VAB receives First Prize in Innovative Social Development Projects at Atlanta Global Summit

VAB won first prize out of eight projects in the Competition for Innovative Solutions to Developmental Problems at the Global Summit on Health, Technology and Education sponsored by Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate. VAB was invited to the Global Summit because of its innovative approach to assisting rural high schools become high quality schools. VAB submitted its program in two ¾ feet posters for display at the Conference followed by presentation by the team leader Peter von Christierson accompanied by other members: Bette Lemperle, Mohammad Saleh, Md. Mizan Rahman, Abu Chowdhury and Sufian Chowdhury.

Recognizing that affordable innovation can help transform the health, education, and quality of life of the billions of people across the planet, which is essential for the peace and prosperity of mankind, the Global Summit “focused on innovative solutions, access and advocacy in collaboration with many individuals, experts, organizations, academic and research institutions, foundations, corporations, and NGOs.” Several hundred institutions attended the 2 ½ day event on May 10-12, 2015. 

A six-member team of judges who evaluated the projects in the Competition included: David Allison, Chairman, Regents Partners, LLC; Dean Kamen, Inventor and Entrepreneur, Founder, DEKA Research; Mark Kendell, Serial Entrepreneur, CEO, Kendell & Associates; Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Palaniswamy Rajan, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor, CEO, Virima Technologies; and K P Reddy, CEO, The Combine.

VAB is currently working with 61 high schools in rural Bangladesh. VAB begins by researching with a school what it needs and what it wants to make it a high quality institution. The school usually requests several components of the VAB Model, but the partnership begins usually with scholarship and tutoring for needy students. Later on, depending on resources VAB can mobilize and the school can offer, partnership with a school or a Cluster of five high schools is activated gradually with all the four component programs of VAB Model. These are: Student Empowerment, Teacher Empowerment, School Empowerment and Community Linkage.