Vulnerability. Courage. Creativity. Heart. Time and again throughout the course of six weeks, these were the qualities exhibited by the members of the first, exceptional cohort of the Greenhouse Project.
The Greenhouse Project, a program developed by The Pollination Project, kicked off in February 2022. Participants were a part of an immersive experience, exploring various forms of capital such as, social capital, material capital, cultural capital, experiential capital, spiritual capital, as well as financial capital.
These cohort members explored their ideas about what it means to serve as they established connective relationships, developed exciting and creative ideas to help their communities and increased their overall programmatic impact. They rose to every challenge with grace, supported and inspired one another and designed projects that will have tremendous impact. The Pollination Project is honored to have worked with every participant.
Now, out of the many within the cohort, twelve projects created by twelve changemakers have emerged that have the potential to significantly impact their community. With your help, they’ll receive the funding they need to make their dream a reality.
We invite you to watch the videos that each changemaker created and cast 3 votes for your 3 top favorite projects.
Now, let’s meet these amazing changemakers!
At the age of three, Omeja Stephen’s father died and his mom left. Though he faced many hardships growing up, he turned his experiences into something positive, a way to help youth. As the Chairman of the Buleri Youth Association in Tororo Uganda, he is working hard to unite and empower young people within his community in the hopes that they will become the good, useful citizens of Uganda that he believes they can be.
His project: Baking Their Way to a Better Life: a Youth Empowerment Project, creates employment and income opportunities for out-of-school youth by providing training and capacity-building in bakery skills.
Henry Sahayaraj has been involved in social and community development work in Tamilnadu, India and worked in various community-based organizations since 1990. Today, he is the Program Director for the Indian Sustainable Social Action Institute (ISSAI), an organization that is working to empower rural women and farmers as well as restore traditional, sustainable, organic agriculture systems and protect the environment through tree plantation.
Henry’s project, Organic Farming Paves the Way for Economic Empowerment, will support farmers, promote integrated sustainable farming and establish a training center for farmers.
Edwin Bolaji Deen
Edwin Bolaji Deen is a LGBTQI human rights activist and amateur caricature artist who is passionate about humanity and enjoys being part of a team that values diversity, active participation and respect for all. As the Programs Coordinator for Pride Equality Sierra Leone, Edwin is committed to promoting and protecting the lives of LGBTQI people and assuring they have access to sexual reproductive health services, especially services that address HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He aims to create an open society where everyone – irrespective of social class, status, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, and/or sexual characteristics – has easy access to sexual and reproductive health care and other social amenities with no benefits withheld.
Edwin’s project, Safe Sex Practices and Access to HIV Services for LGBTQI People, will help to minimize the high rate of homophobia, transphobia, and HIV AIDS stigmatization affecting LGBTQI young people.
Kennedy Kiange is a teacher by profession as well as a passionate charity worker who wants to see a just world that offers equal opportunities to everyone regardless of their race, gender or economic status.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused many vulnerable households in the Njuyi area of the Mzimba district to fall into extreme poverty. In response, Kennedy created a project, Irish Potato Production = Food Security and Income, that uses the sustainable production of Irish potatoes as a way to increase food security and income levels in 50 households thereby enabling them to meet basic needs and support their children’s education.
MBIFI Valentine MBIFI
MBIFI Valentine MBIFI is an Assistant Agricultural Engineer by profession, a community development actor by nature, a civil society activist and the founder and president of Youth Concept Forum Building Aspirants (YOCOFOBA). As an ambitious, generous and thoughtful individual, MBIFI Valentine MBIFI inspires and encourages those around him to fight for what they believe in.
Through his youth organization YOCOFOBA, MBIFI Valentine MBIFI’s project, Economic Empowerment for Women, will empower 120 young, rural women, ages 18-35, with the sustainable, environmentally-friendly farm production techniques of maize production as well as skills in marketing and basic record-keeping.
Gihana Jackson is the founder and president of Fields of Hope, a local non-government organization that supports children and adults with disabilities. As a passionate community changemaker with a strong empathy for children and adults with disabilities, he is always ready to do everything possible that will enable them to enjoy their rights to the fullest. The good health and well-being of each of these individuals are his happiness.
Gihana Jackson’s project, Providing Access to Health, Possibility and Hope, strives to solve issues created by the rise within the COVID-19 pandemic. Fields of Hope would like to expand its programs by registering 125 new beneficiaries for a total of 175 and provide medical insurance as well as improved seeds to all its beneficiaries and fruit seedlings to the125 new beneficiaries.
Khumbo Matupi is a Malawian by nationality with a BSc in Public Health. He chose to focus on public health as he wanted to have a better understanding of health needs as well as the ability to develop practical and impactful strategies to address those needs. He has a passion for initiatives and social work, particularly those that promote activities that enhance healthy living for disadvantaged people.
Khumbo Maputo’s project, Handwashing and Sanitation Education to Improve Health, provides an effective solution to the problem of Open Defecation (OD) and the behavior of not washing hands after using the toilet.
Vincent Atitwa is a trainer, facilitator and farmer with a background in Community Development and Business Entrepreneurship. Today, he is focusing on community development and using social-based business solutions to solve pressing problems in the areas of: food insecurity, malnutrition, climate change and education.
Vincent Atitwa’s project, Eliminating Micronutrient Malnutrition in a Unique Way, seeks to eliminate micronutrient malnutrition through the use of fortified flour.
Elphas Ongong’o is the founder of the Kongoni Community Library, Resource, Recreation and Empowerment Centre. He is dedicated to and passionate about using the library to have a powerful and positive impact on his community members.
Elphas Ongong’o created a project, A Library, Resource, Recreation and Empowerment Space All-in-One, that seeks to create solutions for a poor reading culture, poor eating habits that are leading to ailments, such as cancer, high blood pressure and many more, and family issues among students, especially girls, by providing a safe, resourceful space.
Jennifer is founder and president of the Raymond Banks ‘A Way With Words’ nonprofit, which provides free artistic and vocational self-expression programs in priority communities to promote self-empowerment. Outside of the nonprofit, Jennifer loves mentoring, writing, and baking.
Jennifer Myer’s project, And It Takes A Child to Raise A Village, highlights the importance of investing in children in a way that will allow and encourage them to positively contribute to and revitalize their community in the long-term.
Okumu Dickson is passionate about sharing information on food security and nutrition in order to promote a healthy food culture in households.
Okumu Dickson’s project, Creating Food Security for Vulnerable Populations, addresses food security and seeks to support 90 new, vulnerable households which include: children, child mothers, disadvantaged women, HIV positive persons and people with disabilities.
Happy Arnold is passionate about and dedicated to focusing on ways to help youth, agriculture, forest preservation, the environment and reversing the effects of climate change.
Happy Arnold’s project, Eco-Friendly Fuel Alternative That Will Help Stop Climate Change, seeks to use Eco-Friendly Charcoal Briquettes as a way to preserve forests and help our environment and the effects of climate change.
Join us in celebrating these incredible changemakers and don’t forget to cast your vote.
Your vote has the power to change a community!