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.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
When it comes to healthy living, changing age-old habits is not always easy. Today in Canada, one in four children is overweight or obese, and less than 7% of children are physically active each day.
You know that India ranks first in the world for deaths caused by traffic accidents. You know that most of the deaths are pedestrians. And you know that UL and Ashoka have come together to surface the most innovative solutions that are making roads in India safer.
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.
"The 2015 goal to halve the proportion of people living without sanitation is running 150 years behind schedule.”
—WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010
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.
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.
How many times have you been told to exercise more, to eat a little healthier or to sleep a little longer? And how many times have you actually got out there and done it? Probably not as often as you’d like.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Editor's Note: This article was written by Eme Essien Lore, Senior Associate Director of The Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office.
“This is your life. Do what you love. And do it often.” These lines introduce the Holstee Manifesto, an inspiration to everyone looking to make a positive change in their life. Michael Radparvar, co-founder of Holstee, shares his journey as a young social entrepreneur.
by David Lubell, founder and Executive Director of Welcoming America
Why should a local government care about welcoming immigrants and becoming an actively empathetic institution? Not only do immigrants add social and civic value to towns and cities, they also help their communities become stronger economically. More localities are recognizing this, and with immigration reform stalled at the federal level, they are taking the lead to attract and welcome their immigrant neighbors.
We share perspectives, insights and analysis from the private, public, citizen sectors and from youth addressing the question “Whose job is youth employment in Africa?" in a series of articles produced in partnership with the Fair Observer.
Editor's Note: This article was written by Solomon Appiah, a Public Policy Researcher and Contributing Editor at Fair Observer. This article first appeared on Fair Observer on July 7, 2014. Appiah highlights the importance of improving youth employability in Africa if African youth are to become a tranformational force for good.
The correlation between educational attainment and employment prospects is clear. Those with tertiary qualifications are far more likely to access the labor market, with only 12.6% unemployment among holders of diplomas and higher certificates, and only 5.2% among those who have degrees.
When everyone plays, everyone wins where healthy lifestyles are concerned. If we want our children to be active, there’s no room on the bench.
It’s an uncomfortable truth: people are still trapped in slavery, and not just in agriculture and manufacturing, the two sectors that may come to mind immediately. “Both the consumer and industry need to think beyond the tag,” said Arati Sureddi, Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovator and founder of LOTUS Alliance, an organization committed to cutting across sectors to fight human trafficking.
Editor's Note: In partnership with Fair Observer, an on-line journal that examines the deeper issues behind the news, we will explore the theme: Who is responsible for addressing youth employment in Africa? From June-September 2014, we will be developing online events and a series of articles that will gather multiple perspectives and provide a 360° analysis on the topic.
Sports like dodgeball, track, soccer, and basketball and intermittent fitness tests have been the norm for physical education classes.
A lot of time is spent discussing why education reform is important and why more playful learning methodologies benefit students.
Ashoka, the Zermatt Summit Foundation, Fondation Guilé, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim are delighted to announce the winners of the European competition “Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact”. They were awarded during a ceremony at the prestigious Zermatt Summit, on June 27, 2014
Please join us in congratulating the inspiring competition winners:
You’re ignited by your vision, and you feel a deep urge to make it happen. Perhaps you’re already making it happen, and you’re busy managing the manifestation of your dreams.