Launched in: 2015
Application Timing: Jan. - March
In partnership with global nonprofit Enactus, Ford Fund invites student teams to develop ideas for innovative projects that address an unmet social need or problem in the local community—ranging from safety to workforce development to access to mobility, and more. Each year, up to three Enactus student teams are selected to receive a $2,000 USD grant to implement their project. Through this program, students use entrepreneurial action to make people’s lives better and help their community become a more sustainable place to work and live.
2020 Ford College Community Challenge Winning Projects
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology: Bondo
Since free primary education started in Kenya, there have been many challenges in rural public schools including massive enrollment. Due to the increased enrollment, there are now unbalanced ratios of teachers to students, reduced numbers of classrooms for the increased student population and limited quantities of textbooks. Every Hand Every Book is a social enterprise that seeks to ensure that all children gain access to quality reading and teaching materials to increase their chances of achieving equity and equality in accessing quality education. The business binds old and new textbooks to increase the ratio of books to students. The binding process involves using locally available materials such as textile waste, binding glue, binding cloth, thread, a pair of scissors and strawboards. The final product is a more sustainable textbook that can last up to five years. The project's target audience is rural public schools. Enactus Moi University plans to establish a mobile application that will enable the schools to keep in touch with the program and monitor the progress of the children and the school at large. In the next year, the team plans to purchase new equipment to reduce risk and maximize production. Additionally, visually disabled youth will be trained in the bookbinding process, thus allowing them to earn income from their new skill.
Moi University: Nairobi
Project Alleviate is an agricultural solution to food insecurity that offers customized training on simple mushroom farming. Training also includes information on automated conditioning systems, access to expert advice, the purchase of seeds and a market for the final product. Mushrooms are grown in a grass-thatched mud house with solar-powered and/or rechargeable mist sensors. Enactus Moi University West Campus plans to develop a mobile application where the system will be integrated and also serve as a platform where farmers can buy seeds, market and sell the final product. During the first farming period, the Enactus team takes the farmers through a series of hands-on training clinics. For farmers who may not have enough capital to install the equipment, the Enactus team is setting up a credit plan that will allow farmers to have equipment installed and then recover the money as per an agreed payment plan.
Multimedia University: Nairobi
Smart Bin, a project from Enactus Multimedia University, consists of bins that can identify a user, the type of waste they are throwing away, offer a reward based on the waste category (if it's recyclable) and notify waste collectors when the bins are full. They are in use at Multimedia University, where the Enactus team collects the waste and rewards their fellow students for disposing of plastics, including bottles, cups, plates, cosmetics containers and more. Smart Bins also has a mobile application available on the Google Play store that allows users to create an account and link a card to it. In the app, users can monitor the number of rewards they accumulate and redeem the rewards for products in a smart shop accessible on the app. This project helps ensure that waste does not end up in landfills or streets. Enactus Multimedia University has created a sustainable loop where products from manufacturers or retailers are collected and recycled.