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The Talloires Network and the MacJannet Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 MacJannet Prize.

The first place winner, receiving $7,500, is the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Since its inception in 2008, the Center has aimed to develop a culture of service and civic leadership within the AUB community and provide opportunities for university students.  The Center’s operations are defined by four crosscutting components: Outreach and volunteerism, community development projects, supporting service-learning, and the university scholarship programs.

AUB Classroom

The Center serves as a hub for bridging theory and practice through the dynamic interaction between academia, socially responsible stakeholders, and local community partners. It pushes the boundaries of civic engagement to tackle the most pressing challenges facing Lebanon and the MENA region. A demonstration of the Center’s conceptual and operational framework is the Syria Relief Project (SRP). The Center has championed interventions engaging refugees and their Lebanese host communities within the areas of education, shelter, sanitation, psycho-social well-being, and food security. Through the project titled “Ghata: Bringing Education to Informal Tented Settlements” –  in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) and a local NGO (KAYANY) – CCECS and the concerned AUB faculties have successfully assembled Ghata schools, catering to over 2,000 Syrian refugee children.

AUB Students playground

This project is just one example of the community-engaged initiatives, learning, and research that CCECS supports spanning issues ranging from the impacts of war on children, poverty, the dearth of public spaces in Beirut, to rural economic development. In all of its work, CCECS utilizes an assets-based approach, building upon latent capacities in communities as it develops the civic capacities of student volunteers. Learn more.

This year’s second place prize winner, receiving $5,000, goes to Ziauddin Sikanderabad Community Partnership at the Ziauddin University in Karachi, Pakistan. This long-standing program focuses on providing holistic family medicine and empowering community members to contribute to their own welfare. The program is run inside a primary health care center donated by the community. Community members and university students from the faculties of medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy and pharmacy work collaboratively to provide primary health care. Though the center is open to everyone, women are the main beneficiaries.

Students Ziauddin MJ 2016

This year’s third place winner, receiving $2,500, is Tecnologías para la Comunidad at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara in Mexico. The program’s mission is to support and empower people with disabilities by becoming the missing link between university research and development of new technologies, student social engagement, creative funding initiatives, and professional volunteerism. Currently, the program consists of delivering prosthetics at four times less than the market price for lower limb amputees who hope to walk again. This is being achieved through the founding of a non-profit enterprise that leverages public and private funding to multiply patient co-payments while strategically and creatively reducing product and services costs. The program is unique in that, in addition to being an engagement program, it also functions as a social development entrepreneurial project hoping to de-monopolize the prosthetic market in Mexico.

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The students and staff of the program work side by side with a local hospital and other non-profit organizations and with the amputee community as well to deliver quality and functional prosthetic devices. This program is an example of the social innovation that can be achieved when science and technology meet a social need.  In the future, the program will be expanded to additionally include rehabilitation, psychological and emotional care, and in an effort to re-integrate the beneficiaries into their communities. Learn more.

Lastly, two honorable mentions were awarded to Ubunye at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Multilingual Manchester (MLM) Student Volunteer Scheme. Ubuyne, meaning unity, is an entirely student-run program at the University of Cape Town that provides educational advancement, opportunities for leadership, and life-skills development and mentorship to high school students in township schools. The program provides space for high school and UCT students to engage in deliberative dialogue about topics such as race and community development.

Multilingual Manchester Student Volunteer Scheme promotes awareness of language diversity across the University’s city-region. It supports local institutions and communities in responding to language needs, fostering cultural and language heritage, and harnessing language skills. Student volunteers respond to real-world problems by allowing the health, police, education and and other social sectors to outreach to minority and immigrant communities.