The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday announced the winners of its annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards.
In a statement, the Foundation recognized Radhika Batra of India, Zahra Joya of Afghanistan, Vanessa Nakate of Uganda, and Ursula von der Leyen of Germany for their extraordinary work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in their communities and around the world.
Radhika Batra, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Every Infant Matters, which provides last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children in India.
Zahra Joya, a journalist from Afghanistan who founded and self-funded Rukhshana Media, an online news agency focused exclusively on covering issues that affect the women of Afghanistan.
Vanessa Nakate, a climate justice activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement and the Green Schools Project.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
The winners were announced at the Goalkeepers Awards Ceremony, which was attended by global leaders, influencers, and changemakers, and hosted by Tumelo Mothotoane, senior anchor at South African news broadcaster eNCA.
Award presenters included Malala Fund co-founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai; and entertainer and founder of Unicorn Island, Lilly Singh.
“While the world is far from being on track to reach the Global Goals by 2030, there is still cause for optimism. We’ve seen how human ingenuity and innovation can lead to game-changing breakthroughs and progress toward our shared goals, and that’s exactly what we see in this year’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Award winners,” said Blessing Omakwu, head of Goalkeepers.
“Each show us how women are leading the way in coming up with the innovative solutions to move the numbers in the right direction, so that more people can lead healthy and productive lives,” Omakwu added.