Public Interest Registry Unveils Winners of 5th Annual .ORG Impact Awards at DC Ceremony Hosted by Padma Lakshmi

2023 .ORG of the Year, other award winners, selected from almost 1,000 applicants for impactful work to inspire, support their communities

Washington D.C.Public Interest Registry (PIR), the people behind .ORG, announced the winners of the .ORG Impact Awards, an annual program that honors and celebrates outstanding mission-driven organizations and individuals working to make the world a better place. 

The seven winners – selected from almost 1,000 applicants from over 70 countries — were announced live at a Washington D.C. awards ceremony hosted by Padma Lakshmi, activist, author, and host/producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation. The annual awards ceremony returned to an in-person event for the first time since the pandemic and awarded a record total of $180,000 in donations to organizations from the global .ORG Community across seven categories: 

  • Community Building
  • Quality Education for All                                                                                                                    
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Health and Healing
  • Hunger and Poverty
  • Rising Stars (leaders, under 25, making a difference in their communities)


In addition to the category winners, PIR crowned UK-based nonprofit Hope for Justice the winner of the prestigious .ORG of the Year award, recognizing the organization’s work to end modern slavery. The .ORG of the Year will receive a donation of $50,000 USD to support their mission. 

“We are honored to recognize our 2023 .ORG Impact Award winners, who hail from communities across the globe and tackle incredible challenges with grit, innovation, and commitment to making the world a better place,” said Jon Nevett, President and CEO of Public Interest Registry. “These inspiring organizations and individuals work tirelessly to create positive change and improve lives each day. We are thrilled to uplift their efforts and humbled by the work they are doing to build a bright future for us all. Congratulations, and thank you for being a part of our .ORG Community.” 

“I try to use my platform to inspire people from all corners of the world to be vocal and active agents for social change,” said Padma Lakshmi to a room full of .ORG Impact Award finalists at the DC awards ceremony. “Being in a room like this is a rare, heartwarming reminder that so many people around the world share that desire. And because of the Internet, because of the .ORG Community, everyone, no matter who you are or where you’re from, can have a platform to make the world just a little bit better.”

“This is an amazing honor for us to receive at Hope for Justice,” said Tim Nelson, CEO of Hope for Justice, who accepted the award. “I want to accept this on behalf of all the amazing staff and teams that we have internationally who go to the ends of the earth to try and find individuals, and see those individuals set free from everything that has happened to them.”

.ORG of the Year – Hope for Justice

Donation Amount: $50,000 USD

Hope for Justice exists to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.

Hope for Justice does more than raise awareness – it focuses on action. A team of investigators with years of law enforcement experience, multilingual outreach workers, accredited trainers, legal experts, social workers, therapists, nurses, policy specialists, campaigners and professionals, Hope for Justice is on the ground in the places that are worst affected by human trafficking and modern slavery.

Hope for Justice is also the winner of the 2023 .ORG Impact Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Community Building – Kakenya’s Dream

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

Kakenya’s Dream invests in girls from rural communities through educational, health, and leadership initiatives to create agents of change. Kakenya’s Dream began as a single primary school, educating 30 vulnerable girls beneath the shade of a tree, and today, the organization operates two world-class boarding schools and several other education, health, and leadership programs that serve thousands across rural Kenya each year. Kakenya’s Dream has evolved into a global team building a replicable model of education and empowerment for underserved African communities.

Quality Education for All – Seeding Labs

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

Seeding Labs works to unleash the full potential of scientists worldwide to fight global diseases, feed our growing population, and protect our planet. Providing the greatest scientific minds overseas with the tools and training they need to respond to local challenges before they become global crises, Seeding Labs is supporting researchers on the scientific frontlines — wherever that may be — to strengthen the entire global community. Seeding Labs equips scientists with the connections they need to be on the cutting edge of global discovery.

Environmental Stewardship – CREATE Borneo

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

CREATE Borneo aims to equip indigenous youth with the means to preserve their culture while competing in a growing economy and taking responsibility for their environmental stewardship through appropriate technologies. A village-based workshop and training facility, CREATE Borneo educates the next generation of indigenous engineers in renewable energy technologies and allows indigenous communities to develop and harness their resources on their own terms while incentivizing environmental stewardship.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Hope for Justice

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

In addition to receiving the awards for .ORG of the Year, Hope for Justice is also the winner in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category.

Health and Healing – HERhealthEQ

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

HERhealthEQ was born out of a need to reduce the equity gap in access to healthcare for women around the world. What began as a singular donation of a mammogram machine to a Costa Rican hospital, has now grown into an international web of healthcare solutions. The HERhealthEQ team is driven by a desire to see fewer women face the choice between their own healthcare and putting food on the tables of their families. HERhealthEQ works to improve women’s health in developing countries by providing access to medical devices & equipment, creating an equitable standard of care.

Hunger and Poverty – WHOlives

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

WHOlives is committed to bringing clean water to developing communities in a self-sustainable process. WHOlives creates local ownership, economic incentives, and accountability which keeps wells operational. These new water systems are then maintained and operated by local people, ownership and economic viability is established so maintenance and access to clean water is continuous. This initiative is a proven solution that leads to increased education for girls, improved health and sanitation, and greater opportunities for development.

Rising Star – Stanley Anigbogu, LightEd

Donation Amount: $10,000 USD

LightEd is a renewable energy company that focuses on using waste material to build renewable energy solutions that can light up homes and families in rural and some urban communities. Refugees, students, and rural communities often struggle to light their homes and businesses. LightEd powers access to brighter lives through accessible and innovative renewable energy solutions made of recycled e-waste and plastic waste, with the goal of empowering 5 Million+ Africans to live sustainably by 2035.


About Public Interest Registry

Public Interest Registry (PIR) is a nonprofit that operates the .ORG top-level domain—one of the world’s largest generic top-level domains with more than 10.8 million domain names registered worldwide. .ORG is open to everyone, providing a global platform for organizations, associations, clubs, businesses and individuals to bring their ideas to life. PIR has been a champion for a free and open Internet for two decades with a clear mission to be an exemplary domain name registry, provide a trusted digital identity and help educate those who dedicate themselves to improving our world. PIR was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA. Visit www.pir.org for more information.


Media contact: pir@berlinrosen.com