After widely advertising, receiving 400 applications to the Youth Spark Innovation Grants (YSiG) Callwww.grants.ranlab.org, and a rigorous judging and selection process, the Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) awarded a total of 17 Innovator Teams as its third cohort of awardees (11-Uganda,3-Tanzania, 2-Rwanda and 1-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This grant call was targeting students within the RAN Partner Universities www.ranlab.org and the awards ceremony held Tuesday June 21, 2016 at the Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab on Plot 30 Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda was officiated by Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, Makerere University’s Former Chancellorflanked byProf Charles Ibingira, Principal Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director. Also in attendance were some parents, guardians and relatives to the Innovators to be awarded.
Prof. Mondo Kagonyera argued the young Innovators to always work hard saying, “what I discovered is that in the developed world; people work harder & longer hours in order to reap big. All of you are engines of knowledge creation, add into your schedule more working hours in order for all of us and the communities in need to benefit. Do not give up!”
Prof. Charles Ibingira, Principal Makerere University College of Health Sciences in his remarks noted that “Innovators, this funding you are receiving through the Youth Spark Innovation Grants award is SEED support. Do not be tempted to cook these SEEDS & eat them, nature them, grow the SEED, eat the leaves and develop your innovations for the market and to address communities’ most pressing challenges.
“All big things start small” inspiration from one of the YSiG Judges Irene Kituyi,… who also shared with the young Innovators that learning never ends and for this reason, innovators should cultivate into themselves a reading culture to generate and acquire more knowledge.
The host, Prof. Bazeyo shared with the awards attendees that each Innovator at RAN would conduct a community needs assessment in order to innovate as per community needs. That at all times, innovators must remain relevant to the needs in the communities. “The change in communities will be caused by Solutions through Innovation” let us continue to work together to realize these ideas as resilience innovative solutions” added Prof. Bazeyo.
The EA RILab has set a side up to a tune of USD 80,000 only to support 17 Innovator Teams each receiving a maximum of USD 5,000 for the initial 6 months incubation period.
The projects awarded include the following;
15. E-Health for Refugees: A web based platform to engage refugee communities in Rwanda on key issues such as reproductive health and disease preventive strategies.
16. Establishment of Entrepreneurship clubs in secondary schools: A platform to engage secondary schools in skilling them for future employment.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
17. Totonga: A Project that will turn wastes (plastics) into building materials such as bricks.
“Solutions through Innovation”