Change at Work
Every child is born to be a leader, but with limited access to quality education and sustainable skills, millions of youth around the world are exploited by poverty. Today nearly half of the world's population is under the age of 25 and nearly 50% of them live in abject poverty (less than $1/day). Gross socio-economic disparaties fuel an increasing rate of unemployment, illiteracy, human trafficking and the spread of AIDS among youth. The Change Rocks Foundation has found an innovative way to confront some of the world's greatest challenges and put every child's dream within reach.
Since 2006, our multidisciplinary programs have empowered over 250,000 at-risk youth, AIDS orphans, human trafficking survivors, college students, professionals and more in 16 countries from Africa and Europe to North and Latin America. Through a combination of education, capacity building, music and the arts, we're on a mission to restore the voices that have been silenced by poverty. Do you believe that music can change the world? Change has never sounded so sweet.
AUGUST 2017 -- Last month, 35 6-8th grade girls participated in our 3-week long "Art of Change" Social Entrepreneurship Camp at St. Catherine's Girls School in Richmond, VA. Participants attended entrepreneurship workshops taught by Ms. Austin, STEAM and performing arts classes, fieldtrips and built a social business model with girls online in the Republic of the Gambia, Africa with our parters, the Sabally Leadership Academy.
MARCH 2017 -- Last month, founder Yewande Austin was honored with a President Barack Obama "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Georgia State Capitol for her tireless dedication to restoring the voices of people silenced by poverty and oppression. Hosted by Senator Donzella James, Yewande joins the last group of honorees in history that will ever receive this award again in the name of former President Obama.
"ALHERI" MEANS GRACE
NOVEMBER 2017 -- For the past 3 months, Boko Haram refugee mothers have participated in Yewande's "Art of Change" social entrepreneurship class online. Graduates were awarded funding to launch Alheri Feminine Hygiene Products. They will also be future residents of Alheri Village - a resettlement community conceptualized by Austin that will provide 200 refugees with housing and rehabilitation services including medical care, psycho-social support, tutoring and job training in Abuja, Nigeria.
Inspecting "Freedom" Reusable Sanitary Napkin Prototypes (Abuja, Nigeria)
Visiting the Math Science Innovation Center (Richmond, VA)