Enactus: Sustainable Village Initiative
A short summary of our project:
- We are raising £2837 to send out 3 students to Ghana who will supervise building a water borehole and train 5 women from 5 different families to run a successful water well business based around that borehole. The purpose is to empower the women both financially (guarantee them a low, but stable income) and socially (the women will be looked upon as running business entities and will improve their social status in the village).
- Moreover we want to open up a solar powered phone charging business which will allow for a villager to supply a sustainable phone charging service to the villagers saving the villagers countless trips to nearby towns/villages to charge their phones and to settle certain problems/disputes over the phone rather than travelling miles to settle them.
- More importantly we want to conduct a more detailed needs and wants assessment, so that we can send in more students next summer 2016 which will open up even more interesting businesses
Why is our solution desired?
- Over 3.3 million people in Ghana lack access to safe drinking water and an improved water source.
- Over 3,000 children under five years old die annually from poor water and sanitation in Ghana. It cost US $ 290 million government to provide sanitary facilities. Moreover the children who are most vulnerable in the villages have high chance of not enrolling in school due to health disease which can simply be overcome by an improved water source.
- 80% of all diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water.
- Source: WaterAid.org
- There are over 24 million mobile/cellular phone lines in Ghana with a population of 25 million, but a lack of access to electricity especially in Northern Ghana leads cell phones to be useless.
- Source: The African Mobile Story by River Publishers
- Furthermore educating and empowering women is the key to economic wealth.
What are the desired outcomes?
- Increased entrepreneurial skills
- Increased governance skills
- Empowerment of women
- Improving the health of the population in Ghana especially the younger members of society
- Lower infant mortality rate
- Access to sustainable energy
- Increase use of mobile phone use which will allow people to save on transport costs; mobile phones can alleviate some of the burdens associated with travel and transport.
- Increased education of the population concerning entrepreneurship, water, health, sustainable solar power energy, and mobile phones
- Allow the villagers to gain the necessary skills and establishing more contacts which will lead to other sustainable technologies to find their way into the village.
Who are we?
Enactus is the world’s largest student non-profit organization with over 70,000 students worldwide. Enactus essentially works through student entrepreneurial action which aims at improving people’s livelihoods in an economical, social, environmental and sustainable way. Each project that students undertake needs to fit the 4 Enactus criteria of Sustainability, Improving Lives, Empowerment, and Entrepreneurial. All of this means that students use their business skills to help set up businesses for people at a disadvantage, on both a local or international level, that can empower these targeted people and guarantee them a low-income. The students simply act as entrepreneurs where they do a simple needs and wants assessment, identify a problem and then find a solution. This is the beautiful entrepreneurial mindset which is within all of us!
- Building a borehole has been done countless times. What many people do not understand is that building a borehole and making the most efficient use of it are two separate missions. The former is a short term goal and the latter a long term goal.
- Why not allow a couple of families in the village to profit off of the water well to guarantee them a low income and improve their lives? Why not empower women in that process? Why not improve the durability of the water well? Many of the water wells in Africa do not work as the locals do not have the sufficient funds to maintain it and pay for certain spare parts if anything breaks down. Many do not even have the means and the possibility to contact the right people to fix the well. Why not give them access to sustainable energy, so they can use their mobile phones? This brings us to the sustainability of the project. We want the women running the water well business to reinvest some of their profits into a maintenance fund to help minimise the risk of the borehole to stop functioning properly. Why not educate all the villagers to inspire and allow them to discover their entrepreneurial mindset which is all within us?
- This is where we come in and address all of these aspects that were missed by the Western World when it was building water wells/boreholes. We want to guarantee the long-term sustainability of everything we do. And that is what makes us unique and different. This is why this project is so important to us, so that we can show the world that we can maximise our deeds to make an even greater world impact.
- This is why we want to film a promotional/documentary video that will show our project from a very detailed point of view from the planning stage to the implementation of our project in Ghana. Hopefully this will inspire students from around the world to implement a similar project in their country of choice. We will also want to create an international fund to get these students started with funds for at least part of the costs. These are not great costs and there are thousands of good ideas that are feasible. Hence the Sustainable Village Initiative could become a great case study for others to follow in the future.
Where will the money go?
We are looking to send 3 people to execute this project. In total we are trying to raise £2837 and so far we have raised £3900. Here is the break up of the costs:
- Water Borehole+Risk = £2447
- Solar Powered Phone Charging Batteries and USB cables = £130
- In Ghana transport, food, accommodation = £2250
- Flight tickets to Ghana = £1680
- Vaccinations = £180
- SVI membership cards = £50
If we reach only our minimum target of £1467 we can afford to send 2 people to Ghana. If things really take off and we raise more than our target then these funds will be the first funds to start our international fund for the Sustainable Village Initiative which will be used towards funding other students from around the world to start their own university project with the SVI mindset.
As we are going to be in Ghana for three weeks we will update our Facebook website whenever we can with pictures, any problems we faced and our successes, so that the investors are fully aware of where they invested their money. (It is not guaranteed that we will have access to a stable and constant internet connection, but we will try our best with updates).
For more information about our different projects please visit: http://enactusstrathclyde.com
Follow our blog for updates about the project: http://enactusstrathclyde.com/projects/sustainable-village/
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