Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2016
This description of Rui Marques's work was prepared when Rui Marques was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
Rui has created a model that leverages the power of young immigrants and non-immigrants to convert them in leading role models and guarantee their full social integration in Europe. This novel idea, called Ubuntu Academy, is a project that aims to work with young descendants of immigrants, as well as autochthonous young people from vulnerable contexts, facing major difficulties in their full integration into Europe. Ubuntu serves as a platform for these youth leaders to aspire and inspire. As such, Ubuntu equips young immigrants and non-immigrants with the necessary tools to become aware of the needs of the world around them and realize the importance of their individual and collective role in shaping that world. The program gives voice and opportunities to a normally vulnerable and subjugated community. Without interventions like Ubuntu that raise migrant youth leaders, these communities will be stuck in a endless cycle of hopelessly low expectations and insufficient opportunities from generation to generation. This cycle is broken when these young leaders within the community collectively discover their voice and realize their potential to change the world around them. Building bonds based on mutual respect, leveraging experiences for the common good, and replicating them in a diversity-friendly ecosystem is the essence of Ubuntu Academy.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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