India's Radhika Batra, Zahra Joya of Afghanistan, Vanessa Nakate of Uganda and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen were 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 in New York's Lincoln centre on Tuesday in recognition of the work done by the "four remarkable changemakers" to advance progress toward 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' was conferred with the award for her work in providing last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children in India. 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.
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 announcement of the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award winners follows last week’s release of the Gates Foundation’s sixth annual Goalkeepers Report, “The Future of Progress,” co-authored by foundation co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates.