Andrew Benson Greene
- Program Year
- Country of Current Residence
- City/Town of Current Residence
- Current Position
- Founder, Director
- B-Gifted Foundation
Human Rights Advocate
- Advocacy, Community, Human rights, International development, Non-profit / Philanthropy, Social justice
- English, Creole
- Interest(s) / Expertise
- children's rights, human rights, NGOs, poverty
Andrew Benson Greene has over 2 decades of experience in the non-profit sector, youth and children in wars as well as the issue of child soldiers. He has worked extensively in national and international research on human rights of children used in armed conflict.
He is the founder and Director of the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), and Founder and CEO of B-Gifted Foundation, both of Sierra Leone. B-Gifted Foundation is a non-profit organization that addresses human rights (including women and children’s rights), environmental rights, peace enhancement and sustainable development in Sierra Leone, whilst seeking to alleviate poverty through creative approaches.
The core activity of iEARN Sierra Leone is the participation of young people and their teachers sharing their talents over the Internet. They create and participate in online projects covering a range of issues, including peace, human rights, conflict resolution and sustainable development. Former child fighters and war-affected youth learn to use the Internet and other new technologies to find reconciliation and peaceful solutions to conflict, reminding them that “security comes not from the end of a gun, but from shared values and responsibilities to each other.”
Andrew is a well-known speaker, participating in a number of prestigious international events such as The World Summit on Information Society, and has traveled extensively, from Beijing to Washington, to share his vision of using information technology amongst children and war-scarred youth. His efforts have profoundly affected the thinking of young people around the world, from Sierra Leone to Cambodia to Afghanistan. The United Nations adopted his project as a model in countries affected by war.
Andrew has gathered multiple awards, citations, and bursaries for his Internet-based innovations. For several years, he has overseen and coordinated the successful implementation in Sierra Leone of War Child Canada’s No War Zone, funded by Foreign Affairs Canada. He consults widely on issues of children and youth in conflict and recently produced two video documentaries for the World Bank’s World Development Report 2007 focusing on youth unemployment in Sierra Leone and the ‘Next Generation’. He has consulted to the Global Intelligence Alliance in Washington D.C. on Anti-corruption and good governance in Sierra Leone.
Andrew obtained his BA with concentrations in English, Civil Law, and International Relations from Fourah Bay College of the University of Sierra Leone in 1998. Andrew is a Masters of Science in Law student at the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law.
As a fellow, Andrew became a major contributor to events hosted by the Canadian Government and a host of other Institutions. He was often summoned by the Canadian Government and CIDA as part of youth leadership panels. He spoke at the International Corporation Days (ICD) hosted by CIDA in Ottawa 2004, in a Panel with Alexandria Trudeau, (documentary film maker and brother of the current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), along side Jennifer Corriero Co-founder; Executive Director of Taking IT Global. The event was moderated by Matthew Pearce of Canada World Youth. Speaking at the event, Andrew noted that ‘Poverty is more than a lack of food, it can also be a lack of opportunities to participate’… He was a presenter at the Leadership in Action for Education Conference hosted by the Peel District School Board in Toronto. He was presenter at the Canadian Bureau of International Education in Ottawa. He was also summoned by CIDA on the request of War Child Canada to give voice to children in areas of conflict at the “Africa Now Untold Stories Conference hosted by CIDA in Carlton University in Toronto in 2005. He was summoned by the Canadian Peace Building Coordinating Committee and the Pearson Peace Keeping Center as a Presenter at the UNICEF sponsored event ‘War to Peace Transition in Ottawa 2005. He was a Guest Speaker at the McGill International Model United Nations in 2005. He gave lectures at Anthropology Classes at Concordia University, on a request made its faculty through the Sauvé founding Director Jim Wright. He worked with Paul Shore a Sauvé Alumni to produce a video documentary that raised eyebrows about national and global issues of recruitment of Child Soldiers and the need to stop them. In this video, Andrew shared his personal work and experiences helping to rehabilitate children affected by war as well as interviewed students at McGill in fields of peacebuilding and international relations to provide their view points about the issues of war and children drafted into conflict. During the production process, Paul Shore became a mentor giving Andrew the much-needed media and video training skills and tools that was indispensable for his innovative projects on his return to Sierra Leone. Andrew also worked with Ali Khan a fellow that year from Pakistan to raise resources, networks and computers with World Computer Exchange to help support youth in Sierra Leone and Pakistan.
He was also summoned twice to teach peace classes at the WH Day Elementary School in Bradford Ontario in 2005, and spoke at the School’s Assembly on Canada’s Remembrance Day.
In 2005, Andrew was attracted to a lecture series and made a trip to the Québécois to listen to LaFontaine-Baldwin Lectures, where Canadian think tanks often gather to reflect on democracy, citizenship and the public good. Established by John Ralston Saul and hosted for the past decade by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), the lectures honor the leaders of Canada’s first democratic movement, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. That year in 2005, Andrew Listened to Louise Arbour, the then (United Nations High Commission for Human Rights), present ‘Freedom from want’ – from charity to entitlement.
Whilst a scholar, Andrew also took classes at McGill University in the area Civil Law and the private law of civil wrongs with Professor Shauna Van Praagh as his mentor. ‘The Sauve year was one of the most powerful and transformative years of my life and efforts to make a difference’. Andrew Greene