Oscar Misle

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Oscar Misle was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Venezuela is moving through an age of transition, creating a nation that finds itself more polarized than ever between the rich and poor, business and government, and rural and urban societies. As the nation struggles to adjust to these rapid changes, violence both in society in general and within the education system grows. Through his work in education, Oscar has reached more than ten thousand schools with his innovative and evolving methodology to address educational challenges in the country, trained thousands of trainers or “animators,” written five books and become one of the most respected figures in Venezuelan society. Through his constant efforts to combat youth violence in schools and the community, Oscar has created a movement focusing on dialogue and societal participation to address this worsening problem.

Oscar first saw these emerging issues and understood that by focusing on individuals at the earliest stage, in early childhood education, these challenges could be mitigated. After founding the nonprofit CECODAP (Community Learning Centers) with the intention of focusing on the rights of children and adolescents, he developed the Daily Safe Homes approach in conjunction with Maria Montessori schools. Within this effort, Oscar trained more than 1,800 animators who took this methodology to thousands of preschools throughout the country. Part of this nationwide success is in part due to the enthusiasm of the government, which identified and endorsed the CECODAP methodology in its curriculum for preparing new educators.

While this work was sector changing, Oscar understood that the problem did not affect early childhood education alone. He then created programs that reached out to mothers and empowered them as community leaders, a role previously unexplored. In addition to working with mothers, Oscar also moved to working with adolescents, adapting his previous techniques from the preschools to the secondary school context. Working with various stakeholders, Oscar saw the common theme of harnessing empathy to reach a more empowered and egalitarian society. He collected stories of empathy from the students and used them to author bestselling books, enabling his concept of a more harmonious Venezuelan society to reach an even greater scale.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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