Being a changemaker goes beyond the successful execution of a community-based project. TPP grantees are visionaries because they can authentically spread their positive perception to others. In order to reimagine the future and leave strong legacies, TPP grantees do not accept societal norms or circumstances that limit someone’s potential.
From uplifting generations of women and shining light on taboos that no longer serve us, this group of grantees encourage us all.
Sandra Ajaja – Digital Skills For Her By Fempower Initiative Africa
Women have become major drivers of change in Africa as we can see in recent times. There are a lot of women venturing into technology, business, and leadership, however there are very few opportunities for them as they do not have the necessary or valuable skills necessary to compete favorably with their male counterparts.
Women business owners get nearly 50% less in funding than their male counterparts. Today, 90% of innovative start-ups using technology to solve humanity’s problems who are seeking venture capital investments have been founded by men. Women owned start-ups receive 23% less funding and are 30% less likely to have a positive exit – i.e. be acquired or to issue an initial public offering – compared to men-owned businesses because of the fact that most women entrepreneurs don’t understand technology so they cannot create technology businesses that most times attract venture capital.
There is no doubt that digital skills has become an essential component of the selling and buying process in a common market economy, however there is currently a very obvious gap in the digital skill set of most salespeople. This is definitely an era that is technologically driven, and guess what?
Africa is definitely being left behind! An average young female African cannot adequately manage a personal life without phoning a more technically able relative which is one out of every twenty individual, cannot adequately communicate online via email or social media… There exists a huge digital gap and an average African is not harmed with digital skills to meet up with the progressing world.
A lot of processes have become automated which have displaced many jobs causing increasing unemployment rate. The increasing use of new technologies has caused an increasing need for human capacity development. Thus available resources have to be trained on how to use this new technologies. Most startup companies instead of equipping their employees with the digital skills would rather utilize automated technology, which is usually much more cost effective. This has greatly increased unemployment rate. To solve this problem, digital literacy is highly important. We stand to gain tremendously if young people hone their digital skills for future proof careers and relevance in the advancing world.
Globally, it has been researched that only 20% of tech jobs are held by women. As a rising global pool of technology talent, African women are sparsely represented in this sphere and therefore still have a long way to go. We know that equality and diversity in the space will help us build better products, create more inclusive user interfaces, product experiences which both genders can relate with. This grant is important to help drive our mission of creating a better world where women are equipped with 21st century technology skills and leadership skills. Hence, we want to promote gender diversity in the creative and technology space by equipping women.
Serena Sun – Breaking Taboo
Breaking Taboo aims to do just that – break the taboo surrounding mental health and suicide. The goal at the forefront of all of our efforts is to save lives. The truth is, over 90% of suicides can be prevented, but the death toll has been steadily rising. Suicide does not discriminate, it is a phenomena that crosses all boundaries, and one in four people will suffer from a mental illness. One of the biggest problems is that people rarely address these issues, and even if they talk about it, they may not know what to do. Our mission is to provide vital, life saving education and tools to the public in a uniquely uplifting and accessible way, all while eliminating the taboo.
Founded by mental health advocate and suicide prevention specialist Serena Sun, who has lost loved ones to suicide more than once, she combines her background in psychology and film to produce the first documentary of it’s kind – a collaborative film work that not only shares the stories of the afflicted, but also includes a diverse pool of experts in the field of mental health.
The film intends to give a raw, real look at mental health while it educates the public, provides resources, opens up difficult conversations in an empathetic light, and teaches people the tools necessary in order to save the lives of others, and of themselves.
With a strong social media presence that is growing by 300 followers per day, the public is responding the way Breaking Taboo addresses this need. Our intention is to get this vital education out to millions of viewers, though we believe that if we can save even one life, this entire project would be worth it.
Awanto Nwufor Ernest – Sexual And Reproductive Health Safe Space
Social norms and taboos related to gender, sexuality, and sexual reproductive health (SRH) issues create a culture of silence, particularly for adolescent girls, in asking, obtaining information, discussing, and expressing their worries about SRH issues. Many girls have limited agency and mobility, few possibilities to express themselves without judgment, and know a few persons and places to seek information and support.
The lack of a confidential and judgment-free environment can be a barrier to girls obtaining SRH information, learn skills, and feel supported in expressing their concerns related to their lives and SRH issues. Through this safe space, Ernest and collaborators will be providing comprehensive services that include skills in negotiation, conflict resolution, critical thinking, decision making and communication, gender, gender-based violence reduction, leadership, and career guidance.
Awanto Nwufor Ernest is a goal oriented, passionate social worker with over 8 years of experience in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and youth development. I have worked with Ernest is training young people and as a trainer, peer educator and social worker, I think he is a better place to implement such a project. He is a trainer and consultant with Care and Health Program Cameroon; he has trained diverse groups including civil society, youth, professional associations and academics. Awanto also serves as the coordinator of community based organization working with most at-risk populations in Cameroon.
Mr. Dipankar Mitra And Ms. Samita Goswami – Women Empowerment Through Livelihood Support
Women Empowerment through Livelihood Support aims to empower untrained, unemployed, and illiterate women to be empowered and lead dignified and economically empowered lives. Twenty unemployed slum women will receive trainings on soft toys, leading to employment and self-reliance through production and marketing.
The women beneficiaries are unemployed and searching any income opportunities, which would be home based. They belong to Muslim and other underserved communities, which experience increased levels of illiteracy and social discrimination.
These families – who are often led by parents who are illiterate, fail to send children to schools, however expect earnings from them. As a result, child labor and criminal behavior are on the rise. Project leaders, Mr. Dipankar Mitra and Ms. Samita Goswami, share that finding income opportunities will lead to positively shifting and changing the environment.
“In the last eight years, we have been engaged with these people to build their social development through different activities. We have prepared a small baseline on them. Most of them wish to start earning to develop their families. We wish to organize 20 poor unemployed slum women for employment and self-reliance through production and marketing of soft toys on income security.”
The very nature of this soft toys making livelihood initiative is innovative as it focuses on a trade which has a steady market. People’s Participation is very involved in the project and has definite plans of continuing this initiative after the completion of the project by integrating the initiative in linking with the local traders/suppliers and online businessmen.
Michelle Frances Sayre Uy – Organic Container Gardening By Poor Women
Michelle Frances Uy will mobilize 220 women members who will be trained on organic vegetable gardening using open-pollinated vegetable seeds that can be reused during the following planting cycle. Her training will include producing organic fertilizer, using recycled containers, recycling kitchen water, and constructing organic concoctions.
“When I see that their backyards are prepared, I will provide vegetable seeds depending on their choice what to plant and the size of their gardens. Then home-cooking training will follow. I aim to improve health, nutrition and food security of our communities by promoting vegetable gardening.”
Rasmus Holm & Mikkel Rønnow Mouritzen – Skraldejagt
Skraldejagt is an organisation working to change people’s relationship to trash. In a world slowly drowning in trash, Skraldejagt holds monthly “treasure hunt” clean up events in different parks around Copenhagen, where they through community play, storytelling, and discovery journeys, picking up garbage becomes fun, exciting, and mainstream. “Most of us have a relationship to our family and friends, but we desperately need to have a relationship to our trash if we are to avoid environmental catastrophe! With the funds from The Pollination Project, we will be able to buy key equipment to ensure the enjoyment and safety of our volunteers. Thank you so much!”
Vandi Sombie – Producing Gari As An Alternative Food Supply In Balaihun
Vandi Sombie is a medical Doctor in Bo District, where he works as a pediatrician. Because of his work, he is involved with many women and mothers who bring their children to the hospital for treatment. Some on a daily basis. “I see first-hand the suffering of these women in taking care of their children. It was based on this circumstance that I first came up with the idea of starting a cassava farm that will support their economic empowerment.”
The women and children that attend the clinic are hungry, poor, and underserved. As a start up plan, Vandi has cultivated one acre of land and planted the three month varieties of cassava. Balaihun community has extensive high yielding land. He has established a small youth group of 50-60 members called “Kulama Women’s Group” in the community. The main objective of this group is to support each other during farming period especially with labour force. Together they will cultivate and plant the cassava and the do the harvesting together. The aim is to start the project in May, at the start of the rainy season. After harvesting, they will process the cassava into gari. The gari will then be packeted and sold in the community. The proceeds will be used to start a small micro-finance for the support of women in the group and the community.