Mercy Akuot is a South Sudanese social worker and women’s rights advocate. At the age of 15, she left her family to escape an arranged marriage to a man much older than her. Upon fleeing, she lived in an orphanage before eventually staying at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Akuot’s experience motivated her to advocate on behalf on women and young girls, in large part by challenging the practice of arranged child marriage. She founded a program in Kakuma that seeks to empower women by using education to break the cycle of poverty. Akuot is also a volunteer for the Danish Refugee Council, a humanitarian nonprofit that assists refugees and internally displaced person. Akuot was one of the TEDx speakers for TEDxKakumaCamp, which was the first TEDx event ever held at a refugee camp. Her journey and her work have been featured by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.