Our scholars are between 18 and 30 years old and are refugees, orphans, street children, former child soldiers, former inmates, former prostitutes, or young people from other marginalized and poor backgrounds in the host community. They have dropped out of school and society has labelled them “useless“.
We have proven that they can flourish if given responsibilities and space to unfold. Scholars transform their own personal tragedies into social enterprises, disrupting the root causes of social problems. The young refugees do not leave with a certificate but with their own jobs, enterprises, or social ventures.
We transform refugees and marginalized youth into social entrepreneurs through a cost-effective and self-learning educational model and responsible freedom community approach.
We unleash and nurture the intrinsic drive within each of our “scholars.” Tailor-made empowerment stages and self-management processes support scholars to define their own paths and putting the power of education in their own hands. Enabled as changemakers, scholars often turn challenges into opportunities to make a sustainable living out of what they are passionate about.
Most scholars do not have prior work experience or degrees but come from vulnerable backgrounds. This is why the initial “Confusion Stage” constitutes an “un-learning” training to overcome limiting beliefs, unleash potential, and set goals.
After, competencies are gained responsibility and freedom: everyone creates their own curriculum through the roles taken over. The skills and experiences relevant to designing their future lives are acquired, while everyone leads a part of the GIV Community. An individual, for example, is in charge of water in a GIV Community. If no water is available, the role holder will need to solve the problem, create new solutions, potentially plan better for the next month, budget, monitor, evaluate, and further her skills. She gains the practical experiences needed to run her own social enterprise in the future and grows on a personal and professional level. Life coaching breaks down individually set goals into actionable steps. Regular training sessions transmit further supportive tools from established to new scholars.
While taking up roles, new ideas and teams form naturally. The complex backgrounds of GIV members often become the driving force for the creation of social enterprises that tackle its root causes. GIV provides mentoring of the ideation process through Design Thinking, the lean startup approach, and customer discovery. The teams take the idea through various iteration cycles in bootcamps until a social business model is validated and traction gained. Enterprises are then incorporated and enter the Accelerator, which supports their growth, the creation of further jobs, and the scaling of the social and environmental impact.
The quality lies in the hands-on practical application of skills through self-management.