Aidex Voices


The AidEx Humanitarian Hero of the Year Award aims to recognise and celebrate stand-out individuals from the humanitarian aid and development community and showcases the courageous work and dedication that they put into their line of work.

After hundreds of nominations, the following four remarkable individuals have made it to the final public vote are as follows.

Beryl Creal

Beryl is a teacher and a clinical trauma practitioner who has dedicated her career to developing early childhood educational programmes in trauma-impacted communities in Jordan, Gaza Strip, South Africa, the Philippines, and the United States. The SuperGirls programme Beryl designed for Collateral Repair Project has been recognised as the most impactful trauma-sensitive educational program to date.

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Jess Markt

Jess works for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the United States as a Diversity, Inclusion and Sports Advisor. Jess has been changing lives by coaching wheelchair basketball in war zones and is notable for his establishment of the first women’s national basketball team in Afghanistan. He continues to transform lives with the development of wheelchair basketball leagues in the world’s most challenging contexts.

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M P Rakesh

M P Rakesh is a social worker in the most underserved and poorest regions of Indo-Nepal border corridor. He is a co-developer and current General Secretary of the NGO Manav Seva. Rakesh established the unique Life Guard Centres (LGC) to curb human trafficking along 1740km of the border. The programme has rescued and rehabilitated 8,500 trafficked victims, and has been so effective the initially uncooperative authorities’ now collaborate to expand the programme.

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Sana Lokhandwala

Sana Lokhandwala works to counter period poverty and create better access to menstrual hygiene for underprivileged girls and women in Pakistan. Having co-founded the nonprofit Healthy, Empowered, Resilient (HER Pakistan) alongside her sister, she has been undeterred by harassment, and corrupt bureaucratic systems to get the organisation registered and spread the word to garner funding for her work. Through education, collaboration, and participation in nation-wide forums, HER helps to raise awareness and provide affordable sanitary pads.

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To watch the winner be announced live at AidEx on 13 November at Brussels Expo in Belgium, register for free here.

This award has been running for eight of the nine years AidEx has been organised. View our previous winners here >>