The winners: first victory of an African team!
Last Friday, the 16 teams selected for the 4th student competition for humanitarian innovation gathered in La Cantine (Paris, 2e) to present and defend their project in front of a Jury, composed of 12 personalities : Nicole Guedj, former minister and President of the Red Helmets Foundation ; Bernard Benhamou, interdepartmental delegate for internet use and coordinator of Proxima Mobile, Jean-François Lamoureux, vice-chair of Action against Hunger ; Fadma Moumtaz, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Paris ; Cyril Attia and John Karp, co-founders of BeMyApp…
The members of the Jury congratulated all the candidates for their ingeniousness as well as for being so involved in using their experience and competences to improve humanitarian action.
According to Nicole Guedj, former minister and President of the Red Helmets Foundation : “the projects running for the Challenge Humanitech Price were as various as the causes they want to fight for : food, housing, health, access to the internet or to drinking water, hygiene, local action financings, etc. I cheer up when I witness that the young generation works hard on conceptualizing innovative solutions to humanitarian action issues”.
Coached by Gwenaël Prié, consultant in development aid and co-author of The Water Travelers, written during a trip around the world focused on water issues, the two students from ESSEC Cameroon convinced the Jury with their project “Everybody against cholera”. This low cost water filter, “Tsé-nou”, is made of easy-to-find materials : buckets and ceramic candles.
Thanks to video-conferencing, Doris Ngandjou Kouyem, the only candidate who could not come to Paris, explained from Douala that “it is up to Africa to respond to humanitarian crises. We cannot always wait for foreign countries to intervene”.
In the next weeks, the Red Helmets Foundation, Orange and other Jury members are going to help the project to be put in place in Cameroon. With the 5.000 € won via the Challenge Humanitech, an experimentation of the filters will start soon in Koza, a village in the extreme North of Cameroon, epidemic source of cholera.
Humanitech : a step on the social entrepreneurship path
This fourth edition enabled students from Schools, Universities, in Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Togo and from all four corners of France, to try their luck, revealing their innovation to the Jury. Since they were selected in February, they have been coached by professionals, who shared experience and competences, giving advises to those budding social entrepreneurs.
In order to help the young participants to realize their project once the Challenge over, the 13th April morning was devoted to workshops on marketing, financing solutions and start-up creation. Julien Sylvain, who won the 2010 edition of the competition, and now CEO of Leaf Supply, was running one of these workshops :”I hope that, as in the past few years, the Challenge Humanitech will give the projects the little boost making them evolve from idea to completion”.
More information: www.challenge-humanitech.com
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