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: Learning/Education

By allowing young inmates to shape their own rehabilitation program while in prison and by creating support and employment networks for them upon their release, Lesley Ann Van Selm effectively reintegrates juvenile offenders into society.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

Seizing the opportunity posed by a nation-wide curriculum reform, Peter Volmink is working to introduce effective instruction about human rights in South African schools. As a member of an advisory committee and related task forces that are helping the Department of Education construct and implement the new curriculum, Peter has won the necessary approvals for the...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Myrna Wajsman Lewis introduces Deep Democracy, a decision-making process, into public school curricula that enables learners to gain experience in decision making and group dynamics while also reducing prejudice-driven conflict among South Africans.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Health

Jan Webster has developed a new model for hospital care that is more attentive to the needs and rights of patients and their families, and more supportive of the responsibilities and work of overburdened nurses and other highly trained hospital staff.

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

During apartheid, black South Africans were all assigned to Bantustan “homelands” and, in many cases, the original residents of these areas were crowded out of farming and into townships within these boundaries. As a result the local farming economy in the Bantustans collapsed. Since then, the post apartheid regime has unfortunately refused to recognize the rights of...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Learning/Education

In reaction to great inequality and historical separation of different racial populations in South Africa, Pip works to create connections between young people across socio-economic and cultural divides. By encouraging empathy and building a greater level of understanding between different communities, Pip is laying a foundation for a new generation of change makers....

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Allan Williams is teaching young people to understand government as well as promote leadership through a program that models actual government ministries in high schools. 

Country: Zimbabwe
Field of Work: Economic Development

John Wilson is both a teacher and an agricultural reformer. Because the sort of sustainable farming he is introducing requires each farmer to think and plan creatively, he is both protecting Zimbabwe's natural resource base, which is increasingly at risk, and pressing the essence of development: the people's skill and will to think and take charge. Having seen how...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

In South Africa, access to ordinary legal services has never been accessible to the black majority. Ashwell Zwane and Bernert Lekalakala are changing that by establishing the country's first full-service legal practice that is based in the historically black townships in which the overwhelming of majority black South Africans continue to live.