Susannah Farr (Ashoka Fellow)

Susannah is providing leadership and life skills education to young people in schools through a structured extra-curricular model...


Name of social entrepreneur

Susannah Farr (Ashoka Fellow)

Date Established


Date entered into program

July 2018

Impact (in number) till date

Over 15,000 direct beneficiaries

Name of company

Gold Youth




Susannah is providing leadership and life skills education to young people in schools through a structured extra-curricular model that capitalizes on peer pressure to create a ripple effect of youth-driven, positive change making.


African youth grow up in challenging environments and confront many social issues that inhibit their ability to acquire an education and positively shape their future. Most communities are challenged by high rates of poverty, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, abortions, suicides, school dropouts, substance abuse, sexual abuse and violence. Young people have to contend with these challenges, as well as the pressure of their education, while making decisions that affect their future. This is further complicated by a lack of access to information that can help them make positive choices for their futures.


Young people in African countries have fewer opportunities to access the knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve their full potential and influence positive change in their schools and communities. Susannah created Generations of Leaders Discovered (GOLD) to develop social capital in African youth. By employing a structured three-year curriculum, GOLD trains and educates potential young leaders and role models in schools and communities who educate, guide and mentor their peers. These young leaders urge their peers to adopt a positive way of thinking about their lives and encourage their peers to overcome the social challenges they face.

Susannah’s model is built on three axes: (1) leadership training, (2) peer pressure and (3) social engagement in their communities. This is an integrated extra-curricular model that helps young people exit the education system as accomplished and confident change leaders in society. GOLD recruits learners from various schools and provides them with intensive leadership, peer education and life skills training to transform them into qualified peer educators who spearhead positive behavior change in schools and communities.

Business model

Currently, GOLD has operations in Zambia, South Africa and Botswana, working with a total of 13 CBOs in over 58 communities with about 60 operating sites and schools. The program has trained over 100 GOLD Facilitators and more than 2,800 qualified Peer Educators who work with almost 13,000 peers and younger children. GOLD has developed a ‘do it yourself’ product called Peer2Peer which is a methodology based on GOLD’s Peer Education Model. Peer2Peer is part of Susannah’s scaling strategy. This is made available, for a fee, to other public and private schools and organizations (that are not directly part of GOLD’s current outreach strategy). This product is being implemented in 9 communities in the Western Cape in South Africa and 5 communities in Botswana and negotiations with other school and community authorities in Zambia are underway. Through this comprehensive model, Susannah is using positive peer pressure to influence positive behavior change among young people and simultaneously unlocking employment opportunities for youth by developing and spearheading new career prospects in youth leadership and education.

Current Impact

There are 2 groups of direct beneficiaries: 14.7k teenager educators (highschool) and 700 interns (18-26yo unemployed youth). Indirect beneficiaries are youth benefiting from the coaching of their peer educator. There are 48k of those.