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    Cypress Hills Community School

    Changemaker School

    Terri Valle de Aquino grew up in Acre, the very poor and thinly populated state on the southwestern edge of Brazil's Amazon basin. He returned to work with the indigenous peoples there and is now setting out to help them and their traditional enemies, the rubber tappers, learn to collaborate and work together economically and politically. This collaboration is as important to the rainforest as it is to both peoples.

    Roberto “Beto” Chaves, a member of Rio de Janeiro’s police force, is rebuilding trust between Rio’s police and its favela communities. Through loosely structured “chats” in the community between police, ex-convicts and youth, Beto is breaking down the stereotypes and misconceptions that each group holds about the others, and has opened new lines of communication between the police and the community.

    By designing and producing the first modular designed, and thus longer lasting, smartphone, building a conflict free and fair supply and production chain, Bas van Abel with his company Fairphone is creating a movement of ethical consumption while shifting the smartphone industry -one of the most complex supply chains- towards ethical production and complete transparency, fueling change instead of conflict.

    Lembaga Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Anak is inspired by the intense religious segregation found in Ambon, which results in built up tension between Christians and Muslims. This is accomplished by infusing pluralism into communities using the latest educational modules on tolerance, which are taught in Baihajar's co-created playgrounds.

    Helena is transforming peace processes worldwide. She bridges the gap between institutional and governmental organizations who officially lead peace processes and the communities who suffer the harsh consequences of conflicts, and who are generally excluded from peace-making decisions. She is democratizing peace processes by working with local peace activists worldwide and designing scalable peace interventions that connect local voices to decision makers.

    Ashoka Fellow Edward Edilbi - Syria

    Story

    The name of Edward’s organization, Dubarah, means “I’ve got your back” in Arabic. Since 2013 it has been empowering those forced by conflicts in Iraq and, chiefly, his own Syria to flee to unknown places, giving up all. After becoming a refugee himself, Edward leveraged his background in marketing and communications and built a web platform that mobilizes the Syrian diaspora—old and new—into active mutual support networks. 

    Edward Edilbi is introducing a new way to empower, integrate and build social capital in scattered, immigrant populations that have been affected by a political crisis or natural disaster. Using diaspora networks, he enables refugees to play an active and productive role, thus changing their status from helplessness to independence and promoting positive perceptions of refugees.