Maya Ajmera founded Global Fund for Children in 1993, when she was just 25 years old, after experiencing a “moment of obligation” on a train platform in India. Under Maya’s 17 years of leadership (1993-2011), GFC grew from a seedling vision into one of the largest networks of community-based organizations working on behalf of children and youth worldwide.
Maya’s radical vision to support small, local organizations with flexible funds – thereby improving the lives of children and youth in marginalized communities around the world – continues to drive GFC’s work today.
Under Maya’s leadership, GFC first pioneered the Sustainability Awards in 2005, providing a special infusion of funds to outstanding partners at a critical stage of their development. This award was renamed the Maya Ajmera Sustainability Award in 2011, honoring Maya’s years of service to GFC.
Since its establishment in 2005, 170 organizations have received the award. Our programs team determines a pool of nominees each year; winners are then chosen by alumni winners and members of GFC’s Youth Leadership Council through a participatory selection process.
Some Sustainability Award winners have achieved exceptional success in organizational development; many have attained regional and national influence and recognition in the field of children’s rights; others have demonstrated a deep commitment to learning and leadership throughout their GFC partnership.
With support from GFC, each winner determines how to apply the award funds toward its sustainability – whether that means establishing a reserve fund, investing in human resources, or implementing creative revenue generation activities.
In a 2018 impact assessment of the award, which surveyed alumni winners, 98% of respondents found the award very or extremely helpful to their development.
Dedicated to removing barriers to girls’ education in Sierra Leone, Center for Advocacy and Sustainable Empowerment (CASE SALONE) empowers girls to stay in school, realize their potential, and take on leadership positions. Working in schools and communities, the organization establishes student empowerment clubs; trains girls in leadership and public speaking; and provides girls with safe spaces and counseling services. It also operates savings initiatives to help parents invest in their children’s education.
CASE SALONE plans to use the Sustainability Award to strengthen its Teen Talk program, which builds adolescents’ capacity to advance their rights. It will also invest in other programs, including a microloan initiative that helps parents financially support their children’s education. In addition, the award funds will be used to support staff salaries, fundraising training for staff, and office-related costs like rent.
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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