Haitian activist Malya Villard-Appolon Nominated for CNN Hero of the Year

Urgent Action Fund is proud to learn that our former grantee Malya Villard-Appolon was recently nominated for CNN’s prestigious Hero of the Year Award for her work providing protection and support services to rape survivors in Haiti. If she wins the most votes on heroes.cnn.com by November 28, her organization will receive $250,000 to keep her work for Haitian women going strong.

Malya is a co-founder and leader of KOFAVIV (Commission of Women Victims for Victims), an organization founded by and for rape survivors in Haiti. The organization helps women obtain medical care, psychological counseling, and justice for the crimes committed against them. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, sexual assaults rose dramatically in the overcrowded and dangerous interim camps set up in Port au Prince. In response, KOFAVIV requested emergency support from Urgent Action Fund to help launch a campaign educating women about their rights and how best to protect themselves and their children in a crisis environment.

To show your support for Malya and raise awareness about violence against women in Haiti, please vote for her at heroes.cnn.com by November 28! You can vote up to 10 times per day, from each of your email addresses and your Facebook page. CNN will announce its Hero of the Year during a live broadcast on Sunday, December 2.

This year alone, Urgent Action Fund has awarded 26 Rapid Response Grants to women’s groups working to end violence against women. Urgent Action Fund strongly believes in the power of women and girls to create peaceful social change. To read about recent UAF grants to end sexual violence against women, click here.