Earlier this week, we announced the thirty-seven individuals who comprise the 2013 class of Echoing Green Fellows. We had some help in this announcement by way of several established and successful social entrepreneurs who are an integral part of the Echoing Green Fellowship ecosystem: Vikram Akula (SKS Microfinance), Gemma Bulos (A Single Drop for Safe Water), Nick Ehrmann (Blue Engine), and others. By reflecting on the legacy of their own work, and offering up advice to this next generation of visionaries, these individuals point to the simple yet powerful notion that no matter how innovative the newest Fellows, everything we do builds upon the giants who have come before them.
This year we are honored to be partnering with one of the organizations that has paved the way for our own work. Newman’s Own Foundation is powering, in part, our Fellows working beyond the U.S., offering resources and reach to help build the influence of Echoing Green. Newman’s Own Foundation uses the power of giving to help transform lives and nourish the common good. This legacy will live on in the work of Fellows like Benson Wereje—Echoing Green’s first Fellow working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—as he builds a movement of refugee youth with a shared vision of peace in their region. With Newman’s Own Foundation’s investment, we are able to catalyze the work of Christopher Ategeka. Orphaned and made head of his household at age seven, Chris is dedicating his life to connecting individuals in his native Uganda to critical health and education services in order to stop the cycle of poverty. Our newest global Fellows also include Debra Gittler, a previous fifth grade teaching fellow in the Bronx who is now fostering literacy in El Salvador by developing libraries and developing holistic curricula.
“In recent years, people have come to the realization that no one single sector can solve all of society’s problems and that it really is going to take collaboration and partnership across sectors,” said Lisa Walker, Newman’s Own Foundation’s managing director. “Whether it’s working within the traditional definitions of those sectors or blurring of the lines, I think that it’s the human impulse to help improve our condition and the conditions of people in need that really transcends organizational structure. And it’s inspiring to see the next generation of leaders creating that positive social impact.”
It’s an exciting moment in our twenty-five year history when we partner with one of the original pioneers of social enterprise in order to unleash next-generation talent across the globe. Watch for more from Echoing Green and Newman’s Own Foundation this fall as we explore the work of our newest class of Fellows and solidify the bonds across our ecosystem of change.
Download our joint press release.