Victoria Baggio via Crowdrise
June 24, 2011
So a little bit about the project...
It was started in 2007 by a group of Engineering Students in the Netherlands. It has now moved its way across all international bodies of water to collect a group of 5 core members. Antal and Paul ( both of the Netherlands) are two of the original founders. We then picked up Mauricio (Colombia) and Anna (Spain) at MIT. Then I (the proud Amercian) joined the project this year. At this point your probably wondering what this group is doing together? Take a look!
First I recommend you check out our website!
Here's the quick and easy version:
Who?: Mirco-business owners in rural African communities. We want to help them, help themselves.
What?: A Community Bazaar (see attached pictures). We help local business owners grow the ideas, expand their reach, and unify to create a central market.
Where?: Yele, Sierra Leone. An extremely impoverished village in the center of Sierra Leone, a country on the Western Coast of Africa that was destroyed during a decade long civil war.
How?: Our Community Bazaar centralizes access to first priority needs. We team up with rural electrification projects ( in Yele it is a hyrdo-electric power plant our team was integral in helping refurbish) to make sure people use electricity to generate income. Most people only use electricity in their home ( TV, A/C, and such) and this doesn't help them increase the standard of living. We make sure that they use the new access to electricity to help themselves make money. WIth the combination of general access to electricity, light, refrigeration, clean drinking water, and communications, our Community Bazaar acts as incubator platform to kick start the local economy.
Why?: We consider ourselves to be a blessed groups of talents young students. If were not going to act on the amazing chance we have to change the world, WHO THE HECK WILL?
Here's the formal and fancy version:
It is our vision to create long-term sustainable economic perspectives for people in Sierra Leone. We want to empower rural Sierra Leone by catalyzing economic activity and providing business opportunities through an innovative Community Bazaar. Through the innovative combination of strategic energy services, coaching services and financial services, while providing the basic capital infrastructure to support these services, independent growth will be achieved.
We work closely with the Diaspora Community to make sure that our project comes from the bottom up. We want to empower the people to create for themselves sustainable business, NOT create the business for them.
Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and make us one step closer to completing the bazaar!