This profile was prepared when Marcus Solomon was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Recognizing children as potential change agents, Marcus helps children organize themselves into small groups that meet regularly to discuss and take action on their communities' most pressing social issues. Collectively, these groups have become a national movement, addressing concerns in the four core areas of health, environment, culture, and media. Although each children's group operates independently, representatives from each group serve on a general council that coordinates the programs of the movement nationally. The end of apartheid has eliminated the political pressures that marred similar efforts in the past. Marcus recognizes that people are now willing to consider children's needs apart from a political agenda. Within this new context, Marcus places the agency of each child at the forefront of improving their lives.