Laureate Success Stories

Build Change

A laureate since 2008, having received the Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award for their innovative work in China and Indonesia, Build Change has expanded its focus to Haiti and Japan. Build Change designs earthquake-resistant construction technology and trains local builders and homeowners to make homes that can withstand disaster. The recent earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan brought to light just how important the work of Build Change is. In Japan alone, Build Change has trained 2,555 homeowners, builders, engineers, technical high school students, government officials, and relief agency staff in earthquake-resistant construction methods. The non-profit is currently responsible for building 18,350 safer houses. In addition, Build Change just won the 2011 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability Video Profile for a video about the global expansion and impact of earthquake resistant homes. For its lifesaving work, Build Change was noted on MSNBC, appeared in the New York Times in 2010 in an article entitled " Managing Disasters with Small Steps", and appeared on the National Geographic Channel in a 2010 production on the earthquake in China. Other awards include the Ashoka-Lemelson Fellowship in 2009 for Build Change's global assistance in earthquake recovery and disaster prevention. 

Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a 2009 laureate, having received the Microsoft Education Award for its renowned school lunch program, which addresses two critical challenges facing India's children: hunger and access to education. Thanks to the program, children now have an even stronger incentive to attend school. The organization continues to expand and receive enthusiastic applause - including from the President of the United States - for its groundbreaking work on behalf of schoolchildren. Recently, the Akshaya Patra Foundation was featured in the January 2011 "Time For Kids" cover story entitled "Meals on Wheels." The story highlighted the importance of feeding malnourished children and simultaneously encouraging their education. President Obama has recognized the program in 2011 as ""an imaginative approach that has the potential to serve as a model for other countries." In addition, Obama also claimed in 2010 that the foundation stands as "A powerful demonstration of what's possible when people work together."


So life changing is the work of PATH that the agency has been named a laureate three times - in 2003, 2007, and 2009, each time receiving The Swanson Foundation Health Award. PATH's work ranged from the Hepatitis B vaccine, Ultra Rice Technology or the "manufactured rice grain", and the Vaccine Vial Monitor, a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunizations. PATH's work continues to address the importance of vaccines and how many lives they can save globally.