As our community project comes to a close, we reflect on our experience of creating a micro-enterprise that is both sustainable and profitable.
Every day since the start, we encountered obstacle after obstacle. Every single time, we tried to be creative and innovative with our solutions to ensure we reached our goal of increasing the hygiene of orphans and their families.
In the end, we decided that the best course of action would be to suspend the implementation of this project and give recommendations for a more viable and sustainable alternative. While it was disappointing to deliver the news to our community members, we found solace in the fact that funding an unsustainable project would be more devastating to the community. Being able to foster a trusting relationship with community members allowed us to come up with a new and more sustainable project that we strongly believe will help achieve our initial goals.
By:Veerta Singh, Leah Rosenkrantz, Christine Park, Bob Kigen, Angelina Zhu, Elizabeth Pham, and Spencer Yeung
One Brick at a Time (Piggery)
Clare Nelligan, Daniel Brener, Anya Kochel, Liz Favot, Carolyne Spiegel-feld, Michael D’Agostino, and Michael Dallosch
The piggery is well underway – construction has started and the project is on track to being operational within a month. This morning we helped move bricks from where they were being dried to the location of the piggery. The people working at the site seemed amused by our efforts. Thinking back on this, we wonder if this was because our actions were not anticipated, or perhaps (and more likely) because we were carrying a fraction of the bricks the locals were. While we worked, children started to help us and that led to even more laughter. We were constantly reminded to take a break when we get tired, however we didn’t want to stop until our task was completed. Our small contribution today serves as a reminder that our part in establishing the piggery is small, and that this projects success will be based on the collective efforts of the Kanyawara community. All in all, we are just one brick in the wall.
The Beginning of the End (Women Handcraft)
Kevin Erratt, Erika Freeman, Onyka Gairey, Hannah Guiang, Georgine Mends-Paintsel, Rose Moss, and Stefania Wisofschi
Today marked the realization of our community initiative project. Up until this point, it felt like another school project: conduct research, summarize points, present findings, and then wait for the mark. But this project proved itself to be different. It did not end with the conclusion of our paper. The work continues far beyond what we presented today. This became evident as we visited, painted, and organized the site of Kanyawara tweimukye’s new workshop. We saw the pride in the women’s faces as they claimed ownership over the space. It was a tangible reminder of their ideas becoming reality. A new beginning; one where women are at the forefront of their own journey. Kanyawara tweimukye is an organization that supports the potential in all women. Through this collective, women are given opportunities that empower them, socially and financially, contributing to the betterment of the whole community.
Building meta-projects (Bee hives)
Reshel Perera, Camille Chemali, Eshan Shah, Oscar Senar, Felicia , Krausert, Jason Knapp, and Rick Dong
Global warming has profound effects on our climate, which makes human activities susceptible to these environmental changes. These changes coupled with international trade can increase the risk of failure in implementing new businesses. For example, chicken farming in East Africa. When the health of a community depends on revenue generated from this type of activity, finding alternative strategies is a must. Beekeeping could be an innovative solution to human health issues that doesn’t cause any detrimental impacts to the environment. We’ve met motivated locals wanting to start a sustainable activity that can fund projects that benefit the community. Beekeeping could be a “wicked” solution because it positively impacts different groups in the community. We have learnt the tools that allow us to build this type of projects, how we implement these tools can mean success to others.