EARTH grads win international prize, seed money

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: July 26th, 2018

The urban garden-promoting Dirt to Power Initiative was named a winner in the Ford College Community Challenge, a contest sponsored by the Ford Motor Co.

The project was awarded for its potential to greatly improve the quality of life for the world’s poor. The duo behind it – EARTH graduates Blessing Chukwuaja and Victoria Adelye (’17, Nigeria) – will receive $25,000 to expand their efforts from Costa Rica to Nigeria.

The Ford Community Challenge is a grant contest that invites university students to partner with nonprofit organizations to design fresh, innovative solutions to their communities’ pressing needs.

The Dirt to Power Initiative builds edu-recreational farms to teach underprivileged local residents – principally women and young people – how to recover local waste materials and put them to use in family gardens. In addition to enabling those residents to cheaply and sustainable produce their own food, the EARTH grads aim to tackle malnutrition and inspire a shared commitment to group problem solving.

The duo has earmarked the prize money for replicating their pilot project, currently operating on EARTH’s campus in Guácimo, Costa Rica. The second site will be constructed at a women’s education center in Dutse, Nigeria, to help its students become agents of change and champions of food security.

In addition to Blessing and Victoria, this project features the participation of

David Sande (’21, Kenya), Grace Amponsah (’21, Ghana), Komlan Batchey (’21, Togo), Armand Yambisa (’20, Zambia), Ellen Owusu (’20, Ghana), Joseph Chonza (’19, Zambia), Mika Mzumara (’19, Malawi), Juma Bukomba (’19, Uganda) and Timothy Ayankojo (’14, Nigeria). Special thanks to EARTH professor Ndonkeu Tita Walter for his guidance.

Learn more about the initiative here.

If you want to know more about this project, contact us at:

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