Press Release: Africa Rural Connect Selects First Round of Winning Ideas for Online Contest to Lessen Rural Poverty
Africa Rural Connect (ARC)is a new online community that connects individuals with life-long commitments to Sub-Saharan Africa. Hosted by The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), ARC announced today the first round of winning ideas for participants in its online contest on how to help rural Africa.
The site was created on the premise that the real solutions to Africa’s problems will ultimately come from the ground up,” says Molly Mattessich, manager of Africa Rural Connect and a former Mali Peace Corps Volunteer. “By creating a series of monthly contests, people are encouraged to share their ideas, big or small, and collaborate on developing answers to help farmers and strengthen agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Launched last month, ARC (www.AfricaRuralConnect.org) is a resource for discussing issues, identifying problems, and building viable solutions to some of Sub-Saharan Africa's most entrenched problems. Visitors to the site are encouraged to post their best ideas on how to help rural Africa where each month the best posts are selected by participants on the site.
This month, first, second and third prize winners were determined based on the number of endorsements they received from participants on the site and seven other participants received an honorable mention. The top three received a prize winner badge that appears on their ideas page on the ARC Web site, and the first, second, and third prize winners receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, to help implement the plans. The seven runners-up receive a round winner badge that is also affixed to their page and are still eligible to compete for subsequent prize money in other rounds. All monthly round winners will compete in the final round later this year when one winning idea will be selected and awarded $20,000 to implement their plan.
This month’s winners are:
1st Prize- $3,000 project seed money:
Summary of idea: This project aims to use appropriate information communication technology to make information available on-site and in real-time in remote areas of Africa to make rural markets work more efficiently, driving greater economic value from agricultural activities. This in turn would benefit the economic and social livelihoods of the poor farming communities which dominate the local economy.
2nd Prize- $2,000 project seed money:
Summary of idea: This project aims to start a solar power energy revolution across West Africa. targeting key areas of health, education, livelihood and skills training. This project with the strategic implementation of solar power installations will provide greater opportunities in Benin, Mali and Sierra Leone.
3rd Prize-$1,000 project seed money:
Summary of idea: This project aims to expand soymilk production in order to increase access and availability of high-protein dietary substitute. ARC leverages the connections and experiences of the African diaspora and Peace Corps Volunteers in order to better understand the needs of Sub-Saharan African farmers. The site is distinct because it introduces and encourages a new form of collaboration. When users read each other's ideas for development in Africa, not only can they discuss them and endorse the ideas, they can also make modifications to them by contributing from their own personal experience and insights.
"We want to convert ideas posted onto our site into viable plans that are actually implemented on the ground in Africa,” adds Mattessich. “Between returning Peace Corps Volunteers, the African diaspora and others with experience working in Africa, we already have a wealth of knowledge on the site, but we hope these contests will encourage that many more people to participate.”
The NPCA is a non-profit, membership-based alumni organization that serves all returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former staff, as well as Peace Corps family, friends, and supporters
To bring your best ideas for Africa to the ARC community, please visit www.AfricaRuralConnect.org
The National Peace Corps Association is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization connecting, informing and engaging returned Peace Corps volunteers, former Peace Corps staff and friends of Peace Corps committed to fostering peace through service, education and advocacy. The NPCA network also includes 140 member groups across the U.S.
For more information, visit: http://www.PeaceCorpsConnect.org
To learn more about Africa Rural Connect, visit: http://www.africaruralconnect.org/
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Join the Twitter conversation @ideasforafrica and use hashtag #ideasforafrica.
Win a prize for your idea!
Win a prize for your idea!
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