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Refugee Olympic Swimmer Yusra Mardini Wins A Global Goals Award

21 September, 2016
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The 18 year-old Olympic swimmer from Syria Yusra Mardini, who represented the Refugee Olympic Team this year in Rio de Janeiro, received an award last night organized through the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The Global Goals Awards seek to recognize key individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the rights of girls and women. The awards were given in three categories: the Girl Award, the Social Change Award, and the Campaigner Award. Mardini accepted the Girl award last night in a ceremony in New York organized by UNICEF. The award is given for "laudable work in creating progress for girls," according to UNICEF.

A champion swimmer, Mardini shot to global prominence in 2015 after the story of her flight from Syria became worldwide news. Crossing the Mediterranean, the motor on Mardini's boat failed, and the vessel began to take on water. Mardini, her sister, and two other swimmers jumped into the water to push the boat for three hours, saving 20 people.

Having settled in Berlin, Mardini qualified for the Refugee Olympic Team, put together to highlight the plight and contribution of refugee individuals worldwide.

The Social Change Award was given to Tanzanian lawyer and activist Rebeca Gyumi, and the Campaigner Award was given to the Pakistani social enterprise DoctHERS. The awards were selected by the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, a panel that includes film director Richard Curtis, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, footballer Leo Messi, and the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Image © UNICEF/UN032947/Markisz

Tags MENA Because Yusra Mardini sustainable development goals UN SDGs Refugee Olympic Team Syria refugees UNICEF sports swimming Rio de Janeiro Olympics CSR social enterprise volunteering Global Goals Awards Communications for NGO