GHR Foundation's Mark Guy on the BridgeBuilder Challenge

Monday, July 31, 2017

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GHR Foundation and OpenIDEO choose 5 Social Innovators as winning cohort in inaugural million dollar BridgeBuilder Challenge!

Mark Guy, senior program officer at GHR Foundation, talks about how the BridgeBuilder Challenge was devised and created, what's happening with the inaugural cohort and shares some plans for future versions of the challenge.

The 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge Top Ideas cohort includes:

Ethical gold mining as a pathway to peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- Peace Direct
Peace Direct provides a pathway to peace and environmental protection in fragile DRC while
providing sustainable incomes to ex-combatants – now small-scale, subsistence miners. The
miners and their families (approx. 3,400 people total) receive training in conflict resolution,
peacebuilding and environmentally responsible gold production as they work toward a fair-tradecertified

Tree-planting drones for restoring mangroves and livelihoods in Myanmar -- BioCarbon Engineering
Creating a strong bridge between prosperity and planet, Oxford-based BioCarbon Engineering
employs drone technology to accelerate community-driven mangrove restoration to reforest
depleted mangrove ecosystems in the fragile coastal regions of Myanmar, where more than 1
million hectares of forest have already been lost due to rising sea levels. In the process of
planting 1 billion mangrove trees annually, fish stocks will increase, a protective barrier against
natural disasters will be restored, and local economies will be bolstered, leading to a more stable
balance between communities and their surrounding ecosystems.

Creative skills for peace among youth violent offenders in Cameroon -- Local Youth Corner Cameroon
To counter violent extremism in Cameroon, Local Youth Corner promotes participation in
peacebuilding by empowering violent offenders with leadership, vocational and entrepreneurial
skills. Its Creative Skills for Peace program supports the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300
young offenders across 8 facilities in 6 cities, and trains staff members at rehabilitation facilities
on countering violent extremism and peacebuilding.

Lifting up and empowering families on Chicago's South Side -- LIFT Chicago
Bridging prosperity and peace in Chicago, LIFT Chicago uses a two-generation, in-community
ambassador approach to increase access to early childhood education services and help parents
and caregivers build social connections, strengthen personal well-being, and improve financial
security to foster personal and community-level peace and prosperity.

Connecting displaced persons with Arabic language learners around the world – NaTakallam
NaTakallam bridges peace and prosperity and encourages a culture of encounter by connecting
displaced individuals (primarily Syrians) with Arabic learners around the world for online language
practice, giving the former access to an income while fostering intercultural understanding. By
2018, it hopes to provide 150 refugees with sustainable incomes through their work with 2,000
language learners.


Mark Guy is a senior program officer for GHR Foundation's global development program where he focuses on leveraging child protection interventions that strengthen families, respond to children outside of family care and drive further evidence of innovative, pro-family approaches. He also supports global and domestic early childhood development programs for Better Way Foundation.



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