This year’s winners are AIL in Afghanistan, IRODA in Tajikistan, and WAVES in Sierra Leone, which are being honored for their work defending the rights of children and youth to access quality education and reach their full potential.
These organizations have challenged systems that exclude young people from education, empowering girls and children with disabilities. All three winning organizations were also founded by courageous female leaders.
This year, the Courage Award Selection Committee has designated a new category of award recognition, honorees, to celebrate more community-based organizations positively impacting children in challenging circumstances. The 2022 honorees are Yanapanakusun in Peru and Warriors Zulu Nation Honduras in Honduras.
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.
Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) – Afghanistan: Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has increased access to education in Afghanistan by providing girls and women with private schools and learning centers and by fostering literacy. With growing concerns about girls’ access to schools and education again, AIL is exploring safe ways to bring education to girls and women, including a partnership with TV Meraj for a televised education program that would reach children without access to school.
IRODA – Tajikistan: IRODA provides access to quality services appropriate for the unique needs of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); trains professionals and parents on working with children with ASD; facilitates a parent support group; and helps children with ASD enroll in formal school. The organization has also set up both the first social enterprise café and the first early intervention resource center in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (WAVES) – Sierra Leone: WAVES empowers girls to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence and to advocate for their sexual and reproductive health and rights, while engaging adults in the community to adopt more supportive attitudes and practices. The organization also advocates for policy changes that benefit girls and women.
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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