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: Economic Development

During a time of crude home repossessions after loan default and resulting widespread payment boycotts, Charlene developed a vital intermediary between hostile lenders and borrowers.  Armed with deep insights into the concerns of both groups, her Home Loan Guarantee Company (HLGC) created innovative insurance and risk management products protecting against HIV/...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

Bernert Lekalakala and Ashwell Zwane (South Africa 1996) are establishing a model community-based legal center that will provide residents of Alexandra township with comprehensive legal services, including rights education, consumer and family law advice, conflict mediation, and litigation. The Center will also serve as a means for black law graduates to perform their...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Economic Development

Thope Lekau has launched an initiative to inspire women and youth in South Africa's townships to seize newly available economic opportunities and overcome the social challenges they face. Thope's model is unique in that it focuses on empowering women and providing them with the tools to introduce the lucrative tourism industry to the economically depressed townships in...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Sharon Levy (South Africa 1996) is establishing "The Teacher", a newspaper by and for teachers that will keep the profession informed of changing state policies, innovative teaching methods, organizations and resources available to teachers, and debates concerning teaching and learning.

Country: Zambia
Field of Work: Economic Development, Environment

Dale Lewis has introduced market-based conservation that recognizes the interconnectedness between a broad range of wildlife species and livelihoods, with humans playing a central role as protectors of the ecological system. As a result, poaching around the valley has been reduced by about 50 percent. Dale is currently working in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, home to nearly...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

David Liknaitzky was so moved by stories that people told of their experiences growing up under apartheid in South Africa that he felt compelled to work more deeply with the inner oppression that prevents people, especially young people, from realizing their true potential. He has designed a program to deconstruct the psychology of apartheid that still exists in the...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Bongani Linda a skilled community theatre person, sees opportunity to build trust within historically divided communities through cultural projects and events. Through joint participation in music, dance, dramatic plays and sports, the members of groups in conflict discover their commonality and come to accept one another. His approach represents a distinctive...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Economic Development

Sahra Luyt is empowering fisherwomen to become central players in South Africa's largely white, male-dominated fishing industry.

Country: Zimbabwe
Field of Work: Environment

With a focus on youth in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, Verengai Mabika is developing an array of innovative educational, advocacy, and experience enhancing initiatives to expand awareness and understanding of the challenges posed by global climate change and to facilitate the development of effective strategies for enabling adversely affected...

Country: South Africa
Field of Work: Human Rights

Charles Maisel has provided South African men with a method for preventing violence against women, in a nation that has the highest rate of violence against women of any country not at war.