Meet Our Champions
2022 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards
The Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards are an annual recognition of remarkable individuals taking action to help achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
The approach of these four individuals is key because they center the voices of others—from silenced activists and community members to underrepresented children and adults. Take a moment to read their incredible stories and celebrate this new cohort of Global Goals Award winners.
2022 Goalkeepers Global Goals Award Winners
In 2015, Jenifer Colpas came face-to-face with the water crisis while volunteering in rural areas of Colombia. Jenifer is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tierra Grata, a social enterprise that develops low-cost, easy-to-install solutions providing access to clean energy, safe water, and sanitation to rural communities in Colombia.
“I'm understanding my country in practice, not just reading something on the news,” she says. To date, her team has managed to reach about 10,000 people through tangible health and hygiene improvements to rural areas in Colombia. Access to private toilets also means that women and girls are protected from sexual harassment and health problems brought on by contaminated water sources. Together, this empowers families to make safe and sustainable choices.
Satta is the founder and executive director of Action for Justice and Human Rights (AJHR) — a youth-led non-governmental organization in Liberia. AJHR advocates for human rights especially on issues of gender-based violence and child marriage.
“I’m not just doing it for myself. I'm related to people who are directly affected by gender-based violence in Liberia,” she said.
In response to a spike in rape cases in Liberia, Satta worked alongside the Affiliation of Child and Women Right Advocates to lobby the national government. As a result, Liberia's President declared rape a National Emergency in 2020, allocating a $4M budget and developing a national Sexual and Gender-Based Violence roadmap for Liberia. Today, she is President of the Affiliation of Women and Children Rights Advocates.
Dr. Radhika Batra
A native of New Delhi, Dr. Radhika Batra is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Every Infant Matters, which tackles health inequalities by providing last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children.
She founded Every Infant Matters while working as a resident doctor in a hospital in the slums in New Delhi and witnessing children suffering first-hand from easily preventable diseases, disabilities, and deaths. She is now a pediatrician and neonatologist in training.
Their flagship project is reducing preventable blindness by dispensing vitamin A to marginalized children. By knitting together supply chains through partner organizations, Every Infant Matters has given vitamin A drops to almost 70,000 children to date, reaching communities via medical outreach camps and door-to-door delivery.
Since launching in 2017, they have saved 74,173 children from blindness; over 40,000 disadvantaged pregnant women have been given prenatal vitamins; and they have provided education to prevent gender inequality and the stigma of TB, HIV/AIDS, and blindness to over 65,000 families.
A journalist from Afghanistan, Zahra Joya founded and self-funded Rukhshana Media, an online news agency focused exclusively on covering issues that affect women of Afghanistan—the first national news organization of its kind.
Through Rukhshana Media, Zahra is ensuring that women’s stories and issues in Afghanistan are reported on and brought to the attention of a wider public.
The Rukhshana Media team of journalists report on women’s issues as a way to create debates, inform, analyze, and investigate issues related to their lives. Rukhshana Media also works to provide educational and professional opportunities for women journalists.
In August 2021, Zahra had to flee Afghanistan. Now living as a refugee in the UK, she continues to actively manage Rukhshana Media and her team remotely, publishing their reports about women’s life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Rukhshana Media has partnered with British newspaper The Guardian to bring their stories to a global audience. This year, marking the one-year anniversary since the Taliban returned to power, they also partnered with TIME magazine to highlight the stories of women who left Afghanistan.
Global Goalkeeper Award
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Among the initiatives that flourished under her leadership, she helped to create the Generation Equality Forum—a global gathering for gender equality that mobilized a historic $40 billion USD in commitments from Member States, private sector partners, philanthropies, and civil societies to drive transformative change for women and girls.
She became a member of Parliament and Deputy Minister in the Mandela government. Later she was appointed Deputy President, working on the fight against HIV/AIDS and coordinating efforts between multiple sectors to address poverty and education issues.
Phumzile is a global champion for gender equality, human rights, and social justice.
Fairooz Faizah is co-founder of Moner School - an anonymous online platform that works with youth to educate them about the importance of mental health care through training, workshops, and a 24/7 online mental health first aid service.
She and six of her peers, who met through a youth platform project, began the task of meeting a need that was quite taboo in Bangladesh.
For Fairooz, her courage to prioritize her own mental health was the first step in healing from the senseless killing of her father. As she emerged out of her own depression, Fairooz was called to pursue a career in mental health.
Today, she leans on mental health professionals to strengthen the Moner community.
2022 Global Goalkeeper Award
Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen is the president of the European Commission and a strong champion of global health. In her current role she continues to navigate the daunting challenges that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. She secured member states’ access to COVID-19 vaccines, secured ample supply of vaccines to enable the EU to reach its target of 70% of adult Europeans vaccinated by September 1, 2021, and proposed and negotiated the groundbreaking €800 billion EU recovery package, NextGeneration EU.
She advocated for a global pandemic response to support low-income countries by being instrumental in the creation of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and its vaccine pillar COVAX, as well as launching the Coronavirus Global Response through hosting two pledging events in May and June of 2020, ultimately raising almost €16 billion in pledges from donors, including €1.4 billion from the Commission. Her Commission co-hosted the Global Health Summit in May 2021 to bring leaders together to accelerate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future ones.
Vanessa Nakate is a climate justice activist from Uganda. She campaigns internationally to highlight the impact of climate change already playing out in Africa, bringing much-needed attention to the inequalities that climate change exacerbates and especially how it disproportionately affects women and girls in Africa.
Vanessa 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 Greens School 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.