CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards 2010

Clinton Global Initiative University recently recognized 45 students with Outstanding Commitment Award grants. Winning commitments were made by graduate and undergraduate students representing each of the five focus areas and a broad geographic scope. These awards were made possible by the generous support of Walmart, whose $200,000 grant allowed CGI U to help students implement their commitments and realize their goals. CGI U is confident that these winners will continue their commitments to make positive impacts in the lives of others, and are excited that they will be continuing their efforts through the CGI U community.

Below are descriptions of each of the award winners, grouped by focus area. To learn more from specific commitment makers, feel free to browse a Q&A feature for 1000 New Gardens for Montana and Feeding the Poor, One Egg at a Time, or check out the video about the Recording our Dreams commitment.


    Financial Literacy Initiative for Somali and Somali-Bantu Refugees

    Commitment by: Razin Mustafiz
    University Name/ Major: Bates College, Economics
    Partners: Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships; Androscoggin Bank; IDEO
    Geographic Scope: Maine
    Award Amount: $4,000

    Commitment Description
    Razin Mustafiz commits to creating a culturally-appropriate financial literacy program for the Somali and Somali-Bantu community in Lewiston, Maine.

    The commitment will empower a traditionally underserved community with the skills and the confidence necessary to operate in a modern financial environment. The Somali and Somali-Bantu communities are devout Muslims and are unable to access services traditionally offered by banks, because these traditions do not adhere to Islam’s sacred Shari’ah Law. Androscoggin Bank, one of the oldest financial institutions in Maine, is considering the introduction of Shari’ah-compliant products as part of its line of offerings.

    Most adults in the Somali and Somali-Bantu community have little or no knowledge about basic financial planning. The workshops will cover a wide range of topics, from opening a bank account to saving money for children’s education. They will serve as an introduction to U.S. currency and to ATMs, as well as to more advanced topics like planning for retirement. Additionally, all the study materials will be available in both English and Somali, while a financial planning toolkit will be the first of its kind to be designed for non-native English speakers. The commitment combines the capabilities of a diverse group of partners, including academia, non-profits, and privately-held companies.

    Making Waves: Providing Swimming Instruction to Children with Special Needs

    Commitment by: Matthew Morantz, on behalf of Making Waves
    University Name/ Major: McGill University, Chemistry
    Partners: The Summit School (Montreal), the MacKay Centre School (Montreal) and the Montreal Autism Centre, the Students’ Society of McGill University
    Geographic Scope: Lebanon
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    Making Waves commits to providing private, low-cost, adapted swimming instruction to children with special needs.

    Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths for children, and disabled children are more than ten times likelier than the general population to suffer from a submersion injury. For example, children with special needs in Canda do not have affordable access to swimming and water safety instruction, and children with disabilities are more likely to live below the federal poverty threshold.

    Already established in Montreal and other Canadian cities, Making Waves plans to expand within Canada and to create a pilot version of an international fellowship program. This fellowship will send a specially-trained volunteer to Lebanon in order to teach children at the Empowerment Through Integration camp for the visually impaired (founded by Sara Minkara, winner of the CGI U 2009 Outstanding Commitment Award) how to swim.

    Books and Cooks!

    Commitment by: Timothy Biba, on behalf of Books and Cooks!
    University Name/ Major: Syracuse University, Political Science
    Partners: The Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS), Syracuse University Literacy Corps (SULC), The Nutrition Education and Promotion Association (NEPA), the Nutrition program at Syracuse University’s College of Human Ecology, Catholic Charities, select New York farmers
    Geographic Scope: New York
    Award Amount: $3,000

    Commitment Description
    Books and Cooks! commits to improving children’s reading abilities and knowledge about nutrition by exposing them to other cultures through books, utilizing a variety of media forms, and teaching them how to cook age- and culture-appropriate nutritious meals.

    The program will initiallytarget second and third grade children in after-school programs. Children will participate in a short educational activity, which will be followed by a hands-on cooking segment on preparing their own healthy snacks. They will be taught how to read nutrition labels, measure ingredients, and read recipes. Books and Cooks! aims to combat obesity as well as the nutritional habits that lead to obesity during childhood and into adulthood.

    The School Fund

    Commitment by: Matt Severson
    University Name / Major: Brown University, Development Studies
    Partners: One Million Lights
    Geographic Scope: Tanzania
    Award Amount: $3,000

    Commitment Description
    Matt Severson commits to creating The School Fund, an online person-to-person lending platform that addresses educational inequality in the developing world by connecting students in need of financial aid with potential donors from around the world.

    Students will create profile pages on The School Fund outlining their financial need (e.g. $30 tuition, $40 uniform) in order to be matched with potential donors. Schools will be able to create profile pages, and request items to improve their facilities and their quality of education (e.g. $500 lab equipment, $600 music instruments, etc.). The School Fund intends to partner with organizations to provide essential learning materials, such as laptops for students or books for libraries, to students and schools.

    The School Fund’s first partner school is the Lugalo Secondary School in Iringa, Tanzania, where they are funding 32 students for the 2010 school year. They plan to add a group of 30 new students for the 2011 year (while continuing to support the original 32), and to help Lugalo create its school profile. The fund plans to expand to a second Tanzanian school, the Ganako Secondary School, in order to fund an additional 30 students for the 2011 school year.

    Youth and Children’s Education Center For AIDS Orphans and their Grandmothers

    Commitment by: Atieno Oduor
    University Name / Major: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, International Affairs
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Atieno Oduor commits to building a Youth Education Center in his village of Apuoyo, Kenya. The center will be geared towards improving the academic performance, school enrollment, and retention of 50 orphaned children.

    An overwhelming majority of grandmothers in Apuoyo are widowed with little chance of gaining employment, as socially-limiting gender roles have typically precluded them from owning property and/or obtaining education earlier in life. As a result, these households are characterized by poor school performance, high dropout rates, early child marriage, and teen pregnancies. This has created a terrible cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS in such households.

    The youth center will be created by transforming an unutilized building in the local church into a classroom for 50 orphaned children. The main goal of the center will be to run an after-school program where orphaned children will be given assistance with their homework, as well as access to books and other educational resources. Additionally, the center will serve as a resource center for the widowed grandmothers of Apuoyo so that they can take part in educational workshops and community service activities.

    Lead Palestine

    Commitment by: Hammad Hammad, on behalf of Inspire Dreams
    University Name/ Major: Tufts University, International Affairs
    Partners: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); Al-Feniq Cultural Center at the Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem; Bethlehem University/Bir Zeit University; University of North Carolina, Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar; Fred Foundation/Oxfam International.
    Geographic Scope: West Bank
    Award Amount: $3,000

    Inspire Dreams commits to creating Lead Palestine in order to systemically change the lives of young Palestinians, especially refugees. They will provide opportunities for mentoring, post-secondary education, and empowerment so that these young Palestinians can lead self-sustainable lives in the workforce.

    Lead Palestine is an intensive, two-year summer program for 30 Palestinian refugee youth with post-secondary ambitions. The programs feature college preparation, scholarship application guidance, mastery of core subject areas (humanities, math and sciences), and a short work-place internship during the youths’ second year. The commitment will act as a hybrid of successful college preparatory initiatives, such as Prep for Prep in New York City, the Super 30 Initiative in India, and Kaplan.

    Lead Palestine expands on Inspire Dream’s CGI U 2009 Outstanding Commitment Award-winning commitment, “Camp I Have a Dream.” They will work with the residents of the camps to match each student with a mentor who attends a local university. Eight American interns from universities like Brown, MIT, and Georgetown, have been selected to assist with “Camp I Have a Dream” and Lead Palestine, and to teach English at cultural centers in Bethlehem and Nablus.

    MicroEd – Microfinance Meets Higher Education

    Commitment by: Jaime L Sargent, on behalf of MicroEd
    University Name/ Major: Arizona State University, Human Rights
    Partners: Andrew Innocent, tax accountant; Jelsen Innocent, graphic designer; Dr. Rick Knopf, Professor, ASU School of Community Resources & Development/ Director, Partnership for Community Development;
    Geographic Scope: Haiti
    Award Amount: $3,000

    MicroEd commits to providing affordable higher education in Haiti through two methods of poverty alleviation: education and microfinance. MicroEd assists individuals in the developed world in using small, interest-free student loans to support university students in underdeveloped nations.

    In Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, where education has been interrupted due to the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake, MicroEd will work to assist university students in transferring to universities located in regions that have not been as affected. Individual donors will log onto the website, choose a student, and lend interest-free tuition funds in increments of $25. One hundred percent of the funds will be applied directly to each student’s university account. The student will then repay the loan in installments upon graduation (or earlier if they so choose).

    Priority will be given to seniors, then juniors, etc., in an effort to get educated young people into the work force as quickly as possible. Reports have identified the rebuilding of Haiti’s higher-education system as an essential tool in transforming the nation, and the creation of universities of international caliber will be key engines for economic growth.


    Commitment by: Alexei Bezborodov, on behalf of Students for Development
    University Name/ Major: University of Toronto, Political Science
    Partners: Center for Professional Technical Education (CETPRO); CODECO.
    Geographic Scope: Peru
    Award Amount: $4,000

    Students for Development commits to creating educational and employment opportunities for youth in Chiquian, Peru.

    Educacion Solidaria para Empleo Juvenil (ESEJ), or Solidarity Education for Youth Employment, will address issues of unemployment and lack of access to education in Peru’s Ancash Department. Few youth successfully complete high school, and even fewer gain access to post-secondary education. To combat this, ESEJ will renovate the Center for Professional Education in Chiquian and establish a new business education program that will enable students to start their own cooperative businesses. The Center for Professional Technical Education (CETPRO) provides technical professional education to Chiquian’s youth, equipping students with employable skills.

    ESEJ will improve youth access to technical education by renovating the building, procuring essential equipment, and establishing a business training program in partnership with CODECO, a Peruvian cooperative education organization. Additionally, through their microfinance partner, they intend to provide microcredit loans to groups of youth entrepreneurs to help them start cooperative businesses. ESEJ will work with CETPRO staff and CODECO to introduce a two-month business-training program. With CODECO, they will provide 50 hours of training to CETPRO. They have also partnered with CODECO’s network of cooperative banks to ensure that student groups that complete their training program will be eligible for loans of about $100 to invest into the groups’ new businesses.

    Rain-Fed School Farm Project

    Commitment by: Caroline Lentupuru
    University Name/ Major: Clark University, Development Studies
    Partners: Mr. Thomas Nongo’nop, head teacher of Kiserian secondary school; Rev. Joshua Lenachuru, chairman of the Kiserian Secondary School Board of Governors; Mr. Laban Labat, the Ministry of Agriculture officer in charge of the Marigat district.
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $4,000

    Caroline Lentupuru commits to helping the Kiserian secondary school, located in the Rift Valley province in Kenya, to create rain-collecting furrows, which will simultaneously improve the yield of the crops for agriculture students and raise their grades.

    This project will establish a school farm, which will be cultivated using rainwater. Ministry of Agriculture personnel will provide expertise for the designing of the furrows, while community members will be hired to dig the furrows, learn the skills involved in the technology, and replicate the results on their own farms. The furrows will collect the rainwater and water the crops that are planted in the spaces between the furrows. Once the furrows are filled with water, the farm will have enough water to meet its needs for more than a month.

    This project should enable students to improve their grades on their agriculture examinations, as well as increase student enrollment in agricultural programs. Currently, students at Kiserian secondary school travel 1.5 miles to the river, twice a day, to fetch water to irrigate their student agriculture practical plots. Rainfall has been consistently low and crop yields have been suffering, which affects not only the students’ practical grades, but alsotheir final grades on national examinations. With this initiative, time will be saved, and crop yields, enrollment, and grades will improve.

    Environment & Climate Change

    1000 New Gardens Montana

    Commitment by: Zachary Brown, on behalf of Montana Environmental Student Alliance (MESA) ()
    University Name/ Major: University of Montana, Environmental Science
    Partners: Gallatin Valley Food Bank; Big Sky Youth Empowerment; Montana Yellowstone Expeditions; University of Montana 1,000 New Gardens.
    Geographic Scope: Montana
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Zachary Brown and the Montana Environmental Student Alliance (MESA) commit to digging and facilitating the use of 1,000 new gardens in the state of Montana over the next three years.

    MESA will find willing homeowners and renters who would like to start their own gardens in order to grow their own food. MESA will encourage gardens as a sustainable alternative to lawns, which can be destructive in terms of soil quality, human health, and resource conservation. In May 2010, MESA began by digging gardens for dependants of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The project’s purpose is to allow the dependants to grow their own food, to reduce their environmental impact, and to inspire appreciation for the replacement of unsustainable monoculture systems, which produce cheap food, with local and sustainable food production. Big Sky Youth Empowerment and Montana Yellowstone Expeditions are providing the project with volunteer labor in the form of at-risk youth, who will come to garden sites with their mentors to help create gardens. MESA’s goal for Summer 2010 has been to create 400 gardens in the Bozeman area, while another 600 gardens will be created in other communities between 2011 and 2012.

    Niger Stove Project

    Commitment by: Rachel Carson Rothgery
    University Name/ Major: Oberlin College, International Affairs
    Partners: Rencontre et Action; MicroEnergy Credits; StoveTec
    Geographic Scope: Niamey, Nigeria
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Rachel Carson Rothgery commits to disseminating low-cost, fuel-efficient stoves that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the respiratory health of families in Niamey, Nigeria.

    Working in collaboration with the local microfinance initiative, Rencontre et Action, the project will transform the market by improving awareness of fuel-efficiency and environmental impact amongst the population. The Niger Stove Project will establish the business capacity to supply and market the stoves, creating a source of alternative income for struggling Nigerians (mostly women), and establishing quality assurance procedures which include careful monitoring of the usage and effectiveness of the new stoves.

    Since StoveTec stoves reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are eligible for MicroEnergy Credits, which will remunerate $6.80 per ton of reduced emissions back to the project. This money will go towards subsidizing the costs of future stoves to the lowest-income Nigerians, while the rest will be subsidized to the price of $6. Sales and carbon revenues combined will enable the project to be financially self-sustaining. The Niger Stove Project will reduce greenhouse emissions by around 6,000 tons (50%-75%), reduce fuel wood consumption by 50%, and generate approximately $75 in monthly income for ten female stove vendors.

    Solar Canopy: Laptop Recharge Station

    Commitment by: Muktha Natrajan
    University Name/ Major: University of Georgia, Environmental Science
    Partners: University Architects; University of Georgia Office of Sustainability; TurnSol Energy
    Geographic Scope: Georgia
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Muktha Natrajan commits to creating a solar-powered laptop recharge station on the University of Georgia’s Myers Quad. This project will increase awareness and understanding of solar energy and encourage environmental sustainability among the student body and population of Athens, Georgia.

    The solar canopy will be in a central location and will be highly visible to students. The canopy will have seating space and charging stations for laptops. It will be attached to the energy grid at the University of Georgia, providing energy to the entire system and reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, information will be relayed about real-time energy-gathering to an automatically-updating web platform. Real-time and monthly comparisons of solar data to other mainstream fuel sources, such as coal and gas, will highlight the drastic differences (in terms of the number of hours that lights are left on), in these power sources.

    AffordaSol – A Low-Cost Solar Charger for the Developing World

    Commitment by: Robert Pilawa
    University Name/ Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Electrical Engineering
    Partners: MIT Public Service Center; MIT International Development Initiative; One Laptop Per Child Foundation.
    Geographic Scope: India
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Robert Pilawa commits to developing a low-cost solar charger specifically designed for the developing world. This charger aims to replace harmful light sources with a clean alternative and to bring electricity to off-the-grid regions.

    Using inexpensive concentrating optics and a small solar cell area, the charger will enable the safe and efficient charging of lead-acid batteries, cell-phones, laptops, lamps and lanterns, and other portable electronic equipment, including One Laptop Per Child’s (OLPC) XO computer. Production and distribution of the product will be facilitated as Pilawa establishes AffordaSol, a not-for-profit organization, to partner with other organizations and perpetuate the chargers.

    This new charger will change the cost structure of solar photovoltaics, bringing affordable and renewable electric power to the developing world. The goal is to improve the lives of people in the developing world by providing them with clean electric power at an affordable cost.

    Food Waste Recycling in Hong Kong

    Commitment by: Jack Kai Cheng , on behalf of Green Collar Social Enterprise
    University Name/ Major: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Business Administration
    Partners: CNT Union; Hip Hing Construction Co.; Luncheon Star; E-farm; Community Grower Group Office
    Geographic Scope: Hong Kong
    Award Amount: $4,000

    Commitment Description
    Green Collar Social Enterprise commits to setting up the first food waste recycling company in Hong Kong in order to process food waste into organic compost for organic farms.

    The commitment seeks to alleviate pressure on overstrained landfills, reduce methane gas emissions, and create economic value and a sustainable, scalable business from waste projects that are otherwise unused. In the past 10 years, commercial and industrial waste in Hong Kong has tripled from 300 tons per day to 900 tons per day. Within three years, Hong Kong landfills will become saturated and forced to expand into existing park land. Currently, organic compost for farmers in the Hong Kong region is all sourced internationally, compared to this locally-sourced initiative.

    This commitment will potentially save park land that is to be converted into more landfill space. Green Collar Social Enterprise hopes the government will become aware of the importance and benefits of food waste recycling and will invest more in infrastructure to support the recycling industry.

    UIUC Biodiesel Initiative – Soap Extension

    Commitment by: William Kelleher, on behalf of the UIUC Biodiesel Initiative
    University Name/ Major: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Electrical Engineering
    Partners: Engineers Without Borders, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (EWB-UIUC); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus dining services; Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC)
    Geographic Scope: Chicago
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    The UIUC Biodiesel Initiative commits to producing biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil at the Urbana-Champaign dining halls of the University of Illinois, and to make soap from the glycerin byproduct to be used within the same dining halls.

    By turning discarded vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel and returning the byproducts of that process into soap, the UIUC Biodiesel Initiative will reduce CO2 emissions by over 5,000 pounds. Creating soap as a by-product that will be sold back to the dining halls will cut university costs on soap, and will generate self-sustaining revenue for the project while instructing more students within the community, and from other universities, about the benefits of sustainable businesses and biofuels. In fact, every diesel-fueled vehicle on the UIUC campus already runs on a blend of fuel produced by this commitment. The Initiative’s goal is to eliminate 100% of the waste from the mutually-dependent products.


    Commitment by: Michelle Lanzoni
    University Name/ Major: University of Montana, Environmental Science
    Partners: The Palestinian Hydrology Group; Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ)
    Geographic Scope: West Bank and Gaza Strip
    Award Amount: $4,500

    Commitment Description
    Michelle Lanzoni commits to building ten small-scale wastewater treatment plots in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order to produce water that is suitable for olive tree irrigation.

    Fewer than 8% of wells in the Gaza Strip meet World Health Organization standards, and the Gaza Aquifer could degrade beyond usability in ten years’ time. Thirst will implement small-scale technologies for sustainable wastewater management, rainwater harvesting, and solar distillation.

    Lanzoni will develop this initial small-scale water treatment system so that it is easily reproducible and can be disseminated to water organizations and municipal authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Additionally, she will write articles to raise awareness about the plight of water-stressed communities and the role that water plays in establishing peace.

    White Tops

    Commitment by: Priscilla Lee, on behalf of White Tops
    University Name/ Major: Parsons the New School of Design, Architecture
    Partners: Comm*Unity and Alpha Phi Omega, New York University
    Geographic Scope: New York
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    White Tops commits to painting rooftops white in New York City to reduce buildings’ overall energy consumption.

    White paint will make the rooftops absorb less heat heat and have a higher reflectivity, resulting in a decrease in occupants’ energy consumption during hot days. The resulting decrease in energy consumption, which could be as high as 40%, has three major effects: reducing CO2 emissions, combating the “urban heat island” effect (in which urban areas experience higher temperatures), and producing greater economic efficiency.

    The implementation of the project relies on eco-friendly paints, high weatherability, and titanium dioxide, which helps break down the pollutants from air. Temperature monitors will be installed in the rooms underneath, and on the roofs, to measure the change in temperature from before to after the paint application. An interactive map will be created to track the number of white roofs; this map will be publicly accessible and publicly edited through the website OpenStreetMap. White Tops hopes to inspire others to follow the trend of painting rooftops white.

    Nicaragua Wind Power Project

    Commitment by: Ismael Abdala
    University Name/ Major: Northwestern University, Earth and Environmental Engineering
    Partners: Green Empowerment, AsoFenix
    Geographic Scope: Nicaragua
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    The Nicaragua Wind Project commits to designing and building two wind turbines that will provide clean electricity to the Bramadero and Sonzapote villages of Nicaragua.

    Currently, the two villages are not tied to the national electricity grid and rely on kerosene lamps for lighting. In order to provide electric lighting to households through wind systems, Ismael has partnered with Green Empowerment to develop turbines that will use alternators from old cars and motorcycles to generate electricity. The prototype will be built on campus, will use local materials available in Nicaragua, and will be tested under various wind speeds and weather conditions to simulate the local environment. AsoFenix, a Nicaraguan-based NGO partner, will assist in construction, maintenance, and recreation of the turbine on-site to ensure that local workers can manage the wind systems.

    By switching the source of light from kerosene to wind-generated electricity, this commitment aims to improve air quality by reducing the contaminant emissions associated with burning kerosene; enable children to study at night; and help reduce the number of respiratory problems and deaths associated with kerosene burning.

    Giving the Green Light

    Commitment by: Ximena Prugue
    University Name/ Major: Miami Dade College, Industrial Engineering
    Partners: Mark Bent of BoGo Light
    Geographic Scope: India
    Award Amount: $3,500

    Commitment Description
    Ximena Prugue commits to replacing dangerous and toxic kerosene lamps in rural India with durable and sustainable solar-powered lights.

    Approximately 1.6 billion people around the world, including nearly 500 million citizens of India, do not have access to electricity. By replacing kerosene lamps with solar-powered lights, children will be able to do homework at night, and families’ income could increase by 30% due to better energy productivity. Furthermore, these lights will reduce the public health risks associated with kerosene lamps.

    Peace and Human Rights

    Sana: Promoting Peace and Improving Access to Health Care in Resource-Poor and Conflict Areas in the Philippines

    Commitment by: Christopher Moses, on behalf of Sana
    University Name/ Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Neuroscience
    Partners: University of the Philippines; Ayala Foundation; Ateneo de Manila University; Philippines Department of Health; SMART; GLOBE.
    Geographic Scope: Philippines
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    Sana, an open source cell phone-based system, commits to extending specialist medical care to resource-poor areas, particularly Mindanao, in the Philippines.

    The program, which is a telemedicine system, is a powerful tool that will extend care for the first time to conflict zones in Mindanao. Muslim extremists and military violence in this primarily-Catholic nation limit local citizens’ access to adequate health care, and have too often been the cause of Mindanao and its people’s removal from the radar of health professionals graduating from the elite metropolitan medical institutions in Manila.

    Fellowships will be created for a one-month rotation system in which two students travel to a provincial health office in a safe but conflict-affected area in Mindanao. The fellows’ experience is aimed at creating an interest and passion for new health professionals in far-flung and conflict-ridden areas in the Philippines. In addition, there will be a pilot study of the Sana system in a provincial health office in Mindanao. Public health and technical experts will come together in Manila in July 2010 to hold workshops on how to use the Sana system and how to collect data for outcome metrics during the two studies.

    Building Healthy Families: A Project to Restructure Ghana’s Foster Care System

    Commitment by: Eunice Lee, on behalf of KaeMe
    University Name/ Major: Stanford University, Economics
    Partners: The Ghanaian Ministry’s Department of Social Welfare; University of Ghana; faculty members and student organizations at Stanford University; employees.
    Geographic Scope: Ghana
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    KaeMe (which means “remember me” in Twi, a Ghanaian dialect), commits to visiting orphanages across Ghana while building relationships among children, caregivers, and social workers. Its goal is to connect orphans with potential families through the Ghanaian Ministry’s Department of Social Welfare (DSW).

    Throughout the summer, volunteer teams will review children’s documents, speak with caregivers, and interview children to create a full profile of each child’s history, health, and personality. These profiles will contain the information that is essential in determining if a child will be best served by adoption, reunification with relatives, or foster care.

    KaeMe’s presence in Ghana leverages the dramatic growth of Internet technology on the African continent to innovatively address the barriers inherent in connecting orphans with potential families. The commitment aims to create unprecedented and sustained changes in the structure of the foster care system in Ghana. By uniquely partnering with the DSW, which has stewardship over the abandoned and orphaned children of Ghana, they will play a key role in the implementation of the country’s Child Care Reform Initiative. As part of this mandate, the DSW seeks to move children out of orphanages and into family-based care whenever possible.

    Radio for Peace

    Commitment by: Chantal Berman
    University Name/ Major: Brown University, Development Studies
    Partners: Watson Institute; SoulBeat Africa; LA BENEVOLENCIJA; Global Media Project at Brown University
    Geographic Scope: Rwanda
    Award Amount: $3,500

    Commitment Description
    Chantal Berman commits to improving the reporting capacities of forty Rwandan community radio stations through a series of workshops focused on the technical and stylistic aspects of audio pre-production.

    In the past two decades, community radio stations with small FM reaches have become a primary source of news and culture for Rwandans outside major cities. Inexpensive to produce and consume, and transcendent of literacy barriers, local radio improves public awareness, facilitates social cohesion, strengthens civil society, and encourages popular participation in democratic processes. However, many small stations still lack the training and technology to pre-record and edit their own programs, which limits the depth, originality, and local relevance of their broadcasting.

    Radio for Peace aims to provide the necessary technical training and capital improvements for forty community radio stations to begin pre-producing their programming. It will conduct eight five-day workshops over a period of ten weeks; each workshop will include broadcasters from 5-6 regional radio stations that have little or no pre-production capacity. Radio for Peace will also distribute Audacity, a free audio-editing software that can be installed on station computers or used at local internet cafes, and offer portable digital audio recorders and headphones at prices heavily discounted from retail.

    Sarswati Peace School: Building Hope for Nepalese Children

    Commitment by: Subhash Ghimire
    University Name/ Major: St. Olaf College, Political Science
    Geographic Scope: Nepal
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Subhash Ghimire commits to building a “Peace School” in Arupokhari, his village in Western Nepal, to help over 250 children (between the ages of four and fifteen) who are affected by the violence of civil war.

    Nepal’s civil war (1996-2006) left an overwhelming number of children physically and psychologically scarred, and deprived them of their basic right to learn. Yet the Nepalese government has not started any programs or projects to address post-war problems faced by adolescents. Furthermore, the Nepalese school curricula have never focused on peace or peaceful living in communities.

    Subhash plans to use the CGI U funds to build part of a library, classroom space, and a computer lab. The strategy underlying the Sarswati Peace School is to invest in the future of Nepal through a grassroots, culturally-appropriate peace education effort that not only meets the educational needs of the children in the village, but also radiates outward into their families, and forward into the future, by equipping them for peace in their adult lives. Drawing on the resources of their rich cultural heritage, Sarswati will integrate play, drama, storytelling, gardening, music and dance, arts and crafts, and sports. The school environment will enable each child to develop a non-violent character and practice using techniques embedded in local culture to creatively resolve conflict.

    Painting a Peaceful Present

    Commitment by: Khushbu Mishra
    University Name/ Major: Mount Holyoke College, Economics
    Geographic Scope: Nepal
    Suggested Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Khushbu Mishra commits to creating the Mithila Art Institute, which will promote economic empowerment of Mithila women and increase awareness of Mithila culture throughout Nepal.

    In addition to facing the ongoing ethnic tension between the Terai and Pahadi people of Nepal, Mithila women currently struggle with low life expectancy rates, low literacy rates, and high maternal mortality rates.

    Mishra’s commitment will work with Mithila women artists, who traditionally construct their works on the walls of mud houses, and train them to use paints and fabrics to create works that can be sold to tourists. The income generated from this cultural enterprise will create incomes for Mithila artists, while covering additional costs for artist materials.

    Poverty Alleviation

    Sewing for the Next Generation

    Commitment by: Christine Meling
    University Name/ Major: Luther College, Social Work
    Partners: Social Work Association of Luther College; Yari community school board; Yei Education Development Agency (YEDA)
    Geographic Scope: Sudan
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Christine Meling commits to creating a program to teach women how to sew school uniforms in a community outside of Yari, Sudan. Her commitment will benefit the kindergarten and primary school, professional tailors, and the lives of women who will learn a trade and receive a new source of income.

    After two decades of civil war in Southern Sudan, education for children, as well as the creation of opportunities for adults who primarily live off of subsistence farming, is an imperative. Sewing for the Next Generation will aid local women by teaching them to sew and make clothing, with the goal of giving them enough skills to start a business in making school uniforms.

    With the initial success of supplying uniforms to the schools in the area, the women will have capital in order to branch out into making the products of their choice. This will allow women and their children to avoid spending excess time and money to travel for the same product; encourage school attendance; and reduce the costs of families sending their children to school.

    Female Empowerment through Reusable Sanitary Pads

    Commitment by: Grace Ochieng’
    University Name/ Major: St. Lawrence University, Political Science
    Partners: The Lwala Community Alliance, the Pads for the People Project
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $4,500

    Commitment Description
    Grace Ochieng’ commits to starting a microfinance sewing project that will create reusable, washable, and environmentally-friendly menstrual sanitary pads in the rural village of Lwala, Kenya.

    This project will empower women in Lwala through the enhancement of business skills and the creation of an income source. It will enhance the local economy and improve girls’ attendance in primary and secondary schools. Additionally, it will improve community health by empowering women and educating girls, while fighting the stigma associated withmenstruation. Women who sew and sell the pads will also conduct menstrual health workshops for the girls of Lwala.

    Triple Thread Apparel: A Screen-printing Social Enterprise

    Commitment by: Kyle Lloyd McCollom Jr., on behalf of Triple Thread Apparel
    University Name/ Major: Vanderbilt University, Business Administration
    Partners: Dismas, Inc.
    Geographic Scope: Nashville, Tennessee
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Triple Thread Apparel commits to reconciling former offenders to society by developing self-worth and soft skills through employment and job-training in the production of quality custom shirts.

    In partnership with the Dismas House, a halfway house in Nashville, TN, Triple Thread will work to reduce recidivism rates among former offenders. Their three-pronged approach includes the manufacture of high-quality shirts that customers would purchase regardless of the social benefit; the teaching of valuable job skills to Dismas House residents to empower them to build marketable resumes; and the re-investment all net profits in Dismas House to develop a sustainable source of income.

    By emphasizing new job skills such as sales, inventory management, product development, problem-solving, and effective business practices, Triple Thread commits to creating a sustainable solution to the reluctance of employers in hiring ex-offenders.

    The MicroCredit Program

    Commitment by: Joseph Konkel and Thomas Paul Barnes, on behalf of The MicroCredit Program
    University Name/ Major: University of St. Thomas, Political Science
    Partners: Fundaccion Ayuda para Ayudar; Hashoo Foundation; Universidad de Santo Tomas; Kimse Yok Mu
    Geographic Scope: Mexico, Turkey
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    The MicroCredit Program commits to creating seven projects targeted towards alleviating poverty in both the developing world and in the Gulf Coast.

    MicroCredit has already distributed over $30,000 in microloans in Chile, Yucatan, and to its project on The first series of loans to the Yucatan has already been repaid, and new loan recipients will be selected shortly. Habanero pepper salsas and honey produced by the first series of entrepreneurs are being prepared for export to the United States.

    MicroCredit has several plans going forward. It will create a large irrigation system funded by Rotary International in the village of Petac, Yucatan. It will also distribute $10,000.00 to women near Gilgit, Pakistan for the development of apiculture businesses. In addition, it is also beginning a pilot project aimed at giving former dropouts from the Houston Independent School , and will also mentor all students who receive educational loans to ensure that they are successful. Lastly, in Turkey, a microfinance initiative is being enacted on behalf of women who have had to give their children to the state because of economic deprivation; the program will help these women earn capital in order to reunite with their children.

    Feeding the Poor, One Egg at a Time

    Commitment by: Christina Newman, on behalf of Hens for Haiti
    University Name/ Major: Virginia Tech University, Agronomy
    Partners: Religious of Jesus and Mary; Caritas
    Geographic Scope: Artibonite, Haiti
    Award Amount: $8,000

    Commitment Description
    Hens for Haiti commits to create a self-sustaining egg-laying facility to provide a source of protein, food security, local employment, economic stimulation, and education about sustainable agricultural techniques to a rural town in Haiti’s Artibonite.

    Two years ago, local leaders of the Haitian community approached members of Hens for Haiti and proposed the egg-laying facility. Since then, land has been secured and partnerships between Haitians and Americans partnerships have grown to support the initiative. The proposed facility will house 1,500 hens and is projected to produce about 15% of the daily demand for the town of Gros-Morne’s . It will also employ five full-time workers and serve as an example to the local community of good business management and agricultural production techniques.

    Poultry products will be sold to local merchants to provide a more convenient, secure, and safe protein source. All profits from this operation will go towards repairs and improvement of the facility, as well as to the encouragement of similar endeavors in other areas. The operation will be self-sustaining after the first year of production.

    Recording Our Dreams: Empowering Ugandan Youth through Music Production

    Commitment by: Divinity Barkley, on behalf of Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association
    University Name/ Major: Makerere University, Women’s Studies
    Partners: Point Youth Media; Rise of African Youth through Self-Empowerment (RAYSE at the University of Southern California); African Millennium Foundation
    Geographic Scope: Uganda
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA) commits to alleviating poverty and joblessness among Ugandan youth by establishing a recording studio in Kampala.

    Capitalizing on the global impact of hip-hop, Recording Our Dreams will economically and artistically empower youth. This initiative is crucial to Ugandan youth in an environment where there are few opportunities for professional development, even for recent university graduates. Youth will be trained to record music, produce beats, and market their music in a safe learning environment with which they are already familiar. The station has a goal of using solar power for 35% of the studio’s energy.

    This commitment will allow AGYA to generate revenue by renting out the studio to local musicians, producing music beats for local musicians, and releasing compilation albums every six months. The youth will be able to earn money by marketing and selling their music online, distributing their music to radio stations throughout East Africa, and possibly booking paid performances.

    Healing the Wound

    Commitment by: An Thi Minh Vo
    University Name/ Major: Mt. Holyoke College, International Affairs
    Partners: Office of Genetic Counseling and Disabled Children (OGCDC), Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy; Green Summer Campaign
    Geographic Scope: Vietnam
    Award Amount: $4,000

    Commitment Description
    An Thi Minh Vo commits to creating a microfinance program for poor families with disabled children in rural communities in Vietnam.

    The use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War caused multiple generations of birth defects in subsequent generations of children in Vietnam. Parents with disabled children cannot earn enough to cover the cost of basic commodities and special health care. The project aims to increase the monthly income of 37 poor households with disabled children in six communes by creating a sustainable micro-lending program.

    Each selected family will be granted a $212 loan to invest either on its current agricultural activities or on small businesses such as selling bread, snacks, or school supplies to local residents. The borrowers will have two years to repay the loan at 10% interest, which will be used to run the program, re-invest in the other members of the community, and expand its reach. Healing the Wound also aims to help mend relations between the United States and Vietnam.

    Wello: Improving Access to Water in India

    Commitment by: Cynthia Koenig, on behalf of Wello
    University Name/ Major: University of Michigan, Business Administration
    Partners: Catapult Design; Engineers without Borders, University of Michigan; Emerging Markets Club and Net Impact at the University of Michigan; Sarvajal
    Geographic Scope: India
    Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    Wello commits to expanding the sales of Water Wheels and their Business in a Barrel model from South Africa to India.

    The Water Wheel is a water transport tool designed to alleviate the problems associated with the lack of access to water. Its innovative design makes it possible to collect 25 gallons of water (five times the amount possible using traditional methods), with greater speed and ease. Water will be collected from community-scale clean water providers and delivered door-to-door. The model is convenient, customizable, and affordable, and allows a new avenue of income, self-confidence, and respect for the Water Entrepreneurs who take on this initiative.

    Water Entrepreneurs will receive training based on a curriculum that includes public health, sales, and business skills. One of the most significant results of this initiative will be the increase in the amount of time that girls and women will have to improve their own lives and their communities.

    Aeroponic Agriculture for Haiti

    Commitment by: Andrew Chung, on behalf of Engineers for a Sustainable World at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    University/ Major: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mechanical Engineering
    Partners: St John’s Episcopal Church of Troy, NY
    Geographic Region: Haiti
    Amount: $4,000

    Commitment Description
    Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) at Renssealer commits to designing an affordable aeroponic agriculture system for a local school in the community of Lascahobas, Haiti.

    Aeroponics is the method of growing plants in air instead of a growing medium, like soil, with nutrients coming from mists sprayed on the roots at regular intervals. Aeroponics use 80% less water than traditional agriculture. The system will be affordable, constructed of local materials, and designed for easy maintenance. This technology takes up little space and can provide nutrition and eventually, income-earning potential, to the region in which it is implemented.
    Lascahobas suffers from food scarcity due to poor soil quality, water scarcity, and a recent influx in population since the January 2010 earthquake. A low-cost aeroponic system will provide an easy way to grow a variety of vegetables to supplement the lunches provided to the students at the K-12 school.

    ESW Renssealer hopes to expand the technology to other homes in the region and beyond, particularly urban environments.

    Mashamba Kwa Afya – Farms for Health

    Commitment by: Michael Beeler, on behalf of Students for International Development (SID)
    University/ Major: University of Toronto, Peace and Conflict Studies
    Partners: Jua Kali Savings and Credit Cooperative of Sabatia (SACCO); Inyali Dispensary Management Committee; People’s Rights Forum (Kenyan NGO); Kenya Forestry Research Institute at Maseno University; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute’s Kakamega office; The Mosaic Institute
    Geographic Region: Kenya
    Amount: $4,500

    Commitment Description
    Mashamba Kwa Afya – Farms for Health commits to establishing a model farm at the Inyali Dispensary in Sabatia District in order to generate revenue for the facility, which will alsoserve as a training site on advanced agricultural technologies for local farmers.

    Clinics in Kenya’s Western Province face frequent drug shortages, and many residents are unable to pay for medications and user fees because their maize yields are too small. Through Mashamba Kwa Afya, Students for International Development (SID) plans to generate $5,000 per year for the Inyali Dispensary’s efforts to eliminate drug shortages encountered by the 12,500 patients it treats annually. Additionally, they hope to train 500 farmers on how to capitalize on agricultural advancements made in Kenya over the past two years.

    Agriculture programs funded by USAID and GTZ often require a level of investment beyond the means of the country’s subsistence farmers. SID has identified ways to build smaller greenhouses with local materials at a fraction of the original cost, and has developed local supply networks for grafted fruit trees, hybrid banana stems, and locally-manufactured bee hives that are suitable for adoption by small-scale farmers. They have partnered with the Jua Kali Savings and Credit Cooperative of Sabatia to ensure that farmers who complete their training program will be eligible for loans of about $80 to adopt the technologies learned at the training site. SID will provide 50% of the loan capital.

    Sustainable Agriculture in Potosi, Bolivia

    Commitment by: Bryant Shannon, on behalf of the University of Florida (UF) Engineers without Borders
    University Name/ Major: University of Florida, Earth and Environmental Engineering
    Geographic Scope: Potosi, Bolivia
    Partners: Engineers in Action
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Bryant Shannon will work with the UF Engineers without Borders to build an underground greenhouse in the village of Cachitambo. The village is nestled in the mountains of Cerro Rico above the city of Potosí, which, at an elevation of 13,420 ft. above sea level, makes it the highest city in the world.

    Potosi’s cold climate, coupled with nutrient-poor soils and insufficient water supply, offer agricultural conditions that are less than ideal. The team will be designing a Pankar-huyu, or an underground greenhouse, that meets the needs of the local Bolivian population. This type of greenhouse is innovative in that it is a small plot that each family could realistically build. This would be the first phase of the project, which would ultimately lead to the creation of an irrigation system to support sustainable agriculture.

    Public Health

    Using Mobile Technology to Empower Community Health Workers to Improve Neonatal Care in Zambezia, Mozambique

    Commitment by: Sarah C. Searle
    University Name/ Major: Johns Hopkins University, Global Health
    Partners: Dimagi, Inc, World Vision
    Geographic Scope: Mozambique
    Award Amount: $2,000

    Commitment Description
    This commitment aims to use mobile-based platforms to deliver interventions that have been proven to reduce neonatal mortality in Mozambique.

    Dimagi, Inc., a technology company geared towards global health tools, has developed a mobile phone-based platform called CommCare to support community health workers (CHWs) in low-income settings. The CommCare technology provides guidance to CHWs in identifying and addressing detected health problems; sends alerts and reminders by e-mail and SMS; and provides real-time information about CHW’s activity level, such as the number of clients that are overdue for visits and the average time spent with each client.

    Sarah will work with Dimagi and World Vision specifically to design a neonatal CommCare module, whichwill manage complications within the first seven days of newborn life and capture data on each pregnancy and newborn. This module will contain phone-based registration forms, checklists, monitoring of danger signs, and educational prompts; itwill also help manage the process of enrolling, supporting, and tracking every newborn in reach of the participating CHWs. The module will be tested through training and communication with CHWs, and will be refined accordingly based on challenges in the field.

    By building on existing mobile technology, this commitment aims to decrease infant mortality rates in Mozambique; assist CHWs in promoting safe practices and case-management of pneumonia, hypothermia, and other causes of neonatal mortality; and provide invaluable data on each pregnancy and newborn to program planners and health officials.

    Low-Cost Prosthetic Arms to Amputees in Zacapa, Guatemala

    Commitment by: Jonathan Joseph Naber
    University Name/ Major: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Engineering
    Partners: Range of Motion Project
    Geographic Scope: Zacapa, Guatemala
    Suggested Award Amount: $4,000

    Commitment Description
    Jonathan commits to developing and distributing low-cost prosthetic arms to specific amputee patients in Zacapa, Guatemala.

    Jonathan is a member of the Illini Prosthetics Team (IPT), a socially-minded, student start-up with the vision of providing low-cost prosthetic limbs to people in developing nations around the world. The team has successfully developed prosthetic arms that are breathable, brace-based systems, which can easily adjust in length and tightness and are designed specifically for agricultural- and labor-oriented individuals.

    In partnership with a Latin American prosthetics clinic, Jonathan and his team will provide ten amputees in Zacapa with a fully-functional arm replacement, at no cost to themselves or to the partner clinic. Patients will be trained to properly use their new arm in their agricultural- and labor-focused vocations, which will allow them to return to their normal work and family lives.

    In addition to providing a limb to each patient, IPT will conduct interviews to better understand amputee needs, test other advanced prosthetic arm and finger prototypes, and integrate feedback to design new components of the prosthetics that are applicable to specific lifestyles.

    IPT will soon incorporate as a business and aims to become a for-profit social venture with profits used to scale the current model. The team also hopes to develop in-country production facilities, which will both create jobs for amputees and financially sustain IPT.

    NextDrop: Using Mobile Phones to Increase Access to Water

    Commitment by: Thejo Kote
    University Name/ Major: University of California, Berkeley, Information Management
    Geographic Scope: Hubli-Dharwad, India
    Suggested Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    NextDrop commits to using mobile phone technology in India to provide households with water delivery information, whichthey can use to reduce time loss and better ration their water.

    Unreliable delivery of water has proven to be a serious problem throughout countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Depending on the season and the neighborhood, water can take up to eight days to arrive. Households lose hours waiting for water, are stressed by water scarcity, and are regularly forced to use unsafe ground water as a substitute.

    NextDrop aims to address this issue of intermittent water by using mobile and crowd-sourcing technology in India. Through a micro-payment model, households will be incentivized to send a text message to the NextDrop system when water begins to flow in their respective homes. NextDrop will verify this information and use this data to predict when water will arrive down the line. Using a prediction model, NextDrop is then able to inform other individuals in the same area and other areas about when to expect water.

    In addition to improving access and decreasing time loss in waiting for water in households, NextDrop also aims to reduce corruption in the water system and help equalize distribution.

    Delivering Medical Supplies to Hospitals in Ghana

    Commitment by: Emma Lawrence, on behalf of MedPLUS Connect
    University Name/ Major: Goucher College, Medicine
    Geographic Scope: Ghana
    Suggested Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    MedPLUS commits to delivering donated and recycled medical and administrative supplies in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious way to Ghanaian healthcare facilities.

    Hospitals in the northern district of Ghana lack basic medical equipment, including vitals monitors, x-ray machines, and an adequate numbers of hospital beds. In addition, they struggle to acquire enough examination gloves, gauze, and other fundamental supplies to treat the needs of their growing patient base.

    MedPLUS will ship two containers, carrying over 40,000 pounds of supplies and equipment, worth more than $1,200,000. The Ghanaian Ministry of Health will fund transport costs, warehouse space, and modest coordination fees for the shipments, allowing MedPLUS to make its shipments sustainable and repeatable.

    Through this commitment, partner hospitals and health centers will save over 60% on supplies they ordinarily consume. Furthermore, no extra cost will be added to high value medical equipment that they cannot currently afford.

    AYZH Health and Livelihood Private Limited

    Commitment by: Zubaida Bai
    University Name/ Major: Colorado State University, Management
    Geographic Scope: India
    Suggested Award Amount: $3,500

    Commitment Description
    Zubaida commits to developing and marketing an inexpensive clean birth kit in order to decrease the maternal and child mortality rates attributed to unclean birth environments in southern India.

    In low-resource settings, where a high proportion of mothers give birth at home, supplies needed to conduct a clean delivery are often unavailable, even in health centers. JANMA is an inexpensive ($2) clean birth kit that will be made available to government health clinics, markets, private pharmacies, and other commercial channels to help reduce rates of infection.

    In contrast to conventional kits, JANMA is also an environmentally-friendly kit, achieving a 90% reduction in plastic by replacing paper and plastic components with biodegradable material. Using a for-profit model, this commitment also provides livelihood to women self-help groups to whom the manufacturing and assembling is outsourced.

    Having sold over 300 kits in the Indian market to rural women, JANMA has also demonstrated local buy-in into the product. By educating trained birth attendants and community health workers on how to use the kit correctly, this commitment hopes to ensure that every woman has a safe, clean, and hygienic delivery.

    Leveraged Freedom Chair

    Commitment by: Harry O’Hanley
    University Name/ Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
    Partners: Transitions; Whirlwind Wheelchairs
    Geographic Scope: Guatemala
    Suggested Award Amount: $6,000

    Commitment Description
    The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) commits to creating an affordable model for producing and distributing wheelchairs that can facilitate travel over the wide range of terrains encountered in developing countries.

    The LFC is designed to fully meet user needs and can be powered by two means: hand rims and levers. The levers allow the wheelchair to be propelled over long distances and rough terrain, such as mud and hills—a feat thatwould otherwise be impossible on a wheelchair or tricycle. The hand rims allow the LFC to be used indoors (where the levers might be intrusive), as a standard wheelchair.

    The LFC is constructed entirely from bicycle parts and materials available throughout the developing world, ensuring that it can be manufactured and repaired virtually everywhere. Harry and his team will travel to Guatemala to develop thirty wheelchairs with their partner workshop, Transitions, in order to create a repeatable manufacturing process, while also establishing a veteran group of local LFC builders. Next, LFC production will be established in India, with one group member spending a year in India to set up manufacturing facilities.

    The current focus of this commitment is to create a sustainable manufacturing and distribution model by making wheelchair production reproducible and with minimal variance in specifications, while also being affordable by minimizing production costs without sacrificing quality.

    JustMilk – Preventing HIV Transmission in Breastfeeding

    Commitment by: Stephen Gerrard on behalf of JustMilk
    University Name/ Major: Cambridge University, UK
    Partners: UC Berkeley: School of Public Health; California Department of Public Health; Cambridge University, Department of Chemical Engineering; Family Health International (FHI); Drexel College of Medicine
    Geographic Scope: Global
    Suggested Award Amount: $10,000

    Commitment Description
    This commitment aims to test and produce a novel, low-cost modified nipple shield that can be used by HIV-positive mothers to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV through breastfeeding.

    The device is a breast milk filter consisting of a nipple shield, the tip of which holds a disk containing a microbicide. The mother can place the device over her nipple and feed her baby; as breast milk passes through the nipple shield and disk, the microbicide is released from the disk, killing HIV in the breast milk without disrupting breastfeeding.

    This commitment will develop a prototype by setting up an apparatus that can mimic the breastfeeding process, the suction of a baby, and incorporate the nipple shield containing a filter. HIV-infected milk will be passed through the apparatus, with a nipple shield containing various filter formulations.

    Information gathered through this apparatus will provide the data necessary for large-scale product development. The initial goal will be to create a market for the devices, while building awareness and seeding demand. Devices made either in the country or abroad would move from manufacturers through new or existing distributor networks, such as medical supplies for healthcare providers or consumer channels along with formula and other baby care items. Finally, the product will move to healthcare providers or directly to mothers.

    Mashavu: Networked Health Solutions for the Developing World

    Commitment by: Rachel Dzombak
    University Name/ Major: Pennsylvania State University, Engineering
    Partners: Children and Youth Empowerment Center, Kenya; United Nations Industrial Development Office; National Instruments
    Geographic Scope: Kenya
    Award Amount: $5,000

    Commitment Description
    Mashavu commits to bring healthcare to remote regions of Kenya by utilizing telemedicine applications that leverage existing computing and mobile technologies.

    Kenya, like many developing Sub-Saharan African countries, suffers from a severe lack of healthcare professionals. There is only one doctor for every 10,000 people in Kenya, compared to one doctor for every 384 people in the United States. Therefore, access to healthcare is very limited to rural Kenyans. Telemedicine applications have the potential to help overcome some of these healthcare challenges in remote regions.

    It is estimated that 97% of Kenyans have access to a cell phone, and computers are slowly making their way into rural Africa as well. Mashavu hopes to utilize these technological resources to connect medical professionals with patients in remote, developing communities. Mashavu kiosks are computer-based systems that collect patients’ medical information, including weight, body temperature, lung capacity, pulse rate, blood pressure, stethoscope rhythms, photographs, and basic hygiene and nutrition information. The station operator facilitates check-ups, and patients are encouraged to interact with the user-friendly software. Mashavu kiosks transmit this information over a cell-phone GPRS link and provide it on a secure website. Medical professionals can view the patients’ information and respond to the patient with their recommendations. The medical professionals can also review community health statistics in order to evaluate general health trends or possible epidemics in the area. This information can then be shared with local community leaders so that health priorities are addressed effectively.

    The Microfinance and Maternal Health Initiative of Kibera

    Commitment by: Kennedy Odede
    University Name/ Major: Wesleyan University, Government
    Partners: Wesleyan Friends of Africa; Shining Hope for Communities Board of Directors; JJJ Memorial Clinic
    Geographic Scope: Kibera, Kenya
    Award Amount: $3,000

    Commitment Description
    Kennedy Odede commits to starting the Microfinance and Maternal Health Initiative of Kibera, which includes The Home Birth Network and The Woman’s Microfinance Empowerment Project.

    Although 1.5 million people live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, Kenya’s government does not formally acknowledge its existence. Due to deplorable sanitary conditions and lack of access to health care, one out of five children does not live to see their fifth birthday. Fifteen percent of women aged 15-40 die during childbirth, making it the number one killer of women in Kibera. Thus, the Microfinance and Maternal Health Initiative of Kibera will work to create a working model for sustainable, community-driven maternal and infant health.

    The Home Birth Network will be the principal community health outreach program of the JJJ Memorial Clinic. This network will be made up of volunteer community women, who will receive comprehensive training from an expert midwife to become home birth attendants. Each will volunteer one day a week to be on-call at the clinic and conduct regular pre- and neo-natal home visits. In return, they will receive free lunch at the adjacent Kibera School for Girls and a token fee for any services rendered. The Home Birth Network will not only save maternal and infant lives, but it will also build community capacity.

    The Women’s Microfinance Empowerment Project will use sustainable gardening techniques to grow vitamin-rich vegetables, which will provide desperately needed sources of nutrition at affordable prices. Additionally, community women will sell chickens and eggs and will participate in a craft-making collective, through which activities will provide a living wage for participants. All profits will be reinvested towards additional supplies and the long-term sustainability of the Home Birth Network.