Green Growth Africa Sustainability Network (#GreenGrowthAfrica); formerly – International Support Network for African Development, is a UNEP-accredited non-governmental organisation that is committed to innovation, development, and implementation of ‘greened’ socio-economic development solutions to address Africa’s development challenges. Green Growth Africa operates an interdisciplinary network of experienced professionals, researchers and students across the globe who are committed to the realisation of a socially-inclusive economic growth and development path that is low-carbon, climate-resilient, and resource-efficient; maintains and enhances biodiversity and ecosystems. In a bid to empower African youths with action competences through the acquisition and application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills in addressing environmental and social challenges within their local communities and raising a new generation of 21st century green workforce who are skilled at developing solutions to 21st century challenges, #GreenGrowthAfrica is implementing the ‘EcoHeroes Initiative’.
Formerly known as the Environmental Education Programme (EEP), EcoHeroes Initiative adopts a co-creation and learners’-centered approach that utilizes, maximises, and leverages the high enthusiasm, technology savvy, resilience, and exploratory spirit of the youth in conceptualising and implementing innovative local environmental solutions that also address socioeconomic needs in Africa, particularly in their local communities. The initiative fosters practical, experiential, and hands-on acquisition of problem-solving skills by addressing real-world environmental problems in connection to themes of socioeconomic development (health, energy access, education, among others). The initiative empowers young people with action competences that will enable them to develop capacity and long-term commitment to sustainability for everyday life, career engagement or voluntary service as environmentalists or influencers for the environment, both at local and international levels.
The 2022/2023 edition of the EcoHeroes Initiative will be focused on Sustainable Development and anchored on three thematic pillars, namely; Sustainable Energy; Sustainable Aviation; and Climate Change. Given #GreenGrowthAfrica’s commitment to developing environmental solutions that also address socioeconomic challenges in Africa, the ability of the prospective student teams to link the projects ideas on sustainable energy, sustainable aviation, and/or climate change to any themes of socioeconomic development (such as health, education, among others) provides an added advantage.
- Each secondary school will be represented by a team comprising of at least five (5) students and a coordinating teacher (more students and teachers are allowed depending on the nature of their project). Applications are welcome from any African country.
- Each team is expected to identify Sustainable Energy; Sustainable Aviation; and Climate Change challenges in their local (or global) communities, brainstorm and propose an idea of how they could address the challenge or meet the need. Only innovative and inspiring project ideas on sustainable energy, sustainable aviation and climate change will be considered. Project ideas must also express and give room for creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and other green skills. Please read our blog on sustainable energy, sustainable aviation and climate change with diverse examples of projects on the sustainable energy, sustainable aviation and climate change mostly award-winning projects implemented within previous cohorts of #GreenGrowthAfrica’s EcoHeroes Initiative (Environmental Education Programme) including those implemented by other secondary school-aged students around the globe to gain inspiration for your project ideas. We recommend that you read the blog before completing the application. Each team is required to submit the problem they want to address and their proposed solution ideas via the application portal.
Please note that:
- Upon selection and completion of the projects with the support of an Expert Advisor, each student team will be required to share the outcome of their project through a local outreach which could be to other students in their schools, people in their local communities among others. #GreenGrowthAfrica will also organize intercontinental knowledge-sharing webinars where the students will share the outcomes of their projects, skills acquired, and lessons learnt.
- Upon the completion of the projects and mentorship, each student team will be constituted into a school-based environmental club “EcoHeroes” which could admit more students to sustain the project and continue to engage on environmental sustainability in the long term. The schools will be required to operate and sustain the clubs. While #GreenGrowthAfrica will not be responsible for the operation and finance of the clubs, we will provide technical support, monthly/quarterly meetings, as well as share possible opportunities with the clubs.
- A plan of activities for operation of the club, “EcoHeroes”, after the completion of the project funded within the EcoHeroes Initiative 2022/2023 will be submitted by each school. The plan should cover at least three months of club activities. This is crucial as the sustainability of the clubs is a major objective of the programme. Please note that there is no format for the plan of activities, however, it should be clear and understandable in highlighting how the club will be operated after the completion of the projects within the EcoHeroes 2022/2023. The activities can be zero cost initiatives such as debates, quizzes, games, outreaches, etc.
Each selected team will receive;
- Mentorship support from international and local experts as technical advisors to refine and help with the implementation of the project through quality mentorship and advisory.
(Please note: Student teams with innovative project ideas on sustainable aviation may have members of staff of Pratt & Whitney – a U.S-based Aviation company as Advisors, subject to evaluations)
- Capacity development through critical thinking, hands-on project implementation, online webinar presentation and training
- Up to USD 500 funding for the implementation of project idea for all selected teams. The ideas will be innovative projects that connect sustainable energy, sustainable aviation and/or climate action with other themes of development and livelihood (such as health, poverty, etc). Project ideas that include outdoor activities are strongly encouraged. Please, note that the implementation of the projects should be between 3-6 months
- Certificate of participation
- Opportunity to share their projects with other secondary school students across the globe
- Leverage on the global visibility and publicity of #GreenGrowthAfrica, NAAEE, and Pratt & Whitney
- At the completion of the projects, additional monetary prize will be awarded to the top three “EcoHeroes” Clubs with the most innovative and impactful projects to support the operation of their club after the completion of their projects sponsored within EcoHeroes Initiative.
- Qualified and interested teams are invited to complete the online application.
- Letter of support: A letter from the school’s management expressing its support for school’s team participation in the programme, and the commitment of the school to the operation and sustainability of the club, “EcoHeroes” after the completion of project funded within EcoHeroes Initiative. The letter should also indicate that the school has/will provide electricity access and internet access as well as a projector and camera for quality and short video recordings.
Deadline for applications (Batch 1): January 20, 2023 (11:59HRS GMT+1)
Deadline for applications (Batch 2): January 27, 2023 (11:59HRS GMT+1), subject to availability of funds after the consideration of applications from Batch 1 applications
Please note: The main deadline for the programme is generally January 20, 2023 (11:59HRS GMT+1) – Batch 1. However, the window for a second deadline (Batch 2) was defined, given that some schools might have embarked on holidays. Nonetheless, the admission of batch 2 will be subject to availability of funds after the evaluation of Batch 1 applications. Therefore, early application is encouraged.
For inquiries, please contact us at EcoHeroes@thegreengrowth.org (cc: firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you would like to support #GreenGrowthAfrica to extend, replicate and scale-up the programme, please contact us via email@example.com (cc: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please download the budget template for your project. Complete it and submit it as a PDF document during the application process.
To learn more about project ideas in sustainable energy, sustainable aviation and climate change, check our blog post for environmental challenges you might be interested in solving.