Joint Humanitarian Entrepreneurship Summer Academy (SA) 2019 to Achieve SDGs
In the summer of 2019, the Office of Service-Learning (OSL) and the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) at Lingnan University hosted the second edition of the Joint Humanitarian Entrepreneurship Summer Academy (SA), a one-of-its-kind intensive and culturally varied programme that empowers students to practically address the needs of vulnerable communities worldwide. In June, 23 students from Lingnan University teamed up with 17 peers from international institutions like Rutgers University (USA), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan), Symbiosis International (India), and more, for a rigorous two-week course in Hong Kong. The SA focused on a range of hands-on skills, as well as concepts like design innovation, humanitarian technology, inclusive entrepreneurship, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To create an equal playing ground and an even distributional effect for students, overseas incoming university students joined this programme with 100% subsidies in their lodging.
The programme contributed to raising awareness about the SDGs by looking at developing regions in the Belt and Road initiative, enabling students to conduct field research, collaborate with local NGOs, and propose sustainable solutions to challenges concerning the SDGs. Different student cohorts, aided by mentors who are experts in their field, then travelled to locations in Uganda, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and Nepal for another two weeks to consult with community partners and gain critical perspectives on the causes and effects of specific local issues, in order to devise the best possible solutions tailored to meet community needs.
Kazakhstan (27 students; Partners: Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Lehigh University (USA) and Almaty Management University): 10 LU, 6 KazNU, 5 Rutgers, 3 AlmaU, 2 Montpellier and 1 Symbiosis. The students had classes on sustainable innovation and divided into 5 teams and worked on projects renewable energy, biogas, eco-tourism, waste management, small entrepreneurs, and urban planning. Students' projects have reached more than 2,000 beneficiaries include Uganda local community and international partners. They have served more than 2,592 hours throughout the whole academy by developing the prototype for the solutions.
Cambodia (5 students; Partners: Santa Clara University (USA) and InSTEDD | Innovative Support To Emergencies Diseases and Disasters): Focusing on poverty alleviation, the students worked on understanding and developing sustainable models to improve income and empower social-economic upliftment of small scale farmers in Kampong Cham province, Cambodia working with InSTEDD. After developing the solution, students have reached 2,200 beneficiaries include local farmers, government organizations, universities, and NGOs. They have served more than 480 hours during the academy.
Uganda (9 LU students Partners: Carnegie Mellon University (USA), Kyempapu (Uganda)): Students focused on understanding community needs working with school students to conduct a paper circuitry workshop in a buddy system. The students worked on projects around water, renewable energy (wind), mobile library and waste management. Students' projects have reached more than 3,000 beneficiaries include Uganda local community and international partners. They have served more than 864 hours throughout the whole academy. There is a conference paper developed for the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). [Download Conference Paper]
Lighting project @ Uganda:
Consists of two 7 Watt, 5 Volt LED lightbulbs, a 20000 mAh battery and 3 USB outputs. We planned to test them in 5 houses on this trip, but after installing the first prototype and doing a review of the other houses, we learned that the current design would not meet the needs of the households. So we will redesign the system to retest in June. The redesign will likely include 4 lights and more outputs. When we redeploy in June it will be to 5 households, which will impact approximately 40 people.
Water project @ Uganda:
Built two 4000 liters water tanks made from brick and a plastic liner. Currently benefiting 17 people, 11 in one house and 6 in another. They will provide water for up to 40 days between wet seasons.
Nepal (8 students; Partner: ISAP - Institution for Suitable Actions for Prosperity, Nepal): Students focused on working with middle school students to engage them in entrepreneurship activities by organizing a Schoolpreneur program, they organized paper circuitry workshop and mentored the students with the mini-entrepreneurship challenge. The students worked with farmers to understand their socio-economic challenges and came up with solutions for creating additional income during dry seasons with mushroom cultivation and low-tech hydroponic systems. After developing the prototype, students have reached 1,600 beneficiaries include local farmers, government organizations, universities, and NGOs. They have served more than 832 hours during the academy.
To review student learning outcomes across different courses and departments, the OSL has developed a set of rubrics for effectively assessing students’ performance that uses a seven domain framework to assess students’ performance which includes:
- Subject-related Knowledge
- Communication Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Social Competence
- Problem-solving Skills
- Research Skills
- Civic Orientation
Students who participated in the Joint Humanitarian Entrepreneurship Summer Academy are required to fill in the pre- and post-test questionnaires designed to evaluate students’ learning
and development. [Pre- and Post-test Assessment]
Additionally, students’ reflective essays and reports are collected to triangulate the data from questionnaires and interviews for internal and future enhancement. [Reflective Essays]