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Africa Yoga Project: Inspiring Youth to Achieve Greatness

Editors's Note: This article was written by Paige Elenson. Elenson is the Executive Director of Africa Yoga Project (AYP), a movement that empowers the youth through the transformative power of yoga. A native New Yorker and former Wall Street consultant, she has been teaching yoga for over a decade. Elenson’s incisive skills as a businesswoman, spiritual activist and yogini inspired her work with AYP. This article first appeared on Fair Observer on August 29, 2014.

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Jack in the Box: The Failure of Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Editors's Note: This article was written by Maria Khwaja. Khwaja is the Founder of Elun, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teacher education in the developing world. Khwaja is also a teacher and completed her Master's in Education at Oxford University. This article first appeared on Fair Observer on September 25, 2014.

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Congratulations to the Winners of the Safer Roads, Safer India Challenge!

 

Bangalore, India -- Four road safety entrepreneurs have been selected as winners in the innovation challenge “Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives.” Their projects were evaluated by an expert panel of judges and chosen as the top solutions from a pool of more than 80 entries that activate citizenship, improve governance to be more responsive, update infrastructure, and use technology to protect drivers, passengers, and bystanders.

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Video Games and Tech: Key to Learning Success? Live G+ Hangout on Oct. 2


“We’re trying to change education in a positive way, that’s the overarching goal,” said Jan von Meppen. “Basically, we’re trying to achieve that by using storytelling to put learning content into context with the real world.”

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Ewa Wojkowska, Founder of Kopernik Indonesia

"Ewa created distribution channels for last-mile communities who need access to products and technology, in 14 countries."

The Idea and Strategy

Ewa Wojkowska has created distribution channels that engage local civil society channels, organizations, cooperatives, savings and loans groups, local kiosks, funders, investors and technology producers to ensure that last-mile communities have access to much-needed appropriate technologies to address their basic needs. These technologies include water filters, solar lights and fuel efficient cook stoves.

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Finalists Announced for The Play Exchange Challenge!

 

We asked you to share your ideas for a healthier Canada and your response was tremendous. The Play Exchange received an astounding 422 ideas from across Canada for empowering people to make healthier choices. We thank everyone who participated for sharing your solutions for promoting active, healthy living!

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John Converse Townsend's picture

How This Time-Traveling Professor Is Re-Defining Play And Learning

Professor S., a university professor in Berlin, has invented the world’s first functioning time machine. Unfortunately, it has malfunctioned and he’s stuck in the past with his Ph.D. research assistant, Jeanette. It’s up to students in seven elementary schools in Germany to help bring the pair home.

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Be Part of the Solution: How You Can Help Young People in Africa Find Jobs -- And Purpose

Young people everywhere crave having a purpose in our rapidly changing world. This has serious social, economic, and political implications for the sub-Saharan Africa region because it is on track to have the largest youth population in the world by 2050.

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Indrani Sharma's picture

SMS Voting For Bangalore Choice Finalists Is Open!

 

Earlier this year, UL partnered with Ashoka, a global network of change makers, and launched the Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives challenge to increase public awareness of road safety challenges, crowd source solutions, and accelerate the rate of positive change. The Safe Roads challenge is part of a pilot being tested across India, with a focus on Bangalore, the country’s third-largest city.

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Smita Satiani's picture

Why overcoming challenges is key to effective leadership & entrepreneurial breakthroughs

Editor's Note: Below is a Q&A with Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and vice president for Corporate Social Responsibility, American Express. Read more about the Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovators Bootcamp on the 2014 Emerging Innovators Campaign homepage

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WATCH: Webinar on Collaborating to Solve Youth Employment

Sub-Saharan Africa faces a paradox that has global relevance and implications: it will be home to the largest youth population in the world by 2050 and although literacy rates (by 6%) and education enrollment rates (by 9%) have been on the rise, youth unemployment continues to hover above 60% across the region. How will African youth create or secure sustainable and meaningful livelihoods? And more specifically, who is responsible for youth employment in Africa?
 

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What Being An Astronaut Taught Me About Healthy Living

 

“Regular exercise prepared me well for the demands of astronaut life, and it will prepare explorers of the future for their challenges,” said Robert Thirsk, former astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency and director of the board for LIFT Philanthropy Partners.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Finalists Announced for Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change

Please join us in congratulating the Finalists of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge!
 
After receiveing more than 200 entries, 86 top entries were selected as Semi-Finalists. Now, 23 top Finalists will go on to the final judging round of the competition.

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The African Youth Movement for Social and Economic Prosperity

Editor's Note: This Article was written by George W.Bakka. Bakka is Ugandan entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Angel's Hub and a Segal Family Foundation partner. He is also an Acumen, Anzisha and Educate! Fellow. This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post Blog on August 8, 2014.

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Starting on the Right Foot—and Staying There

 

There’s no such thing as starting too early when it comes to forming healthy habits, according to the Healthy Beginnings for Preschoolers 2-5 team. They provide resources, training, and guidance to early learning practitioners that help ensure preschoolers are learning healthy eating habits and keeping active from an early age in in British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Quebec.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Activating Empathy to Create Change News Roundup

Finalists will be revealed on 9/3! Until then, we’ve rounded up top stories about empathy making waves as a powerful driver of change in communities. (Photo: NERDS (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students) is a Semi-Finalist of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge and is featured on the Ashoka Changemakers Instagram this week!)

But first, a few announcements:

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Rehabilitating Young Offenders: Youth Employment in Kenya

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Fair Observer on July 30, 2014. This interview was conducted by AshokaVickie Wambura Wamonje is the founder of Nafisika Trust, a prison rehabilitation program that seeks to reduce recidivism rates among prison inmates in Kenya.

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John Converse Townsend's picture

5 Ways You Can Be A Game Changer For Learning

We have to change the way the next generation of children learn, think and interact with people and the environment (both built and natural).

“This world requires a new paradigm for growing up and therefore also for education,” Bill Drayton wrote last year in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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Eric Clayton's picture

Innovator Insights: Making It Safe to Report Sexual Assault Online

An astonishing 90 percent of assaults are committed by repeat assailants, and only 22 percent of sexual assaults on campuses are reported to authorities, according to estimates. Victims of sexual assault on college and university campuses need a safe space where they can report assailants in a transparent and confidential way —and where they can help put an end to what is often an ongoing cycle.

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Innovator Insights: When Jobs Aren’t Enough

A former high school teacher, Jordyn Lexton recalls telling a student in her English class, “that, with hard work and over the course of time, he could achieve his goal of becoming an architect.

“As the words left my mouth, another student respectfully objected, telling me I was ‘selling dreams’,” Lexton said. “In that moment, I realized I needed to do more.”

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Youth Employment in Africa: Whose Job Is It?

Editor's Note: This article was written by Atul Singh, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fair Observer. This article first appeared on Fair Observer on June 27, 2014. The article discusses which players are responsible for addressing youth employment in Africa.
 

Background
 

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Youth in Africa: Pursuing Talents Informed by Market Dynamics

 Editor's Note: This article was written by Oluseun Onigbinde. Oluseun is the Co-Founder of BudgIT, a public data visualization startup that makes the Nigerian budget simpler and an Ashoka and Knight Innovation Fellow. This article first appeared on Fair Observer on August 6, 2014.

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A Healthy Community Raises a Healthy Child

 

Without decisive action, today’s children could become the first generation of Canadians to have shorter life-spans than their parents. The growing twin epidemics of physical inactivity and unhealthy eating is placing the health of Canadian children at risk and threatens to be a massive driver of heart disease, stroke and soaring health costs in the future.

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International Youth Day Chat | How Can Youth Drive Innovation & Employment in Africa?

During the last decade, several African nations have seen record rates of growth placing them among the top growing economies in the world. Yet, this boom has not translated into an increase in jobs for the estimated 11 million youth who join the workforce each year. Fortunately, today’s generation of African youth is more educated, and more connected than ever before. Whilst solving the employment crisis requires collaboration involving many sectors, youth empowerment is also a key component.

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From Dropouts to Innovators: How RLabs Invests in Young "Problem Experts" to Beat Crime & Unemployment

Editor's Note: This article was written by Tsega Belachew, Global Content and Engagement Manager for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. This article was first featured on AllAfrica.com on 29 July 2014. RLabs, founded by Marlon Parker, is an innovation movement that transforms youth in troubled communities, gangsters, dropouts and ex-convicts, into changemakers.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Semi-Finalists Announced!

From a pool of more than 200 entries, the short-listing team at Ashoka Changemakers has selected 86 Semi-Finalists of the Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change challenge. 

Video caption: Early Entry Prize Winner and Semi-Finalist iLead+Design submitted this video illustrating its unique model for teaching students empathy skills and how to use design thinking to solve problems.

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Eric Clayton's picture

Innovator Insights: Want to know how to sustain environmental change?

What is needed to get people to actively support environmental sustainability?

“Marketing,” says Kevin Davies, Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovator and founder of Green Start, an organization committed to reducing waste in Calgary, Canada and educating Calgarians about the impact of their personal decisions on the environment around them.

“I believe that marketing could well be the missing piece of the puzzle. I believe in marketing as a force for good.”

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Kristie Wang's picture

Project Happiness – Equipping Young People with Emotional Resilience, Self-Awareness, and Empathy

Project Happiness (PH) teaches students the skills to build emotional resilience, self-awareness, and empathy. Informed by neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness, PH “teaches kids to be happy and strong from the inside” and helps adults strengthen social and emotional skills as well, said founder Randy Taran.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Early Entry Prize Winners: Project Happiness and iLead+Design

More than 200 entries were received for the Building Vibrant Communities competition!  We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered. Due to the overwhelming response, we are pushing back our timeline one week and will be announcing Semi-Finalists on July 24.

Video caption: A trailer for the film produced by Early Entry Prize Winner and Semi-Finalist Project Happiness. The film is part of Project Happiness' set of tools for helping young people and adults strengthen the skills of empathy, emotional resilience, and self-awareness.

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Youth Empowerment and Healthy Living: The Magic of Hip-Hip

 

Ashoka Fellow Stephen Leafloor is creating young leaders among First Nations and Inuit communities affected by issues such as sexual abuse, suicide, depression, family violence and school desertion. Using a blend of hip-hop dance and music and traditional Inuit performance arts as a hook, he guides youth and other community members to create comprehensive networks of support and solutions to these mental health crises.

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Ashoka and Partners’ Changemakers Competition for Greece announces four winning projects for 2014

 

Athens, July 16, 2014 – Ashoka Greece announced today that four (4) winners have been selected in “Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece”, the first Changemakers competition for Greece, launched March 2014.

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Eπιλέχθηκαν οι 4 νικητές του Διαγωνισμού «Προορισμός: Αλλαγή. Νέες Λύσεις για την Ελλάδα»

 

Αθήνα, 16 Ιουλίου, 2014 - H Αshoka Ελλάδος ανακοίνωσε σήμερα τους 4 νικητές του «Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece» του πρώτου διαγωνισμού στην πλατφόρμα των Changemakers, που ανακοινώθηκε τον Μάρτιου του 2014.

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Ashoka and Partners’ Changemakers Competition for Greece announces four winning projects for 2014

 

Athens, July 16, 2014 – Ashoka Greece announced today that four (4) winners have been selected in “Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece”, the first Changemakers competition for Greece, launched March 2014.

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