BA (Hons) Fashion graduate, Ria Sharma, has been awarded the 2017 Goalkeepers Global Goals Leadership Award. The award ceremony in New York on 19 September honoured five outstanding activists for their efforts to create positive impact in people’s lives and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Image: Ria Sharma (right) holds The Leadership Award with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra after it was presented on Tuesday 19 September 2017 ©UNICEF/UN0123804/Pietrasik
The awards are in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals unanimously adopted by every country in the world in 2015 to help make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy. The awards are organised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Project Everyone and UNICEF.
As a part of her final year project at Leeds Arts University, international student Ria became interested in the survivors of acid attacks and founded Make Love Not Scars, an organisation aiming to identify and support the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors physically and mentally. The organisation also campaigns to raise awareness of the issue of acid attacks in India.
Leaders from business, government and entertainment attended the ceremony, including UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Priyanka Chopra and Muzoon Almellahan.
Image: Ria with her fellow award winners. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) © UNICEF/UN0123788/Getty Images
Ria’s fellow winners included a medical student dedicating his life to reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania and a Colombian woman who helps former guerrillas reintegrate into society
In March 2017 Ria was awarded the India Today Woman of the Year Award for Public Service and was previously awarded the British Council International Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015.