2013 Laureate Global Fellows
Alejandro Maza Ayala, 26
Yo Propongo (I Propose)
Mexico City, Mexico
Through Yo Propongo, Alejandro leverages the power of technology to facilitate knowledge sharing between the general public and policymakers. “While citizens have lots of ideas for solving social problems,” says Alejandro, “they lack the channels to collaborate with government.” Yo Propongo utilizes diverse online tools (social networks, mobile apps, widgets) and offline channels (SMS, tablets) to gather input from all sectors of society on issues ranging from crime prevention to civic participation. In Mexico City, for example, more than 30,000 citizens have been consulted on a range of issues, with 65 percent of proposals resulting in changes to programs or laws. Alejandro’s long-term goal is to make the model accessible to local governments and to strengthen civic engagement in more cities throughout Mexico and abroad. ” Learn more: http://www.yopropongo.org
Basant Motawi, 24
Basant and a group of fellow students at Ain Shams University launched the Imprint Movement to combat sexual harassment in Egyptian society. The initiative recruits and trains volunteers who collaborate with police to patrol high-risk neighborhoods in Cairo at prime times to prevent assaults. Volunteers also visit public places—like the subway—to pass out educational information. Support is offered to victims through the assistance of trained experts and professors. To date, Imprint has helped over 30 victims and contributed to a decrease in incidents of harassment in targeted areas. Basant hopes to expand the Movement’s impact through launching additional university-based chapters.
Adam Camenzuli, 25
KARIBU Solar Power
Adam co-founded KARIBU Solar Power, a social enterprise, to bring much-needed light to thousands of rural villagers in Tanzania, especially students studying after dark. Its goal: to produce solar lamps that improve health and safety, avoiding the toxic emissions produced by kerosene lamps. The solar lamps, which can also be used to charge mobile phones, are designed so that low-income families can make payments in small increments. Over time, KARIBU solar lamp owners not only save money, but contribute to their children’s education. Adam and his team sold 2,000 solar lamps in Tanzania in 2011-2012 and plan to extend their business model to other countries in East Africa in the future. Learn more: www.karibusolar.com
Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, 26
Andi founded Amartha Microfinance to provide affordable financial services to low-income individuals living in remote rural areas of Indonesia. In a country where more than 100 million people live on less than $2/day, Andi’s organization has provided average loans of US$100 to over 3,000 clients in over 50 villages. Andi – and his team of 30 – target women, ages 18 to 65, and encourage them to start home-based businesses. Amartha Microfinance is based on a profit-sharing model in which members of small groups pay weekly installments to meet their loan obligations. In addition to its financial services, Amartha Microfinance provides training in basic financial literacy and community organizing. Learn more: www.amartha.co.id
Kellen Ribas, 29
Cicla Brasil (Brazil Cycle)
São Paulo, Brazil
Just over 10 percent of Brazil’s estimated 800,000 waste pickers are organized into associations or cooperatives. Many of these workers have low levels of education and are excluded from the labor market. Kellen co-founded Cicla Brasil to strengthen communication between waste picker associations and businesses in an effort to bring this marginalized group into the formal economy. Among its services, Cicla Brasil offers technical advice to the National Movement of Waste Pickers, helps develop business plans for waste picker’s organizations, and develops tools to guide private investment. Kellen hopes to expand operations in other countries in Latin America and, subsequently, in Asia and Africa. Learn more: www.ciclabrasil.com.br
Carolina García, 29
San José, Costa Rica
Passionate about early childhood education, Carolina founded Bellelli Educación in the belief that children need a culture of play to develop their full potential. Among its activities, the organization hosts “Pop-Up Playgrounds” (PopAps) in public spaces or schools that allow children to express their creativity and explore their curiosity through the use of cardboard boxes, fabrics, tape, and other materials. In 2014, Carolina will open the first Early Childhood Center in Costa Rica inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education, which focuses on child-directed learning and family and community engagement. She also recently launched a professional development program for teachers. Learn more: www.bellellieducacion.com
Youth Enterprise Academy International
In 2006, Donnie co-founded Youth Enterprise Academy (YEA) International to provide accessible, alternative entrepreneurship education and life skills training to children and youth, ages 7 to 25. Through his role as Education Director, Donnie has trained more than 1,200 educators and ensures that YEA trainers receive the support they need to fully engage students in meaningful learning. Donnie is especially proud of the YEA Foundation, which combats poverty through offering free entrepreneurship education. For every youth trained by YEA, the Foundation’s Train1 Gift 1 program provides free entrepreneurship education to a disadvantaged child in the developing world. In 2012, YEA International reached more than 10,000 primary, secondary, and tertiary students in Singapore, as well as low-income children and youth in China. Learn more: www.yeasingapore.com
Gitanjali Babbar, 27
New Delhi, India
Recognizing that most efforts to address the needs of women sex workers in New Delhi failed to tackle the abuse and exploitation that they suffered, Gitanjali founded Kat-Katha. Its goal: to provide these women with opportunities to learn new skills, self-confidence, and love. “For us, these women are not sex workers, they are Didi's, elder sisters, and Bacha's, our younger siblings,” says Gitanjali. Through Kat-Katha, she offers women sex workers in the city’s largest prostitution center the chance to pursue a basic education and develop job-related skills in tailoring, weaving, and craft making. She also provides classes to children living in the brothels. Gitanjali works closely with the police who provided the infrastructure to develop a training and educational center. In the future, she hopes to scale up the program to reach hundreds of additional women and children. Learn more: www.kat-katha.org.
Tarek Ziad Hussein, 21
Tarek and several friends were tired of the victim mentality that was common among their peers in the immigrant communities where they lived in the city of Vejle in southern Denmark. In 2007, they launched Team Success to create a different kind of “gang” in their town with the goal of serving as a positive force for change. The program offers academic tutoring in a professional environment and provides personal development, life skills, health education, and career planning support. Says Tarek, “As soon as the young people saw success within the educational system, it spread to all other aspects of their lives.” Five years and several awards later, Team Success now operates nine programs in several cities throughout Denmark. Three government ministries are now helping to expand the initiative’s reach. Learn more: team-succes.dk/
Anna Oposa, 25
Save Philippine Seas
Anna and eight other “active netizens” met in April 2011 to respond to a threat to endangered marine wildlife in the Philippines. What began as a meeting over Skype became a movement. Today, as co-founder of Save Philippine Seas, Anna works with a lean team of five core members, plus some 150 volunteers, to lobby for the enforcement of environmental laws and harness the power of social media to build awareness about marine conservation. In addition to its research and advocacy efforts, Save Philippine Seas has launched a community-based conservation project to protect thresher sharks and soon, community members will learn how to preserve sea turtle nesting sites. Learn more: savephilippinesas.tumblr.com
Kevin Morgan-Rothschild, 24
New Orleans, United States
Through VertiFarms, Kevin develops rooftop, aeroponic gardens to provide fresh, locally-grown produce to residents of the city of New Orleans. The advanced technology that VertiFarms employs – plants are grown in vertical towers in a water and mineral-nutrient solution – uses 90 percent less water than traditional agriculture. The company’s carbon footprint is also reduced through eliminating the need to transport food over long distances. In one case, vegetables produced on a supermarket roof are sold downstairs to consumers. In the future, Kevin plans to develop a commercial farm in the city. Learn more: growvertifarms.com
Pablo Alvéstegui, 28
Pablo left a stable job as an architect to address the transportation problems in Santiago, including traffic jams, air pollution, and lack of both parking and public transit. “Too many cars are used in an inefficient way, carrying just one person on each trip,” says Pablo. He and two university friends developed a web interface, A-dedo, which allows users to share their rides with others—and also save money and reduce carbon emissions. New applications are also being developed for mobile phones and GPS systems. Pablo and his team have signed contracts with several companies and universities in Chile and look forward to expanding the service to other countries in Latin America. Learn more: www.empresas.a-dedo.cl
Charles Batte, 26
Family Health Centre
With thousands of doctors in Uganda turning down opportunities to work in rural clinics, Charles saw a need for more equitable service delivery. Through Family Health Centre, he is building a sustainable model of healthcare provision in which profits from an urban health center, currently in operation, will eventually support secondary clinics in rural villages. Proceeds from a banana plantation provide additional funding. Doctors will work on a rotational basis between the urban and rural centers and each will have a registered number of families in his/her care. The approach is designed to ensure the same quality of care in both settings, while enhancing efficiency. A medical student aspiring to be a heart surgeon, Charles was selected as World Merit and Smaller Earth's Global Social Enterprise Ambassador in 2012 and traveled across five continents to inspire young people.
Katy Digovich, 28
Positive Innovation for the Next Generation
Katy co-founded Positive Innovation for the Next Generation (PING) to develop and deploy mobile health and education tools with local government and private sector partners, while mentoring youth in IT skills, eventually enabling them to maintain deployed applications on the ground. PING uses technology to increase efficiencies and improve health and education systems in emerging markets through interventions that are sustainably designed and national in scope. Current PING products/services use SMS, USSD, and mobile sites for patients and the general population and smartphone applications for healthcare workers. Develo, its for-profit arm, develops mobile applications for African telecoms to provide value added services to their target populations and trains and hires youth to support and maintain its tools. Learn more: www.pingsite.org
Lee Crockford, 29
With suicide the leading cause of death among males in Australia, aged 14 to 44, Lee co-founded "Spur Projects" to break down barriers that inhibit men from seeking help. Projects include "Soften the Fck Up" which challenges the idea of masculinity in Australian culture and encourages men to actively start a dialogue; and "Make Sound," which offers creative workshops for men living in rural and remote areas. Because Spur is run by young men for young men, it addresses their needs and uses language and techniques that appeal to this demographic. To date, Spur Projects has reached over half a million people thanks to the involvement of Australian media and the country’s largest mental health organisation. Learn more: www.spurprojects.com.au
Naomi Chepchumba, 24
Street Level Initiative Kenya
Of the 3 million Kenyans infected with HIV, over 67 percent are youth, ages 18 to 24. To prevent the spread of the disease among the younger generation, Naomi founded the Street Level Initiative Kenya. Carried out largely in nightclubs, the initiative provides DJs and musicians with peer education training so that they can pass along reproductive health information—and condoms—to club patrons. “We’d like to see young people still have fun, while making informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive health and sexuality,” says Naomi. The initiative also collaborates with other NGOs to provide free HIV testing and has done so for 600 sexually-active youth in three urban slum areas.
Patricia Barrios, 27
Voluntariado Kúrame (Healing Volunteers)
As a teenager, Patricia experienced the death of her grandmother and the negative effects of hospitalization on a patient’s recovery. She later founded Voluntariado Kúrame to mobilize and train volunteers, ages 18 to 30, to provide hospital patients with emotional support, assistance carrying out daily tasks, recreational and educational activities, and greater awareness of healthy behaviors. In 2012 alone, the initiative’s 8,000 volunteers reached more than 930,000 patients in 17 public hospitals located in 11 regions of Peru. Through its dynamic and flexible franchise model, Kúrame adapts its approach to the needs of individual hospitals. Learn more: www.kurame.org
Anna Sowa, 27
London, United Kingdom
As a film producer, Anna understands the role that powerful storytelling can play in inspiring audiences to take action on critical social and environmental issues. She also recognizes that nonprofits, social ventures, academic institutions, and the public sector often lack the visual evidence and tools needed to effectively promote their work. Through Chouette Films, an award-winning film production company, Anna and her husband produce inspiring work for a range of clients, including humanitarian and environmental organizations operating in the developing world that often can’t afford to produce high-quality films. Says Anna, “We collaborate to produce videos or documentaries that are a powerful force for change, that are transformative, and that inspire people and organizations to engage and act.” Learn more: www.chouettefilms.co.uk.
Kumari Middleton, 28
Kumari is CEO of Mayibuye, a youth-led organization that runs after-school programs, camps, and more—in Australia, South Africa, and Cambodia—to engage youth through the performing arts. Participants use art, music, drama, and dance to convey important messages about issues like HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, bullying, and racism. Mayibuye (a Zulu term for “bringing back what was lost”) goes beyond empowering youth to become positive role models; it also incorporates life skills workshops, volunteerism, community service, and global connectivity into its programs. Funding comes from schools, corporate and foundation donations, international tours, fair trade product sales, and a new full-time course in community dance at the tertiary level.
Learn more: www.mayibuye.org.au
Lina Khalifeh, 29
With a black belt in Taekwondo, Lina decided she had a special skill to offer Jordanian women suffering from abuse and violence. “At university, I saw many women feeling weak, getting abused, or being harassed,” she says. “I wanted to help them gain confidence—both physically and mentally.” Starting with self-defense lessons in the basement of her home, Lina eventually launched SheFighter, the first self-defense studio for women in Jordan and the Middle East. Classes are geared toward girls and women and focus on mental and physical empowerment techniques. Lina also leverages traditional and social media to encourage women to speak more publicly about sexual harassment, and shares her approach weekly on a national TV show.
Learn more: www.shefighter.com