CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards 2009

The 2009 CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards, made possible by the Wal-Mart Foundation and the Pat Tillman Foundation, were grants given to 78 innovative, high-impact student commitments aimed at improving communities and lives around the world. Winners received funding to implement their CGI U commitments, which were new, specific, and measurable plans to address current global challenges across the five CGI U focus areas of Education, Energy & Climate Change, Global Health, Peace & Human Rights, and Poverty Alleviation.

Below are descriptions of each of the award winners, grouped by focus area.


    Classroom for the Future

    Commitment By: Matthew Bravo (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Denver, International Studies and Spanish
    Partners: Come Let’s Dance; Cisco Systems; Morgridge Family Foundation
    Geographic Scope: Uganda
    Award Amount: $7,000 towards the school facility
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Matthew Bravo commits to building a community-based, sustainable, and modern classroom to provide annual service for 30 orphans in Katanga, Uganda.

    Leveraging connections both in Africa and in his local Denver, Bravo will pool resources to achieve his goal and ensure its successful implementation. On the ground in Uganda, he will partner with Come Let’s Dance, a local NGO dedicated to improving the slums of central Kampala, Uganda. While in the Denver community, Bravo will also be provided by key business partners with the innovative educational methods and state-of-the-art technology necessary to create a modernized classroom. Specifically, his partnership with the Morgridge Family Foundation will establish a link to Smart Technologies Smartboards, fostering an interactive educational environment. CISCO Systems will advise theproject on solar panel technology, ensuring energy security in an area plagued by consistent blackouts.

    Empowerment through Integration

    Commitment By: Sara Minkara and Maysa Mourad (Undergraduates)
    University Name/Major: Wellesley College, Economics and Mathematics
    Geographic Scope: Lebanon
    Award Amount: $4,000 towards art instruction and language materials
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    As a blind Lebanese–American student, Sara Minkara is committed to establishing a network of volunteers with whom she will create an empowerment program for blind and visually-impaired students in Tripoli, Lebanon.

    Minkara will work with the Youth Association of the Blind to promote a societal integration process for these children by teaching them a curriculum of necessary skills, such as Basic English and French, computer tutorials, and personal management techniques. Developing these skill sets will allow these students to become increasingly self-reliant and, thus, facilitate their assimilation into society.

    This empowerment program is the first step of initiating educational support for these Lebanese children. Starting with a target group of 16 blind and visually-impaired students ranging from ages eight to thirteen, Minkara will pair students with a "brother" or "sister" from the volunteers, thereby enabling long-term aid and monitoring of these children’s educational progress. Minkara aims to transform the network of volunteers into an NGO whose mission will be to provide continued educational support for the disabled children of Northern Lebanon through a trained volunteer network.

    Multicultural Theater and Classrooms, I.C.B.I.E. Salvador Bahia Brazil

    Commitment By: Aaron B. Johnson; Tiffany Smith; Paige Piggot; Shem Franklin (Undergraduates), on behalf of Howard University Engineers without Borders
    University Name/Major: Howard University, Civil Engineering and Sustainability
    Partners: Pan American School of Bahia; Federal University of Bahia
    Geographic Scope: Brazil
    Award Amount: $6,000 towards building costs
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The Howard University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is embarking on a three to five year commitment to I.C.B.I.E. (The Institute of Culture Brazil Italy Europe). This team is sending a delegation of students and professors to the institute located in the once vibrant, now impoverished peninsula District of Ribeira, in Salvador Bahia, Brazil.

    These students will be involved in the demolition and reconstruction of a multipurpose theatre with flexible seating configurations for various performances. In addition, they will build a permanent and appropriate roofing solution over the adjoining exposed courtyard with movable interior partitions enabling the institutes’ activities to proceed uninterrupted during the prolonged seasonal torrential rains.

    Through the construction of this newer auditorium, these Howard students are hoping to support the excluded youth and residents of Salvador by nourishing their intellectual adeptness, fostering their physical vitality, and endorsing their participation in domestic and foreign art and culture.

    Child Leader Project: Expanding Transnational Youth and Young Adult Networks

    Commitment By: Samantha Wilson (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of California Riverside, Global Studies
    Partners: Activists for Social Alternatives – Grama Vidiyal (Tiruchiripalli)
    Geographic Scope: India
    Award Amount: $4,000 towards leadership program expenses
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Samantha Wilson, an undergraduate student at the University of California Riverside, and her team seek to continue and expand the scope of the Children Leader Project, whose mission is to empower students in India, many of whom were former child laborers.

    A CGI U member for the past two years, Wilson and her partners will expand the scope of their previous commitment to encourage former child laborers to develop their leadership abilities and change the direction of their lives. Her team hopes to achieve this transformation through a mentorship program for these children.

    Building on last year’s efforts, her team will enroll a second set of students in a higher education program in Tamil Nadu, India. Their commitment will impact a total of 80 student participants in India and engage 35 high school students in the United States, with the intention of sending two or three of these American students abroad this summer to Indian schools as ambassadors.

    Harambee for All Children: Integration of Technology at the Ikumbo Secondary School

    Commitment By: Matthew Gartland (Candidate for Medical Doctor), on behalf of Harambee for All Children
    University Name/Major: Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine
    Partners: Ikumbo Secondary School
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $5,000 towards construction and equipment of a computer lab
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Harambee for All Children (HFAC) is a group of students from Vanderbilt University, Harvard University, Strathmore University in Kenya, and the University of New South Wales in Australia. This group commits to enrich secondary education in rural Kenya through the technological upgrades at the Ikumbo Secondary School.

    The group will install computers with internet access, outfit the school’s science lab with modern equipment, and employ audio/visual technology to reify history and art lessons to increase students’ engagement and enjoyment of their studies. In addition, HFAC will provide students with the computer skills necessary for success in this hi-tech world.

    An equally important aspect of this project will be training and mentoring students and teachers at the Ikumbo Secondary School in the use of technology. HFAC has established a partnership with Strathmore University — located in Nairobi, Kenya — that will implement a biweekly mentorship program in Ikumbo led by IT and communications undergraduates and professors at Strathmore. They will also work with the Ministry of Education and other local organizations to design and implement tools, such as educational software, geared specifically to the Kenyan student.

    Their commitment will ultimately enhance the learning and teaching atmosphere for the 160 students and six teachers of the school by introducing technology into a diverse range of student activities.

    Camp AP Library Project

    Commitment By: Terra Michalowski (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Pitzer College, Spanish & French, History
    Partners: Prison Library Project; Claremont Public Library; Pitzer College’s Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI)
    Geographic Scope: California
    Award Amount: $4,000 towards purchase of shelves, binders and books
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Terra Michalowski commits to creating a library of relevant and engaging books and multimedia materials in Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige (Camp AP), a juvenile detention camp and high school in LaVerne, California.

    Currently, youth in Camp AP are confined to structured class textbooks and class-time reading materials. Many of the books at their disposal are outdated, damaged and of very poor quality. As a longtime volunteer at Camp AP’s high school, Michalowski proposes building a library that will be located at the high school within the corrections facility. This project is a response to the absence of a student library and to students’ expressed needs and desires for access to more books relevant to their own lives and experiences.

    With this commitment, Michalowski hopes to increase the percentage of students at the camp who read at least one or more books outside of class during their sentence to 40 percent. She will also work extensively with teachers and probation staff to use the books in and outside the classroom and to use the library as a resource for concrete skill-building and goal-setting exercises for personal education and language arts development. The library will solicit donations of both books and funds for purchasing books that have been requested by students or that deal with themes, such as understanding and curbing youth violence and substance abuse, crime, social responses to interracial marriage, and other topics directly related to students’ experiences or interests.

    BRIDGE (Building Roads for Individuals Dedicated to Growing in Education)

    Commitment By: Marialena Rivera (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Pace University, Education
    Partners: IDEA Public Charter School
    Geographic Scope: Texas
    Award Amount: $5,000 towards Year 1 Program Costs
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Marialena Rivera,* a graduate student from Pace University, is committing to provide extra support to children of migrant farm workers in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas through a program called BRIDGE. These are children who often fall behind academically because they are frequently on the move during the school year due to the transitory demands of their family livelihood.

    The unique lifestyle of migrant children leads to high numbers of school absences, causing them to miss up to four months of the traditional school year. The members of BRIDGE are working to establish a one-of-a-kind charter school as a program within an existing middle school in South Texas. It will pull migrant students out of regular classrooms at this host site and into small learning groups that will cater to their specific needs and academic levels. BRIDGE will lengthen the traditional school day while also accelerating the traditional curriculum, allowing students to meet both their scholastic and familial obligations. BRIDGE will pilot their program at the middle-school level, in the hopes that it will cultivate skills and a passion for learning among students and ultimately improve matriculation rates at the high school level.

    *Before becoming a CGI U commitment, BRIDGE has operated for several years through the joint efforts of Rivera and former UT Austin students Pegah Javidpour, Sarina Hickey, and Melissa Pons.

    ImMEDIAte Justice

    Commitment By: Tani Ikeda (Undergraduate), on behalf of Women’s Creative Collective
    University Name/Major: University of Southern California, Film and TV
    Partners: Reach LA
    Geographic Scope: Los Angeles
    Award Amount: $3,000 towards summer learning experience
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    An undergraduate film student at the University of Southern California, Tani Ikeda commits to training young women to work together to create films that address sexual health education. She plans for these films to be shared at community film screenings and available over the internet, educating young women on sexual health education and reproductive justice. In addition, Ikeda hopes to inspire young women to acquire the skills to make their own films.

    In South Central and East LA, limited resources make accessing quality sexual education difficult and young women disproportionately suffer from this lack of knowledge. These films will help young women determine what they need to know, help them access necessary information safely, and allow them to pass information on to their peers through media.

    Tani’s group, ImMEDIAte Justice, will offer a summer learning experience for twelve young women, ages fourteen to eighteen from underprivileged neighborhoods in the target community. Women’s Creative Collective for Change (WCCC) will tutor these young women through team building exercises, peer mentorship training, media literacy workshops, professional script writing, and filmmaking experience. Digital technology will be used extensively to create the films and to display the films over the web. To leverage visibility and expertise, WCCC will connect ImMEDIAte Justice with students and faculty of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

    Energy & Climate Change

    Establishment of Permanent Food Production Area on Campus

    Commitment By: Toby Kubler (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Lane Community College, Renewable Energy Technology
    Geographic Scope: Eugene, Oregon
    Award Amount: $10,000 towards construction of a campus-based greenhouse
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Toby Kubler from Lane Community College seeks to establish a permanent food production area on the Lane Community College campus in Eugene, Oregon.

    Kubler will be developing a small garden, already on campus, into a permanent food production area. Through Kubler’s project, students, faculty and staff will gain hands-on experience growing healthy organic produce, while supplying the cafeteria and culinary department with truly local food. The project seeks to secure a stable funding source for the garden, hire a paid garden manager, expand the space available for food production, build a functional greenhouse, and infuse the growing of food on campus into the curriculum. These main goals would insure the garden’s continued growth, thereby educating the next generation of small farmers while reducing the quantity of produce shipped to their campus.

    This commitment will aid in environmental efforts on the Lane Community College campus and community by offering students the opportunity to connect with the land. Establishing a permanent food production site will also offset carbon emissions by decreasing the amount of food transported onto the campus, fighting climate change. Once established, there is very little funding needed to maintain a successful food production area on campus.

    Earth Givers Retrofit Commitment

    Commitment By: Angelica Ramdhari (Undergraduate), on behalf of Neutral Gator
    University Name/Major: University of Florida, History
    Partners: University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability, University Athletic Association, UF’s Go Green Team, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, Paradigm Properties, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Publix
    Geographic Scope: Gainesville, FL
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward materials for retrofitting homes
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Angelica Ramdhari and team of fellow University of Florida undergraduate students seek to use the University of Florida athletic fame as a platform to introduce sustainability issues while educating the Gator Nation on how they can reduce their impact.

    Since their project began in May 2008, this team’s programs have resulted in the reduction of 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide while yielding $3.2 million in savings for Gainesville residents. This team also led the University of Florida Gators to the first carbon neutral home football season in NCAA history.

    This team’s goals will be achieved through grassroots efforts. They will have a presence in every targeted neighborhood and will leverage their relationships with churches, neighborhood associations and community action networks. In addition, they will use their affiliation with the university to reach fans on game days.

    “Cambio Verde” Exchanging Food for Recyclables: A tipping point mechanism for Poverty Alleviation

    Commitment By: Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez and Mitchell Harrison (Graduate Students)
    University Name/Major: Cornell University, MPA in Environmental Policy and City and Regional Planning
    Partners: Curitiba Environment Department
    Geographic Scope: Morelia, Mexico
    Award Amount: $10,000 towards food production
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez and Mitchell Harrison of Cornell University are launching an innovative waste management program in Morelia, Mexico which will allow residents to trade recyclable materials for fresh, locally grown produce. Inspired by a program pioneered in Curitiba, Brazil called Cambio Verde—or Green Exchange— Daniela and Mitchell plan to distribute 180 tons of locally produced foodstuffs to over 6,000 active participants, who will have recycled 720 tons of glass and metal. If they achieve their goal, at least 5percent of the town’s residents will have been impacted by their positive efforts.

    Daniel and Mitchell will receive $10,000 in funding from the 2009 CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards sponsored by the Wal-Mart and Tillman Foundations. With these funds, they will be able to purchase and distribute the locally-produced food required to jumpstart this initiative. In addition, Daniela and Mitchell are working with the local government of Morelia in an effort to scale their model up so that similar initiatives can be incorporated into the environmental policies of the surrounding region. Their efforts aim to demonstrate that the Cambio Verde model can be successfully replicated throughout other developing nations.

    Perm-a-culture: A Permanent Agriculture for a Permanent Culture

    Commitment By: Deloris Cobb (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: College of Menominee Nation, Early Childhood Education
    Partners: Sustainable Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nation, University of Wisconsin Extension office for Menominee County, Boys and Girls Club of America, American Indian Business Leaders association, Strategies for Environmental Education, Development and Sustainability student group at CMN, Menominee Adult Learning Center
    Geographic Scope: Menominee College and Reservation, Wisconsin
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward gardening supplies
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Deloris Cobb, an undergraduate student at College of Menominee Nation, commits to providing a source of healthy, locally grown food to the Menominee and campus communities to help fight the rampant poverty in this community.

    She has already begun germinating all the seeds for the garden, such as 25 edible vegetables, 10 herbs and 7 ceremonial herbs. This project will help facilitate the potential impact of the garden at the community level. Moreover, this garden will reproduce itself every year after it has been established, providing sustenance to all who partake in it.

    Cobb’s initiative resembles a community supported agriculture (CSA) project. By involving the community in the farming of their foodstuffs, consumers play an active role in the development of healthy, locally grown and nutritious food. Her garden project has the potential to be replicated in other Native American communities.

    Water is Life

    Commitment By: Sarah O’Neill (Undergraduate), on behalf of University of Delaware Engineers without Borders
    University Name/Major: University of Delaware, Mechanical Engineering
    Partners: HydroSante
    Geographic Scope: Cameroon
    Award Amount: $10,000 towards wells
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Undergraduate student Sarah O’Neill and the University of Delaware Engineers (EWB-UD) without Borders commit to bringing clean water to a village of 3,000 people in Bakang, Cameroon.

    Her team analyzed the current water supply in this area and found high levels of intestinal bacteria. As a consequence, this community has a high risk level for waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid. Women and children spend many hours each day carrying water from distant sources, which keeps the children from attending school regularly and the women from more productive work.

    In consultation with community members, EWB-UD will install solar powered wells, which will provide a community-wide resource of clean water and slow sand filters to improve surface waters for individual compounds in locations that are further from the wells. In June 2008, they worked with the community building slow sand filters and installing one solar powered submersible pump in an existing well, to determine whether this type of system is sustainable and satisfies the village’s water needs. This grant will allow the team to drill additional wells and install additional solar powered pumps.

    Chester Community Garden Project

    Commitment By: Zachary Postone (Undergraduate), on behalf of Swarthmore Environmental Justice
    University Name/Major: Swarthmore College, Political Science
    Partners: Economics, Biology, and Political Science departments, the Scott Arboretum, Good Food Project, Teens 4 Good, Chester Housing Authority, Philadelphia Horticultural Society, Delaware County Alliance for Environmental Justice
    Geographic Scope: Chester, PA
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward equipment, supplies, seeds
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Swarthmore Environmental Justice, a group of undergraduate students, plan to develop a community garden in one of Chester’s most needy communities and to create a strong network of committed urban gardeners in Chester to tend this garden.

    This group will assume the responsibility of initiating the project and continuing to provide support through securing resources for the garden and facilitating connections with regional organizations and supportive allies. They will begin with only 18 plant beds, though the selected site will allow for further expansion. After the first few months, their goal is that residents themselves will have total ownership of the garden and be responsible for its maintenance, as the team continues to provide resources and outside support for any concerns that may arise in the future.

    The Chester Community Garden project is unique in its ability to address a broad range of challenges through a single community effort. This project incorporates issues of environmental justice, public health, education and community development. This team hopes to assist these residents in actively improving the quality of their physical and social environment by the cultivation of valuable green space within the community.

    Net-metering in the Developing World

    Commitment By: Nathaniel J. Lindsey (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Rochester, Alternative Energy and Sustainable Engineering
    Partners: Peace School in Kampala; AHEAD Energy; EAETDN; Makerere University’s Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation; WADE
    Geographic Scope: Uganda
    Award Amount: $9,000 towards net meter
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Nathaniel Lindsey, an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester, seeks to demonstrate how advancing a national net-metering policy could significantly augment the overburdened electric systems in developing countries in a sustainable, decentralized, and cost-effective manner.

    Net-metering is the process by which excess energy produced by any personal alternative energy system may be sold back to the electric company using a ?net" meter. This strategy is used as an incentive to build green technology away from fossil fuels. Moreover, net-metering can be implemented wherever electricity is generated, and is a relatively new concept developed countries. It has not yet been considered in the developing world and serves as a potential method in advancing sustainability’s ?triple bottom line."

    Lindsey’s project will be implemented in Uganda utilizing an existing network of Ugandan industry professionals and a solar photovoltaic system and net meter at Peace Primary and Nursery School in Kampala. Net-meter information will be collected from Peace School to demonstrate the advantages of net-metering in developing countries. The evaluation will be published in a report on ?Net-metering in Developing Countries" and at a seminar at the University of Rochester and Makerere University in Kampala.

    Pedal Fresh

    Commitment By: David Nokovic (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Portland State University, Sustainable Urban Development
    Partners: Green Empowerment
    Geographic Scope: Thailand
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward one bike powered filtration system
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    David Nokovic, an undergraduate student at Portland State University, has committed to help design and implement two renewably powered water filtration systems to be implemented in rural Thailand.

    His goal is to install these systems in two years while creating environmental awareness on his campus, and involving area youth in educating the greater community as a whole about water and energy issues.

    Nokovic will team up with the Portland-based NGO, Green Empowerment, to develop and implement a water filtration device that is adaptable to exiting infrastructures in order to minimize resource consumption and increase replicability. His work will focus on a water filtration system that uses bicycles to filter the water needed for a single family. This allows for it to be picked up easily in communities who use bicycles often. Nokovic also notes that this design will make it well received among communities such as Portland, which has a profound love for bicycles, generating greater support for the project in Thailand.

    New York City S+em Project

    Commitment By: Rufus Griffin Johnston (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: The New School for Liberal Arts, Environmental Studies
    Partners: U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, Tribeca Trees, STEW-MAP, The New School
    Geographic Scope: New York City
    Award Amount: $9,000 towards field equipment and web-based mapping and social networking tool
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Rufus Griffin Johnston, an undergraduate student at the New School for Liberal Arts, commits to promoting, improving and enabling street tree stewardship efforts in New York City through the continued design, development and implementation of a web-based mapping and social networking tool.

    Currently, there is no central method of organizing or tracking the work of each individual steward. Some neighborhood groups have responded by organizing local efforts. Yet, for the most part, citizen stewards are acting as independent agents in the urban environment.

    With his online tool, every act of stewardship—watering, fertilization, etc.—will be logged on the S+EM website, where stewards will locate the trees they worked on and enter the details of their activity. As stewardship data is logged for an area, the application will allow a user to search for trees in need of caretaking based on their location, prioritized by length of time since the last stewardship activity was performed.

    Berkeley Green Home: Net Zero Dwellings

    Commitment By: Anurag Sridharan (Undergraduate), on behalf of Berkeley Green Home
    University Name/Major: University of California-Berkeley, Civil Engineering
    Geographic Scope: California
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward net zero dwellings
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Berkeley Green Home is a University of California-Berkeley student-initiated and student-run project that is developed to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on existing housing lots for the UC Berkeley community.

    Accessory dwelling units, also known as backyard homes, have long been built and used by homeowners throughout the United States and are well-represented in the Berkeley community. This team proposes to take this existing platform and make it highly energy efficient and a healthy living environment through a sustainable construction process that involves off-site pre-construction of building panels and subassemblies with rapid onsite final assembly.

    Once construction is complete, ongoing testing and monitoring will be conducted to record the impacts of the incorporated technologies. They will coordinate with on-campus courses to present findings to interested students and community members, record potential improvements and offer a real life setting for future generations of students to advance this environmental initiative even further.

    Rainwater Harvesting Project in Nepal

    Commitment By: Shweta Rajbhandari (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Middlebury College, Political Science
    Partners: Biogas Sector Partnership-Nepal (BSP-Nepal)
    Geographic Scope: Avra village, Nepal
    Award Amount: $8,000 towards rainwater harvesting tank
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Middlebury undergraduate student Shweta Rajbhandari commits to constructing a locally based, sustainable rainwater harvesting project in one Nepal’s most vulnerable communities.

    Rainwater harvesting enables communities situated in wet regions to use their rich rainwater potential to collect water for local families. Together with BSP-Nepal, Rajbhandari has identified a site in central Nepal‘s Arva village, which faces serious problems of water scarcity and contamination. Currently, its villagers have to walk an hour and a half to collect water for their household from an unhygienic stream. Incidentally, the area is also one of the wettest regions in Nepal, receiving both monsoon and winter rains with an annual precipitation of 147 inches. Her commitment will empower over 700 villagers to harvest their own water.

    Gardens That Teach: Growing a New Generation

    Commitment By: Doug DeRoy (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of California-Berkeley, Energy and Resources
    Partners: FoodFirst, The People’s Grocery in Oakland, Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard
    Geographic Scope: California
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward piloting two community gardens in California public schools
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Doug DeRoy plans to design and implement low-cost, practical, and self-sustaining student vegetable garden programs in a pilot test of 10 selected California public schools, with an emphasis on underserved areas.

    DeRoy will create programs that foster a fun, experiential learning environment to engage students in the entire process of growing their own food. He will design three general program models: one for elementary (K-5), one for middle (6-8), and another for high school (9-12) applications. Then, he will solicit his program models to public schools throughout California, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Out of those solicited, he will select a pilot group of ten schools – based on faculty interest, need, logistical feasibility, and other factors – to participate in his project.

    Unlike most student garden programs, DeRoy’s focuses on under-served areas, instead of wealthier communities. His goal is to demonstrate that with small funds, a team can implement a practical, hands-on, and self-sustainable student garden.

    Renew Crew

    Commitment By: Roland Le Roux (Undergraduate), on behalf of The Renew Crew
    University Name/Major: Pennsylvania State University, Mechanical Engineering
    Type of Institution: Public
    Partners: National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – Honduran chapter
    Geographic Scope: Roatan, Honduras
    Award Amount: $8,000 towards equipment
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    In spring 2010, the Renew Crew, a team of Pennsylvania State University undergraduates, will install a solar electric system on a local non-profit medical clinic in Roatan, Honduras, an island just off the mainland. A year earlier, this team collaboratively installed a 2.5 kW, grid-tied solar electric system on Roatan’s Sandy Bay Alternative School. In partnership with the school’s principal, Renew Crew members created interactive activities and lessons to teach students about solar energy, the photovoltaic system, and the myriad of opportunities that a college education can provide.

    The Renew Crew plans to return every year over Spring Break to Honduras to install a community-focused system, with the short term plans of staying in Roatan and long-term goals of extending to the mainland, through connections between the electrical contractors and other humanitarian groups in Honduras. Additionally, this group is investigating a potential collaborative effort with the Coxen Hole, Roatan campus of the Universidad Tecnológica de Honduras for 2010 or 2011, which will help further the community and education-focused approach to the Renew Crew, as well as create an educational connection with the campuses of the mainland.

    The Hunter Solar Project

    Commitment By: Noah Ginsburg (Undergraduate), on behalf of the Hunter Solar Project
    University Name/Major: Hunter College, Renewable Energy
    Partners: The Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, The CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities, Hunter College President and Administration, Solar One, Green Apple Multi Media Association, Hunter College Sustainability Council, Hunter Geography Department, Hunter College Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Association, CUNY Engineering Staff
    Geographic Scope: New York
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward the purchase of the solar panel
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Hunter Solar Project, a team of undergraduates, commits to the installation of a solar energy system at Hunter College, offsetting a portion of the school’s non-renewable energy demand, reducing Hunter’s greenhouse gas emissions, and aligning the school with Mayor Bloomberg’s PLANYC 2030 energy initiatives.

    Hunter Solar Project is also working to integrate the solar installation into interdisciplinary course curriculum, facilitate student research opportunities, and educate the greater community through a Solar Tour Program. As part of their pilot program, this team will invite classes from Hunter College High School and Manhattan Hunter Science High School, affiliated New York City public schools, to visit the solar array on campus for educational tours and hands-on labs. The project promises to expose thousands of New York City’s young adults and youth to the rapidly advancing field of solar energy. Providing young people with these exciting interactive learning opportunities will increase their participation in the sciences, enrich their academic experiences, and encourage them to pursue higher education in vital disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry and environmental studies. This program will hire and train Hunter College undergraduate and graduate students to work part-time as environmental educators and tour guides.

    Development of a Model Micro Hydropower

    Commitment By: Dristy Shrestha (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Middlebury College, Psychology and Spanish
    Geographic Scope: Nepal
    Award Amount: $7,000 toward the peltric set
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Dristy Shrestha and a group of fellow Middlebury College undergraduates commit to generate hydroelectricity for at least 30 households in Nepal.

    Using a peltric set, a water-powered local version of a turbine, the team hopes to create an environmentally friendly, self-sustainable energy model that will inspire other villages to use similar methods and encourage rural development in Nepal. The peltric set combines a pelton wheel with an electric generator, and is easy to install, operate and maintain in mountainous regions. Once installed, transmission and distribution costs are low since the set is installed near the stream in the village.

    Nepal is the second richest country in the world in water resources and it has been estimated that it has the potential for developing 83,000 megawatts of hydro electricity. Hydropower is a renewable source of energy. The electricity generated by the peltric set will replace kerosene lamps, reduce dependence on firewood and prevent its hazardous risks. It can be used for lighting, heating water, and cooking in low-watt cookers.


    Commitment By: Garima Rana and Neha Kamra (Undergraduates)
    University Name/Major: Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (Delhi), Mechanical Engineering
    Geographic Scope: India
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward bins and worms
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Garima Rana and Neha Kamra, university students at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, commit to educating younger students about the processes of vermin-composting, utilizing organic waste, and converting it to “Gold.”

    This initiative will encourage students to adopt practices that are aimed at social development and reach a larger market through grassroots participation. Their group, Vermpet, will visit various schools and introduce the concept of vermin-composting, distribute Vermi-compost kits, and conduct demonstrations. Schools will take care of the worms, and ultimately the vermin-compost would be collected and sold in markets. Additionally, worm tea will be sold and the compost will be used to enrich vegetable gardens.

    Penn Haven Partnerships and Community Food Garden

    Commitment By: Russell Trimmer and Victor Galli (Undergraduates)
    University Name/Major: University of Pennsylvania/Business
    Partners: University City Hospitality Coalition
    Geographic Scope: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Award Amount: $7,000 toward repair and renovation of youth shelter
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Russell Trimmer and team of fellow undergraduates commit to taking a comprehensive approach toward battling homelessness in the University of Pennsylvania’s community.

    Trimmer’s team Penn Haven seeks to provide both accommodations and locally produced food for Philadelphia’s itinerant youth population. Penn Haven will provide homeless youths with a safe environment to spend their nights, starting with eight to ten residents per school year and gradually growing as appropriate. In addition, this team will grow a community food garden in conjunction with the shelter. Beyond providing the shelter’s guests with nutritional and local food, such a garden would serve to empower these individuals as well.

    This team plans to become a leading progressive pilot project for other private and public homeless shelters. By providing a stake in the project to a multitude of groups, Penn Haven’s project will also serve as a locus to organize groups at the University of Pennsylvania and will empower the residents at the Penn Haven homeless shelter.

    Revolution in Solar Empowerment

    Commitment By: Amanda Gonzalez (Undergraduate), on behalf of Team RISE
    University Name/Major: Stanford University, Management Science and Engineering
    Partners: International Development Enterprises (IDE), D-Rev (Design Revolution), Wildlife Conservation Network
    Geographic Scope: East Africa
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward solar concentrator, translator services
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Team RISE, a group of Stanford University students, seeks to provide affordable and reliable electricity for the off-grid rural markets through a solar concentrator that can power cell phones, lights, batteries, and other tools.

    This team is planning a pilot trial, which will take place this summer when they will take approximately 40 20-watt units to villages outside Arusha in Tanzania. This trial is necessary to perfect the device’s design and to gain a better understanding of how it will be perceived by its target demographic. Team RISE is in the process of raising funds for this initiative.

    Their project practices sustainability in all aspects of the notion. It is environmentally sustainable because it does not depend on a non-renewable fuel source to run and is a perfect substitute for non-renewable power options, reducing GHGs emitted into the atmosphere. The initiative is socially sustainable because the device will appeal to a large demographic and can create lasting positive impact, creating opportunity for new/more sources of income. Also, the initiative is economically sustainable because this team’s solar concentrator was designed with cost in mind, to create a profitable system that will take advantage of market forces to spread positive, sustainable, global change to areas that are underserved and need it most.

    Bikes for Africa Initiative

    Commitment By: Joyce Asamoah (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Central Piedmont Community College, Nursing
    Partners: Bikes for Africa Initiative
    Geographic Scope: Africa
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward the shipment of one container
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Central Piedmont Community College undergraduate Joyce Asamoah and the Bikes for Africa Initiative has committed to provide tens of thousands of recycled and refurbished bicycles to autonomous transportation projects in Africa.

    Each year, millions of people in the United States buy over 22 million new bicycles for themselves or for others as gifts abandoning many more unused bikes in garages, basements, parking lots, police stations and sheds. Asamoah’s group will collect the used bikes, which would otherwise be discarded in already overburdened US landfills, through donation drives.

    The group will conduct needs assessments in local African communities and provide capacity building to further promote bicycles as a sound transportation alternative. With a bicycle, a community health worker decreases their transportation time (compared to walking) and cost (compared to hiring a motor vehicle). They increase the number of home-based visits, a critical service for treatment of and counseling for infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Community mobilization, drug delivery and drug adherence monitoring is enhanced by a bicycle carrying drugs and medical supplies.

    Family Trees Project

    Commitment By: Nina Morris (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Temple University, Community and Regional Planning
    Geographic Scope: Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward tree seeds
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Nina Morris, a graduate student at Temple University, plans to develop a program that both adds green to Philadelphia's streets and aesthetically improves its neighborhoods.

    Morris seeks to promote neighborhood affinity for its local flora by initiating a tree adoption project. She will use GIS mapping to identify neighborhoods in Philadelphia with the low tree coverage and identify vacant lands and brown fields within residential areas as key targets for her initiative. In order to organize neighbors, she will work in partnership with local community development corporations and other nonprofits to reach out to families interested in tree adoption and care.

    The Family Tree Project is uniquely innovative because it will be a reflection of the diverse communities that participate.

    Bicycles Against Poverty in Haiti

    Commitment By: Dick Muyambi (Undergraduate), on behalf of Bicycles Against Poverty
    University Name/Major: Bucknell University, Civil Engineering
    Geographic Scope: Haiti
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward the purchase of bicycle carts
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP), a team of undergraduate students led by Bucknell University’s Dick Muyambi, propose the introduction of a technology that will allow Haitian men a more efficient means of hauling loads around for paying customers.

    Bicycles carts are prominent in numerous South Asian countries; these bicycle carts are used to haul substantial loads, comparable to those being hauled by the primitive carts in Haiti. Haitian men suffer significant health problems as a result of their backbreaking labor. Some estimates indicate an 80percent hernia prevalence rate amongst Haitian men. The labor is especially backbreaking because of the heavy and poorly engineered carts that Haitian men haul the loads on. With such massive total loads, and only leg power to propel them forward, Haitian men engaging in this labor put excessive physical stress on their bodies; a deterioration of health is inevitable.

    BAP will establish a base in Leogane, Haiti to rent bicycle carts to men from lower socioeconomic strata. While there is currently more modern, motorized, technology in Haiti, it is inaccessible to many of the poor because of cost. Bicycle carts, at $100 a unit, will provide Haitian men with a significant improvement on their current means of hauling load. By renting out bicycle carts for a nominal price of $1/day, a price that is comparable to the price at which existing Haitian carts are rented, Haitian men will be significantly eliminating the backbreaking nature of their work; in turn they will be more productive, and more able to provide for their dependents.

    Climate Change Networking and Action

    Commitment By: Jessie James L. Marcellone (Undergraduate), on behalf of Philippine Youth Environmental Network (PHIYEN)
    University Name/Major: University of Mindanao, Law
    Geographic Scope: Philippines
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward mangrove tree plants
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The Philippine Youth Environmental Network (PHIYEN), comprised of University of Mindanao students, will rehabilitate Mangrove ecology by planting thousands of mangrove trees and hold a coastal clean-up drive in the local community.

    PHIYEN also plans to educate and train young people on environmental protection and climate change issues. Furthermore, this team commits to advocating for environmental protection on the local, national, and international level and to protecting Mangrove ecology in the coastal areas of the Philippines, as well.

    Weatherization from the Bottom up

    Commitment By: Anthony Larson (Undergraduate), on behalf of Students for Environmental Concerns
    University Name/Major: University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Economics and Environmental Studies
    Partners: Engineers without Borders, Habitat for Humanity
    Geographic Scope: Champaign, Illinois
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward building materials
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Students for Environmental Concerns, a group of University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana undergraduates, plan to mitigate the disproportionate burden of tackling climate change felt by low income households, specifically the increase in consumer prices for legislated weatherization.

    This team will leverage grant money to create a seed fund for a revolving loan to weatherize low income households. Those households will pay back the loan at zero interest with the money they save through reduced energy costs.

    Students will be trained to perform energy audits, pass on information on how to weatherize homes, and be versed in actual construction and renovation techniques. Once trained, these students will then teach as many community members as are willing and weatherize as many homes as financially possible. Community participants will be the ones performing the labor to weatherize their homes and will be employed through the fund to do this. Since they are also the homeowners, they will be using the cost savings to pay back into the fund, recycling the money back into the community for future weatherizing projects.

    Greening the Community

    Commitment By: Carmelita Foster (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Dillard University, Psychology
    Partners: Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Community and Economic Development Corporation (CDC), Environmental Justice Club (EJC)
    Geographic Scope: New Orleans, Louisiana
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward sustainability efforts at elementary schools
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    As Dillard University makes substantial progress on its campus through a 2008 CGIU commitment, Carmelita Foster, an undergraduate student there, commits to share her knowledge of climate change with other institutions in her community. Her goal is to begin a long-term sustainability program with an elementary school in her community.

    In order to implement the principles of sustainability in her community, Foster will provide educational material on climate change to every teacher and staff member of the elementary school. University student assistants will discuss lessons on climate change and help the school build a webpage on climate change. In addition, she will implement a school recycling program and purchase recycling containers.

    At Dillard University, students and faculty are committed to taking action to rebuild the New Orleans community. Foster’s commitment upholds the community’s responsibility to help their neighbors and safeguard the natural resources in the world.


    Commitment By: Amy Qian (Undergraduate), on behalf of SolSource
    University Name/Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
    Partners: Shem Women’s Group; Bridge Foundation; The Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh; Nor Mgo Educational Development Organization; Mr. Tao (Liuji Solar Cooker Factory owner); Lerjiater (Leader, Awuju and XiaKeBa villages); Caihua Dorjie (Leader, Zhengga Village)
    Geographic Scope: China
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward solar cooker units
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Amy Qian, an undergraduate student at MIT and her team, SolSource, commits to reducing indoor air pollution, reducing the impact of rural Himalayan life on climate change, increasing female education and income and incubating rural innovation through solar cooker trainings.

    To do this, SolSource is working closely with community partners to ensure the sustainability of their invention, also known as SolSource, a three-in-one solar cooking, heating, and electricity generating system can be manufactured, bought, and sold by local people. In addition, this production model allows local people the freedom to innovate upon the SolSource design so that it best fits their local needs. The entrepreneurship opportunity SolSource affords will allow people to maximize the value of their time gained from not having to collect fuel.

    Solar cookers are used to replace combustible bio-fuels. However, current solar cookers in this region are heavy, fragile, expensive, and difficult to transport. Villagers can often only acquire them through highly subsidized purchases or donations, and have explicitly expressed desire for a better solar cooker. SolSource's main component is a portable solar concentrator/cooker constructed primarily from yak-wool canvas, Mylar, and bamboo, the device is lightweight, easily assembled by a single individual, and wind-sturdy.

    Meals, Peels, and Fields

    Commitment By: Constance Ger (Undergraduate), on behalf of Students for Environmental Concerns
    University Name/Major: University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Integrative Biology
    Partners: University YMCA
    Geographic Scope: Champaign, IL
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward supplies and equipment
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana’s Students for Environmental Concern seek to establish a pilot compost facility capable of handling food waste from one university dining hall.

    Their plan of action will involve the following components: cooperation of dining services and facilities and services for the collection of food waste and bulking materials, on-site composting of materials, establishment of a market for compost, and evaluation of the impact of their project. Their improvements in transportation of food waste develop a foundation for creating new jobs. Moreover, by selling crops back to the University, the funds generated from compost and produce will be used to employ students and workers, creating an economically sustainable project.

    Beginning with a modular design implemented on a small scale allows for easy replication and plenty of room for growth. It also allows for financial flexibility, early identification of challenges and room for change to be made quickly and effectively.

    Rural Kashmir Solar Lantern Project

    Commitment By: Ambreen Rahman (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Columbia University, Biomedical Engineering
    Partners: Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services-CDRS, National Rural Support Program, Columbia University Center for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement SKYHEAT Associates
    Geographic Scope: Pakistan-administered Kashmir
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward equipment and raw materials and Pilot Solar Energy Micro finance Program for households
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Ambreen Rahman, an undergraduate student at Columbia University, commits to providing 250 low-cost renewable solar lanterns in households of the Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

    Ambreen has seen firsthand the devastating effects of the 2005 quake there which caused nearly 70,000 causalities, and destroyed much of the previous (and inadequate) infrastructure in healthcare, electricity and other human necessities. Rahman is working to re-build the community in a sustainable way by making solar lanterns available as an alternative to non-renewable expensive energy sources. This project also strives to improve the economic empowerment and quality of life of residents. This commitment is also significant because Pakistan-administered Kashmir is an area under disputed territory and lags behind in development and business investment opportunities.

    Following this pilot program wherein the local community will identify the households that would receive the low cost-solar lantern, Rahman will distribute lanterns to households across the four districts of Kashmir with a trained distributor and technician in each community.

    Sustainable Science Education in the Peruvian Amazon

    Commitment By: Richard Novak (Undergraduate), on behalf of Future Scientist
    University Name/Major: University of California-Berkeley/Bioengineering
    Partners: Scripture Union, PJM Ventures
    Geographic Scope: Puerto Alegria, Peru
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward materials
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Future Scientist, a student group from the University of California-Berkeley, plans to develop a solar energy electrical system for an orphanage in Puerto Alegria, Peru. Their goal is to provide the initial resources to an impoverished community that will enable them to become a focus of technical expertise that nearby communities can utilize.

    This group has committed to installing a solar powered battery charging system to provide power for nighttime lighting in a community in the Peruvian Amazon. To complement the project, they are assembling kits for older students to make their own simple solar powered radios.

    This project will provide the area with clean, off-grid power, unlike the gas generator currently in use. Students will learn to maintain and develop solar panel systems at a level that will permit self-reliance. This team also plans to train the community so that they could start a solar business, if they so desire.

    Microbial Fuel Cells as a Waste-to-Energy System for the Colorado Convention Center

    Commitment By: Dania Zinner (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Colorado, Denver, Environmental Engineering
    Partners: Colorado Convention Center
    Geographic Scope: Denver, Colorado
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward microbial fuel cell reactors, partial cost of consumables
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Dania Zinner plans to design, develop, and manufacture a microbial fuel cell for this waste-to-energy project. This microbial fuel cell system would potentially create a sustainable food waste reduction system. The system would be highly energy efficient, drawing on human waste as a power source for its operation. Enough energy will be generated to power the system itself as well as other electric operations in buildings in which it is installed.

    Her project will produce the nation's first on-site direct waste-to-electricity microbial fuel cell. The pilot device will be housed in the Colorado Convention Center. This project utilizes a renewable form of energy to help lessen dependence on coal-fired power plants for energy. Ultimately, the goal of her project would decrease the level of carbon dioxide released into the air, helping to reduce the effect of global warming.

    Educational Tree Nursery: To Combat Haiti's Deforestation

    Commitment By: Trevor Sell (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Temple University, Landscape Architecture
    Partners: Life Connection School in Montroius, Haiti
    Geographic Scope: Haiti
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward tree seeds
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Trevor Sell, an undergrad at Temple University, plans to establish a native tree nursery in Haiti to combat the ever-growing deforestation and soil erosion crisis there. The nursery will serve as a basis for environmental education seminars, plant propagation practices, and as a model for future reforestation projects.

    Sell will plant 2000 trees from seed to establish the nursery which will be implemented this June 2009. He will propagate the planted trees in the fall of 2009 to establish a large nursery to be used as a source for plant material for future reforestation projects. Additionally, he will provide educational seminars for the Haitian villagers on how to plant, grow, and maintain trees as well as educate the people on tree conservation.

    This project aims to raise funds and execute the first of many reforestation projects in ecologically strategic locations throughout the landscape in Haiti.

    Ecological Sanitation in Jaipur

    Commitment By: Sarah Swenson (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Urban and Regional Planning
    Partners: Various local Rajasthani NGOs
    Geographic Scope: Jaipur, India
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward construction materials
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University graduate student, Sarah Swenson plans to develop an ecological sanitation project at a secondary school in Jaipur, India.

    The sanitation system would create employment, improve the community’s health, lower rates of pollution, and create access to sanitation. It would also teach students about the benefits of recycling their waste into nutrients. To begin the process, Swenson would start a community-wide discussion on the most appropriate ecological sanitation project for this community. From this conversation the details and logistics of this project will be developed and a timeline for completion (and maintenance) will be formulated. Swenson’s goal is to create a community led endeavor where all stakeholders feel ownership and responsibility.

    Creating a successful ecological sanitation program at a Jaipur secondary school will not only excite students but also break down cultural attitudes concerning reuse of waste. Once the community has a visible ecological sanitation project which is thriving and creating financial and resource benefits, then they will be more willing to consider implementation in other communities.

    Vulnerability Mapping Model

    Commitment By: Vinay Tejasviyallapragada (Undergraduate), on behalf of IYCN-HYD
    University Name/Major: Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mechanical Engineering
    Partners: Indian Youth Climate Network, Andhra Pradesh Green Corps, MV Foundation
    Geographic Scope: Hyderabad, India
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward creating an online platform
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The IYCN_HYD team of students from Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology plans to develop a “Vulnerability Mapping model” for the areas in and around the city of Hyderabad in India that will be affected by climate change in the near future.

    This team’s project is to create an internationally acknowledged report that could, from the support of a strong network, reach policy makers and government officials and motivate them to take immediate action. The report thereby calls for sustainable development models and action to be implemented by local government bodies.

    To date, a decentralized and well-researched report on vulnerability mapping for a single city is unprecedented. This team seeks to ensure that their report, the first of its kind, be leveraged to drive action, instead of taking up residence on a dusty shelf.

    Jema Jakoanti: Promoting Healthy Communities

    Commitment By: Diego Garcia-Montufar (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Swarthmore College, Philosophy
    Partners: Ciudad Saludable and ANIA (Peruvian NGOs); Regional Government of Ucayali, INIA; Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
    Geographic Scope: Ucayali Region of the Peruvian Amazon
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward waste and composting equipment
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Diego Garcia-Montufar, an undergraduate student at Swarthmore College, commits to provide sustainable waste management and basic sanitation solutions to indigenous communities in the Ucayali Region of the Peruvian Amazon. The project provides the foundation and framework for future rural development in the region by promoting a social entrepreneurial spirit and agricultural-based development solutions using compost and other recovered "waste" materials.

    The successful implementation in San Francisco de Yarinacocha in 2008 emphasizes domestic separation of waste into three classes: organic materials, recyclables and non-reusables. Now, Garcia-Montufar is ready to make a commitment to spread this innovation to other communities. With trained young Shipibo leaders and the knowledge collected in San Francisco, he is now in a position to help dozens of indigenous communities in Ucayali.

    His goal is to reach two communities in two years by implementing tested educational outreach strategies and appropriate technical applications. These include door-to-door canvassing, educational workshops, community clean-ups, demonstration gardens and environmental education training for local teachers. After the waste management system, Garcia-Montufar will focus his efforts on developing sustainability strategies, creating a model horticulture garden, and reforesting a 2-hectare plot with timber trees and commercial crops. Through these initiatives, he not only hopes to achieve economic sustainability, but to promote land stewardship and responsible agricultural practices.

    Greening Villages Movement

    Commitment By: Priyanka Bista (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Ryerson University, Architectural Science
    Partners: Living Earth Institute, Phul Maya Foundation
    Geographic Scope: Bhedetar Village, Nepal
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward agriculture plot development in one school
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Ryerson University student Priyanka Bista seeks to build awareness within the Bhedetar Village Development Committee (VDC) on conservation of the villages’ existing rich ecology and environment along with introduction of low-tech sustainable agricultural practices.

    Bista is planning the initial steps of strengthening the base for the Greening Villages Movement. Part of this process will involve researching sustainable agricultural practices, networking with local and international NGOs and training team members in green education techniques, green building and green farming. The result of this initial phase will be synthesized into documents in Nepali for the villagers along with planned community and education workshops. Furthermore, Bista also wishes to initiate a green curriculum for the six participating schools in the VDC. She has already begun art and nature competitions for poetry, art and essays; establishing these competitions as yearly events in the schools will track the influence of the movement in the students’ development. In addition, her local team will examine the influence of organic farming techniques on the community’s kitchen-gardens.

    Bhedetar VDC is one of 3913 VDC's of Nepal and Bista hopes to make it a model agricultural village by 2010 whose successes can be easily replicated by the rest of the VDCs. In this current day and age of mass globalization and promotion of artificial environments, demonstration of a Green village rooted to its vernacular traditions and moving toward a modern sustainable future is absolutely vital.

    The Sustainability of the Menominee School District

    Commitment By: Marcus Andrew Grignon (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Menominee College, Tribal Legal Studies and Sustainable Development
    Partners: Indigenous Permaculture, Aquaholics Research Team
    Geographic Scope: Menominee Tribal Nation, Wisconsin
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward materials and tools (fuel cell project)
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Marcus Andrew Grignon, an undergraduate student at Menominee College, commits to demonstrating that the Menominee School District (K-12), with its sustainable forest, can serve as an example of the successes of sustainable efforts. Developed into a sustainable human community, the Menominee School District can educate and help other communities throughout the United States and the rest of the world become self-sufficient.

    Grignon will use the sustainable practice of Indigenous Perma-culture to implement community gardens, greenhouses and compost piles throughout the school district. The yields from the gardens will go to the Menominee School District, be sold at the Sovereign Farmer’s Market, and be used for the School District's gardens to sustain their cafeterias.

    The community gardens, greenhouses, and compost piles are a crucial step toward a sustainable human community. After this, Grignon plans to transform the Menominee Tribal Transit into a renewable energy transportation system that will help community members and students travel to their destinations without burning greenhouse gases. The fuel cell technology used to power the transportation system will be taught to the students through school activities involving the science club.


    Commitment By: Jessica Lin (Graduate), on behalf of sOccket
    University Name/Major: Harvard University, Government
    Partners: Harvard University Engineering Department, WhizzKids United
    Geographic Scope: South Africa
    Award Amount: $1,500 toward soccer balls and internal parts
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Jessica Lin and team of fellow Harvard University graduate students intend to provide energy to the impoverished in developing nations through the creation of a soccer ball a power source. This supplemental electricity can improve health and environment, and promote education and community building.

    This group will partner with local organizations in South Africa to establish programs to teach and organize play with the sOccket, a ball with the capacity to harness the energy of interaction during game-play for later use. Moreover, this team plans to expand the sOccket to developed nations as a high-end tech toy, which will subsidize the price of the sOccket to developing nations.

    The sOccket has the ability to generate power for a community, to rally its residents together to take the initiative and promote team building. The sOccket can thus help bring awareness to the energy problem and push institutions to make the qualitative policy changes necessary.

    Integrated Carbon Credit and Biofuel Program

    Commitment By: Douglas Kolozsvari (Undergraduate), on behalf of Mada Biofuels Team
    University Name/Major: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Urban and Regional Planning
    Partners: African Development Bank, National Center of Applied Research for Rural Development, UN-funded PROSPERER
    Geographic Scope: Sub-Saharan Africa
    Award Amount: $6,500 toward equipment and oil filtering storage equipment, manual oil presses and oil jatropha lamps
    Funding Provided By: The Wal-Mart Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Mada Biofuels team’s mission is to develop a responsible, replicable approach to securing carbon credits for a biofuels program in the world’s poorest developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

    This project focuses on improving and diversifying agricultural production and energy consumption in southeast Madagascar’s rural households – particularly those along the FCE railway corridor. The Mada Biofuels team will actively involve participants in this project using rapid rural appraisal tools, as was done to describe the area’s existing conditions and the needs of these villagers. They will also continue to work with FCE staff, their partner Malagasy organization as well as regional, local and traditional leaders.

    Although this team focuses on southeast Madagascar, their project aims to provide rural populations around the world with more choices on how to meet their energy and food needs while confronting the root causes of environmental and social upheaval. This project will yield lessons on how best to deliver training programs on biofuels to local farmers efficiently.

    Peace and Human Rights


    Commitment By: Jakob Silas Lund (Graduate), on behalf of Play31
    University Name/Major: Columbia University, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
    Partners: Forum of Conscience
    Geographic Scope: Kono, Sierra Leone
    Award Amount: $7,500 toward footballs and jerseys
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Play31, a team of graduate students at Columbia University, commits to organizing football (soccer) tournaments to promote community-based post-conflict reconciliation in the district of Kono, Sierra Leone.

    Within the communities of Sierra Leone suffer there is a high incidence of physical and psychological ailments, consequences of the country’s extended civil war. Play31 aims to facilitate interaction and communication among village communities through the sport of football. Multiple community sensitization exercises will take place during which communities will start preparing for the tournament by training teams and preparing a playing field. Teams will be comprised of both males and females with a professional presence, local NGO employees familiar with communal dynamics, on the ground for every match to facilitate the reconciliation process among various communities.

    Previous tournaments organized by Play31 indicated that former combatants from different factions were playing together in every match organized. By fostering a sense of community among players and spectators, Play31 commits to making football an important tool in local peace-building efforts.

    Vumunzuku Bya-Vana – “Our Children’s Future” (VVOCF): Psychosocial Support for Children and Youth Made Vulnerable by HIV/AIDS

    Commitment By: Courtney Hurtt (Undergraduate), on behalf of Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE)
    University Name/Major: Michigan State University, Comparative Cultures and Politics
    Geographic Scope: Zonkiziwe, South Africa
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward building safe house, repairs, and center expansion
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Courtney Hurtt and her team of fellow Michigan State University undergraduates commit to expanding the orphan center VVOCF’s capacity by doubling the number of children involved in programming, providing supplemental meals, building a safe house, and increasing local leadership and training for staff.

    VVOCF is an orphan care center in Zonkizizwe, South Africa and is the only structured support available in the community for youth infected with HIV/AIDS. This commitment will develop the center to so that it can accommodate up to 100 youths on a weekly basis. Services will also include three meals a day and guided access to medical needs. Additionally, Hurtt’s team Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE) will build a safe house for youths that are victims of abuse in their homes. This will serve as a temporary shelter for children while staff members work with the social services to ensure greater safety.

    Programming changes will include trainings for VVOC staff and leaders on topics of leadership, nonprofit management, and case management services. Educational, recreational, and artistic programs will also be developed for children and youth using the center.

    Through center expansion, staff and program development, and financial support, MRULE seeks to significantly improve child welfare at VVOCF. It also aims to create more opportunities for leadership among local community members, as well as underrepresented Michigan State university students who will be provided internship opportunities to work at VVOCF.

    Public Diplomacy in Action for the Bhutanese Community of Central New York

    Commitment By: Felipe Estefan and Siobhan Sheils (Undergraduates), on behalf of Public Diplomats for Human Rights
    University Name/Major: Syracuse University, Public Diplomacy
    Geographic Scope: New York
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward materials and other operating costs
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Public Diplomats for Human Rights, a team of Syracuse University undergraduate students, aims to help the Bhutanese refugee community transition to life in the United States by developing their English language skills, mediating employment challenges, and enacting public diplomacy initiatives.

    Since 2007, over two hundred Bhutanese refugees have resettled in Syracuse, New York after living in refugee camps. Many of these individuals have limited to no English language skills and inadequate income to pay back government loans.

    Public Diplomats for Human Rights seeks to integrate this population fully into the Syracuse community. To that end, this team of students will develop a program to increase this community’s English language proficiency through classes taught by certified ESL instructors. Classes will be held several days a week and will consist of approximately 20 employable adults, who will become peer instructors for other members of the Bhutanese community. This team will also address employment challenges by providing assistance in résumé writing and interview training. Volunteers will escort employable adults to job sites and assist them in the process of requesting and filling out applications. In addition to these efforts, Public Diplomats for Human Rights will enact public diplomacy efforts by organizing Syracuse University students in service-learning groups that will actively engage in relationship-building between the school and the local Bhutanese community as well as other social justice agencies in Syracuse.

    The ultimate goal of this commitment is to establish a self-sufficient community center where members of the Bhutanese community can gather to attend English language classes, receive job search assistance, and participate in social community-building activities in order to take on leadership roles within the community.

    Creating a Joint Sport Program for Jewish & Arab kids in Jerusalem

    Commitment By: Ohad Ish Shalom (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Ben Gurion University, Psychology, Economics
    Geographic Scope: Jerusalem, Israel
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward jerseys, lectures and activities
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Oshad Ish Shalom, an undergraduate student at Ben Gurion University, will create a sports program for Jewish and Arab children living in Jerusalem, Israel.

    Seeking to overcome the barriers of language, politics, and religion, Shalom will utilize sports as a tool for peace building. Select Jewish and Arab schools will each set aside one class of 25 students in the age bracket of 8-10 that will participate in Shalom’s extracurricular after-school program. A joint sport activity will be held once a week directed by a professional sports teacher in cooperation with the school's teachers and the pedagogic staff of each school. The sports program will include various activities—in particular football and basketball, which are the two most popular sports among both Jews and Arabs. Special emphasis will be placed on the teamwork and the interaction between the players while the students will be divided into mixed teams of Jews and Arabs. In addition to the physical activity, every second meeting will incorporate a dialogue activity directed by the group leader or a peace lecturer.

    Through the use of sports, this commitment aims to overcome prejudicial points of views at a young age. The long-term goal is to encourage participants to become actively involved in the effort for peace in their own lives, attend dialogue groups, and continue to interact with others as a result of the program.

    Bridging the Digital Divide for Persons with Disabilities: Providing a Means of Communication

    Commitment By: Carolyn Dunne (Undergraduate) and Ernest Asiedu (Undergraduate), on behalf of Bridging the Digital Divide
    University Name/Major: Rochester Institute of Technology, Advertising Public Relations and Journalism
    Geographic Scope: Ghana
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward technology equipment
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Carolyn Dunne from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is teaming up with Ernest Asiedu from Ghana Christian University College to insure that deaf and blind students in Eastern Ghana are given the same educational opportunities as their non-disabled peers. These two students are committing to provide both the Mampong Akuapim Demonstration School of the Deaf and the Ashanti School of the Blind with a working computer lab. Each computer donation will also be accompanied by a tutorial in use and future maintenance.

    In the experience of these two commitment makers, disabled persons in Ghana face many negative stigmas and obstacles to learning that are not encountered by non-disabled students. It is their hope that access to basic technological resources such as the internet and email will allow disabled students at these schools to circumvent many of the educational obstacles they normally face. As a country, Ghana lacks sufficient Braille capabilities and exhibits a dearth of knowledgeable sign-language speakers—clearly a disadvantage for any deaf or blind student trying to learn there. Email and internet will allow these students to communicate with a wider spectrum of individuals and will drastically enhance their learning experience.

    RIT, which is one of only two National Technical Institutes for the Deaf (NTID) in the U.S., will host computer donation centers on campus, and Ernest will provide support in Ghana by recruiting volunteers from area universities to help install these computers and execute the program on the ground.

    Camp "I Have a Dream"

    Commitment By: Hammad Bassam Hammad (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Tufts University, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    Type of Institution: Private
    Geographic Scope: West Bank
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward basketballs, hoops and hammers
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Hammad Bassam Hammad, a graduate student in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Tufts University, will develop an ‘I Have a Dream’ summer camp in the West Bank for Palestinian refugee youth.

    Currently, there is a lack of leadership development and civic engagement programs for Palestinian refugee youths (ages 10-15) in the West Bank. The objective of Camp I Have a Dream is to inspire and enable these young people to become agents of social change in Palestinian society by way of academics, athletics, and the arts. Activities within the camp will include a sports development workshop in which Palestinian coaches will demonstrate how basketball can build community involvement, hone leadership skills, and bridge social divides. Campers will also be utilizing social media technologies in a “Blogging as Social Activism” workshop, enabling the youth to claim their narratives, engage in reflection, and build a youth network. Additionally, college-counseling sessions will be held to explore alternative methods of political and civic engagement in an effort to counter the apathy that has led many Palestinian youth to radicalism. Refugee youth will be connected with local role models and leaders of their generation to receive mentorship and ensure lasting change.

    The camp will also focus on the arts as a tool for social change. Disposable cameras will be provided to all the campers encouraging them to capture their day-to-day experiences through film. A workshop will be conducted for campers to share and discuss their photographs and learn about the various modes of creative self-expression. Hip hop, poetry, and theater workshops will also be conducted to emphasize the importance of non-violent expression and how the arts can be used as forms of social significance.

    House a Hero

    Commitment By: Annie Bryant (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Texas, Austin, Social Work
    Geographic Scope: Domestic
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward expansion of web platform/host-veteran matching services
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    UT Austin graduate student Annie Bryant commits to House a Hero, a program that seeks to prevent homelessness among recently discharged combat veterans by offering family-style transitional housing.

    Veterans represent over 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States with social isolation being the primary factor contributing to their itinerancy. Through Bryant’s project, a pilot group of 25 veterans will be placed in a family setting for a period of 9-12 months upon discharge. The objective of this placement is to provide adequate time for the veterans to readjust to civilian life.

    Both the host family and the veteran will go through an application and screening process, which will include interviews, character references, psychological evaluations, and home visits. The veteran will be required to obtain and maintain employment or to enroll in school and will be expected to pay a reasonable monthly rent to the family via House a Hero. Additionally, the mental health needs of the veteran will be attended to in the form of peer-groups formed by House a Hero participants. The relationship between the veteran and the family will be monitored by a House a Hero liaison in order to ensure the satisfaction of both parties.

    Through this innovative transitional housing program, Bryant aims to prevent homelessness among veterans and raise awareness of veterans’ issues.

    Peacemakers Experiential Academy

    Commitment By: Olga Lutsyk
    University Name/Major: National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Public Health Management/Management of Organization
    Geographic Scope: Crime
    Award Amount: $1,000 toward construction materials for service day
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The Peacemakers Experiential Academy, led by undergraduate student Olga Lutsyk, commits to organizing a “PeaceMakers Program” in the Crimea peninsula to establish dialogue and break barriers between Ukranian, Russian and Tatar youth.

    The major populations of the region of Crimea are Russian, Ukranian and Tartar. While the area was under control of the Soviet Union, Tatars were forcibly removed from Crimea and allowed to return only after the USSR collapsed. As a result, conflict arose between Russians, Ukrainians, and Tatars, the latter of whom attempted to reclaim their land after moving.

    Lutsyk aims to resolve these conflicts by developing an annual 14-day Peacemakers Program in the Crimea peninsula for 30 students of six nations. The program will establish dialogue through an intercultural session where participants will present their respective cultures. Discussions will be held by mixed groups with the goal of panning joint activities for Ukrainian, Russian, and Tatar students. In addition, the Peacemakers Program will prepare participants to be active volunteers and peacemakers in their respective communities. Service activities will include renovating and greening the play area of the Simferopol City Orphanage, conducting handcraft workshops, and developing English lessons for children in the city.

    With the help of professional trainers, this commitment will provide participants with basic knowledge of human rights, the environment, planning and management of youth initiatives, and other useful skills that will enable them to organize joint peace building projects within their own respective communities upon return.

    Poverty Alleviation

    The Metanoia Project

    Commitment By: Bryan Mauk (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Case Western Reserve University, Nonprofit Administration
    Geographic Scope: Cleveland, Ohio
    Award Amount: $10,000 toward client needs for "Homes for Less" Program
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Bryan Mauk is creating an innovative program to combat homelessness in Cleveland by combining a homeless drop-in center with the rehabilitation of foreclosed homes in Slavic Village. As an undergraduate student, Mauk founded The Metanoia Project to reverse traditional thinking about homelessness and housing dispossession and find sustainable, creative solutions for these problems. Now a graduate student in Nonprofit Administration at Case Western Reserve University, his commitment seeks to expand his undergraduate efforts by scaling up the programs offered through the Metanoia Project.

    The Metanoia Project addresses the issues of itinerancy and lack of housing within Cuyahoga County through two programs. The first program establishes an overnight drop-in center for Cleveland’s homeless, filling a much-needed hole in the city’s continuum of care for the poor. Mauk’s second program leverages donations and government programs to obtain, repair and sell abandoned and foreclosed homes. He will then use the proceeds from these sales to continue this housing program and fund the overnight center.

    The Metanoia Project takes a unique and comprehensive approach to attacking poverty in Cleveland, whose increasingly high rates of itinerancy are met with unparalleled foreclosure rates. In Cuyahoga County during 2007, there were an estimated 20,000 people experiencing homelessness. In the past year, there have also been 15,000 foreclosures, many concentrated in the Slavic Village neighborhood – the zip code with the highest foreclosure rate in the country.

    Capital Good Fund

    Commitment By: William Wray (Undergraduate), on behalf of the Capital Good Fund
    University Name/Major: Brown University, Middle East Studies
    Partners: International Institute of Rhode Island; John Hope Settlement House; D.E.L.I.A.; Johnson and Wales University’s Small Business Development Center
    Geographic Scope: Providence, RI
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward citizenship loans
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Undergraduate students at Brown University, William Wray and his group, the Capital Good Fund, currently operate the only microfinance initiative serving low-income populations in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to supporting low-income entrepreneurs with accessible small-business loans, this group seeks to develop citizenship loans, as well.

    These immigration loans will assist legal permanent residents in their efforts to become U.S. citizens. The $900 loan pays for the application fees for becoming a citizen, which in turn opens up employment opportunities for many immigrant families

    Free Eye Clinic in Kansas City

    Commitment By: Chanukya Dasari (Candidate for Medical Doctor), on behalf of Kansas City Free Eye Clinic
    University Name/Major: University of Missouri Kansas City
    Partners: Sojourner Free Health Clinic
    Geographic Scope: Kansas City, Missouri
    Award Amount: $10,000 toward medical equipment
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    In October 2008, Chanukya Dasari and Birju Solanki, students at the University of Missouri Kansas City founded the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic—the first no-cost vision clinic in the metro area there.

    Kansas City has a large urban population which relies heavily on free and low-cost health services. However, in free health care facilities around the city, vision services are entirely absent; and access to eye care is generally poor in this population. The Kansas City Free Eye Clinic aims to provide free, accessible vision services to the community.

    Dasari and Solanki will associate with free clinics in the area, while also recruiting medical students and pre-health interest groups to volunteer. Their model lends well to replication: after the initial sum is raised to purchase diagnostic equipment, each clinic can run on an annual budget of $2,000-$4,000 to provide treatment for several hundred patients, and vision screens for many more.

    Empowering Women and Youth through the Uta Community Center

    Commitment By: Sarah Whitney (Undergraduate), on behalf of Student Movement for Real Change
    University Name/Major: George Washington University, International Affairs and Global Public Health
    Partners: Student Movement for Real Change; the Buffelshoek Trust; Forget Sithole
    Geographic Scope: South Africa
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward program expenses, including women's group, education, health, and microfinance fund
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Sarah Whitney and team of fellow George Washington University undergraduates plan to build a community center in Uta, South Africa with the hope of empowering women and local youths. The Uta Community Center will be a gathering place and a resource for new and existing community groups that will be open and accessible to the entire community and will serve as a model for the surrounding region.

    Working in Uta over the course of a year, this team will partner with local student Forget Sithole to facilitate the construction and development of the Uta Community Center with local leaders and organizations in the region. Through income generation projects proposed and driven by the local community, the center will be maintained and expanded as needs arise.

    The main feature of this commitment is to provide the community with the means and resources to run this center through their own, independent efforts. Locals will be able to propose their own programs and projects to realize the change they seek in their area. This project is the first in the area that gives ownership to the local community.

    The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio

    Commitment By: Nnaemeka Chiediebere Ikegwuonu (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Pavia, Italy, Development and Cooperation
    Partners: Nigerian Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Commerce and Industry; Export and Investment Promotion Council; Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); Technical Centre for Rural Development (CTA); Wrenmedia; Farm Radio International; International Trade Center; UNESCO
    Geographic Scope: Nigeria
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward studio equipment, field broadcasting equipment, broadcasting centre, training
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Nnaemeka Chiediebere Ikegwuonu, a graduate student at the University of Pavia in Italy, plans to reach 3.5 million rural poor farmers living in isolated communities of Imo State, Nigeria with agricultural information in their native language through the Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio.

    The radio programs will enable farmers to acquire farming techniques, environmental management skills, and daily market information. Beyond the gardeners and farm laborers in 27 local government areas of Imo State that will be impacted, the Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio will benefit these farmer’s children, as well, through improved nutrition and increase household income.

    The project aims to reduce poverty indices in rural communities and accelerate economic empowerment of small farmers at the household level. Broadcast information includes techniques in crop production, livestock rearing, soil management, and small irrigation, to name a few. Additionally, programming will cover national and international markets, micro credit facilities, and market research. There will also be a question and answer service that will allow the community to participate.

    Bonda Project for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zimbabwe

    Commitment By: Nelson Chiwara (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Princeton University, Public Policy and International Affairs
    Partners: Plan International; Princeton AIDS Initiative; Zimbabwe’s Health Ministry
    Geographic Scope: Zimbabwe
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward corn seeds and fertilizer
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Undergraduate students at Princeton University, Nelson Chiwara and team plan to accrue and utilize local resources in the feeding, clothing, education and general upkeep of AIDS orphans in one of Zimbabwe’s poorest districts. This team’s commitment is designed not only to mobilize community resources and awareness to the sad phenomenon of parentless and destitute children, but also to socially rehabilitate the many orphans in Makoni District, Zimbabwe.

    This team’s ultimate goal is to create a self-sustaining source of funding, feeding and shelter for orphans and vulnerable children in rural Zimbabwe via a collaborative effort with local missionaries, parishioners and villagers. Nelson and his partners are going to create an agricultural and business modeled cooperative whose proceeds will be used to feed the orphans, as well as generate revenue to meet their education, health and other general expenses.

    This commitment is serving as a pilot project for the NGO Plan Zimbabwe. Its success will inform the establishment of other communal cooperatives across Zimbabwe.

    Green Handkerchief Initiative

    Commitment By: Shenghan Karla Wang and Nicholas Young, on behalf of Green Handicraft Initiative (GHI)
    University Name/Major: Northwestern University, Radio/TV/Film and Economics
    Partners: Global Village of Beijing;
    Geographic Scope: China
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward training and equipment
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Shenghan Karla Wang, a native of Sichuan, China, commits to the rebuilding of Daping village in Sichuan, where 95 percent of villagers lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 2008 Sichuan earthquakes. Wang, a student at Northwestern University, and her partner Nick Young, of Brown University, seek to achieve to help this village by linking environmentally responsible consumerism with relief-oriented social entrepreneurship.

    As co-founders of an eco-friendly social venture, the Green Handicraft Initiative (GHI), Wang and Young will provide disaster relief to earthquake victims in Daping village through sustainable economic empowerment. GHI is the only enterprise that ensures employment for earthquake victims, helps impoverished villages generate sustainable income, and raises awareness to environmental protection in China. GHI links environmentally responsible consumer choices with community-based social entrepreneurship by helping Daping villagers launch a sustainable rural enterprise that will sell locally-embroidered handkerchiefs and cloth bags to urban areas and that will promote cloth napkins and bags as "green" substitutes for paper napkins and plastic bags.

    By partnering with Global Village of Beijing and – China’s second largest web portal—GHI will launch a nationally televised event promoting the use of handkerchiefs instead of paper napkins and tissues. The proceeds of the event will directly benefit Daping villagers.

    Expanding Employment in Malian Communities

    Commitment By: Katherine Reiter (Undergraduate), on behalf of Emory Nourish International Chapter
    University Name/Major: Emory University, Biology
    Partners: African Sky; various Emory University student groups
    Geographic Scope: Mali
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward purchase of sewing machines
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Katherine Reiter and the Nourish International chapter of George Washington University undergraduates commit to expanding a small tailoring business in Malian villages.

    Working with African Sky, an NGO based in Mali, Reiter and her peers will work with the Eco Dugu village to expand a tailoring workshop to increase the community’s income. The workshop will include a main tailor and workers from women’s groups in the community, creating a sustained interdependency within the community. Mali’s own organic cotton and cloth will be utilized to create the hospital scrubs—creating a proactive relationship between the Malians and their land.

    By providing resources, Reiter and her group will enable community members to overcome start-up costs and use their profits to maintain the workshop and expand when necessary.

    BUILD Guatemala

    Commitment By: William Merrow (Undergraduate), on behalf of BUILD
    University Name/Major: Tufts University, International Relations
    Partners: FUNDAP, Guatemala; Pura Vida Coffee; Café Conciencia, TecsChange
    Geographic Scope: Guatemala
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward coffee production, business administration, technology and supplies, communication services
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    The Tufts University undergraduate student-group BUILD—Building Understanding through International Learning and Development—is committed to implementing a community development plan (CDP) with Santa Anita la Unión, an organic, fair trade coffee cooperative in rural Guatemala.

    The CDP has five main components, the largest of which is the purchase of 20,000 organic coffee plants to improve the community’s percentage yield—the average family at Santa Anita currently cultivates their land to 20 percent capacity. Another primary aspect of the CDP is the construction of an almácigo, a 24,000 plant-capacity seed nursery that will provide a centralized, standardized location for plant germination.

    This nursery will allow the community to continue to increase their agricultural capital internally and equalize quality, and will be supplemented by a series of agricultural training sessions, facilitated by a Guatemalan NGO, that will also be providing education in business administration and community organization.

    Establishing Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Taprang Village

    Commitment By: Jiban Kumar Baral (Undergraduate), on behalf of group submission
    University Name/Major: Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara/ Rural Development and Sociology
    Partners: Gandaki College of Engineering and Sciences, Lamachaur;; Pvt. Ltd; Worldlink Pokhara Communication; Saraswoti Books; Safal Media House; Padam Furniture; Aarsee Times; Radio Barahi; Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry; ICS Computer Institute; Empowering Women Nepal; Kantipur Hotel Training Centre; Janahit Trading and Training Pvt. Ltd; Youth Skill Exchange Program
    Geographic Scope: Nepal
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward rural income generation program
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Jiban Kumar Baral and a team of fellow undergraduates from Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara plan to create an environment conducive to youth entrepreneurship and economic development in rural Taprang, Nepal.

    The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre (RYEDC) provides vocational trainings to disadvantaged youth groups—conflict affected youth, school dropouts, unemployed youth, those experiencing discrimination, and lower caste groups—through its Youth Skill Exchange Program.

    In the next two years, RYEDC will work on the second phase of initiation and conduct various entrepreneurship development programs in Taprang. The long term goal of this initiation is to establish one Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre in a school of each village of Kaski District.

    RYEDC is motivating school students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset from young age, as well as trying to engage dropouts, the unemployed, and disadvantage youth groups in various skillful trainings and income generating programs. Through RYEDC, Baral and team will help provide rural schools with additional technical and educational assistance.

    Masawa-Using Mobile Phones to Connect Savings Groups to the World

    Commitment By: Joshua Haynes (Graduate) and Yanina Seltzer (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: The Fletcher School at Tufts University, Master of International Business
    Geographic Scope: Nicaragua, Niger
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward software development, servers, cell phones, minutes, modem
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Joshua Haynes, a graduate student at Tufts University, plans to increase the capacity and efficiency of the world’s poorest population savings groups by allowing them to automate their accounting capacities via mobile phones. Savings groups’ members will be able to track their finances simply by sending SMS texts to, and receive information from, masawa, a program of Haynes’ creation.

    Masawa will store and process its group members’ data and send users requested information regarding personal and group financial information. This SMS software will allow streamlining of information, as well as accounting, data handling and analysis functionalities. Hayne’s masawa will be highly accurate and will provide complete transaction transparency, thus, increasing the potential of future linkages.

    Empowering Women in Mining Communities of Bolivia through education, information and training

    Commitment By: Ximena Murillo (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: St. Thomas University, International Business
    Partners: ODPS–Bolivia; CIDCAP-Bolivia; United4Change Center
    Geographic Scope: Bolivia
    Award Amount: $2,000 toward materials and equipment
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    While supporting local cultures and needs, Ximena Murillo, a graduate student at St. Thomas University, plans to create “Community Centers” where women in mining communities can receive educational and occupational training. These “Community Centers” will provide these woman with an environment in which they can learn to read and write, become informed about their legal rights, receive occupational training, and become empowered to explore new careers. They will have the opportunity to become financially independent and will be able to contribute to their families’ and their communities’ development and growth.

    Ximena’s goal is to empower 1,500 women from ten different impoverished mine areas of Bolivia through literacy and occupational training. In order to achieve this end goal, she will partner with local governments, NGOs, private organizations, volunteers and international organizations.

    Each center’s courses and curriculum will be determined by its communities’ environment, native language and participants’ availability. These centers can be replicated in other mining communities outside of Bolivia to provide women with the skills to expand their opportunities.

    WishVast: Building Trust and Social Capital with Cellphones

    Commitment By: Steve Garguilo, on behalf of WishVast
    University Name/Major: Pennsylvania State University, Information Sciences and Technology
    Partners: Children and Youth Empowerment Center (CYEC)
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward materials and supplies, communication services
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Steve Garguilo and his WishVast team, comprised of Pennsylvania State University students, commit to developing a cell phone-based social networking system that the people can use to gain the commodities they believe are most important for alleviating poverty: information and a digital reputation.

    Currently, farmers in developing countries join cooperatives, or informal groups, to gain the benefits of scale and access to markets. A major limitation of cooperative structures has been the lack of transparency in governance and resource distribution among members. Social network support systems among shareholders and connections to individuals, organizations and agencies external to their cooperatives can result in improved efficiencies in the structure of these organizations and may sustain emerging cooperatives.

    Garguilo and his team propose WishVast, a cellphone-based social networking system, to allow people to connect, communicate and coordinate with each other easily, in useful ways that are currently unavailable to them. Utilizing SMS messaging, WishVast allows users to share valuable information, sending it from people who know to people who want to know, when they want to know it. Utilizing WishVast allows people the opportunity to increase economic productivity, facilitate organizational capabilities, and enhance their social networks. The WishVast team will travel to Kenya in the summer of 2009 to test their prototype with local cooperatives. They will be working with the Murang’a NutriBusiness Cooperative serviced by Touchstone Consultants and the Kochia Windmill Cooperative.

    Global Health

    Texting for Life: Mobile Phones Provide Freedom from the Ravages of Counterfeit Drugs in West Africa

    Commitment By: Ashifi Gogo (Graduate)
    University Name/Major: Dartmouth College, Engineering
    Geographic Scope: Ghana, Nigeria
    Award Amount: $10,000 toward SMS texts and item unique coding
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Ashifi Gogo, a graduate student at Dartmouth College, commits to implementing a pharmaceutical quality assurance system in Ghana and Nigeria that will use cell phones to combat the sales of counterfeit medications to patients.

    It is estimated that 30 percent of the drugs sold in developing nations are not genuine, adversely affecting the health and safety of patients. Freedom from Fake Drugs in West Africa aims to address this problem through existing and cost-effective technology by utilizing the text message service of a basic cell phone. Consumers will be able to text message a number unique to the purchased drug and instantly receive information on the authenticity of that drug. In addition to providing consumers with verification, this form of information access will also hold drug manufacturers and pharmacies accountable for the sale of counterfeit drugs.

    By protecting key at-risk drugs in West Africa, this commitment will create a consumer driven anti-counterfeit initiative and minimize the illnesses and deaths linked to counterfeit medications.

    HIV Drug Safety Research Center and Education Initiative

    Commitment By: Millidhashni Reddy (Doctoral Candidate)
    University Name/Major: The University of Texas at Austin, Pharmacy Administration
    Partners: 1000 Hills Community Helpers
    Geographic Scope: KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward teaching tools and transport between clinics
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Millidhashni Reddy commits to increase access to healthcare for HIV positive patients in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa.

    A South African Fulbright scholar and a doctoral candidate in pharmacy, Reddy continues to be very active in her efforts to enhance access to key services for HIV patients in South Africa. Through this commitment, she will build upon the limited services currently offered by 1000 Hills Community Helpers, a local community organization, by establishing a nonprofit HIV care center that will provide drug safety services and supportive care to disadvantaged HIV positive patients. The center will be dedicated to eradicating the burden of HIV and AIDS on communities in South Africa.

    This center will provide counseling services to families of victims and ensure that children who have lost their parents to AIDS are referred to safe homes. As a learning facility, it will also provide HIV education programs for local communities and youth and encourage their participation in community projects that will support HIV victims.

    Clean Water and Efficient Fuel Usage for Rural Kenya

    Commitment By: Subir Sutradhar (Candidate for Medical Doctor), on behalf of Kenya Ceramic Project
    University Name/Major: University of Alberta, School of Medicine
    Partners: Mumias Sugar Company
    Geographic Scope: Kiminini, Kenya
    Award Amount: $7,000 toward water filtration systems
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Subir Sutradhar, a student at the University of Alberta’s School of Medicine, commits through the Kenya Ceramic Project to introducing innovative ceramic water filters and high efficiency clay stoves to the region of Kiminini, Kenya.

    Currently, less than 50 percent of rural Kenyans have access to improved drinking water, and firewood is becoming scarce due to deforestation and climate changes. The Kenya Ceramic Project will utilize existing local materials, such as clay and sugar cane waste, to implement ceramic technologies that can filter water and increase fuel usage efficiency. Sutradhar’s project will build new, high-output, filter production site in Kiminini, Kenya with the help of technology established at the University of Alberta and a financial plan developed by business students at the university. These ceramic products will be produced out of primarily Kenyan materials by Kenyan employees. Potters in these areas will be trained in the production of the filters and stoves. Additionally, there will be an emphasis on hiring local women so they can supplement their family incomes on a part time basis. Sales will also be targeted to NGOs who will donate the products to those who cannot afford to purchase them.

    The Kenya Ceramic Projects commits to delivering these products to over 100,000 households within five years.

    Project Chasse

    Commitment By: Ira Leeds (Candidate for Medical Doctor), on behalf of the Emory Medishare Group
    University Name/Major: Emory University, School of Medicine
    Partners: Partners in Health
    Geographic Scope: Haiti
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward community health worker vehicles and maintenance
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Ira Leeds, a candidate for Medical Doctor at Emory, along with The Emory Medishare group, commits to expanding the existing healthcare services in rural Haiti, with an eye toward a systematic build-up of more extensive healthcare services in the five-year future.

    In the next year, the team will roll-out off-road motorbikes to improve the existing community health worker network that exists today. Currently, these health workers walk from village to village providing important medical care (for example, vaccinations, deworming treatments, and infectious disease monitoring). Because of the geographic spread and inhospitable terrain, most workers are only able to visit a handful of farm hamlets or one small village in the course of a day. Phase one of our effort is to increase the productivity of these workers by providing them with motorbikes.

    The group estimates that increasing the transportation options of the health worker network will lead to a three-fold increase in the number of individuals each worker can visit which can be measured through logs kept by each worker.

    Community Health Development in Honduras

    Commitment By: Jonathan Lee (Undergraduate), on behalf of Global Medical Brigades-Berkeley
    University Name/Major: University of California Berkeley, Public Health
    Geographic Scope: Honduras
    Award Amount: $6,500 toward Community Health Worker implementation program
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Led by University of California Berkeley undergraduates, Global Medical Brigades-Berkeley commits to developing a comprehensive community health worker training program in the region of Honduras.

    In settings deprived of healthcare infrastructure, community health workers extend access to basic health services by diagnosing, treating and referring patients, as well as delivering medical interventions. Jonathan Lee and team aim to create a sustainable model for healthcare through the empowerment of individuals as community health workers (CHWs). By serving as CHWs, community members directly contribute to the establishment of a primary healthcare foundation and become active participants in managing their health. Partnerships will be developed between CHWs and distant health centers, and a community-wide health promotion program will be offered to educate individuals on hygiene, sanitation and household water treatment. In order to implement the recommended strategies, hygiene resources and materials will be distributed to community members.

    Over the period of one year, health programs will be conducted in 50 rural communities, resulting in over 35,000 individuals gaining the capacity to better manage their health. By investment in the human capital of CHWs, this commitment ensures continual access to medical services and transfers responsibility from NGOs to the communities themselves.

    Saludamos - Creating a Community and Improving Health for Latina Women

    Commitment By: Erin Shigekawa (Graduate) and Aileen Sammon (Undergraduate) on behalf of Saludamos
    University Name/Major: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Public Health - Health Policy and Management
    Partners: Carrboro Community Health Clinic of Piedmont Health Services; El Centro Latino; Sustain Foundation of Carrboro; APPLES
    Geographic Scope: North Carolina
    Award Amount: $3,500 toward year one costs, including childcare facilities, cooking classes, health promotional materials, fitness kits
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Erin Shigekawa and her group, Saludamos (formerly Camino Adelante) will design and implement a community-based health program for recently-immigrated Latina women in the Chapel Hill-Adelante area. A central feature of the program is an exercise/walking group which the women can join as a support network.

    In an effort to foster community for Hispanic women through empowerment in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, Saludamos will provide a social outlet for women as well as help reduce their risk of preventable disease. The program will foster community for recently-immigrated Latina women, provide education and promote awareness of physical and mental health, and address the sustainability of the program and lifestyle changes of participants.

    Furthermore, Saludamos will provide Latina women with the know-how to access affordable healthcare and make healthy lifestyle choices with the help of peers and community members. The group aims to serve 30 participants in their pilot year.

    Improving Indoor Air Quality and Reducing Chagas Disease in Tuquiza, Bolivia

    Commitment By: Dean Chahim (Undergraduate), on behalf of Engineers Without Borders
    University Name/Major: University of Washington, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Geographic Scope: Tuquiza, Bolivia
    Award Amount: $6,000 toward materials and supplies (stoves, roofs)
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Dean Chahim, an undergraduate member of Engineers Without Borders-University of Washington (EWB-UW) commits to developing ventilated cook stoves and installing metal roofs for households in order to improve indoor air quality and reduce the incidence of Chagas disease in Tuquiza, Bolivia.

    Indoor air pollution due to open-fire cooking methods causes acute and chronic ocular and respiratory problems, both of which are widespread in rural Bolivia. To improve the poor indoor air quality in Tuquiza, a team of University of Washington undergraduate students, EWB-UW, will develop ventilated stoves that are combustion efficient and usable, designed to accommodate household-specific preferences. In addition, metal roofs will be installed in households to combat the parasite that lives in the community’s traditional thatch roofs.

    Both the stoves and the roofs will be modified in response to local challenges, such as material availability and user need, and will be produced with the use of local materials. Additionally, EWB-UW will educate the community in proper use and maintenance and train community members to help implement similar projects in nearby communities.

    EWB-UW has been working in Bolivia with neighboring communities since 2006 to design engineering solutions. The overall objectives of this commitment are to improve ocular and respiratory health, decrease the prevalence of Chagas disease, and enhance the capacity to disseminate the technology throughout the region of Tuquiza.

    Rainwater for Humanity

    Commitment By: Carolyn Aker (Undergraduate) on behalf of Engineers without Borders
    University Name/Major: Brown University, International Relations
    Partners: Asparawa Screwpine; Society Mahatma Gandhi University
    Geographic Scope: Kuttanad, India
    Award Amount: $4,000 toward training for local women
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Carolyn Aker and Brown University’s Engineers without Borders commit to serving a local population of over 700,000 with clean drinking water by capturing rainfall in the State of Kerala in India.

    At present, more than 80 percent of the people in Kuttanad rely on contaminated canal water for their daily water requirements. Rainwater for Humanity is redesigning storage reservoirs and catchment systems. The new systems are durable, cost-effective and de-centralized. Using locally available materials, they constructed cisterns with 265 ft3 capacity and built-in purification systems to capture rain from existing rooftops. Each structure will provide a family with a year’s worth of clean water, eliminating disease as well as increasing efficiency. In addition, a training program will be set up to train women to build and maintain the reservoirs. The skills they learn will enable them to be the entrepreneurs of such structures in the long run.

    The Nepal NUTrition Project

    Commitment By: Mark Arnoldy (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of Colorado, Boulder—Psychology, Integrative Physiology
    Partners: ChangeFusion Nepal; International Development Enterprises; Meds and Food for Kids; CU Leeds School of Business
    Geographic Scope: Nepal
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward machinery and materials
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Mark Arnoldy, an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder, commits to creating a sustainable social enterprise that produces fortified peanut butter locally in Nepal that will be used to treat malnourished children.

    Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 70 percent of deaths under the age of five in Nepal. Arnoldy aims to provide a significant, stable supply of high quality ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) as a treatment for malnutrition. RUTF requires no water or preparation, has a long shelf life, and has transformed treatment of malnutrition. Children no longer have to make the arduous journey to in-patient settings that are costly and ineffective because RUTF can be administered in the home by non-medical professionals.

    Through a sustainable production of fortified peanut butter, this commitment aims to support agriculture development and enhance supply chains with the use of Nepali products. In addition, it will support the local economy through the employment of Nepali individuals. By making the product of RUTF available locally, Arnoldy’s project not only affects health outcomes, but also invests in Nepali agriculture, education, employment and infrastructure.

    Leveraged Freedom Chair: A Wheelchair Designed for the Developing World

    Commitment By: Harry O'Hanley (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechnical Engineering
    Partners: MIT Mobility Lab
    Geographic Scope: Africa
    Award Amount: $3,500 toward materials for prototype chairs
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Harry O’Hanley and his group from the MIT Moblity Lab commit to designing and distributing the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), which will meet user needs by facilitating travel over the wide range of terrains encountered in developing countries.

    Over the next year and a half, this team of undergraduate students will finalize the design and begin distribution of the LFC throughout the developing world. Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) to build five prototypes, making modifications based on feedback from the local technicians. The LFC prototypes will then be given to wheelchair users in Kenya and Tanzania for a four-month-long trial. Testing in different geographic regions will provide varying user feedback and a comprehensive understanding of the LFC’s capabilities.

    Harry and his team will focus on disseminating the LFC design to wheelchair workshops throughout the developing world, including the nineteen organizations that currently partner with the MIT Mobility Lab. By the summer of 2010, they aim to have one hundred LFCs in use in East Africa.

    A Sustainable and Grassroots Health Care Solution for the Developing World via Mobile Phones

    Commitment By: Lucky Gunasekara (Candidate for Medical Doctor), on behalf of FrontlineSMS:Medic
    University Name/Major: Stanford University, School of Medicine
    Partners: Children’s AIDS Fund; VillageReach; BRAC;
    Geographic Scope: Malawi, Mexico
    Award Amount: $5,000 toward incidentals
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Lucky Gunasekara is a med student at Stanford University who is aiming to develop healthcare technology through FrontlineSMS:Medic for clinics and community health workers to communicate essential medical information through the use of a cell phone.

    FrontlineSMS:Medic is a free, open source software program designed to help health workers in developing countries meet the challenge of caring for the billion people living on less than $1 a day. Community health workers (CHWs) frequently make long trips between centrally-located clinics and peripheral villages. This commitment will build on the existing technology to develop innovative healthcare modules that will utilize a cell phone to provide basic electronic medical records, allowing clinics and their CHWs to securely communicate patient information in real time. Additionally, Gunasekara’s project will tag patient data to visualize local health burdens and perform critical diagnostics in seconds via cell phone for less than $1.

    This technology will be launched in three pilot sites in Malawi and one pilot site in Mexico with the objective of increasing the capacity, quality and expediency of rural healthcare systems.

    The Hep B Project

    Commitment By: Kevin Hur (Undergraduate)
    University Name/Major: University of California Berkeley, Neurobiology
    Partners: Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD); Street Level Health Project of Oakland; Asian Health Services
    Geographic Scope: Domestic
    Award Amount: $3,000 toward educational materials and Hep B screenings
    Funding Provided By: Pat Tillman Foundation
    Commitment Description:
    Kevin Hur, an undergraduate student at the University of California Berkeley, commits to combating Hepatitis B, a major health issue, within San Francisco’s Asian Pacific Islander community.

    Hepatitis B significantly affects Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) more than any other population and yet little progress has been made to screen and vaccinate APIs in counties that have a high percentage of APIs, such as Alameda County, California.

    Hur will employ a three-part strategy that includes targeted outreach education about Hepatitis B to the API population; screenings and vaccinations provided by health professionals and free clinics; and establishment of stronger ties between the API community and existing health services within the county.