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A 360° VR Experience: 2017 Skoll Awardees for Social Entrepreneurship

April 4, 2017

These four short films situate you right in the center of the landscape where each of our 2017 Skoll Awardees make lasting impact on the world’s most pressing problems: Nepal with Build Change, Liberia with Last Mile Health, the U.S. with Polaris, and Nigeria with Babban Gona. Grab your VR headset or mobile device and be transported into the homes, farms, villages, and offices where the unjust status quo shifts.

Build Change: Step Into the World of Disaster Resistant Construction in Nepal with Elizabeth Hausler

More than nine in every ten natural disaster-related deaths occur in developing countries. Many of these occur in overcrowded and unsafe neighborhoods where housing is likely to collapse. With an emphasis on prevention, Build Change trains homeowners, local builders, engineers, and government officials to construct or retrofit disaster-resistant houses and schools in emerging nations vulnerable to earthquakes and typhoons.

Build Change makes the work affordable by leveraging cost savings through standardized retrofitting designs, existing subsidy and incentive programs, and partnerships with local universities providing seismic engineering experts. It works with governments and development agencies to promote standards, building codes, and financial incentives for disaster-resilient construction.

Last Mile Health: Step Into the World of Healthcare in Liberia with Raj Panjabi

In developing countries, people who live more than an hour’s walk from the nearest health clinic are at increased risk of dying from preventable or treatable diseases. Health ministries often try to serve these populations by mobilizing community health workers (CHWs), but are unable to support them with adequate pay, training, diagnostic tools, medicines, and supplies.

Last Mile Health partners with government to deploy and manage networks of community health professionals integrated into the public health system. With training in maternal and child health, family planning, treatment adherence, and surveillance of epidemics, together with mentorship from nurse supervisors, these CHWs deliver high quality healthcare to remote communities.

Newborn mortality has decreased, and the percentage of children receiving treatment for diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia has increased. As a result of this success, Last Mile Health now supports the Liberian Ministry of Health to implement the approach nationwide, preparing policy documents, training curricula and impact measurement tools, and coordinating with NGO partners.

Polaris: Step Into the World of Human Trafficking in the U.S. with Bradley Myles

Human trafficking is a low-risk, high-profit criminal industry, enslaving more than 20 million people each year in forced labor and commercial sex and generating some $150 billion in profits. Polaris systematically disrupts human trafficking networks and restores freedom to survivors. Grounded in data gathered from victims’ experiences, Polaris directly supports victims, equips key stakeholders with data to address and prevent human trafficking, and intervenes in specific industries through targeted campaigns.

With experience and expertise from direct victim services such as hotlines and resource centers, to policy advocacy, Polaris provides a data backbone for the sector. This data enhances law enforcement access to tips and actionable information, identifies gaps in services and resources, and facilitates collaboration to support organizations and agencies across the United States and eventually, around the world.

Babban Gona: Step Into the World of Smallholder Farming in Nigeria with Kola Masha

To help prevent the spread of insecurity and extremism in Nigeria—where young people face a 50 percent unemployment rate—a revitalized agricultural sector that offers youth attractive prospects for a viable income is urgently needed. Babban Gona is an investor-owned social enterprise serving networks of smallholder farmers with a model created specifically to attract youth.

Members receive development and training, credit, agricultural inputs, marketing support, and other key services. Besides increasing each farmer’s yield and income to 2.3 times the national average, the Babban Gona franchise works to demonstrate that the smallholder segment is a viable model for investment and to attract massive new capital to the sector.


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