Venuste Kubwimana: “Discover, Believe, Become”

Venuste Kubwimana: “Discover, Believe, Become”

For Venuste Kubwimana, a passion for contributing to his community was sparked during the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Although Venuste, his mother and siblings survived the brutal months of mass murder, they suffered financially. In the following years, finding work and supporting his family was difficult, but Venuste became focused on one goal: helping people avoid similar hardships. Having started to work at age 14, Venuste completed his civil engineering studies and quickly built a stable financial foundation for himself. He soon volunteered for a non-profit organization with other young people in his field. Along with his friend Bonny, Venuste was ready to take the leap into starting his own non-profit. In 2009, he and Bonny founded International Transformation Foundation (ITF), which officially became a registered non-profit in 2010. “We wanted to set up an organization that would be led by youth and that would contribute to communities,” says Venuste, 31. With the motto “Discover, believe, become,” the Nairobi-based organization currently runs many different projects, from setting up public water stations in Kenya to offering free computer training programs to youth groups, among several other noteworthy campaigns. One of ITF’s pivotal projects is called “Joining the Pipe.” This initiative strives to work with rural area schools to develop a pipe that joins tap stations on school properties, allowing children to have access to clean water as well as have the opportunity to bring clean water home for them and their families. The first kiosk opened in November 2013; now, ITF has set up kiosks in Nairobi, Bungoma and Siaya. This project is one that is close to...
How One Filmmaker Inspires the Audiences to Become Involved in Social Causes

How One Filmmaker Inspires the Audiences to Become Involved in Social Causes

Life was simple for Igor Bonatto. Born and raised in Curitiba, a small beach town in southern Brazil, Igor grew up in an upper-middle class family and dreamed of one day becoming a filmmaker in the entertainment industry. But as his education and film career began to prosper in his early twenties, he felt a lack of self-fulfillment. It was only after studying many of the world’s social challenges and conflicts that the 25-year-old became determined to use his cinematic talent as a tool of transformation. Now, Igor’s start-up, THT (short for “Tables Have Turned”) aims to use the powerful medium of video to inspire, engage and mobilize people around the globe. “Everything was easy for me my entire life,” Igor says. “Having such an easy life bothered me. I always wanted to contribute to those who were not as lucky as I was.” With this mission, Igor began to fuse his affinity for film with a commitment to social change. After graduating from the Vancouver Film School, Igor established the São Paulo-based business THT in 2014, hoping to produce video games, apps and movies that would immerse participants in real-life social issues. With the emergence of virtual reality, Igor says the use of videos and games on Smartphones can effectively transport people to a certain part of the world, where social issues seriously affect countless people and their communities. “It’s a deep immersion into these realities, and we have a lot of nice gadgets that can help measure brain waves. We measure people before and after to see what has changed,” Igor says. “We can link their brain...
Welcome to the Y&Y Blog!

Welcome to the Y&Y Blog!

“The developing world is full of entrepreneurs and visionaries, who with access to education, equity and credit would play a key role in developing the economic situations in their countries. ” – Muhammad Yunus Our name and our mission are inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Economist Muhammad Yunus. Like Professor Yunus, we believe in the power of social businesses to empower individuals, improve communities and change the world—we see it happen every day and we can’t wait to tell you all about it. We started the Y&Y Blog to share with you all the exciting things happening in the world of social business. At Yunus&Youth, we support young entrepreneurs from around the globe who are developing businesses to solve pressing social problems. They’re creating job opportunities in refugee camps, developing literacy programs in the Philippines and creating apps that connect new mothers to health services in West Africa. As you can imagine, they have some incredible stories to tell. We’ll follow the Y&Y Fellows on their inspiring journeys to establish effective, sustainable social businesses. We’ll also be sharing tips and thoughts from industry leaders and experts who support social entrepreneurship. People all around the world and from all walks of life are joining the social business movement. Stop by the Y&Y Blog to hear about the ways they are making social change...
João: Helping Brazilian youth discover their dreams

João: Helping Brazilian youth discover their dreams

“Discovering Young Dream,” or “Descobrindo o Sonho Jovem” (DSJ), encourages youth in Capão Redondo, Brazil, to pursue their passions, offering eight distinctive workshops to boost participants’ confidences and help them achieve personal and professional success. For João Araújo, DSJ is more than a business. Much like many of the teenagers who take part in the workshops, the 18-year-old grew up in Capão Redondo, a neighborhood that the United Nations considered one of the most dangerous places to live in the 1990s—the decade in which João was born. “People who live here generally don’t have a specific life purpose, and they don’t believe in their dreams. But I have always been a positive person,” João says. “Gustavo and I had the same perception about people who lived there, mainly young people who were pessimistic about their future. This bothered us, so we decided to do something about it.” Working with his high school friend Gustavo da Silva, 18, João established eight different workshops for youth. A typical DSJ program runs over eight weeks, offering one workshop each week. The four key pillars of the two month-long program include self-awareness, dreaming big, planning and putting ideas into action. Starting with self-awareness of the participant’s capabilities, the program provides an interactive methodology and a safe environment to inspire youth to share their aspirations and ultimately, create a plan to put their ideas into motion. Asking participants to complete one evaluation at the beginning of the program and one at the end, DSJ attempts to track the overall success rate of the workshops. For João, the most rewarding part is the positive feedback...