Earlier this month the Skoll Foundation announced the 2011 winners of the The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. This program of provides a cash award to social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential to make a significant impact on issues such as environmental sustainability, health, tolerance and human rights, institutional responsibility, economic and social equity, and peace and security.
“Many of the most challenging problems we face – access to clean water, effective and affordable healthcare, and literacy and education – are rooted in poverty. But looking at our 2011 Skoll Award winners, I see great hope for the future,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “The four social entrepreneurs we honor this year offer scalable, proven solutions to these truly daunting problems.”
The four 2011 Skoll Awardees are:
Rebecca Onie, Health Leads
Onie founded Health Leads (formerly Project HEALTH) with Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Chair of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, to expand the capacity of clinics to connect patients with food, housing and other resources that they need to be healthy and to build a pipeline of new leaders in the health care system. In the clinics where Health Leads operates, doctors can “prescribe” these critical resources just as they would medication. Patients take their prescriptions to the clinic waiting room, where Health Leads’ college volunteers connect them to the necessary resources. In 2010, 57 percent of Health Leads’ patients obtained at least one resource in 90 days (e.g., a family with an asthmatic child needs help getting heat in the winter) and 83 percent of volunteer graduates entered jobs or advanced study in the fields of health and poverty.
Ned Breslin, Water For People
Breslin spent more than 16 years in Africa working on water and sanitation before joining Water For People and introducing bold, systemic solutions to critical issues facing the sector. Water For People partners with communities in developing countries to create sustainable, locally-maintained drinking water solutions and supports market-driven sanitation solutions, such as its Sanitation as a Business program. Accountability and sustainability are major focuses for the organization. It recently developed a new monitoring and evaluation technology called FLOW (Field Level Operations Watch,) which leverages Android technology and Google Earth software for tracking the status of water points at least 10 years after implementation.
Ellen Moir, New Teacher Center
Moir, a longtime teacher and educator of teachers, founded the New Teacher Center (NTC), which improves student achievement in American public schools. NTC does this by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers, specifically those who work with low-income, minority and English as a second language (ESL) students. Its mentorship and professional development programs provide support and guidance to novice teachers in the early stages of their careers, as well as to principals and administrators. NTC also influences policy at the district, state, and federal levels. It is the only national nonprofit in the US that is focused on new teacher effectiveness and inducted 26,818 teachers and 1,762 new and experienced principals (reaching 1.84 million students) in 2009-10.
Madhav Chavan, Pratham
Chavan leads Pratham, whose goal is to ensure that every child is in school and learning well. Pratham works across urban and rural India, mobilizing volunteers to execute low-cost solutions to maximize government efforts. Starting by setting up pre-schools in community spaces or people’s homes in slums, Pratham introduces remedial literacy learning in Indian schools and focuses on measuring outcomes. It launched Read India, which has trained over a million volunteers and teachers, reaching more than 34 million children. Pratham also created partnerships that publish children’s books and provide computer and English learning. It developed the Annual Status of Education Report, a nationwide household survey that assesses the impact of government spending on education. Visit PrathamUSA.
Also, as a reminder, the final application deadline for the 2012 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is April 27, 2011. For more information: