Launched in response to Pope Francis's call for people to "build bridges" and contribute to making the world a better place, the challenge recognizes ideas that address urgent global concerns at the intersection of peace, prosperity, and the planet in radically new ways. Participants from a hundred and eighty-five countries responded to the challenge with more than six hundred and seventy-five ideas.
This year's winners are TIMBY (This Is My Backyard), an app being deployed in Kenya to help the Sengwer people protect their ancestral lands through the dissemination of geostamped, evidence-based reporting, including uploaded videos and photos; Found in Translation, an organization established by an immigrant to help other immigrants and bilingual speakers in the Boston area by training them how to bridge the gap between immigrant communities and the healthcare system; Producers Direct, which aims to support youth careers in farming in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania by providing youth with access to financing, exchanges, and training in digital tools, as well as reciprocal mentoring relationships with older smallholder farmers; War Child Canada, which works to promote peace and collaboration among small groups of multi-ethnic youth in South Sudan; and My Choices Foundation, which trains women in a neighborhood near Hyderabad, India, that has a high rate of domestic and child abuse to serve as PeaceMakers, providing free counseling, rights education, and legal aid to local women and families. The five winners will share the $1 million prize.
"It's humbling to support this group of innovators who are local in their work, but global in their ideas and ambitions to shift the development paradigm," said GHR Foundation CEO Amy Goldman. "The BridgeBuilder Challenge seeks out and elevates promising ideas, providing them with seed funding to test new approaches and prove out solutions to some of the world's most urgent needs."
(Photo credit: War Child Canada)