As part of Goalkeepers, the 2017 Global Goals Awards took place on Tuesday 19th September hosted by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and Melinda Gates.

Global leaders, philanthropists, media, non-profits and business leaders gathered to honour, celebrate and support new and emerging ‘Goalkeepers’ – individuals with extraordinary stories, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2017 categories included the Healthy Not Hungry Award, the Young Goalkeeper Award, the Leave No One Behind Award, the Leadership Award, the Innovation Award and our annual Global Goalkeeper.

Presenters and special guests included H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Casey Neistat, Connie Britton, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Jaden Smith, Lais Riberio, Naomi Campbell, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Priyanka Chopra, Richard Curtis, and more.

2017 Winners…


Laura Ulloa, Columbia

Laura Ulloa was just 11 years old when she was kidnapped and held captive by FARC for seven

months. Her ordeal started in 1999 when she and her family were victims of one of the biggest mass kidnappings in Colombia. While she and her family were able to escape, others were not so fortunate. Two years later in 2001, members of the FARC-EP hijacked her school bus and took her as the sole hostage.

After living this ordeal Laura has dedicated her life to helping former guerrillas get reintegrated into society. Through her work with the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, for the Security Council of the United Nations and as coordinator for Social Projects at the Corona Foundation in Colombia, Laura is changing lives.

Laura’s efforts are remarkable. Even after being a victim of kidnapping, she has dedicated her life to help demobilized FARC guerrillas (her captors) re-enter society. Not many people in Colombia support that work, but for Laura this is a way of contributing to bringing peace to her country.


Felix Manyogote, Tanzania

Felix is a social entrepreneur and medical student dedicating his life to help others, especially those in vulnerable communities. After losing his Aunt while she was giving birth, due to prolonged labor accompanied by excessive bleeding, he focused his

work on reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania.

Through his project MAMA AFYA (MAMA Delivery KIT) he provides free maternal and new born health services, distributes free clean delivery and new born kits and develops an effective line distribution so that women are connected irrespective of their location.

Felix’s charisma, leadership and reliability has impacted the lives of more than 15,000 people. His project MAMA AFYA has managed to distribute 1,200 birth kits, saving the lives of more than 4,000 mothers and newborns. Endorsed by the government of Tanzania as a brand innovator for improving lives of vulnerable communities, Manyogote has also been working to tackle prevalent issues among women such as female genital mutilation, early marriages and promotion of girls’ education.



Marieme grew up in Senegal and endured a difficult childhood that included being trafficked. She emerged from this to teach herself how to read and write at age 16. Today, she channels this experience to inspire youth, especially young girls through SpotOne Global Solutions, where as Chief Executive she encourages global investment in African IT infrastructure. She’s also the founder of the iamthecode movement, an effort to teach 1 million girls and women to code by 2030, and which addresses Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 8 and 9.

In Africa, young girls growing up in slums are often forgotten and can’t develop to their full potential. They don’t have access to basic education, and through her work Marieme is helping to break down these barriers and move girls in the technology industry forward through inclusion, creating the next potential digital leaders.



Bernard is the Deputy Prefect of Yorosso in the South of Mali who has focused his work on reducing child malnutrition rates in his community. This area was once known as critical in terms of malnutrition, but thanks to his dedication and commitment, severe
acute malnutrition rates were reduced from 2,3% to 0,4 % from 2012 to 2016 and stunting levels by nearly half (from 27.8 % to 15.4%). Stead-fast progress has been made through his strong leadership and community ownership has translated into real results, making him a wonderful example of how political leaders can make a tangible difference for their people.

Bernard’s dedication and leadership has contributed to improve children’s well-being in Yorosso, but he has also brought together the whole community, ensuring continuity and ownership.



Ria Sharma, a fashion student at Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom returned to India in the third year of her graduate programme to make a documentary on acid attack survivors. In the process of creating the documentary, she met several survivors and their stories touched her and inspired her to help.

She founded Make Love Not Scars (MLNS) which is an organisation that actively supports survivors of acid attacks physically and mentally, and campaigns to raise awareness of the issue.

Acid attacks against women especially have risen in recent years in India. They are particularly committed by men who wish to seek ‘revenge’ against women who refuse their advances or against wives who do not bring enough dowry.

MLNS have ensured that survivors receive free treatment under the Supreme Court order for the welfare of acid victims passed in April 2015. They also receive government compensation and legal aid to source lawyers and fund the legal battles of many survivors and on March 7, they launched the first-ever rehabilitation center of its kind in India to extend services to survivors of acid attacks.


Former President Barack Obama will speak at an international event convening leading activists addressing global health, women’s empowerment and purpose-driven tech.

VICE Impact has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a short film called The Best of Times, Worst of Times, narrated by actress Lupita Nyong’o. The film draws upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals campaign, a road map to address immediate global challenges and the future of international development. The Best of Times, Worst of Times highlights the great progress made in poverty reduction over the last 25 years, and the important work that remains to be done.

To support the work relevant to the SDGs, the Gates Foundation will host Goalkeepers, an event in New York City on September 19 and 20 that convenes activists, world leaders, and the public to share their successes and challenges in advancing the SDG agenda. Key speakers include Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai. The event also celebrates outstanding individuals who have helped their communities meet their SDG targets in the fields of global health, women’s empowerment, conflict resolution and purpose driven technology.

Last year, winners of the first annual Global Goals Awards highlighted contributors advancing the rights of women and girls. They celebrated Rebeca Gyumi, a lawyer and activist who founded the Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian non-profit that fights for girls’ rights and access to education; and DoctHERS (represented by Dr.Sara Saeed) a social enterprise which uses telemedicine to pair female doctors in Pakistan with rural women and girls , providing essential health care while creating employment opportunities for female health professionals.

In 2015, world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York City to pledge their commitment to another 15 years of comprehensively addressing global challenges. It was a reassurance of a similar pledge in 2000 to adopt the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight encompassing objectives set to address the world’s most pressing health, educational, social and economic issues. After dramatically changing the lives of more than 1 billion people, reducing the amount global poverty, cutting hunger, and meeting a variety of social progress objectives, leaders agreed to increase the number of goals from 8 to 17, and changed their name to “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) with an ambitious new deadline of 2030.

Two years since the SDGs were drawn up, the international community has made headway in fulfilling these goals with the support of philanthropic organizations and advocacy groups. But the war on poverty in all its forms is far from won.

On September 13, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also release their Goalkeepers Report presenting data and telling the stories around key health and development indicators in the fight against poverty, highlighting what’s working and what can be done to make these goals a reality.

Initially posted on the VICE Impact.