They hail from 16 countries and all have pioneered innovative solutions to address urgent societal challenges – using bicycles to empower low-income youth with livelihood skills and transforming rice straw into renewable fuel. They are a group of 20 young social entrepreneurs who have been named the 2012 Laureate Global Fellows.
The Laureate Global Fellows program, launched in Istanbul at a ceremony honoring the inaugural class of 2012, is an extension of the seven-year partnership between the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation and the International Youth Foundation through its YouthActionNet program. Each year, 20 leaders, ages 18 to 29, are selected for this distinction. It is a year-long program that includes leadership training, advocacy, networking, and funding opportunities.
A sample of the 2012 Laureate Global Fellows includes:
Benjamin Faivovich, 24, Chile: Benjamin started Emprendejoven to encourage young people to embrace entrepreneurship as a way of life. Through emphasizing “learning by failing,” the initiative develops youths’ non-cognitive skills and prepares them for the labor market.
Gokden ipek Yosunlu, 21, Turkey: Through “My Mother’s Rug”, Gokden empowers low-income, rural women to make rugs out of recycled fabric and links them to urban markets.
Arun Krishnamurthy, 25, India: Arun founded the Environmental Foundation of India (EFI) to promote wildlife conservation and habitat restoration and to empower citizens to play an active role in conservation efforts.
Jane Nampijja, 29, Uganda: Jane co-founded Befriender Uganda, the nation’s first and only suicide prevention program, to raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental illness and offer counseling and support to youth in crisis.
“Through their leadership and example, each serves as a valuable role model for their peers and community members and reinforces an ethic of service and civic engagement that is essential to building prosperous societies,” said Douglas L. Becker, Chairman and CEO of Laureate Education, Inc.
The 2012 Laureate Global Fellows will join a community of over 650 young social entrepreneurs in 71 countries, who collectively impact the lives of over 1.2 million people.
Photo from International Youth Foundation.
Social Enterprise Buzz is a media company dedicated to covering social enterprise news from around the world. We publish a range of stories from startups to entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance, which showcase business making the world a better place. Read more.