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#MyVoiceForJustice 2023

Congratulations to our #MyVoiceForJustice 2023 WINNER

Yasin Farah & Stephen Fonseca

This year, our nominees were incredibly close in votes, particularly the top two. After seeking the input of our final panel of judges, it was unanimously decided that as these two nominees embody the essence of humanity and justice: one with a focus on Justice in Africa and the Other a True Humanitarian in Africa, that we should declare them the JOINT WINNERS of the #MVFJ2023

Thank you to everyone who participated in voting and of course to all the nominees

- Our community is behind you all the way!

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The Forensic Visionary

Mr Yasin Farah

Celebrating Yasin, The Forensic Visionary! Congratulations to Yasin who has been named the Joint Winner of the 2023 #MVFJ award alongside Stephen Fonseca.

Yasin's recent appointment as the National Forensic Expert by the Attorney General of Somalia is a testament to his 15 years of expertise in forensic science, analytical chemistry, and pharmaceuticals across Sweden, the UK, and Somalia. His dedication to advancing the use of forensic DNA in Somalia is pivotal for justice in the region and his vision for the future of forensics has made him a standout nominee for the My Voice for Justice Awards. 
Read more about Yasin here.

Here are some tof the comments we have received about Yasin from the forensic community:

"A truly talented person advocating for justice through the use of forensic DNA."
"An amazing individual using his field to bring justice to the voiceless."
"Very passionate and dedicated, bringing immense benefit to his community."

Let's join hands in congratulating Yasin for this incredible achievement! Click here to hear what Yasin has to say on hearing  this exciting news.  


The Medicolegal Humanitarian

Mr Stephen Fonseca

Celebrating Stephen, the Medico-legal Humanitarian! Congratulations to Stephen Fonseca who has been named the Joint Winner of the 2023 #MVFJ award alongside Yasin Farah.

Stephen is a pivotal figure in Africa where he has dedicated his efforts to empowering authorities, enhancing justice and medico-legal systems, as well as overseeing ICRC forensic specialists.
Read more about Stephen here.

We have loved reading the comments that have been pouring in together with votes in his favour, all clearly pointing to a man who is not only larger than life, but has a heart to match it:

*Stephen Fonseca has been a champion of identification for the nearly 20 years I’ve known him. He is humble in his approach and leads with an innovative mind, compassion, and desire for dignity for all. He is highly deserving of this nomination and this award for his global and collaborative work.
*Stephen has promoted best practices in forensic sciences and created many successful projects. He has a tracked record of capacity building events throughout Africa in Forensic sciences and quality justice answers.

Let's join hands in congratulating Stephen for this incredible achievement and share the news across your platforms.
Click here to hear what Stephen had to say on hearing this exciting news.

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The Molecular Maestro

Ms Asha Auckloo

Asha Auckloo brings her expertise as a Senior Forensic Scientist at the Forensic Science Laboratory Mauritius. With a Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, she excels in the intricacies of forensic science. Asha's contributions extend beyond the laboratory as she actively engages in training law enforcement professionals and served as the JCI Executive Vice President in 2020. A recent presenter who bowled over the audience at our 3rd Forensic DNA Sympoisumm, Asha's dedication to advancing forensic science in Africa together with her passion and leadership make her an outstanding nominee for the My Voice for Justice Awards.  MORE ABOUT ASHA

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The DNA Policy Pioneer

A/Prof. Aaron Amankwaa

Aaron Amankwaa is a Research Scientist in Forensic Biometrics, Genetics and Biology with an impressive academic background in forensic biology, with research experience in DNA profiling and forensic DNA legislation/ policy. Aaron's  contributions to the field of forensic biometrics and DNA policy have paved the way for more robust and flexible protections regarding the use of biometric data. His extensive research and engagement with various agencies and groups demonstrate a profound commitment to advancing justice through DNA policy advocacy in Africa, ensuring ethical and effective practices in forensic science - all of which make him another standout nominee for the MVFJ Awards.


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Sharlene Otto

The DNA Testimony Trailblazer

Lt Col. Sharlene Otto

Meet Sharlene Otto, the DNA testimony trailblazer with a remarkable 30-year career at the South African Forensic Science Lab. Her expertise has made a significant impact on the criminal justice system, as she has provided DNA testimony in over 600 cases, including some of the most high-profile ones like the murder of Marike de Klerk, the Fairhead murders and the triple axe murder of the Van Breda family. Sharlene's unwavering commitment to justice and her invaluable contributions in forensic science make her an obvious choice as nominee for the MVFJ Awards.



The DNA Angel of Compassion

Ms Jennifer Degner

Introducing Jennifer Degner, a dedicated Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) from Texas. Jennifer has been the driving force behind the "Global SAK Donation Project" in Africa. Her vision is to ensure the SAK project's success, enabling more survivors to access quality evidence collection and Forensic Nursing care in many Africa regions, making her a standout nominee. Jennifer's commitment to expanding this program to include additional areas in Africa, advocating for a survivor-centered approach, and improving Forensic Nurses' training across the region mark her as a true angel of compassion in the world of DNA advocacy and change.  MORE ABOUT JENNIFER

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See our previous nominees & winners here:

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