Announcing the 2023 winners

AMI-East and SPMUS win 2023 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards!

This year’s winners are AMI-East in Ukraine and SPMUS in India, which are being recognized and honored for their dedication to improving the wellbeing of children who are living in extremely vulnerable contexts.

These organizations have prioritized the safety and care of children in dangerous circumstances, including trafficked children and child refugees. Both organizations have displayed unwavering commitment in advocating for the rights of children in the midst of many challenges.

This year, the Courage Award Selection Committee is recognizing not only the two award winners but also the ten finalists, celebrating their inspirational courage and perseverance in addressing the needs of children and youth and fighting for social change.


About the awards

Juliette possessed a brave and passionate spirit that helped to change hundreds of thousands of young lives. The Courage Awards honor her legacy.

Courage Awards 2023 badgeJuliette 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.


Meet our winners


Read the press release 

Luhansk Regional Organization – Association of Women, Youth, and Families with Disabilities of the Eastern Donbas (AMI-East) – Ukraine: AMI-East has pioneered support for children and youth with disabilities in a society where they face social exclusion and lack of opportunities. The organization provides legal, psychological, medical, educational, and social assistance to children and young people living with disabilities. Since February 2022, the AMI-EAST staff have bravely been supporting children and youth who were forced to flee their homes because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Suprava Panchashila Mahila Uddyog Samity (SPMUS) – India: SPMUS works with women and children in West Bengal, which has one of the highest rates of trafficking and child marriage in India. The organization rescues, rehabilitates, and reintegrates trafficked women and girls; works to prevent domestic violence and early marriage; and cares for and supports deserted women. The courageous staff of SPMUS often face a community that is resistant to their efforts to change ingrained customs. But they believe in creating opportunities for the children and women in their community and advocating for their rights.


Read the press release | Watch the winner event

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.

2021: Free Minds, Youth Safety Awareness Initiative & Third Winner

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.


Watch the announcement | Read the press release

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.


Watch the announcement | Read the press release

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!

Featured Stories

Featured News

June 28, 2023
Global Fund for Children recognizes organizations that are prioritizing the wellbeing of children in dangerous circumstances, including trafficked children and child refugees.
June 1, 2022
Global Fund for Children recognizes three organizations challenging systems that exclude children and youth from education.
May 20, 2021
Global Fund for Children recognizes two organizations empowering incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth.
May 3, 2021
You’re invited to a virtual celebration to honor three organizations working to advance the rights of young people living in especially challenging circumstances.
April 28, 2020
Global Fund for Children recognizes grassroots organizations Avani and Challenging Heights for boldly fighting child labor, trafficking, and slavery.
April 2, 2019
Global Fund for Children announces the winners of its inaugural Juliette Gimon Courage Awards at the 2019 Global Philanthropy Forum, recognizing ASOGEN and Mavi Kalem for their work to boldly pursue justice for children in Guatemala and Turkey.
March 15, 2019
On April 2, Global Fund for Children will announce the inaugural winners of the Juliette Gimon Courage Awards at the 2019 Global Philanthropy Forum.

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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