Our winners of the 2023 .ORG Impact Awards
When it comes to the .ORG Impact Awards, there aren’t any losers. Every entry is a step forward in changing the world. While winners receive prizes, it’s the opportunity to spread stories, missions, and aspirations that make a real difference — so people around the globe can be safer.
Hosted in Washington, D.C., the .ORG Impact Awards celebrates the efforts of cherished charities everywhere. This year’s patrons had the opportunity to praise, highlight, and speak up for the organizations of their choice.
The cash prize is important, up to $50,000 for the most successful, but journeys and outcomes hold far more wealth. So, let’s learn about select stories of winners and finalists for 2023, entries that we’re proud to say are Namecheap customers.
Out of all the entries, these organizations managed to share stories and come first in their categories. So, let’s give them the time they deserve and discover their missions.
Hope for Justice
If coming first in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion entries wasn’t enough, Hope for Justice triumphed in their work to receive the highest honor available — .ORG of the year.
In their own words, ‘‘Hope for Justice is a charity working to bring an end to modern slavery and human trafficking, and to protect the human rights of victims and survivors.’’ The organization shapes the world through four pillars — preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society, and prizes education as a primary means of achieving each.
Clearly, their mission isn’t only to rescue those at the end of the line — it’s to make significant changes systematically so that prevention comes first. To ensure fewer people fall into these inhumane situations, Hope for Justice is working alongside policymakers, lawmakers, and education facilitators to improve the landscape structurally and legally.
Today, Hope for Justice has over 20 programming sites around the globe, as well as regional sites under development in the US, UK, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Australia. Having been awarded the $50,000 top slot donation, Hope for Justice’s mission can be strengthened, their story spread further, and more victims can be safer.
What do you think of when someone uses the words ‘socially driven’? Empowering 5 Million+ Africans to live sustainably by 2035? LightEd would agree.
This year’s first-place group for the category Rising Stars has been met with praise from around the world. The group’s mission is to ‘‘create renewing experiences that unite all communities for a sustainable future.’’ LightEd specifically aims to build ‘‘clean technology solutions that empower Africans to live sustainably by harnessing renewable energy and waste management.’’
Stanley Anigbogu, LightEd CEO, is achieving the company’s goals by repurposing electronic waste to create solar-powered products. One of the organization’s projects, LightEd Peace, produces solar charging stations and lamps, improving the lives of refugees across IDP camps in Nigeria.
LightEd is a key player in the race to reduce pollution and solve world issues at the same time. And powering Africa with sustainable energy seems like a winner-worthy cause to us.
While donations are powerful ($10,000 for LightEd this year), spreading the word will always be priceless, so speak up and share LightEd’s vision wherever you can.
Onto the finalists. Let’s give these groups the praise they deserve, and learn why they exist.
LAWUNA Project, Sodzo Foundation
Environmental stewardship is what it sounds like — combating threats to our environment. But what’s less obvious is the size and breadth of the issue, let alone how forward-thinking organizations are actually approaching it.
The Sodzo Foundation seeks to ‘‘solve the most challenging problems of our lifetime using modern technological tools, policies, resilient research, and digital literacy.’’ Sound good? Well, their main project sounded even better to the .ORG Impact Awards.
The Lawuna Project hones in on macro plastic pollution. If successful, the project will allow communities of freshwater bodies to safeguard their environments using real-time drone and smartphone imagery. Since 2020, Sodzo Foundation have detected 38,731 pieces of plastic, with the end goal to ‘‘improve the quality of water and lives of communities surrounding freshwater bodies,’’ by use of conservation technologies, ‘‘creating a sustainable and friendly eco-system.’’
While the organization’s award story stopped at finalist, it’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of the people they’re trying to help and connect to the environments they want to preserve.
Kezia Asiedua Sanie, For The Future Ghana
Remember the Rising Stars category that LightEd came first in? For The Future Ghana (FTF Ghana) made enough impact to make it to the finals.
As the group puts it, ‘‘For The Future Ghana (FTF Ghana) is a charity organization mainly made up of young people with the aim of organizing outreaches and projects to alleviate the plight of underprivileged children.’’
The group provides extra classes through the SmartStart Initiative, provisions, and equipment from the ShareAid Initiative Projects, and so much more. Kezia Asiedua Sanie, the founder of FTF Ghana, created the organization to dampen the damaging effects of marginalization on youths, improving education opportunities and the well-being of those they help.
While the group didn’t quite manage first, making it to the finals is a feat in itself, and we wish her and the whole of FTF Ghana the best of luck going forward.
Representation is important, and so many people in communities everywhere are still without it. Part of the reason these awards exist is to balance the playing field, making a fairer life for both the environment and the people within it.
One finalist for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, GirlLEAD, ‘‘provides an all-inclusive, accessible, and affordable platform for women and girls in marginalized communities,’’ they do this to provide ‘‘world-class science, technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills, enabling them in their unique capacity to change the world.’’
GirlLead offers programs and courses, ranging from product design to machine and deep learning, to support women in collaborating, networking, and more. Clearly, closing the skill gap through inclusivity is a focus, and given its importance, we’re pleased to see another Namecheap customer in the .ORG Impact Awards.
The impact of the .ORG Impact Awards
Connecting charities, platforming voices, and supporting growth — it’s exactly what the .ORG Impact Awards are there to do. But these awards or one of many, and the world needs more support. Following organizations is a great first step, but what about starting or growing your own?
One more thanks to the .ORG Impact Awards for hosting this year’s ceremony, and an even bigger congratulations to the winners and finalists.