Jerome Cowans (Jamaica)
Jerome Cowans grew up in the inner-city community of Tela-Viv in Kingston, Jamaica; one of the most dangerous communities in the Caribbean. In his youth he was surrounded by violence as many young men from his community were coerced onto the wrong side of the law. At the age of 13, Jerome recognised that there was a need for a community-based organisation that would provide personal development opportunities and support for the youth in his community. Unable to find any organisation that would provide that support, he began his own in 2004, called the LEAD Youth Club. This organisation provides positive reinforcement to youth and tirelessly assists them in obtaining scholarships for university, providing internships for qualified persons to earn a living, and providing training to those interested in entrepreneurship.
Sunitha Krishnan (India)
Indian social activist Sunitha Krishnan is the co-founder and chief functionary of Prajwala, an organisation that rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates sex-trafficked victims into society. Sunitha’s creation of Prajwala dates back to 1996, after a red-light area in Hyderabad was evacuated. Thousands of women, who had been caught in the clutches of prostitution, were left homeless. Sunitha Krishnan started a transition school at a vacated brothel to prevent the second generation from being trafficked and has continued to work tirelessly to raise awareness about, and create opportunities for, those she helps. In the year leading to her being awarded, her advocacy work with local business owners helped to create jobs for those trained in her schools.
Project Pink Blue (Nigeria)
Project Pink Blue is an organisation based in Nigeria that has worked to provide poor and rural communities with access to general health education, including information, screening and treatment of cancer. Many rural communities are impoverished and the impacts people suffer from include poor health and malnutrition. Alcohol abuse, smoking, and underage sex, among other risk factors, have increased, along with the incident rate of cancer. Since its founding, Project PINK BLUE has been able to impact the lives of many people, across generations, by providing cancer and general health education that includes living healthier lifestyles and preventive measures, and distributing breast self-examination guides. In the year leading up to the awards, over 600 women were treated and millions had been reached. They also helped cancer patients pay for treatment that was unaffordable to them.