Global Minimum Inc. is proud to announce the ten finalists for the third Innovate Salone – “A De Mek Am” competition in Sierra Leone.
Building on the success of last year’s innovation challenge in Sierra Leone, we are pleased to announce that more than 800 students contributed to over 150 applications from all over Sierra Leone. All of these secondary school students are proposing to solve tangible problems in their communities. The applications demonstrated passion and drive that make us very excited about the future of Sierra Leone.
Below are the finalist schools with their associated city and project description. Each finalist team will receive up to $250 to build a prototype of their solution. They will also be exposed to a network of local and global mentors. All finalists are expected to participate in hands-on innovation camps organized locally. Congratulations to our finalists!
1. PRINCE OF WALES SECONDARY SCHOOL, FREETOWN
Most rural communities all across Sierra Leone does not have electricity. Even in the cities, the intermittent power supply is a huge problem. As a result, many people cannot charge their electronic devices, such as phones, computers, etc. One of the finalist teams from the Prince of Wales School identified this as a problem and wished to build a device that could recharge batteries for electronics devices. One of the advantages of this device is that it can be carried in a backpack so that the user can use it on the go when and where it is needed.
2. ST FRANCIS SECONDARY SCHOOL, MAKENI
This team observed that their community is filled with waste and that waste management is a problem in Makeni. As a team, they have decided to solve this challenge by recycling solid wastes into charcoal briquette, which people can use as a fuel for cooking. The aim of this innovation is to recycle solid waste into charcoal for cooking. This initiative will also help clean the environment by getting rid of wastes in Makeni city.
3. THE SIERRA LEONE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, FREETOWN
Most of what students are taught in school about agriculture is what is written by the teachers on the board. Students are not encouraged to have hands-on experience in Agricultural Science. As a team, they have identified this as a problem and one way of solving this is to encourage their colleagues to participate actively on the farm by growing crops.
4. FINOH INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY, MAKENI
In Makeni, mining activities have led to the rampant deforestation, making communities prone and vulnerable to flooding and soil erosion, which is a threat to food production. One way this team thought they could solve deforestation is by planting more trees within Makeni city.
5. METHODIST GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL, BO
In Sierra Leone, polish is imported from overseas. As a team they have identified a tree that produces liquid which could be used to make polish. As a team, their aim is to share the art of producing polish locally.
6. ANNIE WALSH MEMORIAL SCHOOL, FREETOWN
This team will be creating briquette through biomass as a substitute for charcoal. This innovation can help their communities harness energy for cooking in their homes.The goal is to substitute the use of coal and firewood for cooking.
7. PRINCE OF WALES SECONDARY SCHOOL, FREETOWN
Electricity is a problem in Sierra Leone. This team’s project is aimed at building a human-powered bicycle generator. This is a mechanism used to charge electronics gadgets, such as phones and computers. The bicycle generator is capable of charging devices of up to 12 volts.
8. HOLY ROSARY SECONDARY SCHOOL, KENEMA
Weaving is an act of interwoven thread to make clothes. This team observed that in their community, most of the people that are involved in these arts are the elderly. The goal is to encourage young girls between the age of 17-30 to learn weaving skills, which has a potential of benefiting the community by providing economic opportunities for young women. The weaving lessons will also have a workshop component that teaches the girls about self-confidence and how to tackle challenges unique to them, etc.,
9. SAINT MICHAEL SECONDARY SCHOOL, MOYAMBA
Chalk is the tool used by most teachers in Sierra Leone’s rural areas to conduct lessons. However, chalk used by teachers is commonly imported from abroad, and shortage of chalk leads to teachers not being able to teach their lessons on the chalkboard. The goal of this project is to teach people how to produce chalk and distribute it.
10. THE DOOR SCHOOL, KENEMA
There is limited access to fertilizers as necessary nutrients are often depleted during food production. The team is undertaking the challenge of solving this problem by replacing the exhausted nutrients in the soil to increase food production.
On July 14th, we held our annual Celebration of Young Innovators (CYI) event for finalists from Freetown at the Innovation Lab of Prince of Wales School. The CYI event is a mini-workshop for finalists and all the schools who applied for the Innovate Salone competition. At the CYI, we discuss entrepreneurial opportunities, project development, formation of innovation clubs, and prototyping. Each team presents their project and there is a Q&A session followed by an interactive discussion about their projects. We will be hosting the CYI in other cities in Sierra Leone, including Makeni, Bo, and Kenema.