Ashoka Southern Africa Fellows

Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 70 countries around the globe in every area of human need.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

As government recognizes it cannot possibly fulfill its pledge of affordable housing without going bankrupt first, Andrea Bolnick is demonstrating a new approach to providing “dwellings with dignity” to South Africa’s most vulnerable. Through active community engagement, Andrea is able to firmly place slum dwellers in the driver’s seat and bring about needed...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

Jackie Branfield is tackling the alarming increase in child sexual abuse cases in South Africa head on by mobilizing communities to make the criminal justice system accountable, demand swift prosecution of perpetrators, and ensure that victims are treated sensitively while also addressing their high risk of HIV infection.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Lynne Brown is working to improve women's capacity to participate in the creation of a "new" South Africa, through an original leadership and skills training program for women. In the first democratic elections of May 1994, Lynne was elected as an ANC member to the Western Cape parliament, where she now serves as the "shadow" minister of Education.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

Andile Carelse, a well-known South African singer, is leading the fight to end sexual abuse and violence across her country by creating forums to empower young people to talk about abuse and seek help. Using her extensive connections to celebrities, police, counselors, and teachers, she is getting at the root of why sexual abuse happens and what society can do to stop...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Solomon Cedile has created a nonformal education program for young people, leaders of community organizations, and ordinary citizens to help them take part in social development in South African townships.

Country: Zimbabwe
Field of Work: Environment

A traditional spirit medium entrusted with the care of the environment, Lydia Chabata has organized remarkably successful tree-planting programs by drawing on the spiritual authority and natural leadership of similarly concerned mediums.

Country: Zimbabwe
Field of Work: Economic Development

Alexander Chisango is building a grassroots socio-economic movement in Zimbabwe on the basis that the family should be placed at the center of thinking and action for socio-economic progress, and that sustained equality between the sexes is the core of the secure family.

Country: Zimbabwe
Field of Work: Human Rights

Betty has created the Chipo Chedu Society to fight pervasive prejudice against childless women in Zimbabwe. Betty organizes childless women, helps them learn skills they need to support themselves, and works with all strata of society, from traditional leaders to mass media, to help raise awareness of the problem.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Economic Development

Paul Cohen has developed a model of holistic community development in rural South Africa that supports land tenure, local economic development, the construction of sustainable housing, and restoration of links to the natural environment that promote a sustainable lifestyle. He had has introduced and demonstrated a model for a flexible, owner-built, low-cost, high-...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Health

Tim is working with disadvantaged township communities in coastal areas to stabilize the emotional well-being of young people who have experienced trauma (and safeguard those at risk)  by introducing new social structures and an integrated network of peers, to help them deal with the effects of traumatic life experiences and reduce their chances of being left...