Mumbai, Maharashtra, 4th November 2019 –
The following articulate and dauntlessly courageous social crusaders were honoured with the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice in the field of Contemporary Forms of Slavery:
- Ajeet Singh (Founder, Guria) – An activist who fearlessly spearheads the fight to combat sexual exploitation of women and children in India.
- Alezandra Russell (Founder, Urban Light) – She runs an organisation in Thailand that empowers & rehabilitates boys and men who are victims of trafficking and exploitation. She is actively breaking the stereotypical belief that only girls are the vulnerable ones and boys can defend themselves.
- Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (Executive Director, Dr Torsten Trey) – An organisation that continually upholds ethical practices in medicine and its fight against organ trafficking. They exposed the malpractices of the Falun Gong ethnic group that caused the death of thousands, sparking international outrage. This is also relevant in India, where over 80,000 children are suspected to be victims of his heinous crime.
- Free A Girl (Founder, Evelien Hölsken) – An organisation that transforms victims into victors by training them to be lawyers through their unique initiative called School for Justice for effective prosecution. They are dedicated to freeing minor girls from sexual slavery in countries like India, Nepal, Iraq, Bangladesh, Thailand and Brazil.
- Hasina Kharbhih (Founder, Impulse NGO Network) – An organisation which upgrades traditional skills and equips women from vulnerable communities as entrepreneurs providing market access, to prevent human trafficking. She has transformed the lives of over 72,000 women and children in North East India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
- Jeevika (Founder, Dr. Kiran Kamal Prasad) – An organisation working to end bonded labour in Karnataka by freeing and rehabilitating those who have been trapped in its clutches. They have rescued over 5000 people in the state.
- Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi (Founder, Bachpan Bachao Andolan) – He is an activist campaigning against child labour and advocating for the universal right to education in India. His activism to speak up and become a voice for the voiceless minors who are entrapped in the most brutal forms of modern-day slavery has made an impeccable impact on the lives of many children previously enslaved.
- Office for the Rescue of Yazidis (Director, Hussein Al-Qaidi) – An organisation that has successfully rescued over 3500 Yazidi women and children from the perilous clutches of ISIS and are still on a mission to rescue others.
- Prerana (Co-Founder, Priti Patkar) – An NGO that operates in the red-light districts of Mumbai to protect children vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. They pioneered the world’s first Night Care Shelter in a red light area, the world’s first comprehensive Educational Support Program and the establishment of an Anti-Trafficking Centre.
- Rob Williams (CEO, War Child UK) – He rescues, reforms and rehabilitates child soldiers rescued from warlords and armed groups notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. He strives to ensure that children rescued from armed groups are supported back into education through re-integration.
These noble reformists were honoured at the Mother Teresa Memorial Award ceremony held on Sunday, November 3, 2019, at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai, where winners had the opportunity to be recognised and deliver a short acceptance speech. The Mother Teresa Memorial Awards are available online at www.theharmonyfoundation.org/mother-teresa-awards .
About the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards:
An award with a 15-year legacy, the Harmony Foundation organised an annual award ceremony honouring excellence in the social sphere. Established in 2005, this year’s Mother Teresa Awards spanned over 4 continents and over a dozen countries. The Award is the only one endorsed by Sr. Prema, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata. A few of the previous recipients of this prestigious Award have been Ms. Malala Yousufzai, H.H. The Dalai Lama, the current Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohamad; former Deputy Speaker of the UK’s House of Lords Baroness Caroline Cox and Aid Groups like Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).