Two student-run organizations, Brighter Dawns and Possibilities Pakistan, were named semifinalists in the 2011 Dell Social Innovation Competition. Vote tallies, along with the competition judges, determines the $50,000 grand prize winner. Possibilities Pakistan already received the Dell Social Innovation Competition “Webbie Award” worth $1,000, for receiving the most votes online. The organization collected a total of 67,830 votes. More information on these organizations and their projects is below:
Possibilities Pakistan was created by Ali Chaudhry ’12, Kenny Feder ’12, and Kumail Akbar ’12. Possibilities Pakistan extends free college counseling to all Pakistani students who aspire to attend international universities. Their goal is to guide Pakistani students through the complicated application process and be accepted to suitable top-notch foreign universities. The project includes a free online guidance service and a 150-page magazine that highlights the details of applying to college.
“Ultimately, we aim to bring about a revolutionary change by establishing, for the first time, the concept of free educational guidance for all in Pakistan,” Chaudhry says. “We will be able to reach out to hundreds of schools, expand our service to graduate schools and colleges within Pakistan, and attract the sponsors that we need to keep our project sustainable. Together, we can improve the lives of thousands of deserving students.” For more information on Possibilities Pakistan, go here.
“Brighter Dawns: Clean Water for Humanity” was created by Tasmiha Khan ’12, Bonnie Quach-Wong ’12, Jason Youngbin Lee ’12, Lindsay Kenney ’12, Kimberly Muellers ’12, Rajeeta Iyer ’12, Christopher Liong ’12 and Shirley Wu. Their project, the Wesleyan Chapter of this organization, aims to alleviate poverty in slum conditions in Bangladesh. Their first project is to provide access to safe sanitation. “To our knowledge, we are the first and only non-profit operating in Ward 12, one of the poorest slums in Khalishpur, Bangladesh,” Khan explains. They are providing tube wells and latrines, and also seminars and jobs for women, who will help to oversee the project.
“With the Dell Social Innovation Grant, we will impact approximately over 33, 000 people for a period of at least 10-15 years,” Khan says. “Currently, there are over 100,000 children dying yearly without access to clean, safe water in Bangladesh. [The Dell award will] support us in improving conditions for these people. After all, water is a necessity, not a luxury.”
For more information, go here. Shining Hope for Communities, directed by Jessica Posner ’09 and Kennedy Odede ’12, received the $50,000 Dell Social Innovation Competition grand prize award in 2010. Finalists will be announced on April 15.