My NEXTSTEP initiative is based on Reid Falconer's blog post on Bunker Roy - the man who started the Barefoot College. This has made a substantial difference to many people's lives in India, and there's nothing stopping a person from beginning an initiative of the same type anywhere else in the world.
South Africa, both mine and Reid's home country, is a place of great turmoil. While the political situation is somewhat under control, AIDS and HIV are rampant, called "uGawulayo" (in Xhosa, one of our eleven national languages) or the "cutter down" of the people. What is an even scarier statistic, however, is how many of our countrymen have no education whatsoever - all the way from 1995-2001, the first full seven years of our newly-born democracy, our literacy rate (assumed as achieving Grade 7, by which point you are literate - the totally uneducated will follow) has remained at a paltry 68% - that means that just over 3 of every ten people you meet in South Africa is incapable of reading this. Totally incapable.
The reason I chose this as my NEXTSTEP is that in this country, we have a long history of community-based social systems - all of the original inhabitants of this area lived in small groups, relying on each other for safety, food, help, etc. The very system that the Barefoot College runs on (the community-based, hands-on study type teaching) would suit our environment perfectly. I propose that, at some point in the near future, a team of EVOKE members (hopefully including myself) attempt to repeat Sanjit Roy Bunker's success with his college by moving it here - and here is not the only place.
Zimbabwe, our neighbour (to the North) is a country with precious little infrastructure left. The dictatorship and poor command of the country by Zanu-PF and it's leader, Robert Mugabe, have effectively killed off the Zimbabwean economy, agriculture and social systems. Here, a grassroots-level campaign is needed to bring the country back to some semblance of normality, and a specialised Barefoot College, one for farming and looking after the land, would be superbly effective here.
In both of these situations, the social hierarchy is fairly similar - the small "kraal" being the home of the entire village, which would be nomadic (herders) or settled (farmers). In both cases, the ideas of the College that Bunker Roy started would hold true - children would choose to stay in the village, not only reconstructing economies but also preserving cultures that have survived (in some cases) many thousands of years. This is my NEXTSTEP plan, and I intend to execute it whenever the situation arises. This would hopefully improve several dangerous statistics in both countries - the economy in Zimbabwe, the literacy levels in both, and the HIV/AIDS statistics here - the Awareness campaigns that the government runs is lost on those who can't read. So let's teach them how to.