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 realization of a socially inclusive economic growth and development path that is low-carbon, climate-resilient, and resource-efficient; maintains and enhances biodiversity and ecosystems. #GreenGrowthAfrica is implementing the ‘EcoHeroes Initiative’ to empower African youths with action competences through the acquisition and application of their classroom knowledge and skills gained in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and Arts to address environmental and social challenges within their local communities. The EcoHeroes Initiative focuses on raising a new generation of 21st century green workforce who are skilled at developing solutions to 21st century challenges.
In view of providing hands-on and practice-oriented environmental education for African youths, the EcoHeroes Initiative (formerly known as the Environmental Education Programme, EEP) employs a “co-creation and learners’-centered approach” for effective participation, ownership, and leadership of the students in the entire scope and lifecycle of the programme. The EcoHeroes Initiative leverages the enthusiasm, creativity, technology savvy, resilience and exploratory spirit of the youth in identifying environmental challenges in their locality, conceptualizing and applying their classroom STEM knowledge to implement innovative solutions that addresses both environmental and socioeconomic needs in Africa, particularly in their local communities.
The 2023/2024 EcoHeroes Initiatives invites application from students in Secondary Schools across Africa to identify environmental problems in their communities and develop solutions focused on Sustainable Development in these three thematic pillars, namely; Sustainable Energy; Sustainable Transportation; and Climate Change.
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.
- Capacity development through critical thinking, hands-on project implementation, online webinar presentation and training.
- Training of coordinating teachers on Education for Sustainable Development.
- Funding of up to 400 USD for the implementation of each project idea for new schools while schools that have previously benefitted from EcoHeroes Initiative formerly known as Environmental Education Programme(EEP) will be funded up to 200 USD.
- Certificate of participation for students’ team
- Certificate of recognition for coordinating teachers and letter of recommendation for exceptional teachers.
- Opportunity to share project outcomes with other secondary school students across the globe.
- Leverage on the global visibility and publicity of #GreenGrowthAfrica and its partners.
- 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.
- Student teams must be from Secondary schools in any of the African countries, previous teams of past EcoHereoes Initiative cohorts and EcoHeroes Clubs are welcomed to apply.
- Each secondary school will be represented by a team comprising of at least Ten (10) students and a coordinating teacher. 50% of the students in the team should be girls (this would be waved for same sex (boys-only/girls-only) schools. However, more students and teachers are allowed depending on the nature of their project.
- Each team is expected to identify any environmental challenges/ needs in their local communities, brainstorm and ideate solution(s) to address this need/challenge.
- Only innovative and inspiring project ideas that are in line with the three thematic areas of Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation and Climate Change will be considered. Project ideas must also express and give room for creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and other green skills.
- The period of project completion must be within 3 to 4 months.
- Read the blog containing the impact and diverse award-winning projects of past EcoHeroes Initiative cohorts across Africa to gain inspiration for your project idea, before proceeding to apply.
- Qualified and interested teams are invited to complete the online application.
- Provide a letter of support from the school’s management expressing its support for the 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.
- Prepare a pitch deck of your team’s project idea which will be uploaded in your application.
- Prepare a work-plan outlining the plans for your team’s project idea which will be uploaded in your application.
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 club” which could admit more students to sustain the project and continue to engage on education for 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 financing of the clubs, Green Growth Africa will provide technical support, monthly/quarterly meetings, as well as share possible opportunities with the clubs.
- A workplan of activities for operation of the EcoHeroes club, after the completion of the project funded within the EcoHeroes Initiative 2023/2024 will be submitted by each school. The plan should cover at least three months of club activities. These activities should be zero to near zero cost initiative such as quizzes, debates, community outreaches, school sanitation, tree planting activities, recycling engagements, amongst others. Please note that there is no format for the workplan of activities, however, it should be clear, and concise. The work-plan also should highlight how the club will be operated after the completion of the projects within the EcoHeroes 2023/2024.