EnactusDC is celebrating the launch of its first international project, Project G.R.O.W.(Generating Real Opportunities Worldwide), and a fantastic first trip to South Africa!
EnactusDC is the Durham College (DC) chapter of Enactus, an international organization of student entrepreneurs who develop businesses that make positive social, economic or environmental impacts in their local communities or internationally. The EnactusDC team is a part of the FastStart SHIFT program at the college, a business start-up accelerator designed for social enterprises.
Project G.R.O.W. is one of the team’s six active projects for 2020 and the first to introduce impactful international work into the mix. It is a welcome addition to EnactusDC’s 2020 competitive project roster, which also includes Girls EnPower, True Grit, Money Makes Cents, M03 Solutions and 3eehive.
During the college’s winter break, EnactusDC team leaders traveled to rural community schools in South Africa’s central region, known as Midrand, where they performed a formal needs assessment for a new food literacy and education-based garden project. Project G.R.O.W. is working with Canadian partner Rainbow Plate to design custom curricula around an experiential learning-based garden project for South African students, ages 0 to 5. The team will work with teachers at participating disadvantaged schools to implement curricula, build gardens and provide an entrepreneurial training opportunity to generate income through sales of the surplus garden yield.
The project is led by three students from DC’s Marketing – Business program: Chin-Ting Sherwin, Jonathan Bayne and Christian Lopers. These students forged a fantastic connection with their in-country host, celebrated DC alumna Cailey Hart. Since graduating from DC’s Early Childhood Education program in 2010, Cailey has become the principal of Botshabelo Urban Kids Educentre in South Africa.
The students were joined by EnactusDC faculty advisor Chris Daniel, a professor with DC’s school of Science & Engineering Technology.
“It was amazing to watch the impact that Durham College’s ECE teaching methodologies have had on increasing the skills of the local urban and rural preschool teachers around Midrand, South Africa,” says Chris. “It’s a true credit to Cailey’s leadership and since she has clearly shown great success at helping her colleague replicate her skill set, I’m confident that her ability to manage the creation and duplication of a garden and the Rainbow Plate nutrition methodology throughout the region will be successful as well.”
Team member Chin-Ting Sherwin adds, “Being able to visit communities in South Africa has been a life-changing experience. The warm welcome from the people within the schools and the overall lifestyle have opened my eyes to how happiness comes in many forms. This opportunity has changed my perspective and was unforgettable.”
Cailey Hart hosted the EnactusDC team onsite at her school and introduced members to several rural schools in disadvantaged areas, which are to become the focus of the project work. In addition to their gratitude to Cailey, EnactusDC is thankful to the college for its ongoing support, the DC Alumni Association, DC Students Inc. and DC’s International Office for helping make this new initiative possible.