The University of Mpumalanga team presented an innovative community development project, Hatching Hope, which according to the President of ENACTUS UMP Tebogo Monageng, was a success because of the team’s commitment and love for what they do.
“Countless hours of research went into the project. We explored different possible business models of implementation. It took a lot of love, patience and hard work, taking into consideration that we all have schoolwork to focus on as well.”
“We really stretched ourselves. Taking on a project that deals with animal production seemed almost impossible, considering that we are at a university that does not have animal production as a course. But through countless hours of research and exploring different models of implementation, the project became a success,” explains Monageng.
ENACTUS is an international organisation that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilise university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become social responsible business leaders.
The national competition provides a platform for teams to present results of their projects and be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. In addition, every year ENACTUS SA allows teams to enter for special competitions sponsored by the different anchor sponsors including Harmony Gold, Barloworld, Nedbank, MTN, Ford and more.
The teams that compete at the special competitions are then shortlisted based on the quality of the entries as well as progress reports that are submitted to the ENACTUS National office and shared with the adjudication panel of the different sponsor companies. This year only 16 universities in South Africa were qualified to compete at national competition and ENACTUS UMP came fourth overall.
Senior Lecturer of Economics and ENACTUS UMP Coordinator, Dr Niyimbanira, says the institution started competing in 2017 at the national competition and proceeded to the semi-finals.
“We brought home seven trophies in that year competition. This was the first achievement of its kind in the history of the competition. The team did exceptionally well at the national competition in the year 2018 as well and applauded by many,” he adds. “This year (2019) National Competition was no different for the ENACTUS UMP team as they once again proceeded to the finals and scooped five trophies,” says Dr Niyimbanira.
These trophies include:
• 1st Place: Harmony Gold LED Challenge Award
• 1st place: Nedbank Triple Bottom Sustainability Award
• 1st place: Harmony Business Solution for community development Award
Dr Niyimbanira says through ENACTUS students gain valuable experience to advance their personal and professional lives from working in and on the project.
Students also get to put into practise what they learn in their fields of study, for instance those who are studying development studies get to apply the different principles of development in the planning and execution of the project.
“It is an experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better while developing entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. In other words, this is an organisation that is supporting student development through engagement,” he adds. “Moreover the hours that students spend working on ENACTUS activities are recorded and certificates are awarded to them. This also improves their CVs as it indicates that they have been involved in the activities for betterment of the community.”
Tebogo Monageng the team is planning to roll out the Hatching Hope project to more communities around the university. “We have a working model now and we've learnt through trials and experimentation of the first communities we've worked with, about what needs to be corrected.”
The University of Mpumalanga management continues to support the team and has been key in the fostering of the partnerships that ENACTUS UMP has built with other stakeholders. So far the communities that have been impacted by ENACTUS UMP projects include: Kabokweni, Kamsogwaba as well as two others in Nkomazi.