The recipients of this years In-Country Alumni Grant have been announced and here at ICS, we are very excited to watch the progress that will be made by the 14 projects that will soon be carried out by ICVs.
We look at five of this year’s grants that we’re most excited about that hope to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mentoring girls in Zambia
After volunteering with ICS back in 2017, Christopher became increasingly aware of the challenges that girls in Samfya were facing and will use his ICV grant to match 30 girls from disadvantaged communities with local women in positions of power for a mentoring scheme.
“Seeing the inequalities and injustices that girls face in society ignited my desire to mobilize communities in fighting gender injustices on girls, uplifting their well-being and empowering them to make right and healthy choices,” said Christopher.
Through exposure to women in power through professional and personal settings, Christopher hopes the girls will be empowered to aim for successful and ambitious futures, addressing SDG 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.
“This activity will challenge and address the negative beliefs that most people have in Samfya. Most people here believe in harmful cultural norms that gives preference to men over women. They frown upon girls' rights and dictate that a girls place of work is and will only be the kitchen - leading most girls to lose interest in their education, courage and self-esteem at very tender ages.”
The power of storytelling for contraception awareness
Innocent felt compelled to create and run a website that raises the awareness of contraception for young girls in Tanzania, after she heard the story of a young girl who passed away due to complications of an unsafe abortion.
“There is an undeniable power of storytelling, which I would like to capture. The online platform helps young women and girls in Tanzania to ask questions about contraception, whilst also giving them a space to share their stories and discuss their problems,” said Innocent.
“A digital story telling platform will enable people to share their personal stories anonymously, speaking with passion or pain to share their experience.”
And it won’t just end with a safe space online. Innocent hopes that her Contraception Conversation project will be powerful enough to change the minds of policy makers.
“I'm hoping that there will be at least one story that will help to change policy makers ways of thinking. Policy makers in Tanzania often rely on the personal values and beliefs around taking contraception. Bringing the stories to life will help in changing their attitudes toward promoting contraception.”
Working on youth employability in Uganda
Like most young graduates in Uganda, Kwikiriza struggled to find a job after completing university, despite having good grades. Youth unemployment is a growing issue in the country, where there is an average of 80,000 jobs offered every year for the 400,000 graduates completing education.
To tackle this, Kwikiriza will be using his ICV grant to organise a career guidance workshop, bringing together employers, founders, CEOs, government entities and fresh graduates to highlight the importance of volunteering opportunities and graduate internships as platforms to build employability skills.
Kwikiriza’s placement with ICS emphasized the importance of volunteering and how it can build employable skills, which he hopes to share with other young Ugandans.
“The activities of my workshops will include resume and cover letter writing skills, interview practice and a reminder that job adverts want five years of work experience. Many young people are unaware of this and therefore don’t embrace volunteering opportunities and graduate internship opportunities that are being offered by a number of organizations to start building up their skills and developing work experience,” said Kwikiriza.
Four workshops will be carried out at different universities - reaching a total of 2,000 students!
Raising SDG awareness
Alice will be tackling the SDGs by first, raising awareness of them. Through an online campaign and three workshops, Alice will mobilize the youth of Tanzania to be agents of change and tackle SDGs 3, 4, 5 and 8.
“After my ICS placement I realized my passion of youth activism. As part of my action at home, I raised awareness on environmental issues and now only want to continue making change,” said Alice.
“The world has been so damaged and as young people who are the future generation, we must do something. We face challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, poor education, poor infrastructure, gender inequalities and so much more. It’s time we join forces and fight together as one,” Alice continued.
The project will be in the form of a challenge, which will require young people to think of the challenges in their community, match it with a chosen SDG and come up with a unique and innovative solution. Judges will then pick their favourite and most realistic solution and support putting the plan into action through linking the young people with mentors and donors.
Focusing on civic rights and inclusivity
The issue around civic rights and disabilities was first brought to Pius’ attention after his friend Godfrey went to the polling station during the 2015 election, only to be told that there was no supporting equipment for visually impaired people.
Witnessing Godfrey’s frustration, drove Pius’ passion and drive to carry out a project where he could raise awareness of the community’s civic rights so that each and every person in Kigurunyembe will be able to vote in the 2020 election regardless their disabilities, gender and age.
“My country is going to local government election this year and a national election in 2020. I want to educate my community as much as possible about the discrimination happening to people living with disabilities, as I believe all humans are equal and have the right to participate in the election process,” said Pius.
Using the fund from his ICV grant, he will carry out three dialogues and three media sessions programmes about the role of civic rights in our society, reaching 70 people.