The Ashoka Changemakers Forum, held at the end of August in Singapore, unveiled four new Ashoka fellows from Malaysia and Singapore, two from each country.
The four are Zhihan Lee whose BagoSphere initiative is addressing gaps in the Filipino education system which prevent young people from low-income families getting worthwhile jobs. Johnson Oei’s EPIC Collective offers a collaborative model of community development. In Sabah, Borneo, Cynthia Ong’s Forever Sabah creates forums for consultation in the conservation of the ecology of Sabah and the creation of a diversified economy which draws from and preserves it.
Finally, in Edible Garden City, Bjorn Low is offering a new way of integrating urban farming with the Singaporean cityscape which is also functions as a community-building tool. The three-year fellowship includes a living stipend to cover all expenses, tailored for each Fellow. The newly elected fellows ‘provide inspiration of what is possible,’ says Sumitra Pasupathy, Ashoka country director for Malaysia and Singapore, ‘Changemaker Forum invites universities, parents, teachers, business leaders, young people and philanthropists to embrace and become changemakers. In today’s world everyone is a player.’