Roy is the founder of the Barefoot College, which has been providing solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years. As a result of Barefoot's work, one million litres of rainwater has been harvested to provide clean drinking water to over 239,000 school children in more than 1,300 communities worldwide.
The Barefoot Approach is a proven community-based model, providing basic infrastructure for power and water in remote, rural areas, as part of an integrated solution to alleviating global poverty.
Roy has been named one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet by the Guardian and one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. The model of community-owned, managed, and financially sustained household solar light systems is today replicated in more than 54 countries, empowering more than 600 Women Barefoot Solar Engineers and providing clean energy access to 450,000 people in nearly 1,650 communities throughout India, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, and Asia.
Sixteen-year-old Yousafzai, who, after being shot by the Taliban less than a year ago for her outspoken support for girls' education, has co-founded the Malala Fund to continue advocating for universal access to education.
The awards will be presented in a special ceremony tomorrow during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, where more than 1,000 top business, government, and civil society leaders will convene to address some of the world's most pressing challenges.