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Lika Torikashvili, the Only Girl from Georgia in CXC Summit Philippines

The ChangeMaker summit took place in the Phillipines in the beginning of Fall. 20 participants from all over Asia were invited to present their youth ventures.

The only European participant was Lika, who was also the only Georgian that has ever participated in the summit! Lika presented a social venture which she established at the age of 14- an  NGO called Paint the World.

“Paint the World” is a youth organisation and a movement “for colours”, originally established in Tbilisi, Georgia. Its all about finding fun and innovative ways of fighting poverty and sadness around the world, and inspiring young people do be more active in charitable activities.

The movement soon spread to the entire country, and after the projects was taken over by UWC Atlantic College students in Wales, the NGO became international. At the moment we had projects in Georgia, Malaysia, Swaziland, Oman. I hope that one day each country will have their own “Paint the World” ambassadors.

Now when I am 20, I try to think of was of how Paint the World can become a world wide known and recognised brand, the main target of which will be bringing happiness and smiles, and uniting young like minded students from different countries.”

“I am always honoured to represent Georgia wherever I go, as our country is tiny and most people mistakenly think its a state in the USA. I am proud to be Georgian, and I try to emphasise that I am a Georgian wherever I am in the world.

The summit was dedicated to presenting your social ventures or companies to each other, and all the participants were in their twenties ( I was the youngest one ! ).

I presented Paint the World and told the story of its creation in Tbilisi. I also heard stories or my fellow change makers, who do amazing work in their home countries and beyond. After 5 days or trainings, games, conversations and inspiration, I felt that there is much more out the re in the world to focus on, and many more interesting projects and collaborations are yet to come.

ChangemakerXchange stands for an exchange of ideas between young people who are working on innovative solutions to social, environmental, or societal problems in their immediate surroundings. At five-day exchange meetings, they deepen their knowledge and further develop their initiatives and business models. They network, enhance their own initiatives in a dialog with other participants and start joint projects. The program is open to social innovators between 18 and 30 years of age from Africa, Asia and Europe.

Since 2012, 350 young socially engaged people from 70 countries came together. So far it  has supported 60 international collaboration projects, which had more than 1,00,000 direct beneficiaries. By including eight more summits in 2017, the Changemaker network and its impact continues to grow. The ChangemakerXchange platform is co-created by Ashoka and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Ashoka (branded Ashoka: Innovators of the Public) is an international organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by affiliating individual social entrepreneurs into the Ashoka organization. Their stated mission is “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as changemakers”.

Bill Drayton founded Ashoka in 1980. Today, Ashoka operates in 93 countries on every continent, having elected more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows worldwide. Ashoka’s Youth Venture is an international community of young changemakers, with over 6,000 Venture Teams in 23 countries across the globe. The aim of the program is to help create an “Everyone A Changemaker World”. Youth Venture was developed from understanding a key insight of Ashoka  fellows in the field of youth development: one of the most effective ways to engage youth in the process of changemaking is to help them realize and understand their own ability to make positive social change.

Speaking about her experience at the summit, Lika said: I met very inspirational young people. I have been to Asia only once, while working on paint the world project on Borneo. However, now I made connections with the most active young people from The Phillipines, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, India… and I am so inspired to collaborate with them and create more interesting projects to change the world for better!”

I also met a very special very special new friend from Indonesia, Dissa Ahdanisa.

Dissa presented her project called “Fingertalk”. Its an organisation dedicated to giving livelihoods to deaf people through service skills training, such as cooking, car shin, and handicrafts. They even give employment and job skills training and employ

deaf people at their own Fingertalk`s car wash and cafes!

Dissa is a Muslim, and I am Jewish, and we clicked straightaway as we met  She taught me some  Arabic and said that she loves Jews and has the same views and the world peace as I do- that we can all love each other and be friends and do together. Dissa and I decided to do more projects together in the future, both ion Indonesia and Georgia, to the the message to the entire world that Jews and Muslims can not only be fiends, but also change the world together and bring peace!

Lika is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Bennington College, Vermont, USA. Her dream is expand Paint the World movement more, and to create a better and more colourful world.