“The work we do has a lot of heart. It’s all about the bonds and relationships that we co-create with the communities that makes this work possible.” - Mauricio, student (Community Intervention Program (Programa de Intervención Comunitaria in Spanish) at Universidad de las Américas in Chile
1st place: Mahabba Association, Ahfad University for Women, Sudan
Mahabba association was established by students at Ahfad University for Women to help to release women who are incarcerated because of small debts. The students work with the women inside the prison by providing educational and entrepreneurship training to create handicrafts to sell. The students sell the crafts on campus and in the community. Read the full program description here.
“It is a human mobilization inside the jail. It gives them hope and lets the community and society know that even though they were once prisoners, they should not be stigmatized. It creates peace and empowerment” – Safia (co-founder)
2nd place: Alas de Mujer (Women’s Wings), Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico
The goal of Alas de Mujer is to reactivate the economic activity of the rural community and empower not only the women but the community as a whole. This initiative has allowed the men in the community to see the potential of the women in the community. Read the full program description here.
“We’ve created a community that deeply cares about its holistic wellbeing. The female entrepreneurs also deeply care for the [Tec] students who conduct the workshops and engage on a daily basis with them. They trust each other with their personal issues.” – Ruth (student)
3rd place: Protection of the Environment through Income Generation, LivingStone International University, Uganda
Dependency on the environment is very important to Ugandan villages. Many of the students in Livingstone originate from these villages. The program aims to reconnect them to the place where they came from and learn that exploiting its natural resources does not always equal progress. A core objective of the program is for students to explore novel ways to work with local leaders and create social enterprises that illustrate the possibilities of income generation for their communities without exploiting the environment. The students work with the community to create social enterprises that break this dependency. They also work with community members to install energy saving cook stoves. Read the full program description here.
“The idea came to me while I was still a young boy. I was brought up by single mother and we depended on agriculture to make money and to survive. While I was a student, I realized that we were destroying the environment through these practices like cutting down trees for charcoal.” – (Filliam, Founder)
Honorable Mention: Programa de Intervención Comunitaria/Community Intervention Program, Universidad de las Américas (Chile)
The Community Intervention Program is a program that registers, systemizes and disseminates the knowledge produced by students and social leaders in the communities to address social problems The program is a space for the democratization of knowledge and a space for students to develop their leadership skills, apply their knowledge and grow as individuals.
Students from all disciplines develop projects in the communities that range from setting up mobile health care clinics to public art installations. The program has a strong curricular and pedagogical approach and draws from best practices of community-based research and interventions. Read the full program description here.