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Dumsani Nyoni empowers school teachers and children, renewing their enthusiasm and capacity for teaching and learning. Dumsani links rural schools in Zimbabwe with schools in New York City, initiating a flow of much-needed used books and equipment to his country. Students and teachers from partnered schools correspond regularly via email and after two years, Dumsani’s strategy has dramatically raised teacher performance and morale, and initiated a cultural shift towards learning in Zimbabwe.
John de Wit (South Africa 1991) is currently launching an initiative to provide small business sector men and women with credit and training through a group-based, mutual support and savings scheme. Several million unemployed South Africans have turned to the informal sector for survival. Each year, approximately 80% of the fledgling businesses set up in this sector fail, primarily due to the lack of suitable credit.
Demóstenes Romano is creating a citizens' movement to ensure children's and adolescents' admission, attendance, and successful completion of school, and of a quality education for all, regardless of socioeconomic class.
David Fortune is reintegrating the children and youth living on the streets into their families and communities. His novel approach mobilizes and engages families and communities to effectively address the circumstances that propel kids to live on the streets. His efforts are the first in South Africa to systematically consider both the needs of street kids and those of their families.
Beulah Thumbadoo is working to create a culture of reading, as part of a campaign to raise literacy levels in South Africa and help the nation educate itself.
Engaging young Chinese-Canadians in environmental conservation habits congruent with traditional values, Claudia Li is bringing together the worlds of cultural heritage and social change. Claudia is creating a new space for Chinese youth to become changemakers by allowing youth to engage in the environmental movement in a culturally comfortable way.
William Solomon (South Africa 1998) has created an affordable program for matriculating students in South African secondary schools that teaches them about their individual and collective responsibility to the community and also offers them practical insights into work habits, career prospects and other life skills.
Jane Davis is changing the way people relate to literature, to each other and to themselves through a shared reading model called Get Into Reading, which brings small groups together on a weekly basis to read books and poems aloud. Run in care homes, libraries, hostels, mental health centers, schools, and prisons Get Into Reading brings literature to where people are.
Using a method to re-channel aggression in inmates throughout the Belgium prison system, Marjan Gryson is creating opportunities for inmates to set positive goals, chart a course for a more constructive life outside of prison and reintegration into society as full citizens.
Rodrigo García leads the Organization for Cetacean Conservation (OCC), the first citizen organization to promote coastal and marine conservation in Uruguay. Rodrigo focuses on restructuring the socioeconomic forces that lead to environmental problems and on building a coalition of environmentalists, local citizens, tourists, businesses and government that co-develop solutions with both environmental and economic benefits.