Youth Safety Awareness Initiative – Kenya: Dedicated to reducing rates of incarceration and recidivism among Kenyan youth, Youth Safety Awareness Initiative works directly in prisons to develop young people’s leadership and livelihood skills. The organization also works in areas with high crime rates to empower young people and keep them from coming into conflict with the law.
Third Winner: For the first time, the Courage Award Selection Committee has also chosen a third winner that has worked courageously to prevent violence against children and to promote their health and rights in its home country.
Avani – India: In India, Avani rescues children from hazardous labor in Kolhapur’s brickyards and sugarcane farms and coordinates their comprehensive rehabilitation – providing them with safe housing, food, education, vocational training, and more.
Challenging Heights – Ghana: Working along Ghana’s Lake Volta, Challenging Heights rescues children from slavery in the fishing industry and provide them with comprehensive rehabilitation services, including helping them safely reunite with their families.
ASOGEN – Guatemala: In the Guatemalan states of Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, and Sololá, ASOGEN is the only community-based organization to offer survivors of gender-based violence the legal aid, medical services, and psychological support they urgently need.
Mavi Kalem – Turkey: Mavi Kalem has spent nearly two decades mobilizing community volunteers to empower impoverished women and children in Istanbul, including rapidly adapting to meet the needs of Turkey’s growing Syrian refugee population.
Check out the stories below to learn more about the Courage Awards!
Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.
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