Find Ashoka Fellows
Dea-gon Yi has created a citizen-led storytelling and publishing initiative to revitalize municipalities outside the Seoul metropolitan area. Through the “Hae-ri book village” model, and partnerships with education authorities and municipal governments, Dea-gon is demonstrating that cultural approaches can catalyze community renewal.
Eszter uses playgrounds as a means of building community and turning segregated kindergartens into inclusive places where disabled and non-disabled children can play together, helping both develop into more emphatic, cooperative and tolerant adults.
Despite the improvements in tools to democratize the resources, there has not been a holistic movement in place for the education needs of children with special needs in Turkey. Stuck in a vicious cycle of lack of education and integration, these children and their families often find themselves in closed environments, be it private schools or their own homes.
Mesut established E-bursum to build a democratization and digitization movement aiming to make student scholarships and loans more transparent, fair and impactful in Turkey. Mesut is turning a dysfunctional financial instrument in education into an empowerment tool and fundamentally changing the ways scholarship givers and recipients interact with one-another.
Agazi Afewerki has a powerful belief that any young person can teach an adult a new skill and that youth are a core resource for community development and transformation. With this idea, Agazi Afewerki is re-defining the role of youth in society, starting with the most vulnerable urban populations.
Claire reimagines the value chain behind food production as being led by individuals and communities, enabling South Africans of all ages and backgrounds to take pride in being able to grow their own fruit and vegetables. She does this by positioning home and school-based gardens as an educational tool, through which she conveys and creates joy in growing food, creating the bedrock for a food-secure and healthy citizenry.
With SPEAK, Hugo fosters the organic emergence of local communities where migrants, refugees and locals meet and develop meaningful relationships as equals in a safe sharing space that values diversity, fosters deep human bonds and ultimately creates powerful informal support networks to enable the integration of newcomers.
Kara Bobroff is transforming education for Native American young people by building a school system that promotes academic excellence and holistic well-being through cultural and community connectedness, using a model that embraces and tailors itself to the diverse needs of diverse communities.
Lauren McNamara, armed with new measures and data she developed, is persuading and heling elementary schools replace harmful recess patterns with new approaches that help children grow socially and emotionally, not least by helping one another grow.
Diane Sousa is changing the demand of children and young people for the human right to play and to practice different sports in a safe and inclusive way in marginalized rural and urban areas by the resignification of community spaces (squares and schools). With innovative methodologies, she wants to form a generation of changemakers who take ownership of their rights and thereby participate in local decision-making.