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.
More than 160 organizations have received the award since its establishment in 2005. 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.
Asociación Comunitaria Hilarte provides educational and rehabilitation services for children and young people in Guayaquil, Ecuador, using art and play as its primary tools.
The organization plans to use the Sustainability Award to expand its educational infrastructure, and to implement an educational and artistic store that will offer specialized art supplies and children’s books, generating revenue for Asociación Comunitaria Hilarte.
Association Jeunesse Espoir is based in Saint Louis, Senegal, and advances the rights and education of adolescent girls – especially those who live on the streets or are at high risk for human trafficking, modern-day slavery, sexual violence, or abuse – by providing them with a safe space and psychosocial support, helping to reunite them with their families, and helping them to go to school.
The organization plans to use the Sustainability Award to strengthen an agricultural incubator that helps young people who are unable to return to school achieve economic independence through agricultural entrepreneurship.
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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