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Nigerian anti-corruption awareness campaigner, the Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption (CYIAC) Corruption Busters (CCB), and seven other organisations are winners of the first United Nations SDG Action Awards. According to the UN SDG Action Campaign, the development demonstrates the extraordinary momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different corners of the earth.

United Nations SDG Action Awards
Winners of the first United Nations SDG Action Awards

The awards ceremony was held in tandem with the second edition of the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, and honoured initiatives in the categories of communicator, connector, includer, innovator, mobiliser, storyteller, and visualiser.

The CYIAC anti-corruption awareness campaign “CYIAC Corruption Busters (CCB)”, which was in the “Innovator” category, targeted the general public in Nigeria to draw attention to corrupt practices associated with their everyday life and its unimaginable negative impact on individuals and society.

“So far, it has reached over one million people through the CCB TV channel, social media engagement and ‘Corruption Busters goes to School’, a special school programme,” says founder of the organisation, Foluke Michael.

Mitchell Toomey, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, said: “These are ‘Action’ Awards because we need more than words: our winners dared to believe and act for change. They are perfect examples of the wonderful work that’s happening around the world led by thousands, if not millions, of people.”

The other awardees include: People’s Choice Award: Road to Rights – Sri Lanka; Visualiser: Global Goals for Local Impact / Open Institute – Kenya; Storyteller: Daughters of Bangladesh – UK/Bangladesh; Mobiliser: SDG Youth Morocco – Morocco; Includer: Youth Power Accountability Advocates / Restless Development – Ghana; Connector: Unreasonable Goals – USA; and Communicator: SDG Voices – City of Ghent, Belgium.

The winning initiatives are fighting corruption in Nigeria, mobilising Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives, empowering children through photography and digital skills in Bangladesh, promoting human rights education in Sri Lanka and much more. Evidencing the multi-sectoral engagement to achieve the SDGs, the winners span over private and public sectors, as well as civil society and grassroots movements.

Over 700 nominations from 125 countries in seven continents were submitted. An expert judging panel evaluated submissions against the degree to which actions were deemed to be transformative, inclusive and impactful.

In addition, an open vote was held on the website of the UN SDG Action Campaign where visitors could rate their favorite among the 38 finalists to win the People’s Choice Award.

“Great solutions for the world’s challenges can come from anywhere. We hope everyone is inspired by these stories and consider submitting their nominations for future Awards. These are the first winners of a community that will continue to grow,” said Toomey.

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