As part of Goalkeepers, the 2017 Global Goals Awards took place on Tuesday 19th September hosted by United Nations deputy secretary-general Amina J. Mohammed and Melinda Gates.
Global leaders, philanthropists, media, non-profits and business leaders gathered to honour, celebrate and support new and emerging ‘Goalkeepers’ – individuals with extraordinary stories, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2017 categories included the Healthy Not Hungry Award, the Young Goalkeeper Award, the Leave No One Behind Award, the Leadership Award, the Innovation Award and our annual Global Goalkeeper.
Presenters and special guests included H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Casey Neistat, Connie Britton, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Jaden Smith, Lais Riberio, Naomi Campbell, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Priyanka Chopra, Richard Curtis, will.i.am and more.
Young Goalkeeper Award Winner: Laura Ulloa, Colombia
Laura Ulloa was just 11 years old when she was kidnapped and held captive by FARC for seven
months. Her ordeal started in 1999 when she and her family were victims of one of the biggest mass kidnappings in Colombia. While she and her family were able to escape, others were not so fortunate. Two years later in 2001, members of the FARC-EP hijacked her school bus and took her as the sole hostage.
After living this ordeal Laura has dedicated her life to helping former guerrillas get reintegrated into society. Through her work with the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, for the Security Council of the United Nations and as coordinator for Social Projects at the Corona Foundation in Colombia, Laura is changing lives.
Laura’s efforts are remarkable. Even after being a victim of kidnapping, she has dedicated her life to help demobilized FARC guerrillas (her captors) re-enter society. Not many people in Colombia support that work, but for Laura this is a way of contributing to bringing peace to her country.
Leave No-One Behind Award Winner: Felix Manyogote, Tanzania
Felix is a social entrepreneur and medical student dedicating his life to help others, especially those in vulnerable communities. After losing his Aunt while she was giving birth, due to prolonged labor accompanied by excessive bleeding, he focused his
work on reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania.
Through his project MAMA AFYA (MAMA Delivery KIT) he provides free maternal and new born health services, distributes free clean delivery and new born kits and develops an effective line distribution so that women are connected irrespective of their location.
Felix’s charisma, leadership and reliability has impacted the lives of more than 15,000 people. His project MAMA AFYA has managed to distribute 1,200 birth kits, saving the lives of more than 4,000 mothers and newborns. Endorsed by the government of Tanzania as a brand innovator for improving lives of vulnerable communities, Manyogote has also been working to tackle prevalent issues among women such as female genital mutilation, early marriages and promotion of girls’ education.
Innovation Award Winner: Marieme Jamme, 42, Senegal / UK
Marieme grew up in Senegal and endured a difficult childhood that included being trafficked. She emerged from this to teach herself how to read and write at age 16. Today, she channels this experience to inspire youth, especially young girls through SpotOne Global Solutions, where as Chief Executive she encourages global investment in African IT infrastructure. She’s also the founder of the iamthecode movement, an effort to teach 1 million girls and women to code by 2030, and which addresses Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 8 and 9.
In Africa, young girls growing up in slums are often forgotten and can’t develop to their full potential. They don’t have access to basic education, and through her work Marieme is helping to break down these barriers and move girls in the technology industry forward through inclusion, creating the next potential digital leaders.
Healthy Not Hungry Award Winner: Bernard Coulibaly, 45, Mali
Bernard is the Deputy Prefect of Yorosso in the South of Mali who has focused his work on reducing child malnutrition rates in his community. This area was once known as critical in terms of malnutrition, but thanks to his dedication and commitment, severe
acute malnutrition rates were reduced from 2,3% to 0,4 % from 2012 to 2016 and stunting levels by nearly half (from 27.8 % to 15.4%). Stead-fast progress has been made through his strong leadership and community ownership has translated into real results, making him a wonderful example of how political leaders can make a tangible difference for their people.
Bernard’s dedication and leadership has contributed to improve children’s well-being in Yorosso, but he has also brought together the whole community, ensuring continuity and ownership.
Leadership Award Winner: Ria Sharma, 26, New Delhi
Ria Sharma, a fashion student at Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom returned to India in the third year of her graduate programme to make a documentary on acid attack survivors. In the process of creating the documentary, she met several survivors and their stories touched her and inspired her to help.
She founded Make Love Not Scars (MLNS) which is an organisation that actively supports survivors of acid attacks physically and mentally, and campaigns to raise awareness of the issue.
Acid attacks against women especially have risen in recent years in India. They are particularly committed by men who wish to seek ‘revenge’ against women who refuse their advances or against wives who do not bring enough dowry.
MLNS have ensured that survivors receive free treatment under the Supreme Court order for the welfare of acid victims passed in April 2015. They also receive government compensation and legal aid to source lawyers and fund the legal battles of many survivors and on March 7, they launched the first-ever rehabilitation center of its kind in India to extend services to survivors of acid attacks.