Meet the 2019 Resolution Social Venture Challenge winners

Featured image: Winners of the 2019 Social Venture Challenge (Supplied)

The Mastercard Foundation and non-profit The Resolution Project have selected 14 African teams as winners of the 2019 Resolution Social Venture Challenge.

The foundation said in a statement on Tuesday (27 August) that a total of 31 teams of Mastercard Foundation Scholars participated in the challenge with the aim of clinching a fellowship, that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers.

The winning teams address a wide range of challenges that the scholars have observed first-hand in their communities.

These include financial literacy among rural women, access to nutritious foods in orphanages, and safe and affordable biomedical devices to reduce the impact of preventable diseases.

A total of 31 teams participated in the 2019 Resolution Social Venture Challenge

This year’s winners include projects based in Rwanda, Kenya, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Malawi, Senegal, and Lebanon.

The winners are:

  • Bottle Furniture (Douala, Cameroon): Msouobu Guewou Shester Landry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology aims to alleviate plastic bottle pollution in Douala by up-cycling bottles to produce furniture for the community. Up to 80% of bottles will be removed from the streets and drains of Douala through the venture’s collection system.
  • HERFuture (Serrekunda, Gambia): The team of Haddijatou Touray, Isatou Jallow and Sally Dibba from Ashesi University aims to provide leadership opportunities to underprivileged girls in Serrekunda. The project will offer mentorship, capacity training, and scholarships to girls aged 12 to 19 years who lack access to formal educational opportunities.
  • Api-Smart (Bebuso, Ghana): Elikplim Avor and Ransford Aniagyei from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology aim to create employment and reduce poverty in Bebuso by training young people in bee-keeping and honey production. This project will also provide a market for harvested honey and encourage forestation in the process.
  • Duafe (Kumasi, Ghana): Ermyntrude Adjei and Matilda Koa from Arizona State University aim to close the gender gap in technology by teaching programming skills to young girls in Kumasi. The project will run science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workshops, boot camps, and mentoring programmes in schools and provide access to career opportunities.
  • Linda (Kenya): Grace Nkatha Kiruja, Martine Irakoze and Prudence Akoth Hainga from the University of Edinburgh want to promote sexual-health education and sexual assault awareness in primary and secondary school students in Kenya through a subscription-based text message service.
  • Soma (Nairobi, Kenya): Mathew Bushuru, Moses Kirathe and Shinina Muthiora frrom the University of British Columbia aim to increase access to free educational tools and resources for high-school students in Nairobi. This project will provide free educational tools and resources to schools using content servers and USB drives, circumventing the need to connect to the internet.
  • EduPass (Baalbak, North Bekaa, Lebanon): Eslam Abo Alhawa, Mahmoud Kanso, and Nour Al-Bidewe from the American University of Lebanon will develop an application that will help students, who had to leave secondary school, to gain the knowledge and practical skills they need to be successful.
  • Musheco Farm (Muzu, Malawi): Jireh Mwamukonda and Yamikani Ng’ona from Earth University will train unemployed youth and women in Mzuzu to cultivate high-quality oyster mushrooms at a low cost. The team will utilise corn stover biomass, which is abundant and otherwise disposed of following maize harvests in Mzuzu, as fertiliser to ensure that the cultivation is sustainable and accessible to community members.
  • Healthy_Us (Kigali, Rwanda): Marie Aimée Nirere and Nadine Iradukunda from Ashesi University aim to increase the well-being of orphans in Kigali through a nutritional awareness programme. The programme will create a kitchen garden in a local orphanage to grow fruits and vegetables, especially mushrooms, which are rich in protein and easy to cultivate.
  • Guérté Réwmi Company (Dakar, Senegal): Fatou Sambe from the American University of Beirut want to create jobs in Dakar through peanut production. The project will assist farmers in refining raw peanuts to create products such as peanut butter, which will increase employment, raise incomes, and better utilise Senegalese natural resources.
  • AgriSan (Pallisa District, Uganda): Amanuel Eshete and Edith Naisubi from Ashesi University aims to establish a community market garden for underprivileged rural women in the Pallisa District of Uganda. The women will grow vegetables as a source of income and use the leftover vegetables to fertilise. In addition, the venture will teach the women about savings strategies and other financial management skills to ensure their economic security.
  • GenFarm Financial Enterprise (Northern Uganda): Allan Busuulwa and Arnold Katende from Earth University will assist smallholder farmers in northern Uganda through financial literacy training, access to agricultural technologies, and end-to-end services that optimise crop yields and labour productivity. The project will also develop strategies to improve market access for smallholder farmers’ products.
  • Pura Vida (Koro Abili, Gulu District, Uganda): Grace Aguti and Peter Onyango from Earth University aims to tackle food insecurity in the Gulu District of Uganda by developing an innovative greenhouse and food drying system. The pre-fabrication bamboo greenhouse will ensure families can grow food during the dry season, and dry their produce in the wet season-ultimately increasing their food security, health, and household income.
  • DeepEye Initiative (Harare, Zimbabwe): Esau Mhandu and Ronald Tumuhairwe from Ashesi University aim to reduce the impact of preventable illnesses in Harare by developing a low-cost, biomedical device that uses sound waves to detect the presence of fluid in the lungs. DeepEye goal is to improve accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the diagnosis of pneumonia.
  • Jumping Protein (Marondera, Zimbabwe): Esnath Divasoni from Earth University aims to reduce malnutrition in infants and toddlers in Marondera, by creating a sustainable protein source through the farming of crickets, mealworms, and black soldier flies for both human consumption and animal feed.

Mastercard Foundation youth engagement senior programme manager Ashley Collier said the winners demonstrate the courage and creativity it takes to drive social change.

“Yet few have access to the support and resources they need to ensure their project or social venture is successful.

“By winning the Social Venture Challenge, these young leaders have earned the resources, network, mentorship, and capital they need to bring their ideas to life,” added Collier.

Featured image: Winners of the 2019 Social Venture Challenge (Supplied)



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