Making Change in Africa

This is the first in a three-part series of Ashoka’s work in Southern Africa.

(Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Ashoka is an organization that helps social entrepreneurs—people with good ideas who want to do good—do their jobs better. Not only does the organization support Ashoka fellows financially by awarding them a stipend, but Ashoka also links them with other “changemakers,” to share ideas.

In March, for example, Ashoka held an event in South Africa for former, new, and future Ashoka fellows working on rural innovations and farming in Southern Africa. By bringing them together Ashoka hopes to encourage fellow to look across fields and across countries to learn from one another.

“We’re not just looking for people to replicate innovations,” says Valeria Merino, Vice President of Ashoka’s Venture, Fellowship, and Integration program, “but ways to solve the problem.” Ashoka says that it uses an entrepreneurial lense, not an academic one, to find ways to solve problems. As a result, fellows learn from one another, not text books, about how to improve nutrition in communities, preserve agricultural biodiversity, increase the interest of youth in agriculture, or improve markets for organic and locally-produced foods.

Stay tuned for more about Ashoka Changemakers, Osmond Mugweni and Munyaradzi Saruchera, and what they are doing in their communities.

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