“Students at ALU declare missions, not majors —because our continent needs leaders who can solve the world’s greatest challenges and capture its greatest opportunities. We need Africa’s best and brightest to start their missions today. And at ALU, they already have. From designing a plastic-free future to exploring digital advocacy for LGBTQIIA+ refugees, our students are responding to Africa’s greatest challenges with creative, transformative solutions while developing the skills to put those solutions into action. It all starts with a question.”- ALU Impact report 2020
When our students declare their missions, they make a statement of impact that enables them to focus on the challenges that they wish to solve on the continent and the opportunities that they can explore in order to help transform the African continent. Being driven by missions does not only end with just declaring them – there is constant research, feedback, projects and all-round work that goes into bringing these missions to life. We feature some of the mission-driven projects that our students have been working on and have launched within the ALU community, that have impacted larger, external communities existing outside of the ALU space.
Tutoo+: Closing the skills gap through accessible learning
Students: Koffi Takpah, Kone Fanhatcha, Amenan Sidiki & Salmane Tamo
Focusing on the challenge of education, four ALU students Koffi Takpah, Kone Fanhatcha, Amenan Sidiki and Salmane Tamo, responded to the skills gap in Africa by creating a digital solution that combines e-learning with offline capabilities tailored to the African context. Designed to deliver a disruptive education experience through cutting-edge technologies, Tutoo+ was recently awarded the Ivory Coast Orange Social Venture Prize.
Since its inception, Tutoo+ has participated in multiple competitions in an effort to benefit from training, networks and seed funding. One the competitions they have been a part of is the MEST Africa Challenge, an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program. Check out their pitch here. One of the Tutoo+ founders, Koffi Takpah’s, also shares his #DoHardThings story here as he describes Tutoo+’s journey and where they are now.
The Asylum Project: migration and deep-dive into a grand challenge that encapsulates the exclusion of LGBTQIA+ refugees within Africa
Students: Akinyi Osanjo
Our second feature is on the Asylum Project by ALU recent Global Challenges graduate, Akinyo Osanjo. Akinyi defines the Asylum Project as “a center of queer liberation, a platform for the amplification of LGBTQIA+ voices and a project necessitated by the need to see more policy inclusion for the queer community”. After realizing that there was a lack of information available on the struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ refugees on the continent, Akinyi made sure to work on a project that would produce more information around LGBTQIA+ refugees by leveraging the digital space.
Through the Asylum Project, Akinyi was selected to be part of the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program, which “elevates the work of young people taking a stand for gender equality”, for the 2020 cohort. She continues to produce information in this field through publications and social media where anyone who she describes as “willing to learn about LGBTQIA+ rights and relinquishes their transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, transmisogyny, misogyny, ableism, fatphobia, racism, climate change denial, and performative activism.” Akinyi speaks more about the project here.
Starlight: Bringing Solar Power to Rural Rwanda
Students: Alice Mukashyaka
Mission: Climate Change
After learning about the amount of damage that commonly used kerosene lamps were doing to the environment in Rwandan rural areas, naturally as an ALU School of Wildlife and Conservation scholar, Alice Mukashyakaco-founded an ed-tech social enterprise, Starlight, which focuses on replacing kerosene lamps with locally-made, solar-powered lanterns to reduce emissions on a local level. In addition to this, Starlight operates on a women-led business model — recruiting, training, and supporting local women to sell and distribute the solar lights and become clean-energy micro-entrepreneurs themselves. Through this model, Starlight goes on to produce STEM learning kits and introduces students to STEM careers, mentorship and role models.
Through her project, Alice was also selected to be part of the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program for the 2020 cohort. Starlight has also been featured on Forbes, where she speaks about her journey to unearthing the environmental issue of kerosene lamps in Rwanda and how through that, she discovered the intersection between insufficient women in STEM careers and the increasing environmental challenges. Read about it here.
The ALU community has seen many more stories of the impact students
There are several other stories of impact that students within the ALU community are creating through their different missions, inspiring their own communities to become changemakers too. Keep up with some of these stories on our social media platforms and news on our website.