For the past year, Ampact, with support from CoGenerate’s Generations Serving Together program, placed cogenerational pairs of AmeriCorps members in elementary schools. The older and younger adults worked side by side to improve students’ reading and math skills. A...
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CoGenerate is proud to be part of More Perfect, a coalition of national service and bridge-building groups that launched a bold plan today calling for cogenerational national service and volunteering, including a dramatic expansion of opportunities to engage 1 million...
We at CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org) are mourning the loss of Chuck Feeney this week. Without Chuck's vision and generosity we likely would not exist as an organization. Twenty-five years ago Atlantic Philanthropies took a chance on our start-up, playing a...
Vivian Lowery Derryck
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011
Derryck aims to strengthen democracy and foster economic growth across Africa through trade and social development projects.
While spending a summer in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, in college, Vivian Derryck witnessed firsthand how girls like the daughters of her neighbor Fatamatou worked in the fields while boys attended school.
The experience inspired her long career in international development – during which she worked closely with African government leaders, nonprofits and the U.S. Agency for International Development – to try to implement strong education and health systems through citizen participation and good governance.
Derryck realized the limitations of this approach in 2008 on a return visit 43 years later to Cote d’Ivoire through her work for the nonprofit Academy for Educational Development. There had been progress, but the major changes she had hoped to see were still not in place. She realized that government interventions could be only a part of the answer.
“I had spent 35 years trying to influence governments,” she says, “but I realized that major change would only come when citizens were able to meet and discuss common values and goals and reach decisions appropriate for their own countries.”
With a sense of urgency both professional and personal, Derryck left the Academy for Educational Development in 2009 to become an inaugural fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard, where she developed the idea for The Bridges Institute. Later that year she launched the organization.
Still in its infancy and funded by Derryck and her board, The Bridges Institute aims to strengthen democracy and foster economic growth across the continent by increasing ties between Africa and its global partners through trade and social development actions.