Mastercard Foundation Scholars to receive seed funding and mentorship to lead impactful projects in their communities
Kigali, Rwanda, August 13, 2018 – Fifteen teams of a total of 32 emerging African social entrepreneurs have been selected as winners of the 2018 Resolution Social Venture Challenge. A total of thirty teams of Mastercard Foundation Scholars gathered in Kigali, Rwanda to compete in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge, for a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship, and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities. A collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project, the Resolution Social Venture Challenge provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters.
“Africa’s young leaders are brimming with talent, ideas, energy, and a deep desire to have a positive impact on their communities. Yet few young people receive the support and tools they need to ensure a project or social venture they want to undertake is successful,” explains Ashley Collier, Manager of Youth Engagement and Networks at the Mastercard Foundation. “By winning the Social Venture Challenge, these young leaders have earned the resources, network, mentorship, and capital they need to implement their venture and to maximize their impact.”
Winning projects address a wide range of challenges Scholars have observed first-hand in their communities, including digital literacy, a lack of mental health supports, access to sanitation, and climate-smart agriculture.
Winners of the 2018 Social Venture Challenge say that:
“We envision a world in which no girl suffers the physical and mental trauma of female genital mutilation,” says Ubah Ali, on behalf of her team, including Claudette Igiraneza and Kawsar Muuse, Scholars at the American University of Beirut and founding members of Solace for Somaliland Girls Foundation. “The Social Venture Challenge is an incredible opportunity that will empower us with strong and lasting guidance to successfully implement our project and transform our communities.”
“The Social Venture Challenge has provided us with more than the financial means to execute our project,” says Nicholas Toronga, on behalf of his team, including Tinotenda Makuvire, Scholars at McGill University and founders of ZimDigester. “They welcomed us to a network of fellows and professionals who will mentor and support each other in solving challenging problems.”
“We are working for our community by keeping Uganda’s most vulnerable girls in school all month long, even during menstruation,” say Marion Apio, on behalf of her team, including Lokolimoe Susan Hilda and Mutoni Suzan, Scholars at Makerere University and founding members of Girls Alive Uganda. “This opportunity will enable us to collaborate with other young changemakers around the world. Together, we can impact the lives of Africa’s leaders of tomorrow and champion other young changemakers in our community.”
“We’re grateful for the depth of our partnership with the Mastercard Foundation because it has introduced us to so many immensely talented young leaders,” says George M. Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. “We’re so thrilled to be able to work together to provide a robust system of support for dozens of inspirational Scholars and Fellows who are taking significant strides to improve the lives of people within their communities all across Africa.”
The 2018 cohort of Social Venture Challenge winners include projects based in Kenya, Gambia, Uganda, Somaliland, Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Malawi, Tanzania, and Lebanon.
Solace For Somaliland Girls
Claudette Igiraneza, Ubah Ali, and Kawsar Muuse | American University of Beirut
Solace for Somaliland Girls Foundation is committed to reducing female genital mutilation in communities across Somaliland by increasing awareness about the dangers of this practice through training and education.
Nicholas Tariro Toronga and Tinotenda Makuvire | McGill University
ZimDigester will focus on renewable energy for home use at an affordable price in rural Zimbabwe. The project will provide animal and food waste bio-digesters and deliver training to individual households on how to use the technology.
Girls Alive Uganda
Marion Apio, Lokolimoe Susan Hilda, and Mutoni Suzan | Makerere University
Girls Alive Uganda aims to address the lack of sanitary materials for vulnerable girls in Tororo District, Uganda. The project will produce and distribute affordable sanitary pads to reduce high rates of menstrual-related school absenteeism, which remains a key barrier to girls’ education in Uganda.
Faith Kipkemboi | McGill University
Cactus Mama is a tele-mental health project that aims to conduct and apply research to provide evidence-based mental health support and services to Kenyan women who experience perinatal mood disorders during and after pregnancy. This project also plans to deliver training and increase community awareness on perinatal mood disorders.
Muhammad Mustapha Jammeh and Wuyeh Jobe | Ashesi University College
GamFruits is a climate-smart fruit farm in Gunjur, Gambia that provides a hub for farmers to discuss matters affecting their daily farm practices, offering them a centre for outdoor learning in agriculture. GamFruits will also produce and sell healthy, nutritious, and affordable fruit to members of the community.
Richard Sewor, Golda Afoakwa, and Douglas Amoo-Sargon | Arizona State University (ASU)
Sua IT is a social venture that seeks to advance computer literacy to school children in rural communities. This project will use mobile information and communications technology (ICT) learning units using a unique curriculum, learning materials, and laptops which will be powered by generators. This will facilitate learning and skills development in ICT for these children. Mobility is achieved by the ease of transferring the units from one community to another with minimal set-up time.
Salam Helwany and Houssian Al-Kaaby Al-Zaaby | American University of Beirut
Green Shift will address environmental issues in cities and rural areas. The project aims to implement sustainable strategies in various sectors, including solid waste management and clean water, promoting a green, healthy lifestyle among the population.
Marvin Ambutu, Asterix Hassan, and Brian Kirotich | McGill University
HappyDel is a non-profit social enterprise that leverages high mobile and Internet penetration in Africa to offer peer-to-peer counselling services for occupational therapy students and to raise awareness about mental health issues through social media platforms and a mobile app.
Judith Lurit, Michael Lawrence, and Emily Otoo-Quayson | Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology (KNUST)
Igem uses earthenware water pots to trap debris, viruses, and waterborne pathogens to provide clean drinking water to households without the addition of any substances or chemicals.
Let’s Fight Cancer: Screen It And Suppress It
Joyline Chepkorir | Michigan State University (MSU)
This social venture will provide training for marginalized women on methods for early detection of breast and cervical cancer. It will also connect these women to community resources where
they can receive free or low-cost screening and treatment once cancer is detected.
Bleck Tabeh Titam, Elisabeth Bakoubolo, and Komlan Kekeli Batchey | EARTH University
Mission Possible uses electromagnetic induction tools and 3D drone mapping to provide smallholder farmers with soil analysis and land profiling information, as well as planting, harvesting, and marketing advice. With a better understanding of their soil, farmers can better predict environmental behaviours and leverage improved technique to increase crop yields.
Women For Peace Library
Masateru Honest Mwambo | Ashesi University College
Women for Peace Library is a non-profit community library focused on strengthening literacy and communication skills among children and youth. The library will also host reading and writing competitions to promote literacy within the community.
One Urban Garden (OUG)
Laetitia Mukungu, Mutoni Shadadi, and Jacquiline Maina | EARTH University
Issues of food security have wide-reaching implications for people and the environment, particularly in low and middle-income countries. One Urban Garden aims to promote urban agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa by establishing integrated, organic urban farms that will serve as production, training, and seedling distribution centres. This project will be piloted in Nairobi, Kenya.
Rabbits for Education
Myres Ndyabawe and Narinda Shirah | Makerere University
This project addresses the problem of primary school drop-out rates in a government-aided school in Kamwenge District, Uganda. The project will provide participants with rabbits and will equip them with the skills they need to raise and care for them. The initiative also will help participants find a market, so they can generate income to support their education.
Youth Empowerment Initiative (YEI)
David Gai and Akot Arkanjelo | Makerere University
Youth Empowerment Initiative (YEI) is a student-run initiative that aims to build the capacity of youth and support primary school education in Yumbe District, Uganda. The project recruits and trains youth mentors to provide mentorship to primary school children and provides textbooks and lesson revision materials to upper primary classes.