Dan Elkes is a visionary leader who established the Freedom from Slavery Forum to bolster the grassroots anti-slavery movement.
In addition to supporting the Forum, he continues to contribute to the eradication of modern slavery globally. The Elkes Impact Awards are being established in his honor in recognition of the tremendous work being done by:
- Local advocate survivors who may not get the opportunity to be acknowledged for the great impact they are creating in their communities affected by modern slavery;
CSOs working in affected communities at the frontline of the fight against modern slavery.
- Local survivors and organizations too often do not receive widespread acknowledgment of their work, despite their efforts being central to the fight against slavery. Despite the challenges posed by many factors including the COVID-19 global pandemic, war, and displacement, political instability, growing inequality, etc., movement leaders tirelessly continued to be resilient in the fight against modern slavery in local communities. From Africa to Asia to Latin America, thousands of advocates and grassroots organizations fought to end modern slavery and make the world a freer place.
The Elkes Impact Awards hope to shine a light on efforts and the tangible impact survivors and local organizations are having. It is also an opportunity for the global movement to take inspiration from them as well as encourage them to continue their excellent work. The best local advocate survivor award will be given to an exceptional survivor who embodies using their experiences to aid others. Survivors living in affected communities have a lot to contribute to the movement and are active in local communities in many ways including in preventing people from modern slavery such as human trafficking, forced labor, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, forced marriages, child labor, etc. Through this award, we hope to recognize their strength, resilience, hard work, and achievements in eradicating modern slavery.
The most impactful local organization award will be given to a civil society organization (NGO, FBO, or CBO) that has made the greatest impact working at the local level despite the plethora of challenges they have faced. This award will celebrate those who took risks and showed courage in working in difficult conditions, including with very little or no financial resources. This award will go to the organization that truly put their community first and spared no effort in eradicating modern slavery. Through this award, we hope to recognize their dedication, raise their organizational profile, and celebrate their grassroots impact.
Inaugural Award Winners
Most Impactful Survivor Advocate Award
The winner of the Elkes Impact Award for Most Impactful Survivor Advocate is Grace Kalekye Mwangangi of Kenya. Grace was selected based on her incredible achievements and courageous efforts, as well as being an embodiment of using her experiences to aid others. Grace was brave enough to go undercover with the help of the BBC to reveal her traffickers and the sex trafficking ring in India that trafficked women and girls from different parts of Africa. Grace’s commitment to ending human trafficking in inspiring to all. Through this award, we recognize her strength, resilience, hard work, and achievements in eradicating modern slavery.
Most Impactful Community-based Organization Award
The winner of the Most Impactful Community-based Organization Award is the Survivor Network of Cameroon. The Survivor Network’s objectives include: rescuing enslaved individuals; sensitization campaigns against human trafficking and modern slavery; and, reintegrating survivors into their societies. The Survivor Network is involved in advocacy efforts, vocational training, and has started to give seed capital to survivors to start small businesses. The Survivor Network of Cameroon was selected for its passionate efforts in advocating against human trafficking and dedication to rehabilitating survivors of modern slavery. The Network truly put their community first and spared no effort in eradicating modern slavery. Through this award, we recognize their dedication, raise their organizational profile, and celebrate their grassroots impact.
The recipients will receive their plaques and be celebrated by the movement during an awards ceremony at the Global Freedom from Slavery Forum. As winners of these prestigious awards, Grace and the Survivor Network will each receive a cash prize and access to skills-building opportunities to assist in their continued fight for freedom and justice. Additionally, they will be recognized as ambassadors for the anti-trafficking movement and the Freedom from Slavery Forum. Their voices, insights, and dedication to eradicating modern slavery will no doubt benefit the movement as a whole. We look forward to following their great work in the future.