Indias Radhika Batra, Zahra Joya of Afghanistan, Vanessa Nakate of Uganda and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen have been honoured by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their extraordinary work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards were conferred at a glittering ceremony in New Yorks Lincoln centre on Tuesday in recognition of the work done by the “four remarkable changemakers” to advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their communities and around the world, the foundation said.
Batra, the co-founder of the nonprofit organisation Every Infant Matters has been conferred with the award for her work in providing last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children in India.
Zahra Joya, a journalist from Afghanistan who founded an online news agency, Rukhshana Media, was conferred with the award for her dedication and commitment to stories that matter to the people of Afghanistan.
Vanessa Nakate, a climate justice activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement and the Green Schools Project, was conferred with the award for her contribution to bringing a social revolution in her country.
The foundation also awarded Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, for her contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The winners were announced at the Goalkeepers Awards Ceremony, which was attended by global leaders, influencers, and changemakers, and hosted by Tumelo Mothotoane.
The award presenters included Malala Fund co-founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai; and entertainer and founder of Unicorn Island, Lilly Singh.
The ceremony featured special performances by George the Poet and Grammy-nominated singer and performer, Somi.
“While the world is far from being on track to reach the Global Goals by 2030, there is still cause for optimism. Weve seen how human ingenuity and innovation can lead to game-changing breakthroughs and progress toward our shared goals, and thats exactly what we see in this years Goalkeepers Global Goals Award winners,” said Blessing Omakwu, head of Goalkeepers.
“Each shows us how women are leading the way in coming up with innovative solutions to move the numbers in the right direction so that more people can lead healthy and productive lives, Omakwu said.
The 2022 Global Goalkeeper award, which was presented by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, recognises a leader who has driven progress on a global scale toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This years award was presented to von der Leyen who has shown determination in leading both the EU and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from crisis management to long-term recovery efforts, an official of the Foundation said.
A champion of global health and equitable access, von der Leyen was instrumental in the creation of ACT-A, a global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
She led the efforts of the European Union to support lower-income countries in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, including a commitment of 1 billion euros from the EU to boost manufacturing capacity in Africa in order to increase access to vaccines, medicines, and health technologies.
In June 2020, at the Global Vaccine Summit, von der Leyen also announced a new European Commissions contribution of 300 million euros to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The 2022 Campaign Award, which was presented by Malala Yousafzai, celebrates a campaign that has raised awareness or built a community by inspiring action and creating change.
This years award was presented to Nakate for her work to highlight the disproportionate impacts of climate change, bringing much-needed attention to the inequalities that it exacerbates, especially for women and girls in Africa.
Nakate is the founder of the Rise Up Climate Movement, which amplifies the voices of activists from Africa and across the world. She is also the founder of the Green Schools Project, which addresses energy poverty in rural schools in Uganda using economical and sustainable solutions to equip 24,000 schools with solar panels and eco stoves.
The 2022 Changemaker Award, which was presented by actress Angelina Jolie, celebrates an individual who has inspired change using personal experience or from a position of leadership.
This years award was presented to Joya for her work to ensure womens stories in her home country are reported on and reach the attention of the wider public.
The 2022 Progress Award, which was presented by Lilly Singh, celebrates an individual who supports progress via a science, technology, digital, or business initiative.
This years award was presented to Batra for her work to tackle health inequalities by providing last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children.
Batra founded Every Infant Matters when she was working as a resident doctor in a hospital in the slums of New Delhi, the foundation said in a statement.
“Since launching in 2017, the organisation has saved 74,173 children from blindness; given prenatal vitamins to more than 40,000 disadvantaged women; and provided education to prevent gender inequality and the stigma of TB, HIV/AIDS, and blindness to more than 65,000 families. Batra is progressing SDG 3,” the Gates Foundation said in a statement.
The announcement of the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award winners follows last weeks release of the Gates Foundations sixth annual Goalkeepers Report, The Future of Progress, co-authored by foundation co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates.
“Despite significant setbacks caused by overlapping global crises, the report underscores opportunities to accelerate progress toward ending poverty, fighting inequality, and reducing the impacts of climate change. In their respective essays, French Gates and Gates call for new approaches to achieving gender equality and food security.” the foundation said.
“They also cite dramatic progress in dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemica nearly 60% decline in annual deaths between 2000 and 2020as an example of what can happen when the world invests in long-term solutions and innovative approaches to entrenched issues.” it said.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving peoples health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all peopleespecially those with the fewest resourceshave access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
Goalkeepers is the foundations campaign to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).
“By sharing stories and data behind the Global Goals through an annual report, we hope to inspire a new generation of leadersGoalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable, and drive action to achieve the Global Goals..” the foundation said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)