With dramatic shifts in global politics and ongoing, devastating conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Burundi, you’re not alone if you think the world is spinning out of control. Yet, recent research has demonstrated that we are living in one of the most prosperous eras in history.
Behind this progress, in part, are tireless change makers who continue to fight for a more just and equitable world. Among them are doctors working in remote regions to heal the most vulnerable, educators seeking to empower women, and humanitarians by every definition.
If you’re searching for proof that individual people can actually change the world – look no further than this year’s Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity’s finalists. Founded in honor of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and with support from George Clooney and the late Elie Wiesel – the Aurora Prize will honor the change makers and spur on their progress with a $100,000 grant and the opportunity to give an organization of their choosing a $1,000,000 award.
Meet the five Aurora Prize finalists:
Her husband was assassinated by Somali warlords in 1996 for his peace-making efforts. Today, Fartuun Adan is a champion for human rights, peace, and development, as well as rehabilitation of child soldiers across Somalia. As the Executive Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, an NGO based in Mogadishu, Somalia, Adan has supported more than 400 Somali women and girls through counseling, medical services, entrepreneurial skills training, and relocation. With her daughter Ilwad, Adan also works to support victims of gender-based violence through her Sister Somalia program and established the first sexual violence hotline and rape crisis center in Mogadishu in 2011.
Ms. Jamila Afghani, Chairperson of the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization, Afghanistan
An instrumental figure in a growing movement for equal and fair treatment of women in Afghanistan, Jamila Afghani is the founder and chairperson of the Noor Education and Capacity Development Organization. Afghani founded the organization in an effort to provide women and girls education on economic skills, human rights, and literacy from an Islamic perspective. As an Islamic scholar herself, she also created gender-sensitive imam training in Kabul and has brought together Muslim faith leaders from around gender equality.