Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas and Shobujer Ovijan Foundation win the 2024 Courage Award.

Congratulations to Global Fund for Children partners Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas, in Mexico, and Shobujer Ovijan Foundation, in Bangladesh, for winning this year’s Juliette Gimon Courage Award.

WASHINGTON, DC and LONDON, June 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Fund for Children (GFC) announced the winners of the Juliette Gimon Courage Award today, recognizing two courageous organizations that are committed to protecting the rights of migrant children and young people.

Global Fund for Children gives the annual Courage Award through the Juliette Gimon Fund for Courageous Leadership – a more than $1 million endowment made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and other donors in honor of Juliette Gimon, who passed away in 2018. A former GFC Board Chair, Gimon helped shape GFC through her wisdom, insights, and profound concern for children, changing hundreds of thousands of young lives across the globe.

Working in different regions of the world and under different circumstances, this year’s Courage Award winners, Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas in Chiapas, Mexico, and Shobujer Ovijan Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were selected for their bold advocacy and tireless efforts in raising awareness about migration issues and championing the rights and safety of migrants in their communities. Despite the risks involved, these two GFC partners remain dedicated to their important work with young migrants. This announcement comes during World Refugee Week, honoring the strength and resilience of refugees and migrants around the world.

Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas (CIMICH) was formed in response to high rates of migration from the Indigenous communities in the Chiapas jungle to agricultural fields in the north of Mexico and to the United States. Since its inception, the group has been raising awareness about migration issues, promoting small-scale development in Chiapas, advancing human rights, and proposing alternatives to migration.

“We became aware of the violation of human rights and exploitation, as well as the violence faced by migrants,” Diego López Aguila, CIMICH’s General Coordinator, explained. “In 2011, a group of 800 to 900 people began to organize to identify the needs of the communities and to gather in assemblies to find ways to solve them. This is how we began to have information sessions on the rights of migrants and translation services in the Tsotsil and Tseltal languages.”

CIMICH provides information on migrants’ rights, offers translation services, and uses art to work with children and youth on issues of interculturality, migration, gender, and violence. The organization also runs the School of Indigenous Migrant Women and the School of Masculinity as part of its efforts to build equitable communities.

“For Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas, courage means continuing to resist the violence experienced by Indigenous migrant communities, despite the danger that this implies. We have carried out all our work in contexts of threats to defend migrant children, in which even our members have been deprived of their freedom.”

He added, “Receiving the Juliette Gimon Courage Award means that CIMICH can continue strengthening its work with migrant children and youth, as well as building new strategies for community participation.”

Shobujer Ovijan Foundation (SOF) is a rights-based feminist organization that supports and empowers young women who migrate to urban areas in Bangladesh due to lack of employment and livelihood opportunities in their home communities. These women settle in slum areas, predominantly Kallyanpur Pora Bosti and Sattala, where they work in garment factories and as domestic workers. SOF promotes the rights and wellbeing of women working in these industries and of their children through specialized daycare centers, healthcare, livelihood skills training, young women’s leadership development, and community development services. The organization also helps to resolve international child protection cases.

SOF runs 63 daycare centers at garment factories, providing an opportunity for children to learn and play and for their low-income mothers to continue working. In addition, the organization has two cafés that operate as safe spaces for women. At these cafés, women can talk freely about social challenges such as violence and exploitation and participate in trainings.

“SOF also works to address and combat issues such as child labor, child marriage, exploitation, and abuse,” SOF Executive Director Mahmuda Begum said. “We work with courage to challenge and confront gender norms, fight discrimination and injustice, and advocate for equal opportunities.”

She added, “This recognition by Global Fund for Children fuels our determination to continue advocating for a more inclusive and equitable society, where every individual, regardless of their circumstances, can lead a life filled with courage and dignity.”  

Migration is one of GFC’s key focus areas, and the organization supports and empowers grassroots groups addressing the challenges and needs of migrant children and their families. Through its network of grassroots partners, GFC contributes to the safety and protection of migrants as they seek refuge from conflict or persecution, flee damaging socioeconomic and environmental factors, or pursue family reunification.

“At Global Fund for Children, we are proud to work alongside our dedicated partners addressing the unique challenges migrant children and families face around the world,” GFC Co-CEO John Hecklinger said. “Our partners courageously champion the rights and wellbeing of those on the move, and together, we ensure that their voices are heard, and their aspirations achieved.”

The Courage Award selection committee this year also recognized the outstanding work of four other GFC grassroots partners – Asociación Tan Ux'il in Guatemala, Masoom in India, Community Health Care Initiative in Liberia, and Khiang Rim Khong in Thailand – that are working courageously to ensure that children and young people are safe and valued in their communities.



Global Fund for Children partners with local organizations around the world, helping them deepen their impact on the lives of children and youth and develop their capacity for social change. By pairing flexible funding with targeted capacity development services, we support community-led groups to shift social norms, policies, and practices to foster lasting change for children and youth. Since 1997, we have invested $56 million in more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

Based in Mexico, Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas (CIMICH) raises awareness on the issue of migration, promotes small-scale development, advances human rights, and proposes alternatives to migration. CIMICH runs the School of Indigenous Migrant Women and the School of Masculinity, which focus on building equitable communities. For more information, visit

Located in Bangladesh, Shobujer Ovijan Foundation (SOF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of women working in garment factories and domestic labor and of their children through specialized daycares, healthcare, livelihood skills training, and community development services. For more information, visit


Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas Shobujer Ovijan Foundation