Taban ShoreshFounder & CEO at Lotus Flower
A former child genocide survivor, Taban is the founder of the Lotus Flower, a non-profit that supports conflict survivors and refugees in Kurdistan, northern Iraq.
The charity improves the economic, social and cultural chances for vulnerable women, girls and community members, and to date has impacted on more than 60,000 beneficiaries.
With a political activist father during Saddam Hussein's regime, Taban was imprisoned with her family aged just four, and they narrowly escaped being buried alive. After a year dodging bombs and bullets, they were finally flown to the UK by Amnesty to start a new life. Taban later worked within an investment firm in London, but in April 2014, everything changed. As she saw ISIS waging another genocide in her homeland, she returned to Kurdistan as an aid worker.
Back in the UK a year later, she knew she had to do more, and in 2016, she launched the Lotus Flower. Today, its safe center's for women and girls in Kurdistan offer a wide range of projects falling under the three pillars: Education and Livelihoods; Health & Safety and Peacebuilding & Human Rights. All programs are steeped in gender equality, and are built around the idea that when women and girls thrive, the whole community benefits.
Taban has featured extensively in the media, including the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent, Grazia, HuffPost, Elle, Sky News, BBC News, LBC and CNN. She has received a Bravery Award from Hearst media company, and was a finalist in Red magazine's Women of the Tear awards.
Taban is also a One Young World Ambassador and has spoken at various global summits, alongside Sir Bob Geldof and the late Kofi Annan.