Oded Grajew

Ashoka Fellow
Oded Grajew
Fellow since 1993
Instituto Ethos
This description of Oded Grajew's work was prepared when Oded Grajew was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993 .


Former game ranger and peace worker; Iain is tackling social intolerance by demonstrating how human rights values can inform the daily lives of individuals and communities.

The New Idea

Political violence racked South Africa in the 1980s and early 1990s. As a Regional Organizer of the National Peace Secretariat; formed in 1990 as part of the transition to democracy; Iain became all too familiar with the crisis management "band aid" approach to conflict intervention. With the advent of democracy; Iain sees a unique opportunity to build an enabling environment in which people can relate to one another in ways that respect their differences and acknowledge their commonalties. To do this; he has developed a rights education approach that contextualizes the ideas about human rights in every day life and enables people to create the conditions under which citizens can fulfill their true potential. His workshop methodology enables participants to create their own "Bill of Rights" specifically for their community. In practice; it enables antagonists to work together to create "rules to live by" in a process that transforms relationships into mutual respect and affirmation.