Winners of this year’s Ford College Community Challenge, organised by Enactus Ghana, a youth development organisation, have received a $3,000 cash prize each.
The winning teams, representing the University of Ghana, the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), are pursuing projects which when completed, will provide healthy and nutritious animal feed all-year round for rural farmers; provide clean and eco-friendly energy for domestic cooking in rural areas, and an environmentally friendly cooking stove for poor families.
The initiative runs in partnership with the Ford Motors Company Fund and Enactus to promote the development of innovative solutions among university students to address critical needs in their local communities.
After the selection process, the Director, Education and Global Community Development, Ford Motors Company Fund, Mr Mike Schmidt, noted that the Ford College Community Challenge (C3) was a key part of the company’s global strategy to empower young people to become transformational agents of change in their communities.
“Through C3, we recognise that students can be a huge force for good and that if we give them the right support, they can change the world,” Mr Schmidt said.
The Programmes Manager of Enactus Ghana, Ms Doreen Avi, for her part, said: “We are very happy to welcome three new student-led projects from Ghana to the Enactus Ford C3 Challenge this year and look forward to supporting these universities as they take action to address specific needs in their respective communities and to improve living conditions.”
At the UDS, Navrongo, the $3,000 funding will be used to tackle the scarcity of animal feed during the dry periods when fresh and nutritious grass is absent by combining dried grass with groundnut plants to produce a nutritious and delicious feed for animals all-year round.
The Enactus team from the University of Ghana is focused on providing an ultra-modern stove that uses the fibre from palm fruits as its fuel for palm oil producers. This suggests a sustainable alternative fuel to firewood and other harmful materials that come with severe health risks to palm oil producers.
An environmentally and health-friendly method of distilling alcohol is the priority for the UMaT Enactus team, who have collaborated with the Department of Renewable Energy and Management Studies to develop a clean and climate-friendly energy for cooking from sugarcane bagasse, a by-product after distilling alcohol.
Enactus world cup
All the three teams will present their projects at the Enactus Ghana National Competition to detail the success of their projects.
The annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for the teams to showcase the impact of their outreach efforts to be evaluated by executives serving as judges.
The national champion teams advance to the prestigious Enactus World Cup to experience excellence in competition, collaboration and celebration. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Silicon Valley, California from October 9 to 11.
Enactus is a global non-profit organisation that brings together students, academic professionals and business leaders who are committed to using entrepreneurial action to improve lives. It mobilises over 1,700 university programmes and more than 70,500 students in 36 countries across the globe.