Mercy Akout is a firm believer in educating women and young girls. A South Sudanese refugee living in Kenya's camp, Mercy escaped forced child marriage to become a vocal activist, fighting for women's rights. She works in her community, encouraging families to send their daughters to school and stop harmful cultural practices like child marriage.
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When she first arrived in Jordan as a refugee from Sudan five years ago, Waed was painfully shy, refusing to talk to anyone outside her family. Now, sprinting around a basketball court flinging passes and shouting encouragement to her teammates, she says she is unrecognizable from the girl she once was. Waed attributes her transformation to Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit sports programme for refugee and local girls in Jordan.
Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi, who won the prestigious 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, has been included in the top 10 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2016. She has been widely recognised for her brave and tireless dedication to education for Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan - while herself overcoming the struggles of life in exile.
KULE REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia - Before the war came and she and her family fled, Nyahok Reath loved watching United Nations aid planes taking off from the airport near her home in South Sudan. The 13-year-old decided she would do all she could to become a pilot.