Press Release: Africa Rural Connect Announces Grand Prize Winner of Ideas Contest to Strengthen Rural Agriculture
Winner to receive $20,000 to implement commercial rabbit farm idea in Kenya
The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is pleased to announce Jacky Foo of Stockholm, Sweden and his commercial rabbit farming idea as the grand prize winner of the Africa Rural Connect (ARC) four-month online contest. All round winners of the ARC online contest, including runners-up, competed for the grand prize this month where a panel of judges selected the best idea to receive $20,000 to implement their plan. ARC launched this summer as an online community that fosters collaborative thinking to generate ideas to help solve rural Africa’s greatest challenge
"Our judges spent several days deliberating on the final ideas to ultimately select the $20,000 grand prize winner,” says Molly Mattessich, manager of Africa Rural Connect and a former Mali Peace Corps Volunteer. "Foo’s winning idea will serve to inspire others to develop effective and innovative ways to help remedy the continent’s agricultural issues, from the ground up.”
Foo’s idea, called the Ndekero challenge, is to develop a community rabbit-keeping system that can work in partnership with a rabbit agri-business farm. He will implement the project in the small town of Ndekero in Meru, Kenya through Globtree in Sweden, where Foo is a program officer for environment and sustainable development. A rabbit farm will be established at the 30-acre farm of the Nazareth Sisters to produce 100 kg of rabbit meat every month. Foo will provide part-time income-generating jobs to several poor parents in the community so their children can continue going to school instead of dropping out to help the family earn money for basic necessities.
"I was impressed with the range of ideas that made it to the final round,” said Carol Bellamy, president and CEO of World Learning and one of the four judges on the panel. “All of the plans showed a lot of creativity and a deep commitment to engage locally to make a difference globally.” In addition to Bellamy, the other judges on the panel included Wilber James, managing general partner, Rockport Capital; Angelique Kidjo, West African singer, songwriter, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and founder of the Batonga Foundation; and Bruce McNamer, president and CEO, TechnoServe.
Mattessich and other representatives from ARC, along with Foo, will be holding a press conference later this month in Nairobi to highlight some of the ideas generated from the contest and discuss current issues facing the rural areas of Kenya and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This has been a competitive contest and we received so many great ideas on how to improve agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa,” adds Mattessich. “While the contest is over, the Africa Rural Connect online community is just beginning and we hope people will continue posting their ideas well into the New Year.”
To share your idea on Africa and be part of the Africa Rural Connect online community, visit: http://www.AfricaRuralConnect.org
About The National Peace Corps Asssociation (NPCA)
NPCA 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.
Press Contact: Alison Beckwith, 202-536-4077, [email protected]
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