The WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge
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This blog is a follow-up of the interview WE Empower UN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge Winners with Amanda Ellis, Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali that aired on October 8, 2019.
Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future was honored to interview Amanda Ellis, a co-chair of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge. Amanda shared the vision of the challenge, which is to recognize women business owners throughout the world who are contributing to their communities by running successful businesses and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With her were Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali, who were 2018 Challenge Winners. Their stories of challenges and triumphs are shared in the episode that aired October 8, 2019.
What is the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge?
It is a global business challenge for women entrepreneurs based on the United Nations 17 SDGs meant to recognize and honor those women who are inspiring those around them to promote positive change in the world.
The history of the sustainable goals and the list of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found here. Goal 5 of these is Gender Equality and empowerment of women and girls and is the focus of this challenge.
What are the objectives of the Challenge?
There are three objectives of this challenge, to seek women leaders through the world and to:
- honor their achievements
- invest in their ability to create positive change
- ignite and excite others
How many finalists and awardees are there?
The challenge has 5 regions:
- Eastern Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Western Europe & Other
Every year, in each of these regions 5 finalists are selected for a total of 25 finalists. From there, one awardee is selected from the 5 finalists in each region.
Since the recording of the show, the 2019 Challenge Winners have been announced and we wanted to briefly share about the next class of women changing our world.
2019 Challenge Winners by region:
From the region of Africa, the awardee was Christelle Kwizera from Rwanda. Kwizera founded Water Access Rwanda, a company that works to provide safe water access to rural and semi-urban communities.
The awardee in the Asia-Pacific region was Lina Khalifeh from the country of Jordan. Khalifeh founded SheFighter, a self-defense studio for Middle Eastern women. SheFighter has grown globally to provide training and seminars on self-defense for women.
In the Eastern Europe region, innovation is key to the awardee, Zoya Lytvyn from Ukraine. Lytvyn co-founded a K12 school that implements innovative education ideas, including a free online teaching program and trainings to make a quality education accessible to all in Ukraine.
Latin America and the Caribbean:
In Guatemala, Karla Ruiz Cofiño founded a Digital Awareness program, which is used for conferences and workshops to provide people with digital skills and knowledge and how to use it for positive influence.
Western Europe and Other:
Co-founding the organization 412 Food Rescue in the United States, Leah Lizarondo was recognized as the Western Europe and Other awardee. Her organization seeks to bridge the gap between possible food waste and those in need of food. Food Rescue Hero, a mobile food app, helps direct volunteers to transport extra food to nonprofits in need.
These women exemplify leaders who are seeking to be an innovative leader and change the world! Congratulations to all the finalists and the awardees!
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About the Author
Susan Harper is the Business Manager at Innovative Leadership Institute and sometimes a travel blogger.
Photo by Christina Morillo