by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer
Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!
Our next feature is Eve Karim, Founder and Director of Authentic Method of Alternative Learning (AMAL). AMAL has been running for the past four years and have supported more than 350 underprivileged children. Through focused projects they have worked with children rescued from brothels, children who have not benefitted from even the most basic education, and children who don’t have access to basic health services.
You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!
Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?
I love travelling. Whenever I get time, I travel around the countryside. I am a classical dancer; therefore I love dancing as well as painting on the weekends. Apart from that I also enjoy my free time by having coffee chat with my friends.
What inspired you to start this venture?
I was a freshman at my university. One day I saw a little girl get kicked by a man without any particular reason at my university campus. My heart dropped, witnessing the real scenario of how street children are treated in our society. After that I took a stand and started going to the slums with an intention to support them as well as empower them. That was my story of being inspired.
What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?
I have faced different obstacles throughout my development work career. The one I remember most is getting confronted by the slumlords. Those slumlords were using the children for begging purposes and they think of AMAL as a threat as we are providing education to them. We talked with them and made them understand the needs of education as well. We took the help of local security. It was very challenging but we were unstoppable. Finally, we got success through our devotion.
What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program?
I am looking for a supportive community where I can get the support to grow myself as well my organization. I am looking to learn more about funding and partnership opportunities from the mentors and the social enterprise practitioners in Seattle.