2016 Village to raise a child
These five young social entrepreneurs were selected to travel to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA to receive social entrepreneurship resources and attend the 7th annual Igniting Innovation Summit, where they presented their projects.
Luísa Hamra sees the world as a big machine with many defects. Imagining herself as a mechanic, she wants to create innovative solutions to fix these defects. Born in Catanduva, a small town in the countryside of Brazil, she is a 17-year-old high school student. Reading stories about entrepreneurs, she became passionate about discovering creative and viable ideas to solve social problems. When she won her first computer at the age of 15, she started to research for knowledge that could help her to take her ideas off of paper. So, in her room with chemistry websites open on the internet, she began to develop her gel sticker, a product that combats four diseases that were killing thousands in her country. Luísa also volunteers in many social projects and is developing lessons to encourage girls in entrepreneurship.
Lina Al Tarawneh wants to live in a world where horses are ridden to school, smiling is contagious, crocheting can be done while reading novels, and where compassion is as abundant as dark chocolate.
When she is not writing English essays or solving mathematics, you can find her training horses, designing info-graphics, camping in the middle of the desert, or kayaking through mangrove forests.
Lina lives in Qatar, and originally hails from Jordan, the country of the rose-red city: Petra! She grew up with maps and National Geographic documentaries that satiated her passion for physical geography and geology.
After visiting a mangrove forest growing around Purple Island in Qatar, she discovered that these mangrove trees are disappearing. It seemed like a puzzle to her, so she set off on an adventure to solve the jigsaw with things she loves.
Gustavo Coutinho has uncountable interests. From science and technology to philosophy and social entrepreneurship, his wide variety of passions shape his personality and push him to continuously explore and learn with the world. He was never satisfied exclusively by the classroom experience; in his high school, he started doing scientific research and developing social projects in his free time. Studying in a federal public school in Brazil, he had access to many opportunities, but the great majority of Brazilian students do not. This problematic reality inspired Gustavo to engage with education, aiming to build a more accessible and equal educational system. By organizing workshops and college-level courses open to the community, Gustavo hopes to empower his community through education. When he is not working on his projects, you can find him reading a book, watching a 90s movie, or simply having a good conversation somewhere.
Leroy Mwasaru hails from Taita Taveta County, Kenya. In his high school years, Leroy and his classmates came up with an innovative solution to combat a foul sewer system by designing a Human Waste Bioreactor that utilizes both human and organic waste to produce Biogas and rich organic fertilizer. They won a national entrepreneurship competition, Innovate Kenya, and bagged a $2,500 USD prize which they used to build their first prototype, which currently powers his high school. Immediately after graduating high school in 2015, Leroy did a pilot project in his village that created the potential to power 5 households. This is how Greenpact was born. Greenpact aims to solve the problem that 45 million individuals in Kenya and billions across Africa face: lack of access to affordable renewable energy and proper sanitation. His work has led him to speak and pitch his enterprise at various international conferences; he has served as a Global Minimum Youth Ambassador, a One Young World Ambassador, and a Collectively Ambassador. Leroy has also secured a fellowship in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, the youngest fellow at 18 years old. His work has been featured on CNN, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Grist, CCTV America, and local media in Kenya.
Theint Theint Thu is an activist and a dreamer. She is easily inspired by those who have been catalysts of social change in their own community, which ultimately shaped the way she saw the world. While advocating for education in Myanmar, she realized the vital role it played in empowering and reshaping the future of her community. Though originally from Myanmar, her experiences living in Japan shaped her beliefs on what the way of life should be like. She likes to give a voice to those who have been silent and power to those who have been oppressed. As a high school student, she spends her time writing petitions, going to museums, and perfecting the art of Burmese tea making. As a proud teacher of 188 children, she realized that the greatest lesson of all was not the ones we find in textbooks but the ones we learn from human interaction.