Staples YSE 2008 Judges Packet


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Staples YSE 2008 Judges Packet

  1. 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. “The Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur” Competition Judging .......................2 II. Entries..............................................................................................................4 1. Changing the World Starting with YOUth .....................................................4 2. Fun Thursday (Le Jeudi des rigolos) ..........................................................10 3. Gardens for Health International.................................................................12 4. Girls Helping Girls.......................................................................................17 5. Gumball Capital ..........................................................................................23 6. Musso Fila: Women from here and afar (Musso Fila: Femmes d'ici et d'ailleurs) ........................................................................................................27 7. Reading Support (Accompagnement vers La Lecture)...............................29 8. Tennis for Fun.............................................................................................31 9. The Hunger Brigade (La Brigade De la Faim) ...........................................34 10. Turn your World Around ...........................................................................37 11. Wetland Educators ...................................................................................40 12. Youth Adventure Program ........................................................................44 Appendix I: Judges’ Biographies .......................................................................48 Appendix II: Ashoka’s Youth Venture Facilitators ..............................................51
  2. 2. I. “The Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur” Competition Judging Changemakers is an online initiative designed to source and accelerate innovative social solutions from around the world. Its transparent, open source model allows anyone to explore and engage with innovators through collaborative competitions that address the world's most pressing social problems. During each thematic competition, Changemakers fosters a global community of thought leaders, subject matter experts, and enthusiasts who facilitate a robust exchange of ideas and opportunities. Competition Eligibility Criteria The competition was open to all young individuals between the ages of 12-24 and all previously awarded Youth Venture teams. We consider all entries – ideas OR projects – that meet the following criteria: • Idea or project reflects the theme of the competition: “Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition.” The goal of the competition is to identify innovative solutions that young people are using to make life easier for others. • Ideas show strong potential for significant or meaningful impact. Projects show potential as well as demonstrated impact. Competition Criteria Innovation: This is the knock-out test; the idea or project must introduce creative elements or methods to positively impact the community. For example, the project might use a new approach to tackle a challenge, creative methods to raise awareness of a problem, or innovative strategies to raise funds or engage volunteers. Social Impact: It is important that the project provides a solution to an important social problem. The entry must demonstrate impact on the target population it addresses, either a specific underserved community or the society at large. Some innovations will have proven success at a small level (or are still at the very beginning), while others will have scaled to engage hundreds or thousands of people. Regardless of the level of demonstrated impact, it is important that the project has the potential for growth and bigger impact. Sustainability: For a project to be truly effective it must have a plan for how it will acquire financial and other bases of support for the long-term. In other words it has a good strategy for creating ongoing positive change in the community and engaging partners, as well as a sound plan for transitioning leadership and recruiting team members or volunteers. 2
  3. 3. The Judging Process As a competition judge, you have been identified as a specialist in your field who is keenly able to spot and evaluate innovation. Judges typically have a) An innovator’s temperament (it takes one to know one!); and b) A track record of practicing or supporting systems-changing innovation. In this judging packet, Youth Venture has provided a shortlist of 12 of the 530 entries submitted to the “Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur” competition. Applying the competition criteria, you have one week to review and rank the projects on the score sheets provided. Ratings are: 1 Excellent 2 Meets the Standard 3 Serious Questions Do Not Score "0" Please return your completed score sheets to Youth Venture by 5pm EST on November 5th. On November 7th Ashoka’s Youth Venture will meet with you and the other the judges as a panel (via telephone conference) to select the 5 finalists that will be awarded a trip to the Staples Award Ceremony on November 20th. A panel chair from the Changemakers Team will facilitate the 2 hour deliberation meeting on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 11:00am EST. During the panel, judges will share the scores and rankings that they assigned to each of the shortlisted entries. The scores and rankings are organizational tools that allow the judges to first review those entries that scored the highest. The scores do NOT mean, however, that entries with lower scores are automatically eliminated from consideration. Average scores are likely to tell only part of the story. In practice, judges may give added weight to one or another criterion and thus end up “ranking” an entry higher than its overall numerical score would indicate. The panel chair will implement a meeting structure and process that takes into account all the judges' scores, and efficiently produces clear decisions without blocking opportunities for in-depth discussion or forcing decisions through a rigid procedure. The goal is to develop a bigger picture of all qualified entries so that the finalists—as a group—are a fair and balanced selection of the best. At the beginning of the judging session, the panel chair will: a) Reiterate the criteria; b) Name each entry (beginning with top scorers); and c) Ask the judges to discuss how the entry reflects (or does not reflect) the criteria particularly when compared with other entries under discussion. 3
  4. 4. The facilitator will move quickly to qualify entries for which there is a consensus and less so when there are opposing points of view that need sorting out. Operating on consensus, the panel will build a slate of finalists that reflects excellence in the field and opportunity for impact. 4
  5. 5. II. Entries 1. Changing the World Starting with YOUth Country: France Organization: EUforIA - Europeans United for Informed Action Sector Focus: Education Year the initiative began: 2007 Project URL: Project entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)? Global problems have taken such dramatic dimensions that our generation (18 to 28 years old) often feels discouraged and weary: young people feel they cannot do anything against global poverty, climate change or international conflicts. This powerlessness paralyses any desire for action. This also means that an incredible amount of young people’s capacity is left unused because there is not enough faith in them and they are rarely offered a chance to realize their own projects. Europeans for Informed Action (EUforIA) aims to address this challenge: 1. The first step consists in creating a link between students and (young) global change makers who are already active. Seeing that our generation’s commitment is not only important but can make a considerable difference, should help our contemporaries to acquire a more constructive attitude towards global challenges. 2. The second step consists in showing young motivated people the variety of concrete assignments that are at their disposal; projects in the course of which they can realize their own ideas, assume responsibility and shape their community. Where such possibilities are still lacking, EUforIA wants to establish them by creating its own projects. Project Description: Our project aims to raise global awareness among youth (inform) and encourage local activism (activate). Unique and different: We organize attractive events where young people can come into contact with one another in a stimulating context in order to exchange ideas, encourage each other with their examples and discover the many possibilities to contribute to the solution of global challenges. It is very important to us that our events respond to the needs of our generation. As we know from our own experience, students are not very keen on spending time and money on non-university activities 5
  6. 6. which are not centered on entertainment. Therefore, in the organization of our events, we give special consideration to three criteria: Efficiency (show what concrete benefits they will obtain from participating in one of our events), Infotainment (movie screenings, concerts, competitions, etc.) & Service (offer free services such as food, lodging, travel scholarships, etc.) Our events shall be interactive, interesting, entertaining, generous and challenging, and above all: participation is a privilege (selection process, scholarships, etc.). We plan to fill young people with enthusiasm for our activities by underlining the incentives (famous guest speakers, scholarships, parties, competitions and more) we offer through clever and precise advertisement. We are convinced that a combination of constructive information, interactive participation and meaningful entertainment is precisely adapted to the needs of our generation and that thereby we will be able to appeal to today’s young people and motivate them on the long term! Project plan: 1. From October 17th to October 19th 2008, we organize the EUforIA Youth Summit 2008 (EYS’08 – in Geneva, Switzerland, that will bring together about 120 students from all across Europe and Switzerland for a three-day conference to deal with the question: "What can YOUth contribute to the solution of global challenges?!" 2. On February 28 and March 1st we organize the EUforIA Youth Weekend (EYW Feb’09) in Bern, Switzerland, that will bring together about 50 students from all across Switzerland for a two-day conference to deal with the questions “What is YOUth’ role with regard to Intercultural Dialogue and Migration?!” 3. Plans for a conference in Paris, France, are being elaborated by our team in France right now. Partnerships: What are some of your most successful partnerships and how have you created them? In the three days before the EUforIA Youth Summit 2008, we will offer an intercultural journey through Switzerland called "What does Switzerland Contribute to the Solution of Global Challenges?!" for 20 selected international participants of the EYS’08 ( journey/). For the organization of this intercultural journey we have been able to find two amazing student-run youth organizations as our partners: (Initiative for Intercultural Learning – & YouthRep (Youth Delegates to the UN - We got to know them thanks to our networking efforts aimed at identifying promising youth organizations and offer them a platform to reach out to a wider public to promote their work. Looking for partners we were connected with Markus Gander, Swiss Social Entrepreneur 2006 of the Schwab Foundation, who runs ( and put his IT specialist at our disposition to create the amazing website we got know (Design by Solidaridad Graphisme that made our impressive design nearly for free because they support our initiative. We were put in contact with them by CODAP - Youth resource center on Human Rights that foments youth initiatives). Impact: In October we will have reached out to about 250 highly motivated and skilled young people but since we are only launching our activities we will reach out to thousands in the future! Our basic goal is to prove to YOUth that your personal commitment matters. That is to say, we want to provide an ultimate impulse for YOUth who are already interested in world affairs to finally overcome your passive attitude and step up to the challenge to become active. We think that our generation should start considering itself as part of the solution. We live here and now and not in a distant future. Hence, 6
  7. 7. we need to be conducive to the solution of global problems of today and tomorrow! Starting today, starting with YOUth! Effectiveness: - How do you engage and impact the community? - How do you measure this impact? For feasibility reasons (we have better connections with them) our main target audience are students, aged from 18-28, but we are looking to benefit all youth. Our Informed Action campaign consists of a combination of • Youth Summits • Youth Weekends • Youth Events • Youth Initiatives • Intercultural Journeys • Speeches • Panel Discussions • Workshops • Video Conferences • Art and Cultural Events • Movie Screenings • Social Gatherings • Competitions • Many other interactive components All of these events will be carried out in accordance with our "Informed Action" philosophy: Raising global awareness (inform) and encouraging local activism (activate). The term "Informed Action" is loosely inspired by the psychological concept of empowerment through information. Based on that premise, EUforIA is convinced that raising awareness and generating motivation go hand in hand. Once people of our generation learn where and why their personal engagement is needed and how problems can be solved, they will be ready and able to carry out Informed Actions. By informing and encouraging young people to become active in a project of their choice, thereby building a movement of young change makers, we multiply our efforts to contribute to the creation of a new, sustainable, fair and peaceful society. In order to evaluate the viability and success of our actions, we formulated a list of criteria linked to our objectives. We wonder, can the euphoria we generate even be measured? With the purpose of keeping track of the state of personal commitment of young people who attended one of our big events, we are planning to send out an email-based questionnaire in two waves, the first wave coming one month, the second one six months after the event. To make sure that a sufficient number of questionnaires will be filled out and returned (i.e. high response rate), we will repeatedly stress the importance of this feedback during the event in question. 7
  8. 8. The following criteria are indicators of our future success: 1. EUforIA a. During the events, EUforIA team members will try to recruit a certain number of members for its own organizational growth (this number will be fixed as a goal for each event = about 15-20% of the participants). Joining an existing local EUforIA group or founding a new one are only two of the many possibilities for new members. In either case, new members can collaborate in organizing EUforIA events such as workshops, movie screenings, (video) conferences, social activities and so on. b. Convincing a maximum number of participants of our concept of “Informed Action”, we hope to be able to stage smaller events at different universities across Europe in the near future. Therefore, we hope to motivate up to three quarters of the participants of one of our events to continue attending our events, to subscribe to our newsletter, to take part in discussions staged on the Internet etc. 2. Partner organizations a. One of our most important goals is to motivate as many participants as possible (15- 30%) to become involved with our partner organizations to which we offer a platform with our events. This includes finding information about our partner organization’s work as well as committing oneself to the active support of and possible membership in one of our partner organizations. Getting young people to support partner organizations, thus serving as a mediator between these people and our partner organizations is one of the primary functions of EUforIA. 3. Multiplier effect a. We hope to convince 5-10% of the participants to write a report about the event they attended, EUforIA in general or a derivative topic. These could then be published in a university journal, an online magazine, a blog, and even in the local or national press. b. Furthermore, our survey intends to determine to what extent the participants have spread the word about EUforIA, the event they attended, our partner organizations and the topics dealt with amongst their friends. Using the strategy of the snowball- approach, this could happen via the participants’ blogs or their profile in social networking communities. 4. Avioral changes The parameter most difficult to measure is the number of participants who changed their behavior as a result of their newly gained knowledge and euphoric spirit. ndicators of behavioral change include but are not limited to the following: How many participants will pay attention to simple actions such as buying fair trade, organic food or environmental friendly products? Will someone decide to change his or her career plans? Will their political participation increase, e.g. will they vote more often? How many will use their bikes more often, how many will think of turning off electronic equipment and start recycling more? How many participants will decide to commit to a cause they are deeply concerned about? Apart from the online surveys, all participants of our events will fill out a questionnaire on the last day of the event they attend. This will help us meet the individual interests of our participating students even better during the next similar event. 8
  9. 9. In the case of bigger events such as the EYS’08, the participants will be asked on the last day of the event to write a letter expressing their feelings, citing what impressed them most, and trying to anticipate their next steps. This exercise should help counter a possible loss of momentum once the event’s final curtain has fallen. Our idea is to have them hand in their letters so that we can send them back to their authors a month later. Rereading their ideas, they will precisely remember the feeling they had when they were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave, knowing –possibly for the first time in their lives – that they could make a difference. A month after the event, this experience should give them a new impulse to continue their engagement and to integrate into the global community in a most favorable way. In addition we will comment on their letters and insist on the concrete opportunities that exist for them to realize their ambitions formulated during the event. In the aftermath of our events, we will also offer an online platform where people can continue to exchange and share information as well as encourage each other to be the young leaders of tomorrow TODAY. Obstacles: The biggest obstacle is probably money, to realize our ambitious plans we will need a lot of financial resources. Then, we will have to invest a lot of time and efforts to actually get youth to attend our events, so that we can begin working with them. Unfortunately, the threshold for young people to invest their time resources for events that are not aimed at entertainment during their leisure time is very limited and we will have to offer them very special and outstanding services to awaken them from their passiveness. Finance details: So far we have raised 1'000 US$ for our first event in November 2007 and more than 80'000 US$ in monetary funds and about 10'000 US$ in in-kind donations for our second event in October 2008. We are among the finalists of the youth contest in Bern to fund our event in February/March with 15'000 US$. In addition, we got a major foundation interested in funding more than half of our 1'800'000 US$ budget for the next three years. Our team currently consists of the following people: Raphael Jerónimo Calderón (24 years) - President EUforIA Yoko Malbos (25 years) - Vice-President EUforIA & President EUforIA France Martina Fortin (24 years) - Vice-President EUforIA & President EUforIA Italy Daniel Mateos San Martín (25 years) - Head of Finance EUforIA & President EUforIA Spain Matthias Kuhlmeier (25 years) - Head of Media EUforIA & President EUforIA Germany Madeleine Imbeck (22 years) - Secretary EUforIA & Co-President EUforIA Switzerland Lukas Etter (24 years) - Networking EUforIA Nathan Lenzin (20 years) - Co-President ELAYS'09 Nayra Ugalde (20 years) - Co-President ELAYS'09 Aurélie Duret (22 years) - Head of Media & Finances EUforIA France Mileva Demenga (24 years) - Co-President EUforIA Switzerland Meret Reifler (22 years) - Secretary EUforIA Switzerland Stefanie Rinaldi (24 years) - Treasurer EUforIA Switzerland Luca Bernardi (22 years) - Head of Media EUforIA Switzerland Annina Gonzenbach (24 years) - Responsible EYS'08 9
  10. 10. Erland Moeckli (24 years) - Responsible EYW'09 Gaëtan Morel (25 years) - Logistics EUforIA Switzerland Lukas Schützenmeister (22 years) - Head of Media EUforIA Germany Toni Kretzschmar (25 years) - Head of Finance EUforIA Germany & there is a group of 30 selected European students coming to the EYS’08 who will be trained and instructed during 3-6 days in order to be integrated into the EUforIA Team right after the event. Right now we are working together with 25 different partners to organize our workshops and events, and receive financial as well as in-kind donations from 11 different institutions/. Creative funding: So far the creativity has been "restricted" to the planning and conceptualization of our events. We have paid a lot of importance to an appropriate, coherent and professional presentation of our plans and invested considerable time resources to identify and convince partners to support us, both financially and with in-kind donations. For the future we would like to launch our own fair trade and ecologically friendly clothing brand and open fast-food vegetarian restaurants that serve affordable take-away international cuisine on the basis of fair-trade products. Other non finance needs: We are looking for organizations and institutions that can offer our team courses to acquire new intellectual tools, know-how and management capacities to considerably increase the efficiency and professionalism of our work. In addition, we are always looking to network and be connected with other organizations active in the field of global change and youth activism or that wish to support such initiatives. Motivation: The idea to found EUforIA was born in Boston in spring 2007, while six European exchange students of different nationalities, social backgrounds and political ideas were discussing their views of the world until they began to question their own discourse: Why do we always complain about what we do not like on this planet without actually looking at what we/YOUth could do in this question? Can our ideas even be realized by discussing highly complex global systems that we can barely influence? Why are we not undertaking more efforts to realize our ideals? What can we really change in our world? Based on these questions, the concept of EUforIA was developed, inspired by our individual, personal world-views. We then noticed during numerous discussions with peers, that our notion seems to stand for an entire generation: We do no longer want to talk about problems but prefer to identify personal challenges; we are no longer interested in what is all bad in this world, but much more in what we can change about this situation. The “defining moment” was initiated during an event on social entrepreneurship organized by a US youth organization where a Ashoka fellow explained her work and ideals to students from the greater Boston area. One of the founders realized that what was really needed were more of those events where like-minded young people could find inspiration and coeval partners to translate their euphoria unleashed by the realization that another world was possible and that they could make it happen, into concrete projects of their own. And such events should not be restricted to social entrepreneurship but address any issue of interest to YOUth that can contribute to global change. 10
  11. 11. Since then a lot has happened and the initial concept has been developed further, but the main idea remained the same: we want to raise young people’s awareness of global challenges and encourage them to get involved in order to include those concerns in the shaping of their local community. The “defining moment” is still going on. Awards: The founders and members of EUforIA have been awarded, on a personal basis, many renowned prices and scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic performances in very diverse topics. At present, EUforIA is among the finalists of the Youth Price 2008 of the city of Bern, capital of Switzerland. Contact Information: Jeronimo Calderón President EUforIA - Europeans United for Informed Action EUforIA - Europeans United for Informed Action (Youth NGO) 11
  12. 12. 2. Fun Thursday (Le Jeudi des rigolos) Country: France Organization: AFEV Sector Focus: Social Justice/Human Rights Year the initiative began: 2007 Project URL: N/A Project entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)? A Roma (gypsy) community has recently settled in a field close to us. The children in this community are not well-integrated socially and do not enjoy the activities and support offered to all other children in the area. They therefore do less well at school and are often excluded by other children. Project Description: Offer recreational activities to Roma children to integrate them better in the community and also getting their families more involved in their upbringing. Unique and different: The activities offered to children in the neighborhood are in general geared towards children who are enrolled in recreational programs and schools. No specific efforts have been made to reach out to the Roma children or inform and get their parents invloved. Project plan: We led 2-hour activities once a week with these children from March to May. With the start of the new academic year, we are mobilizing volunteers to continue these activities: - sports and outdoor activities, - singing, - manual and practical activities, - monthly field trips, for example going to the library for story time. Partnerships: We are working with AFEV, the association we volunteer with. We have also worked with local associations which have allowed us to use the premises on the field. Impact: We hope that with time these activities will help the children to become more socialized and better integrated. We have already observed some encouraging signs. 12
  13. 13. Effectiveness: - How do you engage and impact the community? - How do you measure this impact? The children really enjoy the activities. Week after week, they continue to come (when we ask them what they didn’t like, they always reply “I liked everything!”). We have been able to bring together children and young people of different ages (2 to 14 years old) and we are gradually beginning to have mixed groups of boys and girls. The children have gained independence, they ask questions when they do not understand instructions. On trips to the library last year was a huge success. The children were very curious and very calm; they obeyed library rules. However, we do not know if the children subsequently took out library cards with their parents; this year we would like to track this and follow-up with the, We decorated the premises with the children, which enabled us to show off the stuff the children had made. Their productions were admired by their parents and the other Roma children who had not participated in the activities. Our activities are offered to all Roma children aged 3 to 15 on the Aubervilliers field. Some 15 children currently participate in our activities; we hope to increase participation in the coming months. Obstacles: The children are difficult to manage, they are quite unruly. They are not used to being in a “recreational center”-type environment and it is hard to get them to obey the rules (for example, some kids leave without letting us know, others don’t finish activities that they have started…). The children sometimes find it hard to concentrate. In general, the girls and boys do not mix freely: the boys only take part in outdoor activities while the girls only do manual activities. We have already noticed an improvement in this area. It is also very difficult to establish a relationship with the parents (only one mother has come to observe our activities). We have to manage the schedules of our volunteers in order to plan field trips and activities. Finance details: AFEV has given us some supplies, the premises were lent to us by a local association and we have received additional funding from Ashoka. As the volunteers are studying to become recreation counselors they are well-prepared for this type of project. Creative funding: We work in partnership with town council organizations that provide the premises for the children free of charge. Other non finance needs: We need the parents to get more involved so that they can monitor the activities we carry out in the workshops. Motivation: We are studying to be youth animation counselors and were seeking a way of getting involved; this led us to set up AFEV. We wanted to do more with this group of Roma children because tutoring alone did not fully meet their needs. After much thought, we decided to set up this activity. 13
  14. 14. Contact Information: Violaine Béry Lead Venturer AFEV (Association) 14
  15. 15. 3. Gardens for Health International Country: United States Organization: Gardens for Health International Field of Work: Environment Year Project Started: 2006 Project URL: Hyperlink to Entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it? While antiretroviral therapy is now widely available at a low cost in Rwanda, such treatment is largely ineffective in malnourished HIV-positive individuals. Food insecurity and micronutrient deficiency result in both inadequate absorption of the drugs and poor adherence to treatment regimens. Further, HIV-positive farmers are typically ignored by aid efforts and have extremely limited access to land and agricultural inputs. Gardens for Health International (GHI) is US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to provide a sustainable means of nutritional support and economic empowerment to HIV-positive individuals by establishing a network of community agriculture initiatives throughout Rwanda, innovatively targeting malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and poverty. GHI's program comprises four integrated components for people living with HIV/AIDS: 1. Legal cooperative formation and land advocacy. 2. Provision of inputs for nutritional support gardens and home gardens. 3. Training in sustainable agriculture, post-harvest management, and HIV/AIDS specific nutrition education. 4. High impact agribusiness opportunities for income generation. GHI invests in the livelihoods of HIV-positive Rwandan individuals, working towards a more comprehensive prevention, care and treatment program for HIV/AIDS and a better quality of life for those affected by this devastating disease. Furthermore, GHI empowers Rwandans living with HIV/AIDS to increase their income and access to nutritious food, encouraging self-sufficiency and nutritional independence. 15
  16. 16. As GHI’s model is easily replicated, the program is scalable. Through our partnership with the Rwandese Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (RRP+), the coordinating body for the country’s over 1,000 cooperatives and associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, GHI plans to expand the network of community nutrition-through-agriculture programs throughout Rwanda. Project Description: GHI aims to provide a sustainable means of nutritional support and economic empowerment to HIV-positive individuals by establishing a network of community agriculture initiatives throughout Rwanda, simultaneously targeting malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and poverty. Unique and different: Our venture is unique in that it ties together HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and agriculture -- breaking a cycle of poverty and disease. It does not promote reliance on long term food provisions or packages that foster a cycle of dependency. GHI aims to improve the health and socioeconomic status of people living with HIV/AIDS by equipping them with a different kind of “package”: legal cooperative status, access to arable government land, basic agricultural inputs, training in sustainable agriculture and HIV/AIDS specific nutrition, and income-generating agro- business opportunities. This package is relatively low-cost and is guided by an ethos of autonomy and sustainability. Project plan: GHI plans to provide inputs (irrigation support, tools, seeds, organic manure) to five additional sites in the Gasabo District and expand the number of cooperative members participating; to increase number and variety of high-nutrient fruit and vegetable seeds (broccoli, spinach, soy beans, green beans, chick peas, orange-flesh sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, swiss chard, beets, avocado trees, moringa trees, mango trees, orange trees, plum trees); to establish 180 home gardens in the Gasabo District; to introduce an agrobusiness pilot project using greenhouse technology for improved tomato production; to hold a week-long nutrition training session; to hold a week-long 16
  17. 17. organic agriculture training session for cooperative leaders and agronomists; to develop a specialized nutritional counseling home visit program for underweight members; and to design a booklet in Kinarywanda with simple, pictorial guides on proper home garden care, cooking techniques to maximize nutritional benefits, specialized recipes, and HIV/AIDS specific nutritional guidelines. Partnerships: Gardens for Health has successfully formed partnerships with both the Rwandese Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS -- a local civil society organization in Rwanda -- and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative. We have received endorsements from the Rwandan National AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture, and we hope to form long term partnerships with them. Our long term goal is to integrate into Rwanda's national health protocol, and we hope to establish many domestic partnerships across the sectors in which we work--health, environment, and nutrition. Impact: The primary beneficiaries of this project are people living with HIV/AIDS who are members of agricultural cooperatives in Rwanda. We anticipate that their nutrition will improve substantially over time. With improved nutrition, adherence to antiretroviral therapy is expected to improve. Families will also gain new sources of income through small-scale agribusiness opportunities. The GHI program hopes to have significant environmental impact in Africa’s most densely populated country, where 90% of the population relies upon subsistence agriculture by utilizing Biointensive agriculture techniques to maximize the capacity of small plots of land. Effectiveness: Approximately 4,000 individuals have become members of new agricultural cooperatives through GHI's facilitation of legal training. Due to budget constraints, we now work with 683 direct beneficiaries, HIV-positive members who receive harvests and training in nutrition and agriculture, and about 2732 indirect beneficiaries--participants’ families. • How do you engage and impact the community? Several Rwandan staff members orchestrate the programs operations and work directly with the community on the field every day. GHI program staff holds community meetings to discuss how to improve and responds to the needs of the community as best as possible; we are constantly trying to improve our program model. GHI has recently received endorsements from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rwandan AIDS Control Commission and we hope to scale up our impact on the national level. • How do you measure this impact? GHI’s monitoring and evaluation protocol is two-fold. First, data for program indicators is collected on an ongoing basis and analyzed at the end of each quarter. At the beginning of each planting season, a baseline report is conducted, describing the initial inputs, number of hectares of land to be cultivated, and number of participants per cooperative and per site. Over the course of each season, we measure crop yields, allocation of crop yields, amount of surplus crops sold, income generated from the sale or surplus crops, consumption of crop yields, dietary diversity changes among cooperative members, and attendance at nutrition and agriculture trainings. Second, GHI conducts bi-annual health, socioeconomic status, and food accessibility surveys. 17
  18. 18. Obstacles: With a small budget we have not been able to provide the full program to all cooperatives immediately. Additional funding would allow GHI to introduce its program into additional districts throughout Rwanda, where the program has been demanded by PLWHA cooperatives. At the same time, increased funding would allow GHI to provide a larger supply of agricultural inputs (seeds, tools, organic manure) to all cooperatives. GHI would also be able to hold more frequent training sessions. Lastly, GHI would be able to develop an animal husbandry component, improving dairy and protein intake as well as providing a natural source of manure to improve soil fertility. Finance details: Approximately $100,000 has been raised to date. The primary members of our team are cooperatives of people living with HIV/AIDS. Organizationally speaking, Emma Clippinger and Emily Morell are the Co-Founders and Co-Directors; the GHI Team also includes a Rwanda Country Director, a Project Coordinator, a Nutritionist to provide HIV/AIDS specific nutritional counseling, a Community Garden Agronomist to work on the cooperative nutritional support gardens, and a Biointensive Agriculture Assistant to work on the home garden program. GHI has established an official partnership with the Rwanda Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative. GHI is in the midst of establishing official partnerships with the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture, the Rwanda National AIDS Commission, and the Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority. Creative funding: We have set up a website:, which is linked to a PayPal account so that individuals can donate directly online using a secure system. We have also applied for, and won, some business plan competitions. We are currently trying to devise fundraising ideas that will engage donors in advocacy efforts in the global problem of malnutrition especially HIV- positive individuals, the larger movement for sustainable agriculture, and the broader need for agricultural support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Other non finance needs: 1) Technical Expertise in Organic and Biointensive Agriculture 2) Technical Expertise in Nutritional Monitoring and Evaluation 3) Non-profit consulting Motivation: In the summer of 2006, Emily Morell and Emma Clippinger were interns for the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) in Rwanda. Morell helped conduct a national pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment assessment, while Clippinger worked on the Foundation’s agribusiness initiative. Through discussions with Rwandan healthcare professionals, Morell learned that the very antiretroviral treatment CHAI had helped make available at low cost was undermined by pervasive malnutrition. Malnutrition, she learned, was disrupting drug metabolism and worsening drug side effects, making treatment adherence more difficult. Clippinger recognized that HIV-positive farmers were typically ignored by aid efforts and had extremely limited access to land and agricultural inputs. 18
  19. 19. In discussing the intersection of their work, Clippinger and Morell began to explore the possibility of developing a nutrition-through- agriculture program designed specifically for people living with HIV/AIDS. Gardens for Health International—an organization working to strengthen the underappreciated link between agriculture and health—emerged as a result. Awards: Youth Venture grant JP Morgan Good Venture Competition Brown University Social Entrepreneurship Competition Clinton Global University Commitment to Action Award Goldman Sachs Social Entrepreneurship Fund Award Kathryn Wasserman Davis Foundation Projects for Peace Award Broader context: Malnutrition, food insecurity, and poverty are critical underlying forces in the AIDS pandemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where malnutrition, food insecurity and HIV prevalence rates are high. Food insecurity can increase susceptibility to HIV infection by forcing people to engage in risky survival strategies. Once infected, malnutrition shortens the latency period of HIV infection, hastens the onset of AIDS, and ultimately death, and increases the risk of HIV transmission from mothers to babies. HIV/AIDS in turn heightens vulnerability to further food insecurity and poverty, by eroding the ability of households to produce food, generate income, and care for and feed family members. In addition to documentation in medical studies, international bodies have recognized that malnutrition should be addressed in the context of the AIDS pandemic, among them UN AIDS, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). On May 27, 2006, the 59th World Health Assembly approved a resolution that calls on member states to make nutrition an integral part of their national response to HIV and to act quickly to identify and implement nutrition interventions that can be integrated into HIV and AIDS programming. But while such policy pronouncements are laudable, to date there has been little coordinated multi-sector sustainable nutritional support for people living with HIV/AIDS. As the recent UN Food Summit concluded with the need for "urgent and coordinated action" to raise food production and increase investment in agriculture, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the international climate has informed our own work with a greater sense of urgency and purpose. While it is significant that support for small farmers in the developing world has now been recognized on the global agenda, malnourished Rwandans cannot wait for international "calls to action" to be realized. In Rwanda, HIV-positive individuals are especially prone to malnutrition, food insecurity and limited access to land. GHI is working to enable people living with HIV/AIDS to grow their own way out of hunger through a small investment package. Ongoing: We hope that the GHI model eventually will be integrated into the National Ministry of Health Protocol in Rwanda, removing any need for GHI to exist as a separate entity. We hope that 19
  20. 20. just as ARVs (anti-retroviral’s) become universal health policy for all Rwandans, so too will nutritional support through agriculture. We hope to continue to be involved at the intersection of nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and agricultural policy throughout our lives. Contact Information: Emily Morell Lead Venturer Gardens for Health International (NGO) 20
  21. 21. 4. Girls Helping Girls Country: United States Organization: Girls Helping Girls Field of Work: Social Justice/Human Rights Year Project Started: 2007 Project URL: Hyperlink to Entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it? The most fundamental problem affecting our world today is ignorance: the inability and the unwillingness of distinct cultures to understand and embrace one another in a united quest for peace. It is this ignorance that breeds and begets all other problems: fear, conflict, myopia, prejudice, and inequality. Because so many are unable to appreciate all human beings as unique gifts, to cherish, to cultivate, and to respect, we shackle ourselves to an insular worldview and thwart not only our own self-realization, but the fulfillment of the dreams and hopes and full potential of the millions of people who are even less equipped to articulate their voice and seize their destiny. Girls Helping Girls seeks to empower the most marginalized, the most vulnerable, yet the most powerful because the most instrumental to social change, sector of the global population: girls. By empowering girls to reach out and unite with girls from around the world, they will be able to understand common hardships and work together to transform their communities. We believe that in order to change the world, we must first understand it, and this is a core principle behind our efforts to connect girls from different backgrounds to learn about each other and the world and then transmute their knowledge to tangible, collaborative action. By mobilizing and training girls to become social changemakers in our social action programs, and teaching girls to learn from and share with each other in our cultural exchange programs, we strive to "democratize the quest for peace worldwide by creating a sisterhood of changemakers making their vision for the world a reality." Project Description: Girls Helping Girls (GHG) empowers girls to transform their world by mobilizing and training them to reach across cultural boundaries to learn about global issues, forge international friendships, and launch and implement their own social change projects, initiatives, or nonprofit ventures. Unique and different: HG is the only international nonprofit worldwide that is run completely by girls, for girls. 21
  22. 22. Girls Helping Girls’ first initiative, Empower-a-Girl, is a grassroots sister-team program that partners girls in the US with those in developing countries to dialogue about their lifestyles through cultural exchange, to support one another in fostering their self-esteem, to learn about GHG’s four Global Goals, and to conceive and implement their own social change projects that achieve these goals. Empower-a-Girl raises funds expressly to invest in girls’ initiative, by providing funding to international teams for girls to pursue their holistic education and fulfill their basic needs. Thus, the Empower-a-Girl program not only endows girls with knowledge about important global issues, then inspiring them to transmute this knowledge to action by collaboratively leading their own social change projects, but it also more tangibly invests in their growth and their potential, by funding their development as life-long changemakers. Girls Helping Girls’ second initiative, Sisters 4 Peace, is a social-change movement that provides the one-on-one mentorship, Transform Your World Toolkits, and support network to girls working independently from a team to launch their own projects. Sisters 4 Peace is guided by a network of Peace Ambassadors who provide additional mentoring, fundraising assistance, and expertise to the budding peacemakers located in their region. Sisters 4 Peace builds a movement of changemakers through four initiatives: 1. Transform-Your-World partners girls with a Peace Ambassador to mentor and train them, using GHG’s Transform Your World Toolkits, to launch and sustain their own nonprofit, business, or other social change initiative. 2. Raise-It-Up! is a unique micro lending initiative that trains girls to raise both awareness and funds about the Global Goals and donate the funds to women in developing countries seeking to launch a sustainable business. 3. Fund-for-Respect is a specialized program that informs girls about the issue of sex trafficking and trains them to become speakers about self-respect and self-esteem in their local communities while raising funds for holistic education programs for trafficking victims overseas. 4. Empower-a-Girl is the fourth program. Project plan: e plan to expand our initiatives to engage several hundred more girls, to create new grant programs to fund the projects of girls involved in our programs, to create new training videos and workshops to teach adult coaches how to mentor girls with whom they are working, and to establish a new program that empowers girls to become environmental changemakers and advocates. We are launching a dynamic community-based, social networking web platform within the next few weeks to provide a more comprehensive forum for girls across the globe to connect with their peers and collaborate to create social change, and to offer more resources and connections to our girl participants to join grassroots causes worldwide. Partnerships: We have had several successful partnerships in order to bring change and a better livelihood to those with whom we work. To give you an example, three of our most recent partnerships were with Singapore Airlines, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, and Girls for A Change to implement our annual immersion program in Kolkata, India this summer. This August, our team traveled to Kolkata, India to build a library and organize two Peace building summits for women and girls victimized by sex trafficking and forced labor in the Red-light district and 22
  23. 23. slums there. We raised thousands of dollars to buy several hundred books, backpacks, school supplies, personal care products, and clothing for the girls, which we were able to transport to India by contacting and generously receiving sponsorship from Singapore Airlines. We paid for the construction and furnishing of the library, and worked with the girls to decorate the room with their original art. Every day, we worked both with women and girls who have been trafficked from rural India and East Asia and who are now living in the slums, and with the daughters of commercial sex workers, teaching them business enterprise and marketing skills (we provided funding for two groups to launch their own businesses), microfinance skills, self-esteem and leadership and capacity building training, vocational training and English language skills. Apne Aap identified for us the women and girls who would most benefit from our training and support, and provided us with a workspace and resources. Girls for A Change, a Bay Area nonprofit, partnered with us to provide toolkits and curriculum to execute a special two-day social change training for the girls. Impact: We have empowered and engaged over 5,000 girls from over 15 different countries across the globe and have raised over $30,000 to support their basic needs and education. Effectiveness: Though we directly work with and impact girls, by investing in their initiative, we benefit entire communities: as our motto aptly declares, if you Empower A Girl, you Empower Her Nation. All the girls we work with overseas and many in the US come from vulnerable backgrounds-- from families made destitute by poverty, conflict, violence, or disease. • How do you engage and impact the community? Girls Helping Girls and Sisters 4 Peace have empowered thousands of girls from over 15 different countries to make a lasting difference—from promoting peace and eradicating poverty, to increasing access to education and healthcare and saving the environment. Empower-a-Girl - Empower-a-Girl has raised about $20,000 to support girls’ scholarships, food, water, and education across the globe. - Empower-a-Girl has provided a table and chair for every girl in its school in India. - Empower-a-Girl has increased access to education and improved the health of girls in India, Ghana, and Kenya. - Empower-a-Girl has purchased uniforms for the girls in each of its sites. - Empower-a-Girl has provided a holistic education and cultural exchange program for over 1,000 girls in all of its sites. Fund-for-Respect - Fund-for-Respect has raised over $7,000 to advocate against sex trafficking around the world. - Fund-for-Respect has built a library for the daughters of commercial sex workers in Kalighat. 23
  24. 24. - Fund-for-Respect has purchased school supplies and personal care items for girls at-risk for sex trafficking in India. - Fund-for-Respect has organized two Peacebuilding Summits to provide self-esteem building, vocational training, business and leadership skills to victims of prostitution and the sex trade in India. Raise-It-Up! - Raise-It-Up! has raised over $1,000 to provide in loans to women to launch their own micro- businesses . • How do you measure this impact? We measure this impact directly by the number of girls we are supporting, by their reviews on the evaluations that we send out twice a year, by the scope and success of their social change projects, and by the level of understanding and passion they display in the activities that they complete for our curriculum (We have written and developed special Global Goals curriculum and social change toolkits for all of our programs). We also measure our impact by the amount of funds we are able to raise and how we maximize those funds in provision of school supplies, books, scholarships, food and water in order to achieve one of our organization’s goals, to provide a holistic education to all girls. Obstacles: It is always difficult, as high school students, to juggle all of our responsibilities with our passion and commitment to Girls Helping Girls. It is doubly difficult because we are operating an international nonprofit that aims to bridge cultures and meld together diverse and eclectic backgrounds to forge a common humanity: coordination and communication are both key priorities and hefty issues. Oftentimes, being youth, it is furthermore taxing for us to convince potential donors and partners of our legitimacy or sustainability, yet eventually we tend to succeed, because our sincerity radiates through our work. Finance details: 1. We have thus far raised about $30,000 of funds and school supplies. 2. There are four girls on our executive team: a. Sejal Hathi: Founder, Executive Director b. Angelica Teng: Vice President, Creative Director c. Hanna Kim: Treasurer, Development Director d. Jianni Je-Lewis: Outreach Coordinator 3. We have about 10 partners presently working with us. 24
  25. 25. Creative funding: We have in the past organized several grassroots fundraising campaigns like "Trick-or-treat for Change", charity balls and dances, bake sales and garage sales, candy gram sales, movie nights, and book and school supply drives. Because we believe in holistic social change and social responsibility, we have also worked with Cartridges for Kids to organize e-recycling programs in our community to encourage people to recycle their e-waste; in exchange for mailing all the collected ink cartridges, toners, cell phones, iPods, laptops, and other items to Cartridges for Kids, we receive some funding. Thus, we are both helping to save the environment and obtaining funding to bolster our cause! Other non finance needs: We need people power, media consultants to help us spread our mission, marketing specialists to help us develop our programs further, fundraising specialists who can assist us in acquiring more grants and funds to implement our programs, and of course, volunteers who can help us to become even more efficient than we now are. Motivation: One of my deepest passions has been my commitment to the organization Girls for a Change, which helps girls like me to identify local challenges and implement creative solutions under women coaches. Three years working with GFC had always inspired me that any girl, however disadvantaged, could leverage power to make change. However, the more I campaigned and led, the more I painfully realized that most of the girls in the world do not even have the global awareness and tools necessary to define their own mission and transmute that passion to action. One project in particular that I performed with GFC to support a women’s group in Darfur showed me the vast chasm between girls like me and those in developing countries without the resources or support network I enjoy to become leaders for change. And then I realized: The most pressing issue facing youth today is not drugs or violence, nor poverty nor health disorders, but rather a blighted education: the lack of a diverse and cosmopolitan cultivation that empowers youth to recognize their potential, their unity, and their significance as leaders for change. There is a renowned Chinese proverb that declares, Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. However, there is more to the solution for this problem than simply such passive education: It is indispensable to the progress of humanity to empower youth- especially girls, who are often less advantaged- to not only learn their rights and potential, but to also seek and implement ways that they can change their communities to improve their life. It was through this thought process that I determined to muster my experiences to establish an organization that empowers aspiring girls like those I encountered from Darfur to fulfill their dreams by making a difference. All girls can transform their world, if only given the power and opportunity. Without the requisite knowledge and resources, however, their dreams are stifled and they remain stymied in their social state because they do not have the power to make a difference. This organization, Girls Helping Girls, gives girls this power, the knowledge and the resources, to make their vision for the world a reality. Awards: - We Are Family Foundation’s Global Teen Leader Award and scholarship, accorded to only 30 youth worldwide for their commitment to building peace and making change - Kohl’s Kids Who Care Regional Award, - IMF/World Bank Group Annual Meetings Youth Delegate (one of 17 youth globally invited), 25
  26. 26. - Silicon Valley IT Girl Award 2008, - Teen Hero, - Think MTV/Taco Bell Foundation Teen Hero Award, - Discover Card’s Tribute Scholarship (selected with 9 others from over 20,000 applicants), - Soroptimist International’s First Place Violet Richardson Award - President’s Call to Service Award, for over 4,000 hours served, - Youth Venture USA Ambassador Broader context: We believe that all girls, and therefore all youth, are a movement: a united and unstoppable force that can pioneer global change; our organization, Girls Helping Girls, strives to empower and train and equip this movement to solve major global challenges. This mission, purpose, and impetus render us a quintessential contributor to the youth social change community because our work is gradually sculpting a new generation of global citizens who will change the world organically and comprehensively. Ongoing: I plan to operate this venture for several years in the future and to recruit and mobilize more youth to work with me to amplify its mission and programs. Contact Information: Sejal Hathi Founder, President, Executive Director Girls Helping Girls (NGO) 26
  27. 27. 5. Gumball Capital Country: United States Organization: Gumball Capital Field of Work: Microfinance Year Project Started: 2007 Project URL: Hyperlink to Entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it? One billion people live in extreme poverty, struggling to survive on less than $1 a day. Microfinance – financial services including microloans to the poor – has successfully helped 150 million people improve their quality of life. The Grameen Bank and its founder Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for work in “giving a hand up, not a hand out”. However, 1.5 billion people could still benefit from microfinance support. Gumball Capital tackles this issue by engaging students to fight poverty through microfinance. We do this through three ways: 1) The Gumball Challenge, a competition where students experience entrepreneurship first hand, and raise money for… 2) the Gumball Fund, which allocates Challenge revenue into microloans for the working poor in the developing world; and 3) Gumball University, our free online portal which functions as a guide for social entrepreneurship and microfinance. We believe these three programs, the Challenge, Fund, and University, are the best way to teach students about social entrepreneurship, and in turn raise a new generation of entrepreneurs to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Project Description: Our mission is to engage students in entrepreneurship for social change through microfinance (small loans to the poor). 27
  28. 28. Unique and different: Our flagship campaign the Gumball Challenge ( is unique in its model, as we give student-teams $27 loans and educational booklets on entrepreneurship and microfinance. The teams have one week to pursue entrepreneurial ventures with the loan, and can win awards for exemplifying things like innovation, risk-taking, and of course, value-generation. The revenue they generate goes to fund the working poor through a website that allows us to make loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Afterwards, the competitors are guided to our social entrepreneurship portal, where they can learn more about how to start and grow their own venture. The beauty of the competition is its simplicity. It’s a quick, high-energy setting to experience social entrepreneurship first hand. In Fall 2007 alone, we reached 5 universities where student teams produced on average a 10X return on their initial $27 loan. The overall process, we hope, will inspire the ingenuity and creativity in every student entrepreneur to help the working poor around the world. Project plan: Over the next 6 months, we will focus on driving the Gumball Challenge at our 13 registered schools. We will help them set up their respective chapters, launch publicity campaigns, and recruit competitors to participate in the Challenge. In so doing, we will both increase our impact to students and the number of microloans we can raise (285 so far and counting). We’re also working on writing content for Gumball University, as well as working on a possible merger with Campus Kiva. Partnerships: Our most successful partnerships have been with Campus Kiva and Women 2.0. Campus Kiva is a subsidiary of, and works on grass-roots campaigns to raise money for microfinance on college campuses. As our missions are so aligned, Campus Kiva and Gumball Capital have been ironing out a potential partnership for the past couple of months, where Campus Kiva will handle the recruitment of new chapters and Gumball will provide the Challenge as a medium for those chapters to raise money for microfinance. With Women 2.0, an organization focused on improving women’s presence in the business and social entrepreneurship arena, we have been in collaboration to hold co-sponsored entrepreneurship events at Stanford and UC Berkeley. As microfinance has uniquely helped women to achieve greater independence and stability, it was natural for us to seek a partnership with Women 2.0 as well. Impact: Gumball Capital aims to engage and inspire student youth to get involved with microfinance, and in turn assist the working poor in attaining self-sufficiency and stability in the developing world. Effectiveness: We’ve funded 285 entrepreneurs from Cambodia to Nigeria, and reached over 100 students at Yale, Stanford, Sewanee, St. Olaf, and UC Berkeley. • How do you engage and impact the community? We engage and impact the community by getting high school and college students involved in entrepreneurship and microfinance through the one-week Gumball Challenge. We depend on the next generation of do-gooders to make a difference on global poverty, and we take the first step by educating them through investment and experience. By giving teams a $27 loan and 27 gumballs, not only do we influence participants directly, but we’re able to reach out to the 28
  29. 29. community through those same students who publicize their cause by creating websites, printing banners, or making promotional materials. • How do you measure this impact? We measure our impact by the number of schools involved in the Gumball Challenge, the number of students we engage in the Challenge, and the number of loans we distribute to microfinance. Obstacles: Though Gumball Capital has been in operation one year strong, the most foreseeable obstacle is the possibility that a recruiting cycle is short one year, and we have insufficient capacity to carry our operations forward. With an entirely student-composed staff, this is a concern as our annual turnover may be high as students graduate. Hiring a paid Executive Director will hopefully negate this effect, as he/she will serve as a stable driving force for the Gumball’s operations regardless of the current cycle. Finance details: From March-August 2007 we raised $2,586.51 in donations to lend out to the working poor through Gumball Fund / In Fall 2007, we raised $2,644.75 through the Gumball Challenge at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and St. Olaf College. The combined $5,231.26, in addition to repaid loans from the working poor, has gone on to fund $7,125.00 and over 285 loans to the working poor. With regards to our operations funding, we have raised $2,556.00 in donations. We have also raised $500 through the DoSomething Gamestop grant and $1000 through the mtvU Youth Venture Grant. Lastly, has donated 5800 gumballs to our organization for distribution to student competitors in the Gumball Challenge. Our organization is composed of an Executive Director and Operations Director leading 17 members in 7 Departments: Outreach (1 Director, 3 Officers), Marketing (1 Director, 1 Officer), Design (1 Officer), Finance (1 Director, 1 Officer), Gumball Challenge (1 Director, 3 Officers), Web Development (1 Director, 2 Officers), and Gumball University (1 Director). Creative funding: Gumball Capital was started by students in February 2007 to compete in the Stanford Entrepreneurship Week Challenge. The mission was to take an ordinary, everyday item like post-it notes and create value. Realizing that microfinance was near inexistent on a campus known for social activism, the team created Gumball Capital to ask for pledges on post-it notes. Pitching to fellow students the power and message of microfinance, we raised over $2000 in donations, supported 76 low-income entrepreneurs worldwide, and took home the grand-prize. Other non finance needs: For every challenge at each university, we have multiple categories such as Most Innovative and Best Champion for Microfinance. We award prizes accordingly that range from lunches with social entrepreneurs in the area to gift certificates to different restaurants. Because we reach schools across the nation, any opportunities for publicity or motivated individuals to run challenges are especially welcome. We're constantly on the lookout for kickoff speakers, judges, corporate sponsors, or anyone else that wants to volunteer their time or service! 29
  30. 30. Motivation: Though I am one of several co-founders of the organization, my motivations for creating Gumball Capital were my experiences in the developing world. Having lived in Pakistan during my last two years of high school, I witnessed a world of impoverishment and destitution. Yet what was most disheartening was that the major problem plaguing the country was not poverty itself, but the feudal and corrupt system that limited the population’s educational and employment opportunities. When I heard about microfinance after the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize went Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, I was immediately enthralled by its potential for social change. As a medium that allows the working poor to achieve self-sustainability and avoid around the corrupt mechanisms limiting their profits, I saw this is an amazing solution to Pakistan’s problems. Though I realize it is not the answer to all of Pakistan’s problems, and may actually still not work there given the pervasively corrupt system in place, I was still inspired by the impact microfinance can have on the rest of the world. It was under this inspiration that I sought to create Gumball Capital, and motivate my fellow students to get involved in the cause as well. Awards: Last year, we made it to the semi-final round of the BASES Social-E Business Plan Challenge and the Uuni Big Idea Competition. We received the Game Stop Award and the MTVu Youth Venture-Ashoka Award. We were featured in the movie Imagine It!, interviewed on two radio shows, “Here on Earth – Radio without Borders” and “Women's Public Radio”. We presented at two SD Forums on microfinance in emerging countries and on teens and technology. We've been mentioned in numerous blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Broader context: Gumball Capital motivates a generation of students to get involved in alleviating poverty through entrepreneurship. Through the Gumball Challenge, students are engaged in a microfinance model, where they learn about the power of microfinance and its effect on entrepreneurs in the developing world. In the process, they also learn their own potential to make a difference and create social change. Through Gumball University, students can learn about social entrepreneurship itself. The online resource portal allows students to blog about their causes, learn more about how to start their own venture, or grow an existing one. Contact Information: Bilal Mahmood Co-Founder, Operations Director Gumball Capital (Nonprofit) 30
  31. 31. 6. Muss Fila: Women from Here and Afar (Musso Fila: Femmes d'ici et d'ailleurs) Country: France Organization: Afrotchekani Sector Focus: Education Year the initiative began: 2007 Project URL: Project entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)? We are tying to address the intricacies of a dual culture. It is difficult for those of us born in France but have Africa origins. In a sense we live in two different communities. We want to understand the lives of our mothers, how they grew up, and what their native countries are like. When we travel to the country of our parents origin we have to come to terms with a culture that is unknown to us even though it belongs to our heritage. Project Description: Comparing and educating people about the life experience of Malian women immigrants in France to that of women living in Mali, in particular with regard to the mother-daughter relationship, in a documentary. Unique and different: Our project is close to our heart. This type of project is usually carried out by older people. The fact that this one is carried out by young people makes it different. We spoke to these women about taboo subjects, and brought them face-to-face with these issues – it was not easy. We raised topics that other people would not have dared to raise. Project plan: We went to film the documentary in the summer of 2007. This September we had exhibits, neighborhood parties and forums to discuss immigrant women’s issues in France. October: Video editing our film November: Communication on and presentation of the project at the Café la Pêche in Montreuil December: Organization of a festival with another association. Work on our next project, which will focus on orphans. January: Drafting the second project 31
  32. 32. February: Fund raising March: Participation in/ co-organization of a Miss Solidarité Afrique parade Partnerships: Café la Pêche: drafting the project, requests for funds, editing, flyers Ashoka: Grant Via le Monde DDJS Association des femmes maliennes (Association of Malian Women) of Montreuil Mairie de Montreuil (Montreuil town council) Service municipal jeunesse (Youth Municipal services) BIJ Impact: Raising young people’s awareness on their culture and their relationship with their parents. Effectiveness: - How do you engage and impact the community? - How do you measure this impact? We have reached to 30 women in our pilot project: 15 women in Mali and 5 in France. Reached out 200+ people for the first showing of our film. Over 1,000 people impacted. Obstacles: Lack of confidence, but together we encourage each other. Raising funds, and delays in receiving funds. The language barrier in Mali. The editing process, which is long and difficult! Translation and sub-titles, choosing the right excerpts, Finding more places to show the documentary. The Café lent us a camera, but at the last minute, the owner changed his mind and we had to film a large part of the film with our cell phones. Finance details: We have organized dances for young people and adults, themed events on Mali, Senegal and Vietnam. We have run refreshment stalls at the town fair. We took part in a hip hop festival in Montreuil. We have had stands at a few flea markets. Creative funding: Dances for young people that raise awareness. Other non finance needs: In putting our project together, we have had a lot of help from different people in the town of Montreuil. We were able to borrow a camera. We are getting help with the editing and sub-titling. We will need this kind of help in the future. Motivation: In the beginning, we were a dance group. Something clicked and we became convinced to do more than dance. We organized a solidarity meal and raised funds for a family in Montreuil. We organized other meals and realized what a difference they made. We wanted to do more; we took part in the town’s youth conference, which motivated us. At first, we wanted to develop a project on forced marriages but it was too difficult a topic. We nevertheless wanted to do a project on women, because it is a subject that is very close to our hearts. 32
  33. 33. Awards: Prize for the best initiative – Youth projects, May 2008 (Prix de la meilleure initiative – projet jeunes) – Place publique junior Contact Information: Halimatou Diabira Lead Venturer Afrotchekani (Junior Association) 33
  34. 34. 7. Reading Support (Accompagnement vers La Lecture) Country: France Organization: Accompagnement vers La Lecture (AVL) Sector Focus: Education Year the initiative began: 2007 Project URL: N/A Project entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)? Inequalities start right from pre-school: all children do not have the same outward signs of success, such as having many or few books at home - or none at all -, or easy access to places like libraries and multimedia centers. This observation is shared by schools, various people involved in education, social organizations, and “political” partners such as town councils and their educational services, who are our partners. It is therefore important to make children’s introduction to the world of books both entertaining and recreational. This has led to the idea of developing a project within AVL. It is a project that encourages expression and brings people together. Project Description: Help a group of children in a homework club to create a book for children in kindergarten in order to familiarize them with books. Unique and different: Our project puts children who have difficulty reading at the heart of the project – they choose the texts and work with the illustrator. This activity gives them a different perception of reading. The texts that have an impact on them are more likely to have an impact on other children. Project plan: The texts were chosen last year by the children, who then took part in a workshop headed by an illustrator. The book will be printed and distributed in pre-schools and kindergartens and to children in homework clubs. We will also use it to mobilize volunteers. An improved version of the book will be produced during the school year. Partnerships: The project is supported by the volunteers of AFEV, a homework club run by students, who worked with the children to produce the notebook. We also worked with an illustrator, who helped on a voluntary basis, and a printer. Impact: In addition to helping children to discover books and promoting expressive reading, the project enables children to express themselves, to make books their own and develop a love for reading. 34
  35. 35. Effectiveness: - How do you engage and impact the community? - How do you measure this impact? 24 student-child pairs participated in the project last year, and just as many this year. The book will be distributed to children in all the kindergartens in the neighborhood. Obstacles: It has been difficult raising funds because the project cannot be easily slotted into specific categories. It is not easy to convince illustrators to work on an unpaid basis. It is important to motivate volunteers and to renew their enthusiasm, especially at the beginning of the school year. Finance details: A grant from Ashoka’s Youth Venture Funding from CROUS and DRDJS. An illustrator participating on a voluntary basis. The commitment and involvement of 24 students volunteering in the project. Creative funding: We have contacted and got help from companies that work in the publication of children’s books. Other non finance needs: We need the support of an illustrator, a graphic designer and a printer to lead workshops with the children. Motivation: My commitment to providing reading support to children quickly led me to think about how to expand on early-learning activities, and how to provide books to the children, who often had no books at home. This is how the idea of producing a book was born. I also launched children’s workshops on philosophical thinking to help the children to form their own opinions and look at the world differently. Contact Information: Coralie Duby Lead Venturer Accompagnement vers La Lecture 35
  36. 36. 7. Tennis For Fun Country: United States Organization: Tennis For Fun Field of Work: Health/Sports Year Project Started: 2001 Hyperlink to Entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it? Because of physical, emotional, and social difficulties, the intellectually disabled are often segregated from and stigmatized by mainstream society. Tennis For Fun is trying to provide opportunities to individuals with intellectual disability that they might not have access to otherwise. Through the game of tennis, they get to try something new, have fun, build confidence, be more socially integrated with the mainstream community, and develop valuable relationships with the non-disabled members of their community from whom they are so often isolated. Meanwhile, their participation in this activity in the community helps raise awareness about the intellectually disabled, break down barriers, and reduce social stigma Project Description: Tennis For Fun offers free weekly tennis clinics to adults in Rockport, Maine and Amherst, Massachusetts and organizes and runs annual Special Olympics Maine tennis coaches clinics and competitions. Unique and different: It is especially significant Tennis For Fun reaches out to the intellectually disabled through the game of tennis, a sport that has historically had significant economic and social barriers. Furthermore, Tennis For Fun is unique in the way in which it has grown while sustaining its existing programs over seven years. We started the program in our high school community in Maine for adults, expanded throughout the state through the Special Olympics, and introduced a new program in our college community. Each program has been passed on to younger kids as we have moved on to the next stage of our lives as we continue to think of ways to grow the program. It involves weekly hands-on involvement with the same intellectually disabled members of the different communities it works with, such that the original participants have been playing tennis for seven years now. Project plan: Over the next six months, we want to continue to hold clinics in our high school and college communities, as well as continue to plan and run the Special Olympics Maine events. We would like to expand participation, both within the existing clinics and by getting others to start similar 36
  37. 37. clinics in new locations. We would also like to do as much as possible to make the program sustainable over the long term, both in terms of personnel and funding. Partnerships: We started by creating local partnerships with the agencies that serve the participants, sharing with them our idea and our plan of implementation. Without these partnerships, we could not have gotten participants for the program. We also formed a similar partnership with Special Olympics Maine when we realized tennis was not an official sport in Special Olympics Maine competition. This partnership expanded our commitment and reach most dramatically. We also contacted local businesses to donate money for funds for the program. Furthermore, we created a partnership with a local tennis club, which has donated indoor court time to the program for seven years. When we wanted to expand the program when we went to college, we established a partnership with Youth Venture, which allowed us to jump start our program there. The Amherst College Center for Community Engagement has provided continued support for the clinic there. We have received continued support from many of the same businesses by maintaining regular contact, sharing our progress with them, and showing our appreciation for their support. All of the partnerships have been successful because of frequent communication, a clear idea of our mission and needs, and appreciation for the efforts of those who have supported us. Impact: We hope that the intellectually disabled benefit from the opportunity that playing a mainstream sport with non disabled youth offers, and that Tennis For Fun raises awareness of the needs, abilities, and value of the intellectually disabled in mainstream society. Effectiveness: The project has served over 100 participants, as well as their families and friends. Furthermore, it has had an equally significant impact on the volunteers who have made the program possible. • How do you engage and impact the community? We engage and impact the community by obtaining support for the venture from members of the community, businesses, and locales. Furthermore, the Tennis For Fun clinics are held in community places that allow for interaction with the non disabled beyond the Tennis For Fun volunteers themselves. We try to advertise the program as much as possible, through such means as newspaper articles, photographs, and shirts for the participants and volunteers. • How do you measure this impact? We measure this impact by the continued support and enthusiasm for Tennis For Fun. Furthermore, we appreciate the increased sense of belonging that has been created for the participants within the mainstream community. They have gotten to know many people outside of Tennis For Fun itself because they have been playing tennis in the same community setting for many years. They appreciate seeing and saying hello to the same people week after week, who likewise appreciate the connection they have established with the participants. Obstacles: The greatest obstacles to maximizing our impact are primarily logistical, in being able to coordinate arrangements with the service agencies of the participants for the clinics to occur. They often need special permission and arrangements for participation. Other than that, we need to ensure 37
  38. 38. that young people continue to have the same enthusiasm for running the individual clinics to sustain Tennis For Fun in the long term. Finance details: In the seven years of Tennis For Fun, we have had indoor court time donated for the weekly clinics and Special Olympics events, approximately $5,000 donated for racquets, balls, t- shirts, events, and general operating expenses, as well as individual donations of used balls and racquets. Three people primarily oversee Tennis For Fun as a whole, but the team includes approximately ten people who plan, organize, and run the weekly clinics and Special Olympics events, as well as dozens of volunteers for specific events. There are currently over a dozen partners who offer support and financial advice. Creative funding: We have had drives for donations of balls and racquets from members of the community. Other non finance needs: Personnel to run the weekly clinics. Motivation: I have played tennis competitively since the age of eight, and it had taught me many important life lessons and been a big part of my identity. I decided I wanted to use the game to reach out to members of my community who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to be exposed to the game. Since nursery school, I had seen intellectually disabled members of my community at the local YMCA but never had the opportunity to interact with and get to know them. Furthermore, I had experienced ridicule for riding the bus with an intellectually disabled neighbor of mine during grade school. Tennis seemed like the perfect tool for reaching out to and getting to know these segregated and stigmatized members of my community, as it had been such a big part of my life so far. Awards: Prudential Spirit of Community Honoree; Toyota Community Scholar; USA Tennis New England Top Seed (for growing the game of tennis); Association of Amherst Students Student Community Engagement Leadership Award; Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation Official Citation; Massachusetts State Senate Official Citation; Kraft Foods Celebrating 100 Extraordinary Women Honoree; Amherst College Charles Hamilton Houston Scholarship (for commitment to humanitarian ideals). Broader context: Tennis For Fun always has been entirely run by youth. It relies on the actions of youth to reach out to socially marginalized and stigmatized members of the community. The relationships the youth have developed through Tennis For Fun have eased relations many non- disabled adults have with the disabled in their community and make relations between disabled and non-disabled seem natural. Ongoing: I would like to start a similar program when I go to medical school next year. I hope that Tennis For Fun continues to be passed on to youth with similar enthusiasm in the long term, and that I am able to offer financial assistance, time, and input that may be helpful. Also, I plan on supporting Special Olympics throughout the long term, both with time and money. Contact Information: Laura Stein Founder and Director Tennis For Fun 38
  39. 39. 8. The Hunger Brigade (La Brigade De la Faim) Country: France Organization: La Brigade De la Faim Sector Focus: Social Justice/Poverty Year the initiative began: 2007 Project URL: N/A Project entry: What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)? There are two main problems we are trying to address. First, every night, hundreds of food establishments (bakeries, fruit sellers, etc.) throw away kilos of unsold food and even go as far as to spray foodstuffs with gas in order to make them inedible. Why? Because, for health reasons, French law does not permit these bakeries to give away their food. The second problem is that every night, hundreds of homeless people are hungry, cold and alone in the streets. These people need attention and support. Project Description: It’s two-fold: First, trigger and develop students that desire to participate in non- profit and charity organizations and second go in groups of 3 to 4 young people, to meet street people, give them something to drink and eat and spend time with them. Unique and different: The idea is to help those that are most disadvantaged. An increasing number of organizations now invite homeless people to share meals, but sometimes it seems difficult for some street people to come to terms with their situation and to have the courage to attend these events. These people remain in the streets without any social support. The idea of the Hunger Brigade is to go out to meet the most marginalized street people. Meet and talk with them, offer them food such as sandwiches, fruit, pastries, salads, coffee, tea and hot chocolate, as well as sleeping bags. We believe that this emotional contact and social interaction with the homeless can be very powerful and makes a difference in their lives. Project plan: The project plan for the next 6 months is to develop the Hunger Brigade, improving and increasing its social impact on homeless people. This will mean diversifying the service that the association offers. A potential project would be to offer street people meals that could keep for several days. In addition, we plan to contribute to helping the maximum number of students discover social and humanitarian activities. Giving their time and meeting people who are different makes this an enriching experience for everyone that is involved. Partnerships: It is more relevant to talk about sponsorship. We met a man who for 2 years spent most of his evenings distributing sandwiches from a bakery to street people in Paris. This man, Jean- 39
  40. 40. Claude Michel, allowed us to benefit from his closeness to the mayor of the 16th arrondissement in Paris, enabling us also to be authorized to collect sandwiches that had not been sold at end of day in the same bakery. We then negotiated the right to collect not only sandwiches but also salads, bread and baguettes which we then made into sandwiches, adding ingredients bought by the association. Winning Jean-Claude Michel’s trust and that of the bakery, and carefully maintaining these relations, certainly provided us with the most important outside assistance to the association throughout the first year. Impact: In its five months of existence, the Hunger Brigade has to date met 150 homeless people. We would like to double or even triple this number in the 2008/2009 school year. Effectiveness: - How do you engage and impact the community? - How do you measure this impact? The Hunger Brigade has distributed sleeping bags, over 400 sandwiches and as many cups of coffee and tea to close to 150 street people. These numbers are increasing constantly. In addition, close to 70 students have had the experience of spending time in with other students and with disadvantaged people. Many of them have come back. Obstacles: The main obstacle we face is time. As students, we don’t have time to organize more “missions”. In addition, the lack of funds will also become a problem. We haven’t had much time to focus on fundraising. In my opinion, the search for partners such as bakeries was and has been more fruitful than the search for financial partners. But this problem needs to be reconsidered now if we want to take our social impact to a higher level. Lastly, we will have to increase the number of students if we want to meet more homeless people. Finance details: Our association currently has 13 members but we are going to recruit more in the next couple of months because we underestimated the number of students that can be full-time members of the association. Each member belongs to a committee: the board is in charge of the general management of the association, a committee organizes the missions, another works on relationships between the association and the corporate world, and another is in charge of communication. We have four bakeries that are more or less active partners. We also work in partnership with a bar, which serves as a meeting place after our missions. Creative funding: We have written a simple and enthusiastic outreach letter to companies. As regards our other partners, we simply went to meet them and made our proposal after presenting our project. Other non finance needs: We need more partners that could provide us with a variety of foods in order to expand out operations such as butchers, produce sellers or drink brands. We also need sleeping bags, clothing and health care items. Motivation: A friend and I were lucky enough to be able to offer sandwiches to homeless people in Angers by chance one evening. Too much food had been prepared by the organizers of an event at our school and we offered to distribute the sandwiches in the town of Angers. It seems pretty obvious today: we came upon a group of 15 street people with whom we shared a long and memorable 40
  41. 41. evening - memorable because the evening was so joyful. This brief experience pleased us immediately; offering meals to homeless people in need and the easy and simple relationship established with them were very enriching from a human point of view. This is the moment that made us want to develop this initiative and encourage students to participate in it. Contact Information: Nicolas Macabéo President La Brigade De la Faim (Association loi 1901) 41