Victoria Pam, a Parasitologist from Jos Nigeria is one of the 27 finalists, 2010 Young Laureates Programme. Mrs. Pam who is currently a Ph.D student serves as a researcher and lecturer in Parasitology, entomology, cell biology and research methodology at the National Veterinary Rsearch Institute in Plateau State Nigeria. She applied for the 2010 Rolex Awards to establish a permanent molecular biology laboratory in the National Veterinary Research Institute facilities to screen parasites infections and implement awareness campaigns about prevention and control measures. For her, educating the local community is key to success and to sustainable change. Although she did not win the $50, 000 award, Pam said she was still expectant. Her expectation for the event is to network, get advices from the jury and research on future funding opportunities for her project.
Like Pam, 29 years old Preven Chetty, a graduate from University of KwaZulu-Natal with a degree in Geography and environmental management was also one of the 27 finalists. As a child, Chetty was fascinated by rivers in South Africa. He applied for a Rolex Award to produce a socio-visual collage about the Umgeni River, which flows 225 kilometers from the mountains to the Indian ocean on South Africa’s east coast. His aim is to highlight the importance of rivers and put the issue of water conservation on the world stage. The two finalists, like the others are currently focused on strengthening their project ideas in order to give them better chances of winning next year.
Today, the five Young Laureates- Bruktawit Tigabu, Ethiopia; Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Nigeria; Piyush Tewari, India; Reese Fernandez, Philippines; and Jacob Colker, United States; for the first time, explained their projects to the public- a diverse international participants and students who converged at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) during Venture Ideas at EPFL: Entrepreneurs’ Journey with Impact session. Ventures Ideas is an initiative for promoting innovation at EPFL and stimulating entrepreneurship among students.
Watch this video of Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu and Bruktawit Tigabu presenting their projects at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu won the Rolex Award to expand his Small Holders Foundation’s Radio Broadcasting programme in Imo State. Bruktawit Tigabu who has recorded 26 episodes of “Tsehai Loves Learning” broadcast to about 2.6 million children, is very passionate about disseminating educational programmes through the Mass Media. Jacob Colker, is 27 years old. His project is focused on recruiting “Micro-volunteers”, such as smartphone users in the US to become volunteers by donating spare minutes to charitable, scientific and community organizations. From the Philippines, 25 years old Reese Fernandez won the 2010 Rolex Awards to expand the impact of her Project “Rag2Riches” that aims to improve the lives of women in Manila’s Payatas Waste dump. Rag2Riches is set to “establish an innovation centre to assist impoverished women to earn a decent wage by creating ‘eco-ethical, elegant’ products”. Piyush Tewari from India is 29 years old. His project, SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) train a network of police officers and volunteers to provide rapid medical care to road accident victims in Delhi. So far, they have trained over 2,000 Dehli Police officers and 300 community volunteers.
More pictures from Day 1 event:
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu and Bruktawit Tigabu
Venture Ideas @ EPFL: Entrepreneurs’ Journey with Impact
The Five Young Laureates and George Candea, founder of Asta Data
A cross-section of the audience @ EPFL