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Class 19 (2020-2022)

Larissa Harari, Brazil

Duke University – Master in International Development Policy

Education | Social Innovation | Gender | Human Rights | Livelihoods

Sponsoring Rotary District: 1030
Worked in: Brazil, Kenya, Israel
Degrees from: IBMEC - Brazil and Amani Institute - Kenya
Future plans: "I want to design and monitor effective development programs to guide inclusive policymaking by working in international development organizations and social innovation consultancies to fight inequality and improve livelihoods."

Larissa graduated in International Relations with the desire to understand her own history and her family's, who came to Brazil migrants from Poland, Lithuania, Syria and Turkey, and eager to know other cultures, create bridges and end violent wars.

In her professional and academic activities she is involved in diverse topics, which converge in bringing positive impact: At the front or backstage of social projects, studies and discussions. Among these topics: conflict mediation, migrants’ integration, education, smart economics, and technology as a tool to positive change.

At the age of 19, Larissa volunteered in an education for peace program in Vitória-ES, Brazil, in which the war between drug dealers’ factions made children and young people from neighbouring communities see themselves as enemies. Since 2012, she has been working in the third sector with management and projects operations in the areas of education, entrepreneurship and culture for peace.

While in college, she took parallel studies on Human Rights in the Second World War, the Yad Vaed Program, and pursued an interchange semester in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem focusing in Conflict Mediation Studies.

In 2016, during Amani’s Social Innovation Management program in Nairobi, Kenya, she worked at a technology and education startup, BRCK, and used Design Thinking to build improvements with the students and teachers in the school and its surroundings, in the Kawangare slum, in Nairobi.

Back from Kenya, she acted as an intrapreneur for the Favela Hub, the first social innovation hub in a slum in Rio de Janeiro, creating a physical place of collaboration and engagement to tackle social and urban problems by connecting local actors and social entrepreneurs; designers; researchers and technologists.

In 2019, she founded Gera Social, a social enterprise to foster the local social sector ecosystem in Rio de Janeiro, through connections and capacity building programs where individuals recognize and canalize their power to provoke positive social change through intra or entrepreneurship. They are Amani Institute’s main partner in bringing the Social Impact Training to Rio de Janeiro.

Larissa aims to connect her skills from social innovation, field operations knowledge and the importance of intersectionality to the work of international development, focusing on reducing inequalities through the gender perspective and helping communities discover their potentials and build on them. She also advocates for environmental safety through more sustainable living and for a balanced professional life that combines financial stability and social positive impact.