We are pleased to announce the results from our Social Venture Challenge with the MasterCard Foundation’s Scholar Program, our very first SVC on the African continent! We have been so excited to partner with the MCF because Resolution’s mission is so well-aligned with the MCF Scholars Program’s commitment to young men and women from economically disadvantaged communities who have demonstrated academic talent, commitment to giving back to communities in their countries of origin, and the potential to lead.
We had 12 strong teams in our semi-finals and invited 10 to the finals. In the end, we selected nine Social Venture Challenge Winners, representing five exciting new social ventures:
- Gervase Adams, from Ghana, founded The Komaale Initiative to provide a year-round farming opportunity for vegetable farmers along water-ways in the Wa Municipality of North West Ghana, where the crop-friendly rainy season lasts only four months. Komaale will provide subsistence vegetable farmers with streams of income throughout the year, and create employment opportunities for youth through rice farming.
- Lebasha Lucia Epur, from Kenya, founded Save The Pastoralist Initiative to improve the nomadic Turkana community’s way of life through dry land agriculture. Save the Pastoralist will build a demonstration farm where women and children will learn and practice sustainable agricultural techniques, thereby reducing deaths due to hunger and malnutrition, reducing reliance on external food sources, and empowering women through education and economic improvement. Lucia shared with us after she received the award that she has been trying to bring this project to life for seven years, and now understands that the reason she was told no for seven years was so that Resolution would be the first to say yes.
- Alex Kyeyune, Fatumah Birungi, and Paul Mukuye, co-founders of Unega Farm – Uganda, will work to reduce hunger and poverty in local communities in the Wakiso District of Uganda by teaching them sustainable micro garden techniques. The produce grown will improve families’ own nutritional intake, while allowing them to sell any excess to also improve their economic status.
- Moses Surumen and Fanice Nyatigo, from Kenya, created M-Soma, to target socio-economically-disadvantaged young adults in Nairobi, Kenya by providing basic computer skills, including coding, in a four-week bootcamp led by UC Berkeley computer science students. The team also will offer courses on an online platform and smart-phone app (accessible offline, as well, for increased accessibility).
- Ernest Chakwera and Nancy Machera, from Malawi, are the founders of Project 7840, a social venture that aims to provide safe, drinking water to the rural Ntchisi community. The team will build a wind turbine with scrap metal to pump up water from an existing well. This water will then be stored and purified in a water tank the team will construct by upcycling discarded water bottles and combining them with water-proof cement.