Jérôme N’Tcha M’Po
19-year-old Jérôme comes from a big family: he and his 11 brothers and sisters grew up on a farm and Jérôme has always helped out his dad by working the fields. To help grow his family farm and support other farmers, Jérôme hopes to study agriculture.
Jérôme’s project: Producing and developing Artemesia to help fight malaria
Every two minutes, an African child dies of malaria. The artemesia plant can be cultivated in Benin and could potentially be used in the prevention of and cure for malaria. The goal of this project was to define the optimal agricultural conditions to grow artemesia, look into economy of scale, and research/develop various forms of the remedy, such as loose tea leaves and powder tea.
Driven by a keen sense of curiosity, Nadiath is a great team player. In her free time the 18-year-old organizes awareness campaigns around contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and violence on women. This young activist hopes to study epidemiology.
Nadiath’s project: Commercialization artemesia
Once it is possible to cultivate artemesia on a larger scale, the question is how to commercialize it in the best possible way, which is what Nadiath looked into this summer.
At 20, Chantal is the eldest of four siblings. Her dad died a few years ago and the family has been struggling ever since. She works different jobs in order to support her family and buy school supplies.
Chantal’s Projet: Female entrepreneurship
Last year the Benin summer school program kicked off a project around female entrepreneurship in which we supported three women with micro-credits so as to allow them grow their business. Thanks to Chantal, the objective of this year’s phase of the project was to evaluate how these women are doing and to investigate the difference in impact of the various micro-financing solutions for women on the market.
19-year-old Romuald is passionate about soccer/European football and enjoys working out with his friends in his spare time. He is also active in his local community, organizing information sessions about the importance of hygiene measure in day-to-day life. To earn some extra money, he unloads big bags of rice and is skilled in installing solar panels as well as mechanics. He hopes to study informatics.
Romuald’s project: Baobab Energy e-motorbikes
Scooters and motorcycles – petrol-fueled, highly polluting, generally not safe – are a crucial means of transportation in Benin. Led by a past Materialise École de vacances volunteer, the Baobab Energy project have made a business plan for the commercialization of the e-motorbike. Romuald’s focus was on the market readiness of the project. Primary targets groups are governmental organizations who would be willing to participate in a pilot phase of the project.
Samuel is 19 years old, the youngest son of a big family. Eager to learn and a strong believer in hard evidence such as facts and data, Samuel is interested in robots and informatics. His dream to become an informatics engineer thus doesn’t come as a big surprise. He loves to watch cartoons, read comic books, and tell stories about robots in his down time.
Samuel’s project: A banana plant for each woman
A banana project was kicked off during the 2018 summer school program and over 6000 banana plants were distributed in different villages. The goal of this project was to improve healthy nutrition and integrate bananas in the diet of families and children. During his project, Samuel evaluated how families use the bananas, if they consume the fruit themselves or if sell them for extra income.
The 18-year-old son of gasoline and cashew nut vendors is one of nine children. Farouk pitches in to help out his family by doing odd jobs in his spare time. To relax, he loves listening to music and his ambition is to start a company that will create useful products and employment opportunities for others. To accomplish this, he would like to study business and management studies.
Farouk’s project: Raising awareness about malnutrition symptoms for mothers
Balanced nutrition is crucial for the physical and cognitive development of infants, particularly during the first years of life. The objective of Farouk’s project was to create an awareness campaign regarding the prevention of malnutrition. Farouk interviewed young mothers about how they feed their children, working in close collaboration with Erik, a nutritionist working with the Hubi & Vinciane foundation who will continue running the campaign on malnutrition over the coming months.
At 25 years old Modeste was one of the program’s older students. His dad Grégoire, a tailor, suffers from a condition that affects his eyes, meaning he is no longer able to carry out his profession and has had to take on odd jobs to make ends meet to support his family of seven children, including Modest. The latter loves working on his motorbike — and hopes to study mechanics one day.
Modeste’s project: Toilet facilities along the Baobab Express routes
Most of the bus stops along the routes of the Baobab Express aren’t equipped with facilities for the passengers. This issue affects female travelers more so than men. Modeste’s role in the project was therefore to look into the topic from social and economic angles as well as come up with recommendations of how to proceed and increase the availability of toilet stops during the long bus drives.