EDUCATING AFRICA Awards - winners 2009

Many thanks to everyone who entered the EDUCATING AFRICA Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2009. As expected the level of entries was extremely high - making the judging a difficult task.

The sheer range of innovation and achievements described by entrants is a true testimony to magnificent work of so many dedicate individuals and organizations working in education across Africa.

While so many entries truly deserve recognition, sadly, as with all competitions, there can only be a few winners.

1st Prize: Curriculum for Change
Educate!, Uganda


Educate! began in 2002 by providing scholarships to 22 refugees in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Uganda to help students solve the critical challenges facing their community. The award-winning project focuses on creating a new financially sustainable model of education designed to raise up a new generation of socially responsible leaders capable of solving the great challenges facing Uganda and Africa today.

Educate! aims to foster a sense of entrepreneurship in the students they work with by teaching their unique social change curriculum. Moreover, students are assisted to actually create financially sustainable social enterprise initiatives in their community through the provision of a supportive, mentoring environment in which they develop their confidence, creativity, and leadership. Students thus gain a solid foundation in entrepreneurial leadership to drive sustainable development in Uganda.

In place of building its own school or giving scholarships to the current education system, Educate! works as a centralized education program that operates in partner schools across Uganda, thus significantly decreasing the cost per student. This in turn will allow Educate! over time to reach financial sustainability through a combination of affordable student tuition fees and financial aid, using a sliding scale pricing structure dependent on family income

And does it work? One Educate! student at an underprivileged partner school was on the verge of dropping out of school because she was teased for being a teenage mother. But with support from Educate!’s Mentor, she not only stayed in school, but also organized a seminar for her fellow students about opportunities to become engaged in their community.

2nd Prize: Creative Entrepreneurship
House of Nations, Madagascar

In 2003 House of Nations was established in order to help people in Madagascar to succeed in life through the power of education. The aim of the school is not just to offer pupils a standard government program but also to help them to focus on character building. The project aims to support a new generation to overcome the mindset of poverty, to reach their own destiny and to bring transformation to their communities and to all Madagascar.

One of the key elements they stress is creativity, something they view as a natural product of man’s thinking process. The project provides different opportunities for students to use their skills, abilities and creativity. Opportunities are provided to learn and practise music, dance and public speech - but also for practical creativity, learning to transform gravel, sand and cement into roof tile, fresh fruits into jam, or wind into electricity.

The school is a community school in the truest sense. Parents participate in classroom construction providing local materials and using their talents to lay bricks or plaster or fix doors and windows. And because of this sense of ownership there is also security - nobody steals anything at the school even with no fence and no guard to protect it.

3rd Prize: Empowering Widows with Education
Mama Zimbi Foundation, Ghana


Mama Zimbi Foundation supports the Widowhood Alliance Network (WANE) project that was instituted to economically empower widows in Ghana through the provision of a pragmatic programme of education and self-sustaining business trades. Businesses of widows have been known to suffer immediately after the death of their wives because in most cases, the financial backbone of Ghanaian families is the men.

By helping widows to become better economically empowered WANE aims to ensure that the number of destitute, street children, and school drop-outs in its communities will reduce considerably.

WANE has created a total of more than 250 widow clubs involving some 6,000 widows in its projects - all of who have undertaken a variety of entrepreneurial, business and vocational education programs.

This highly focused education has made the project truly transformational with its educational impact visible in all corners of Ghana’s ten regions. Complementing these programs, Widows also receive education on health, social, environmental and marital issues to build their resolve as initiators of solutions and not just as end users of the society’s solutions.

The project has provided to date about 2,000 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs to widows in many Ghanaian communities. Moreover, even where WANE hasn’t provided jobs, it has facilitated their job search and subsequent employment through its industry in-house training collaborations with many establishments in Ghana.

In addition to these prizes there are also awards to the top entry from other countries represented, and where judges felt all the criteria for real entrepreneurship in teaching had been shown.

The country prize winners are as follows:

  • François xavier ouedraogo
Union Nabonswendé des groupements de producteurs de céréales (UNGPC) Burkina Faso
  • Nkemnyi cyprine njukeng
Ndongo Dynamic Youth For Development Cameroon
  • Ngoniri gos mbairo
  • Bodil sejeroe
Humana People to People Congo  DR. Congo
  • Yousra hamrouch
Alashanek ya baladi association for sustainable development Egypt
  • Bisrat mesfin
Ethiopian Youth Educational Support Ethiopia
  • Robert mole
Gambia Scout Project Gambia
  • Rashida bah
Escola Industrial de Jesus Guinea Bissau
  • Patrick Muriuki
Icoseed Kenya
  • Matthew williger 
H.E.L.P. Malawi Malawi
  • Souleymane sarr
Association Jeunesse Action Mali (AJA Mali) Mali
  • Rajcoomar jhurry
JR School Mauritius
  • Ibo issa coordinateur national
Organisation Nigérienne des Educateurs Novateurs Niger
  • Dr Chichi aniagolu-okoye
South Saharan Social Development Organisation Nigeria
  • Mukanzanire gloriose
Enfant Chez Soi Rwanda
  • Francis nuwame
Agricola international Senegal
  • Francis mason
Conforti Sierra Leone
  • Hassan abdi keynaan 
Himilo Relief & Development Association Somalia
  • Pat featherstone
Soil for Life South Africa
  • John maluk yak
Lost Boys Sudan
  • Sibusiso mhlonishwa mhlanga
Global Innovative Systems (Pty) Ltd Swaziland
  • Julian page
Livingstone Tanzania Trust Tanzania
  • Anna tolan
Chipembele Willdife Education Trust Zambia

With some wonderful organizations narrowly missing out on the overall winner and country awards, the competition jury has decided this year to honour the very best of the runners up with a new category of 'Commendation'.

Commendations have been awarded to the following organizations:

  • James Kofi Annan 
Challenging Heights Ghana
  • Allai Orimba
Friends of Yala Swamp Kenya
  • Pierre Nekamdje
Cefer Senegal
  • Sibylle Riedmiller
Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) Ltd Tanzania
  • Irene Mutumba
The Private Education Development Network [PEDN] Uganda

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