This year, in preparation for the Talloires Network Leaders Conference, we launched a video contest for students to highlight university-community engagement efforts on campus. We received submissions from all over the world, featuring an array of different types of projects. The following four videos were selected for awards:
First Place – “Adesua Ye Literary Foundation” by Sela Kwaku Agbapke (Ashesi University, Ghana)
Director Sela Kwaku Agbapke features the non-profit, student-led organization that he started along with fellow student Leonard Annan. Their project aims as empowering people in rural communities to seek an education on reading, writing, and entrepreneurship.
“My team and I were inspired by the impact we began to have after a few months the adult literacy classes started. This video exhibits qualities of leadership, teamwork, integrity community engagement and empowerment,” says Agbapke. Adesua Ye means “learning is beneficial” in the local Ghanaian dialect, Twi.
Second place – “Drops of Life” by Seema Mughal (Greenwich University, Pakistan)
Polio workers all over Pakistan are being victimized for trying to save the lives of the next generation of Pakistanis. But students at Greenwich University are standing up to this demonization and proactively seeking to help members of their community suffering from this striking disease.
“My association with this program has allowed my team and I to further express what it means to be a Pakistani student, striving to create an improved future for our nation; with the prowess of the specialized skills we have gained at this institution,” said Mughal.
Third place (tie) – “Dashitos Project” by Jose Eric Estrada Rodriguez (University Veracruzana, Mexico)
This mini-documentary is based on the story of a student entrepreneur at the Universidad Veracruzana. With the help of the university’s business incubation programs, Elias Becerra Grajales was able to start a business, get support from a government grant, and employ people in his community. Dashitos, which are made out of the Malanga plant and similar to potato chips, have proven to be a popular snack and a successful venture.
“I was inspired by the story of overcoming of Elias Becerra Grajales. He’s very poor, and comes from a town of less than 500 people, living in a house of wooden sticks. Despite not knowing who his father was, and his mother suffering from schizophrenia, he is the only one in six generations of his family to pursue higher education,” said videographer Jose Eric Estrada Rodriguez.
Third place (tie) – “Hearts of Service: A Clinic in Kampung Sebir” by Moi Zjen Pang (International Medical University, Malaysia)
Moi Zjen Pang is a medical student from Malacca, a southern state in the Peninsula of Malaysia. He and his peers operate a community clinic in a rural village, Kampung Sebir, staffed and operated by medical students with trained medical professionals. “I personally felt while many programs although good-nature intentions, did not address the issue of truly making a change in the healthcare for the community. I marveled at the idea of being able to be in the thick of creating and providing healthcare to these people. And perhaps in the long run, to ultimately improve the standards of living for the villagers,” said Pang.